Tag Archives: hotspot

Driver buzzes bicyclist on Logan trying to cross Western

Location

Logan and Western (under the viaduct), Chicago, IL
1st Ward, Alderman Moreno (according to 2012 remap)

Type

Passed closely

What happened

As we progressed west on the boulevard under the viaduct, I took the right lane. A driver behind me hit the gas and zoomed past me, moving back into the right lane and passed my girlfriend with only a foot or so to spare.

Suggested improvements

Protected bike lane across Western and under the expressway. This is a long time coming – a cyclist was killed at this intersection five or six years ago.

Ed. note: This is a frequently problematic intersection for people to cross on bikes, and yes, as the submitter points out, there is a ghost bike here representing the death of Tyler Fabeck in 2008. The intersection is a key link between a very large residential and a very large shopping area (including Target and Strack & Van Til) with zero alternatives (save for a double-long route north to Elston and then southeast to the shopping area).

From 2005-2012 there have been 10 injuries to bicyclists and 2 injuries to pedestrians (reported). This is low compared to other “big” (as in geometry) intersections because, I believe, the bicycle traffic is low due to avoidance. This is also a dangerous place for people driving.

Driver turns across Dearborn cycle track and forces bicyclist to run into car

Location

320 N Dearborn St Chicago, IL

Type

Right hook (but actually to the left)
Had to stop abruptly

What happened

I was northbound in the protected Dearborn bike lane during rush hour. The driver of a black livery car turned left into the Westin Hotel driveway and I was forced to slam my brakes. I skidded into his driver’s-side door (at relatively low speed, but unavoidable).

He kept his window rolled up as I berated him, not seeming to understand that I had the right of way. I’d guess there was a customer in the back seat. Several other bicyclists were northbound with me, and remarked upon how scary a spot that driveway is. This is a perennial close-call spot in my commute, with drivers both entering and exiting the hotel driveway.

Suggested improvements

I can’t recall exactly, but I don’t think there’s any vertical signage there marking the bike lane for left-turning drivers. A green box extending into the gap in the parking lane would help, I suppose.

Ed. note: Another possibility is raising the bike lane at this point to the curb level and putting the driveway ramp in the “gap” in the parking lane. The ramp should be a different color and texture to highlight that this is a different situation that requires additional care.

Right-hooked at Elston just north of Armitage (hotspot)

Location

2050 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL
32nd Ward, Scott Waguespack

Type

Right hook (car turned right, across your path)

What happened

Traveling northbound on Elston – where there is no bike lane because it ends at Cortland – just before Ashland, but after the light at Armitage, I took the lane. I often do this to make it clear that I’m not planning to turn right onto Ashland and to give those who are going to turn right the room to move into the [faded] right-turn lane.

The driver of a 4-door sedan moved from behind me to my left and proceeded to move in front of me as the driver turned the vehicle onto Ashland from the right lane. He drove quickly and I narrowly avoided the right hook. (The video below clearly demonstrates the issue.)

Suggested improvements

The stretch of Elston north of Cortland needs clear on-street markings that delineate a bicycle lane and travel lanes.

[vimeo https://vimeo.com/74604351]

The Elston Avenue right hook, Steven Vance