Tag Archives: Halsted Street

Pregnant Divvy rider almost gets run into riding in Halsted bike lane

Location

1900 S Halsted Street, Chicago, IL
25th Ward, Alderman Solis

Type

Right hook
Had to stop abruptly

What happened

I was biking north on Halsted headed toward the Divvy station around the corner on 18th. Northbound traffic was backed up from south of Canalport – normal for this time of day. The driver that swerved into the bike lane and, consequently, me was probably trying to get around a car waiting to turn left onto 19th through a gap in the similarly congested southbound traffic.

I screamed loudly enough that other drivers (including cops in a southbound police car) looked over, but was too busy swerving out of the way to see if the driver noticed me.

My left foot was scuffed from the driver’s front passenger-side tire. Thankfully the heavy-as-a-tank Divvy bike kept me upright. The driver didn’t stop, nor did any other drivers or passersby.

I’m (conspicuously) 8 months’ pregnant, and this close call was enough to guarantee that I won’t be riding until after my baby is born.

Suggested improvements 

The Halsted bike lanes are treacherous, particularly around rush hour. Buses commonly drive in them southbound – I’ve experienced this from Lincoln Park all the way down to Pershing.

Better signage won’t do much – I was maybe 5 feet from a bike lane sign. Better enforcement of traffic laws might help, but I made eye-contact with a cop immediately after the near-miss, and he didn’t intervene. 

Physical separation of the lanes seems like the only long-term intervention that will really make a difference in this location.

Construction makes Halsted confusing and gets bicyclist almost hit

Location

501 S. Halsted St Chicago, IL 60607
25th Ward, Alderman Danny Solis

Type

Had to stop abruptly

What happened

There is a ton of construction in this area due to the Circle Interchange work. Halsted is down to 2 lanes, one in each direction, with a continuous concrete barrier abutting the NB lane. I was turning left off of EB Harrison onto NB Halsted. With a green light in my favor, I made my left turn and narrowly averted a head-on collision with a car driving SB in the NB lane of Halsted.

After slamming on the brakes and swerving to dodge the first car, I saw there were multiple cars driving on the left side of a double yellow line heading my way. I fortunately was able to make a u-turn into the SB lane (where there stopped cars) and get to the sidewalk. I assumed I had made a mistake, and Halsted might have been one way b/c of construction, but as I crossed the bridge on the sidewalk, NB vehicle traffic continued across the bridge.

Suggested improvements

Suggested improvements for this location: This whole area is really dangerous currently. I’m not sure what you can do to stop people from driving on the wrong side, but if the construction on Halsted could move the barriers even five feet over they could add a cycle track.

Ed. note: Use Peoria Street while that bridge is still open. 

Bicyclist almost clipped when trying to avoid a dooring on Halsted Street

Type

Almost doored
Had to stop abruptly

Location

2601 N Halsted St (at Wrightwood)
43rd Ward, Alderman Smith

What happened

Was going north on Halsted, which just received buffered bike lanes north of Fullerton. I had just cleared the Wrightwood intersection, where there are still no bike lanes (just sharrows) after the light turned green when a man entering his car flung the door open as he looked at me coming in his path. I started to go to the left when I was cut off by a driver who turned right to swing into a parking spot. I stopped abruptly.

Improvements 

It doesn’t matter if you looked at me first, people getting into cars need to wait to open their doors.

Chicago needs to stop cutting bike lanes off at intersections and there need to be more good ways to get further north without having to go all the way over to a street like Damen.

We also need to stop pretending Halsted is a good bike route.

Typical right hook on Halsted/North becomes a collision

Type

Right hook

What happened

I was biking southbound on Halsted Street, approaching the intersection with North Avenue, when the driver of an SUV turned right in front of me, clipping my front wheel. I went over my handlebars after braking aggressively and lost consciousness.  An ambulance ride, X-Rays, CT scan and lots of pain meds later…I was mostly fine. Lots of road rash on my face, a fractured orbital bone, and a bruised cornea. All in all, I consider myself lucky.

Suggested improvements for this location: Remove the parking on the north side of Halsted near the intersection so that there is a longer right turn lane, and refresh the lane markings, clearly indicating a bike lane.

Editor’s note: This submission is clearly more than a close call but a collision. I’ve published this submission to discuss the results of what is an extremely typical maneuver by drivers (the right hook).

Waiting in parking space for traffic to clear, bicyclist almost gets backed into

Type

Other
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Wide/buffered bike lane (with hatch marks on one or both sides)

Your story: Many cars were parallel parked outside of REI.  After leaving the store, I was astride my bicycle in an empty parking spot waiting for bike traffic to clear so I could move into the lane.  The woman in the car in front of me decided to back up so she could move out of her spot into the road, but she didn’t look back at all. I started shouting and trying to move back, but there was a parked car behind me as well. I slapped her trunk, and she heard that then stopped and waved an apology.

Driver clips bicyclist on Halsted turning right but bicyclist stays up

Type

1. Right hook
Injury: Minor scrapes, bumps and bruises
Roadway description: Sharrows (bicycle symbol with two chevrons)

What happened

Your story: Traffic was backed up on Halsted and there was a clear path on the right side of the line of cars as the light changed at Adams. I was traveling northbound from Jackson at approximately 15-18mph when a gentleman decided to make a right turn into the parking lot on the east side of the street. I swerved, his front bumper still managed to clip my rear wheel, I managed to stay upright. We exchanged names and insurance made amends the following day, after having my bike checked out.

Improvements: Sharrows need to be repainted and possibly more frequently, the gentleman did not notice any bicycle markings indicating it was a shared use road.

[exact time unknown]

Bicyclist swerves to avoid oncoming driver in wrong lane on Halsted

Type

Other
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Bike lane (left of parking lane)

Your story: Distracted driver?..Guy with a grudge?..or Drunk? I was biking south on Halsted in the bike lane, doing about 15mph. The street was open in both directions.  A northbound red SUV came across the center line directly at me at a good rate of speed.  At the last moment, I jerked my handlebars to the left, banked, and swerved directly in front of him because otherwise I would have been hit head-on.  I expected to to hit anyway, but more of a glancing blow.  Miraculously the SUV passed between my bike and the parked cars without reducing speed or hitting anything.  He wobbled a bit and turned left at the next intersection.

Suggested improvements: We have to increase gas taxes at Federal, State, County and City levels to reduce the amount of driving on the road. Gas should cost $9/gallon as it does in other advanced countries. And we have to make it much harder to pass the driver’s test, renew licenses, and regain suspended driving privileges when removed for dangerous or drunk driving. All people who bike should frequently write their representatives requesting such changes.