400 W Kinzie (at Kingsbury), Chicago, IL
42nd Ward, Alderman Reilly
A smaller food delivery truck started merging into the eastbound Kinzie bike lane immediately after I crossed the bridge at Kinzie and the river. I had to swerve right and sprint to avoid the truck’s tires which were about 1 foot into the lane. When I cleared the truck I looked back at the driver who seemed to be annoyed to see me.
Steven’s note: this bike lane is now over three years and has no changes or upgrades since installation in May 2011. It had some restriping but with paint and not thermoplastic so the wear is noticeable. Most of the white, flexible posts are gone. At the point where this person had their close call there were no more posts and the bike lane was half filled with snow, as they mention below.
I rode by here several hours later and noticed some of the confusion this dilapidated situation and insufficient design causes: a driver drove in the bike lane all the way up to the stop sign, to the right of the three remaining posts (the ones that block the entry have been missing for months).
It would be rad if the city did a better job of clearing the snow pile right at the east end of the bridge so I had more room to avoid this. Additionally, it would be helpful if the barrier poles which have been steadily were replaced to create a physical protection. I see people driving in the white here a lot.
Passenger of cab exited from car lane on the right side (bike lane side) – dinged my bell but passenger continued to exit so I had to swerve to right.
Suggested improvements for this location: protected bike lane.
Ed. note: The bike lane is here called protected but aside from parked cars it does not prevent people from maneuvering their cars into the hatched zones at each intersection where parking isn’t allowed. Nor does it prevent people from driving in it.
Traveling eastbound on Kinzie in a protected bike lane. After Kinzie street bridge a UPS Ford Transit van speeds ahead of me (traveling in same direction) and pulls a right hook (south) across the protected bike lane into the parking lot area (between the Apparel Mart and Chicago River). I was inches from a collision, luckily there was room to swerve right out of his path while braking.
Suggested improvements for this location: The protected bike lanes are clearly marked. This was a case of a UPS driver in a hurry, disregarding cyclist safety.
Ed. note: Many of the plastic posts at this location, which contribute to the identity and demarcation of the travel and bike lanes, have been missing for over a year.
The submitter contacted UPS via Twitter and they responded asking for more details “to put [them] in contact with the local management to ensure this is addressed properly”. UPS concluded the conversation with “I’ve passed this information along including the location and license plate number so that this can be addressed at the local level”.
Roadway description: Bike lane (next to curb)
Your story: White car parked in the Kinzie PBL (Eastbound). I went around the driver and then stopped in front of his vehicle to take a photo. He then sped out of the bike lane very close to me. Squealed his tires and then did the same thing turning North onto Wells at the next light. CPD was standing on the corner and saw how fast and reckless he was driving. I pointed the car out to them as I rode by. The cop shrugged and turned the other way.
Suggested improvements: Actually enforce traffic laws.