Tag Archives: Milwaukee Avenue

Bicyclist maneuvers quickly to avoid getting hit by motorist’s sudden lane change

Type

Right hook or left hook
Had to stop abruptly

Location

801 N Milwaukee Ave (at Chicago Ave)
27th Ward, Alderman Burnett

What happened

A southbound motorist in thru lane on Milwaukee Ave had their lane partially blocked by vehicle turning left onto eastbound Chicago Ave. Motorist clearly had more important things to do than be inconvenienced for three seconds so they decided to swerve into my path. Dangerous maneuver by me, moving right into the right turn lane to avoid motorist.

Improvements

Lane markings and paint have reduced visibility at night and when coated in evaporated salt. Maybe some of those embedded lights?

Or, for that tiny pinch point middle bike lane, barrier preventing motorists from making last second lane choices. (Similar to the cluster at Milwaukee/Augusta/expressway.)

Bicyclist clipped by frustrated driver on Milwaukee at Grand and Halsted

Type

Passed closely
Harassing driver

Location

495 N Milwaukee Ave, at Grand and Halsted
27th Ward, Alderman Burnett

What happened

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.

Improvements

Real separation between cyclists and impatient, reckless drivers.

Bicyclist almost side swiped when passing a stopped CTA bus on Milwaukee

Type

Passed closely

What happened

While passing a bus stopped at a stop a black pick up on giant tires almost side swiped me. Plate # YA 1 ND or something like that in those shapes. I’ve felt like I was almost sideswiped many times before, but now I really know what it feels like.

I stopped to tell the state police officer parked just on the other side of the bus stop and he was unable to help because he was “off duty” and “unarmed” but he was in an official vehicle.

Suggested improvements for this location: Bike lane, wider street, wider bus stop so the bus can pull in more.

Bicyclist and driver vie for same space at poorly marked intersection

Type

Right hook or left hook

What happened

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).

Avoids dooring by a foot on Milwaukee Avenue

Type

Almost doored
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Bike lane (left of parking lane)

Your story: I was travelling southbound on Milwaukee, hugging the left side of the bike lane. The driver of a late 2000s black luxury SUV (I think a Lexus) opened his door suddenly as I was a little under a foot behind the front door of the vehicle. I swerved to avoid and driver shut his door as he saw me go past. No words were exchanged. There were other cyclists riding behind me who probably saw it happen, but no one said anything to me.

Suggested improvements: This is the second time in the last couple of months that I’ve almost been doored on this stretch of Milwaukee. This stretch might be a good one for bike lane upgrades or signage reminding drivers to watch for cyclists.

Impatient driver swerves around waiting car and almost hits bicyclist

Type

Swerved into your path and then out of your path
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Sharrows (bicycle symbol with two chevrons). Editor’s note: They’re severely faded here.

Your story: Headed northbound on N Milwaukee Near 1351 N Milwaukee. This was the typical change “lanes” on a one lane road to pass the turning motorist. Lead driver was turning the car left onto Wood Street, second driver grew impatient and attempted to pass with little room, I was forced to brake hard to avoid being pinched between swerving car and parked cars.

Suggested improvements:

1) No cars on Milwaukee through Wicker Park
2) Protected Bike Lane
3) Something to raise awareness to motorists and this deadly maneuver. Make it illegal to pass a turning vehicle on road with only one travel lane in each direction?

Almost doored on Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square

Type

Almost doored
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Bike lane (left of parking lane)

Your story: It was raining. The driver of a navy blue mid 80s 4-door Buick economy car opened his door suddenly as I was passing by, going northbound. The driver missed hitting me mid-leg by 1-2 inches. No one else was in the bike lane, nor were there pedestrians around who observed. I had no confrontation with the driver.

Suggested improvements: This is the first time I’ve ever had an encounter in this spot in over a year of riding Milwaukee daily. I think that this was mostly an issue of driver education. The bike lane at this point is actually fairly wide and reasonable.

Steven’s note: The bike lane here is the minimum width of 5 feet for bike lanes next to a row of parked cars. The minimum width for bike lanes against the curb (without any parked cars) is 4 feet. Some bike lanes expand to 6 feet, like parts of Elston Avenue. 

