495 N Milwaukee Ave, at Grand and Halsted
27th Ward, Alderman Burnett
I was headed northbound on Milwaukee. The light was red at Grand, which has a green bike box in the front of the intersection. A driver was blocking the bike lane, but not the bike box, and there was another cyclist in the box in front of her. I rode around the driver and stopped in the box, next to the other cyclist and was shortly joined by a third cyclist. The driver rolled down her window and yelled “why must you stop directly in front of me!?”. Before we could point out the bike box, the light turned, and she screamed “Move!” and honked her horn. As we started to move, she accelerated quickly and passed us closely, clipping one of the cyclists.
The clipped cyclist later caught up to her (since traffic was heavy, she quickly got stuck in a line of cars), and she drive into the other lane (into oncomming traffic) to get away from him, eventually turning right on Elston.
Real separation between cyclists and impatient, reckless drivers.
The driver of CTA bus #1417, southbound route 36, ran me off the road at 7:45 this morning. I was riding southbound on Broadway, passing Briar, as far right as safe and practical because of slush and ice near the parked cars and the curb.
The driver of CTA bus #1417 came behind me, blaring the horn. I was well aware the bus was there before the driver began blaring the horn, but it was not safe to ride further to the right because of slush and ice at the curb.
The driver of CTA bus #1417 passed within two feet of me on the left, cutting back in toward me to avoid running over the pedestrian crossing sign at Barry. I was forced into the slush as the bus came within 12-18 inches of me.
I skidded, which was what I was trying to avoid with my original lane position. Fortunately, I remained mostly upright and unharmed.
Suggested improvements for this location: There are lots of cyclists on Broadway but there is insufficient road space because of curbside parking. Barry and Briar are common routes to and from the Lakefront Trail, but where those roads meet with Broadway, there are dangerous conflicts points, made worse when road conditions are snowy.
The bus driver should know better than to honk at cyclists who have taken the lane. The bus driver should know better than to pass within three feet of a cyclist. That driver acted with absolute disregard for the most vulnerable road user
I was taking my usual route to work and was stopped at the stop sign on Grove, attempting to cross Ridge. Ridge is very busy at this intersection and has no stop sign, so sometimes there is a wait to cross. A pick-up truck came up fast behind me and started honking. I turned to look and he had his right turn signal on. He gestured with his hand with a shooing motion indicating that I should cross, which was impossible with the given traffic, or move to let him through. I could do neither, because of space restrictions, so I held up my arm in front of me to let him know I was going straight and proceeded to wait for an opening to cross. He continued honking throughout my wait and then, when there was a break in traffic, I crossed. Instead of turning right, he also went straight, followed me and continued honking. He passed me on the next block far closer than the required 3 feet. I passed him on the right at the next stop light at Church and Asbury, where I went to the front of traffic, signaled, waited for the light to turn green and then turned left. He also turned left, followed me again, honking, and then had his passenger roll down the window to yell at me as they passed me, again unsafely, before blowing by me well over the speed limit.
I got their license number (K99 1437) but the police said they were not interested unless I was willing to be pulled out of work to be interviewed by an officer. I understand them having this requirement, but I was not able to take off the needed time from work.
Suggested improvements: [submitter didn’t provide any]
Right hook or left hook
Your story: I was heading southeast on Milwaukee Avenue and came to a stop where Milwaukee meets up with Belmont. There was a red truck (fairly large, probably an F250 with the cab covering the bed) that was in the right lane.
I biked between the car that was in the lane to go straight and in between the truck, as I presumed the truck was going to turn.
As soon as I got between the two the light changed to green and the truck sped up really quick and was merely inches away from me. It felt VERY aggressive. The car behind me then honked at me because I had to maneuver over a little bit to avoid getting seriously hurt from this large truck.
There was another biker just a little bit ahead of me, but I don’t think he saw anything because he didn’t react at all. The large truck continued to go really fast down Milwaukee.
Suggested improvements for this location:
I think there should at least be sharrows because drivers in this area do not seem to expect bikes. I’ve been passed very closely when I was doing absolutely nothing wrong more than once.
Editor’s note: This intersection, like most, could benefit from refreshed pavement markings. Secondly, the right lane could be marked as a right-turn lane (buses and bicycles excepted).
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
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.
Roadway description: No bicycle markings
Your story: Sometimes I choose Wrightwood because traffic is relatively light, and it’s a slow street due to the number of stop signs. Wrightwood is narrow, and is usually full on both sides of the street with parked cars, so it can be frustrating for drivers who encounter slower traffic. During this winter morning in February, traffic was light, and the roads were slick with a thin layer of packed snow, but not quite icy. I was cautiously cycling down Wrightwood, and there was no traffic ahead of me in either direction, when the driver of a silver Volkswagen Golf came up behind me, honked, and then passed me and stopped short very suddenly, as if to cause me to crash into her car from behind. I was barely able to stop in time at which point she drove away. There was no stop sign or other obstacle in the roadway to cause her to stop, it was obviously intended to cause me harm. It happened too quickly for me to react and pull out my phone to take a photo of her license plate.
Suggested improvements: [submitter left none]