Tag Archives: Sheridan Avenue

Bicyclist swerves to avoid oncoming car and falls into snow drift

Location

1009 W. Ardmore Chicago, IL
48th Ward, Harry Osterman

Type

Abrupt stop/swerve

What happened

I was traveling westbound on Ardmore (towards Kenmore) just west of the intersection of Ardmore and Sheridan while a driver was traveling east on Ardmore.

 

[Ardmore is an eastbound street for cars, but a two-way street for bikes, with a shared lane eastbound and a contraflow bike lane westbound.]

I was as far to the right as I could safely bike, given the snowy conditions. Normally, the other people drive slowly to pass safely, but in this case the driver was accelerating towards me, probably to make the green light. The driver did not give me enough room to safely pass, and I was forced to swerve into the snowbank, causing me to fall. I believe that if I would have stayed my course, I would have been in a head-on collision with the car. I would guess the speed of the car was roughly 20 MPH, and do not think I would have fared well if hit. I would have called the police, but the driver was through the intersection before I was able to gather his license plate information.

Suggested improvements

Build a cul-de-sac on the west side of Ardmore and Sheridan with a bicycle cut-through, to keep Ardmore from being a through street for motorized traffic. Keep the intersection signal for Lakefront Trail cyclists to cross Sheridan.

Driver passes on right, then stops short in front of bicyclist in left-turn lane

Type

Car stopped abruptly
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: No bicycle markings

Your story: I was riding eastbound on Diversey in the left-turn lane at Sheridan, and the driver of a silver Jeep SUV passed me on the right into the left-turn lane, and [we both] had to stop short because there was already another vehicle in front of me, and traffic was slowing into the green light at the intersection due to congestion.

Suggested improvements: Cycling infrastructure on Diversey needs to be improved in general. Also, I would like to see a good way to get from Diversey and Sheridan to the LFT. It is currently not legal to ride due east on Diversey across Sheridan, because Diversey is one-way westbound from Commonwealth to Sheridan (all of 200 feet). The legal options are to head north on Sheridan and then east and south to the LFT, or south to Fullerton.

Steven’s note: On one-way residential streets in many European countries, it is legal for people to bicycle in both directions. One-way streets are designed to be a *car* traffic management measure, to reduce the amount of “through traffic” (non-resident traffic) in residential areas. This has the side effect of reducing the number of safe routes for bicycling.