Tag Archives: North Avenue

Bicyclist nearly right-hooked on Kedzie at North Ave

Location

Kedzie Avenue at North Avenue, southbound
Ward 26, Alderman Roberto Maldonaldo

Type

Right hook
Had to stop abruptly

What happened

The driver of a gray Dodge SUV turned right onto North Avenue from Kedzie Boulevard on a green light but didn’t yield for me at the intersection. I crept to the intersection and they paced, just before they right-hooked me did they seem to fully realize the significance of the situation. As I stopped before the impending collision I was met with stares as though by being there i was somehow breaking a law. Driver and lady passenger stared contemptuously, safe in their steel tonnage after having come within inches of collision, then sped off…

Suggested improvements 

Join the two halves of the bike lane by dotted lines and paint the word yield on either side (not in the bike lane)

Editor’s note: The bike lane ends 150 feet before reaching North Avenue in favor of marking a right-turn lane for motorists.

Bicyclist stops abruptly on North Avenue to avoid colliding with driver exiting parking space

Location

2200 W North Avenue, Chicago, IL
32nd Ward, Alderman Scott Waguespack

Type

Car turning (leaving parking space)
Abrupt stop

What happened

Your A driver of a parallel-parked car to my left pulled out of the space without signaling, nearly running into me. I yelled “hey! hey!” while braking and avoided the collision. He stopped his car to apologize, stating he didn’t see me because his mirrors were covered with water (it was raining at the time).

Suggested improvements

Bike-car separation is really the only thing I know of.

Taxi driver buzzes two cyclists, doesn’t understand rules of the road

Location

1600 N Clark St
43rd Ward, Alderman Michele Smith

Type

Passed closely
Harassing driver

What happened

The same taxi driver passed myself and another cyclist with about eight inches to spare two times in a row where both of us had to swerve into parked cars to get out of his way. Clark Street at this location is quite wide and there was plenty of space to pass safely.

When I pulled up next to him at Clark and North I asked him to roll down his window and requested that he not pass cyclists so close. His response was “This is not a bicycle path. It is illegal for you to bike here”.

I told him that legally we are allowed to bike on the streets and that the law was that he has to pass with at least three feet of space. At this point he started yelling at me “How much taxes do you pay? I pay taxes.”

I’m not sure where he was going with his class-based argument. Was he implying that people who pay more taxes are more entitled to public space? I informed him that I pay property tax, income tax, sales tax and though I rarely use it I have a car which I also pay tax on. At that point I could see I was getting nowhere and I was getting pretty steamed so I just left.

Do taxi drivers have to take some sort of test indicating that they understand road rules before getting a license? It seems that this guy really had no idea that cyclists are legally allowed to bike on the street.

Ed. note: Taxi drivers indeed take a public chauffeur course at Harold Washington College before the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection will issue them a chauffeur permit. 

Suggested improvements

[None provided]

Typical right hook on Halsted/North becomes a collision

Type

Right hook

What happened

I was biking southbound on Halsted Street, approaching the intersection with North Avenue, when the driver of an SUV turned right in front of me, clipping my front wheel. I went over my handlebars after braking aggressively and lost consciousness.  An ambulance ride, X-Rays, CT scan and lots of pain meds later…I was mostly fine. Lots of road rash on my face, a fractured orbital bone, and a bruised cornea. All in all, I consider myself lucky.

Suggested improvements for this location: Remove the parking on the north side of Halsted near the intersection so that there is a longer right turn lane, and refresh the lane markings, clearly indicating a bike lane.

Editor’s note: This submission is clearly more than a close call but a collision. I’ve published this submission to discuss the results of what is an extremely typical maneuver by drivers (the right hook).

Driver fails to use turn signal, causing bicyclist to brake suddenly on Wells

Type

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

What happened

Roadway description: Bike lane (left of parking lane)

Your story: About to cross North Avenue going southbound on Wells Street. Light turned green, two cars turning right in front of me. Parked cars on the right side of the street. Van without a turn signal turns right just in front of me and I have to use my front brake to slow down. No acknowledgement from the driver, no words exchanged.

Suggested improvements: [refreshed] bike lane markings, or a yield to bicycles sign could potentially help in this case.