Bicyclist right hooked at common spot: southbound Milwaukee at Augusta

Type

Right hook (car turned right, across your path)
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Green-painted bike lane between two vehicle lanes

Your story: Travelling SB on N Milwaukee just before the W Augusta Boulevard/Kennedy Expressway intersection. I was in the green-paitned bike lane there, which is surrounded by a through lane on the left and a turning lane on the right. Driver in the through lane decided he wanted to be in the turning lane without checking his six, or using a turn signal. I was going slow enough I was able to hard brake.

Suggested improvements:

  1. Bare minimum: Repaint the green lane.
  2. Improved signage for motorists. For example, at least a sign that says “Right Lane W Augusta/Kennedy Expy”. I get a lot of last minute lane changers throughout this whole intersection. Many drivers travel through the left, through lane past Augusta, then attempt to right turn onto the Kennedy.
  3. Blow up the Kennedy
  4. Reconfiguration of the intersection with cycle track and bicycle lights. Or those “fancy” European intersections that prevent motorists and cylists from having that conflict. You know the barnes dance-bicycle-dutch type.

Steven’s note: I see this happen 50% of the time I’m at this intersection. 25% of the time I see it it’s happening to me. I wrote about this on Grid Chicago. The pavement markings could be improved immediately to have “through the intersection” lines – the lanes already have “THROUGH ONLY” but the right lane has a through arrow + a right-turn arrow. There is a single sign that denotes how drivers should position their automobiles based on their destination: The sign shows two right-turning arrows and a through-arrow. However, it seems that too many people interpret these directions as forcing them to turn right onto Augusta.

Here’s another idea: ban right turns onto Augusta so that all right turns are onto the Kennedy. If you want to make a right turn onto Augusta, you can turn off Milwaukee onto southbound Noble Street (which is currently one-way northbound, though).

Which of these cars on the left will merge towards the left and block bicyclists?

It’s often very easy to tell which driver in the through lane will actually turn into the Kennedy Expressway on-ramp to the right, likely cutting off a bicyclist: look at where the car wheels are. If they’re on the line between the through lane and the bike lane, or in the bike lane, likelihood is high.

There’s a game I like to play here: which driver will turn into the Kennedy on-ramp from the through lane?

Pinch point and sunken sewer cover cause for almost being doored on Milwaukee

Type

Almost doored

Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Sharrows (bicycle symbol with two chevrons)

Your story: Just your typical almost dooring on Milwaukee. This happened right around the stretch of SB Milwaukee, just past division where there is no bike lane and the bike lane is about to start. I’m not even sure if a sharrow is technically there or not. Was moving with traffic, had blinking light on at night and nearly lost it to an inconsiderate motorist exiting their vehicle. Few cars with me, but the motorist behind me (thankfully) was sharing the road with me and giving me space so I was able to swerve and avoid the door.

Suggested improvements: Continuous bike lane on lower Milwaukee. At least better road markings or removal of parking from near major intersections where the bike lanes tend to disappear within 100 feet of them until bike lanes start back up. Crossing Division from SB Milwaukee always has that pinch point right there with traffic on the left, giant, uneven manhole in the middle and parking cars on the right. Hate it every morning and I’m always one of those cyclists who tries to get the jump on the light to have room to make it through safely.

Right hook near Milwaukee/Paulina

Type

1. Right hook (car turned right, across your path)
2. Swerved into your path and then out of your path
Injury: No

What happened?

Roadway description: Sharrows (bicycle symbol with two chevrons)

Your story: Ignorant driver, began to swerve right into parking lane w/o turn signal on NW Bound Milwaukee. Hard brake required. Avoided impact. Hard to fathom a driver not being aware of cyclists on Milwaukee Ave, she just left the stop light with 10 of us. No signs of driver distraction (e.g. phone). Driver honestly seemed confused.

Suggested improvements: 1) No cars on Milwaukee Ave. 2) Removal of one parking lane + PBL 3) Oprah as President 4) Curbside, parking protected PBLs (in order of likeliness)

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