Tag Archives: Harrison Street

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. 

Impatient motorists almost slam into bicyclist on Harrison Street

Type

Right hook or left hook
Had to stop abruptly

What happened

Traveling West on the Harrison motor speedway, coming over the bridge. Only one lane is marked, but many drivers treat this as a two lane road (in each direction). One vehicle was waiting to make left turn into the Post Office. Impatient WB driver decided to skirt around turning motorist at the same time a faster WB motorist had the same idea. So stopped car darted out towards me, faster car darted out to me. All of us had to slam on the brakes. Thankfully I was okay and the bridge (which I was currently on) had the plates, otherwise I would have skidded on the metal bridge and been in a world of pain.

Suggested improvements for this location: Harrison needs a) Road diet b) bike lanes c) better markings d) motorists need to learn that waiting behind a stopped car has virtually no impact on their commute time and the risks in savings 2 seconds in getting to the next stop light are not worth my life.

Pinch point on Harrison on bridge over the Chicago River

Type

1. Passed really closely
2. Passed with room, but then merged in front of me
3. Swerved into your path and then out of your path
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: No bicycle markings

Your story: This westbound side of Harrison, right before Wacker, gets a fair amount of bike traffic during rush hour. There are concrete strips on both edges of the bridge, but the eastbound one leads right into a single traffic lane. Cars often come flying up from behind, only to slam on their brakes and honk because a cyclist is in the lane in front of them. It’s consistently a problem with cars trying to beat the cyclists to the single lane or crowd cyclists out of the way – probably the worst spot on my entire commute.

Suggested improvements: Speed enforcement. Shared lane signage. Marked bicycle signage on cement strips and the “priority lane” markings on single lane that continues through the intersection.

Food truck driver threatens to run bicyclist off road on Harrison

Type
1. Passed really closely
2. Swerved into your path and then out of your path
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: No bicycle markings

Your story: Had an incident with the Beyond Borders “farm to food truck” while riding east down Harrison. He crept into the right lane a few times, then passed me with about 6 inches to spare. I banged on the side of the truck with an open palm to get the driver’s attention, and he threatened to run me off the road, saying I had to only stay on the right edge and was not allowed to be in a lane. He sped off yelling about how hard enough it is to drive a truck in the city. I contacted the restaurant affiliated to report their driver’s behavior, but no response.

Suggested improvements:

1. Truck Driver education – especially those that operate in known congested areas
2. Ability for cyclists to report dangerous larger vehicles to the city – especially recognizable trucks and those already licensed by the city for other activities.
3. Steeper fines and enforcement for offences that involved vehicles above a certain size or certain weight.