3336 N Lincoln Ave Chicago, IL 60640
Had a Comcast van driver sideswipe me on Lincoln southbound. I screamed (because he scared the shit out of me) and started hitting his car with my hand as I stopped.
He pulled over (without using his turn signal) and proceeded to apologize profusely.
Protected bike lane.
Had to stop abruptly
I was headed north on Lincoln Avenue. A driver whose car had NY plates was facing west on Wisconsin and waiting at the red light suddenly flicked her cigarette out the window and went through the red light to make a soft right-turn onto Lincoln, northbound. I and a taxi, both in the middle of the intersection (with a light that had turned green 5 seconds before) had to stop abruptly to let her through.
Suggested improvements for this location: Red light camera so she would at least pay for her nonchalance!
Ed. note: In Chicago, right turns on red are banned at all five and six-way intersections, with signs. New York City is the only known city in the country to ban the turns at all intersections. It would be better for pedestrian safety if the ban was switched in Chicago.
Driver was playing a video game on his phone (farmville? It was a phablet phone and the screen appeared to have grass and animals on it) with both hands while vehicle was moving. His window was down and I yelled at him to pay attention, put his phone down! Driver replied with “what difference does it make to you?” and jerked the wheel in my direction, swerving his vehicle into me, hitting my arm with his mirror.
Suggested improvements for this location: Buffered or Protected bike lane along with Bike Boxes ahead of the stop bar. Car traffic is almost always backed up at this location and there are a LOT of commuters on Lincoln. Buffering would be an improvement over the current sharrows but a PBL would ideal.
Right hook or left hook
Was heading south on Lincoln coming up to Lincoln/George/Lakewood intersection. The light was green, and a driver decided to turn left onto George, and the car behind this turning car couldn’t wait one second so swerved right into my path as I was going at a pretty good pace. Had to hit the window of the swerving car or else the driver of this car would have been pushed me into the curb/light pole and it wouldn’t have been pretty.
Suggested improvements for this location: There are only bicycle sharrows on this stretch of Lincoln. A designated bike route, Lincoln is strange because drivers get impatient waiting behind bicyclists who don’t feel safe at all trying to balance out of the door zone and cars zooming by at 30 mph on your left. Would not have a car swerve in front if there was a two-way protected bicycle lane on Lincoln instead of this constant shifting/swerving/balancing/cringing that is currently on Lincoln. I think a bicycle light would also alleviate some of the merging problems at intersections like this, allowing bicycles to move through first.
Editor’s note: Like the leading pedestrian interval at many intersections, a leading bike interval could do a lot of good in keeping bicyclists, who are legally allowed to filter to the front of a lane on a shared-lane street like Lincoln, in view of drivers.
Steven says: This close call is a crash. I will not accept actual crashes in the future as you should make a crash report so that information is collected by the police and seen by local departments of transportation and researchers.
Injury: Had to visit a hospital later
Roadway description: Bike lane (left of parked cars)
Your story: I was riding southbound on Lincoln in the bike lane. There weren’t many cars parallel parked except a big SUV and the driver opened her door right into me. I flew over my handlebars and landed on my side and shoulder and broke my collarbone.
Suggested improvements: Cars should park as far to the curb as possible. If I had had a few more inches I maybe wouldn’t have been doored.
1. Right hook (car turned right, across your path)
Roadway description: No bicycle markings
Your story: I was riding north on Lincoln Avenue when a driver suddenly decided to take a right hand turn into an alley directly in front of me without slowing down or using his signals. The car was driven by an older white man with white hair in an early 2000 model silver Lincoln LS.
Suggested improvements: a protected bike lane, a buffered bike lane or even at the very least a visible bike lane throughout all parts of Lincoln ave that drivers can actually see.