Today’s Headlines for Tuesday, December 18

  • Gas Tax Proposal Mocked by Kristen “Hope Chicago Gets Hit by a Hurricane” McQueary (Tribune)
  • Service on Red, Brown, Purple Lines Disrupted Over 2 Hours After Death on Tracks (CBS)
  • 2 Officers Fatally Struck by a South Shore Train While Pursuing a Suspect (Tribune)
  • Eliane J. Marshall, 55, Fatally Struck by 3 Drivers in Des Plaines (Patch)
  • Cyclist, 82, Fatally Struck at a Trail Crossing in Prospect Heights (Sun-Times)
  • Why Should I Keeping Biking When There’s So Much Hostility to Cyclists? (Chainlink)
  • Block Club Checks Out the New 311 Service Request App
  • Letter: If You’re Renting Your Car, You Should Pay Same Fees as an Agency (Sun-Times)
  • Get an Eyeful of the New Installation on the Bloomingdale Trail (Block Club)
  • Reactions to Chicago’s Transit/Taco Triumph From WBBM & Ald. Ramirez-Rosa
  • Discussion of DePaul Scooter Report Today, 12-1 at 243 S. Wabash Suite 900 — RSVP Here

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  • Alexander Kessler

    Re: “Hostility toward cyclists”

    I get the frustration, I drive every day due to my terrible reverse commute, and deal with insanely selfish drivers albeit with a box of steel protecting me. I respect bikers and want to encourage people to bike to work even if I’m unable, so I make sure to give ample space on tight roads, triple check when opening my door, etc.

    But also as I driver I see the totally selfish and inconsiderate bikers, too. Seems like too many bikers want both the benefits of being a pedestrian AND being a moving vehicle. I almost hit someone this morning blatantly running a red light on their bike. I’ve had bikers cut out of the bike lane without looking right in front of my car to get around obstacles. I don’t want to kill anyone, so if you bike, please be considerate of drivers as well! Let’s SHARE the roadways :)

  • Guest

    A recent DePaul study noted that Chicago bikers ignore stop signs 96% of the time, and ignore red lights 66% of the time:

    https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20161212/wicker-park/bicyclists-red-lights-stop-signs-idaho-law-depaul/

  • Tooscrapps

    “I’ve had bikers cut out of the bike lane without looking right in front of my car to get around obstacles.” – The problem here is the obstacle (likely a vehicle), yet you place blame on the cyclist.

  • Tooscrapps

    The story actually says they do not “obey” not ignore. In practice, cyclists are employing the Idaho stop method, which is not the same as ignoring.

    I approach a stop sign and depending on the cross traffic (drivers and peds), I treat as either a yield or a full stop. I approach a red light, I treat it as a full stop and if there is no cross traffic, proceed with caution. In fact, this what the study actually recommends:

    “Yet the study suggests implementing a “Idaho Stop” law at four-way stop intersections, which would allow cyclists to regard stop signs as yield signs and that at red lights, they would only have to stop long enough to determine whether it was safe to cross.”

  • Alexander Kessler

    Car drivers often deal with stopped vehicles or other obstacles, and cutting into other lanes (includes bike lanes) without checking and signaling would be dangerous and inconsiderate.

  • Alexander Kessler

    Thanks for being a good biker! Unfortunately many do not follow your lead. Bad drivers and bikers make roads unsafe for everyone.

  • Courtney

    Active Transportation Now is hosting a Bus Riders Forum with Mayoral Candidates on Tuesday January 15th.
    http://go.pardot.com/l/213232/2018-12-12/451hl?fbclid=IwAR3gH8rfbRzTdvt5_rQ5NXXXUz1ELHRCA2xesWyGaEs8sLOF82DhhrxlR5M

  • johnaustingreenfield

    Here’s our writeup of the DePaul study, which notes that in some cases doing an Idaho stop may be safer than waiting for a stop light to turn green, because it reduces your exposure to right-turning vehicles: https://chi.streetsblog.org/2016/12/12/idaho-stop-in-the-name-of-love-depaul-study-endorses-rational-cycling/

    Yep, people are capable of acting like jerks on the road regardless of whether they’re walking, biking, or driving. But when they act that way while piloting multi-ton, high-speed vehicles with blind spots, it often has tragic consequences for other people.

  • Courtney

    I hear you and understand your frustrations. As someone who bikes a fair amount in Chicago the not so smart decisions of other cyclists frustrate me too. I also want to say that good infrastructure decreases poor cycling habits. If the city built more protected bike lanes and implemented technology to give cyclists a longer light or a green before cars, perhaps this could decrease some of these behaviors you’re seeing.

  • Courtney

    The hostility towards folks on bikes is real. I was recently biking down Glenwood in Rogers Park to catch the train. I could hear this truck behind me but didn’t want to smell its fumes so I moved over a bit to take up more space on the road. In all it was “delayed” by like 15 seconds. Whoop tee doo! I signal that I am going right and the truck floors it on the gas in an attempt to scare me.
    I’ve had someone call me the N word as I was biking down Bryn Mawr Ave between Broadway and Clark St. It’s honestly a stretch I’d love to see made car free. I get nervous whenever my Lyft is going down that street because it’s so narrow. It’s even more nerve wracking as a cyclist when cars attempt to go around you.

    In my everyday biking experience it’s the carelessness that concerns me more than the rare instances of hostility.

  • Tooscrapps

    Carelessness and distracted driving are my biggest concerns as well.

  • Matt

    Here, fixed that line for you… But also as a HUMAN I see the totally selfish and inconsiderate OTHER HUMANS, too.

    Can we please, please, please stop this narrative that any of this behavior is unique to specific people that choose one particular mode of transportation or another? There are what, 10 million people in the Chicagoland area? Of those 10 million, a LOT of them are going to be rude, mean, angry, inconsiderate, etc… and many of them will be in cars. Many of them will be on bikes (a lesser overall number, but probably a similar percentage). There will also be plenty as pedestrians, and plenty on transit.

    So, as a human I’m going to acknowledge that there are other humans out there that probably don’t care about me, or really don’t give much consideration to anyone other than themselves. If I’m on a bike, this leaves me in a very vulnerable position and I act accordingly (many others do not). Again, this same behavior is prevalent among every mode of transportation, and I’m not going to pretend like I can change the behavior of a few million people… Yes we can say they *should* have more responsibility since they’re in a 2-ton vehicle that can injure/kill someone in an instant, but the reality is that there are millions of people every day that drive and the behavior is what it is at this point. People in cars will change lanes without looking, and people on bikes will avoid obstacles without looking. People walking will walk into a crosswalk without looking. People sit on a train with their face buried in their phones and headphones in their ears.

    All one can do is pay attention to their own surroundings as much as possible, and (re)act accordingly. Hope that most people are considerate and are paying attention, but know that some aren’t. Watch out for yourself, no one else is going to do it for you.

  • Alexander Kessler

    Very true, I thought I made it pretty clear that’s what I meant by calling out bikers and drivers but yes–regardless of the mode of transport lots of people are jerks. We should all take responsibility for our own actions and if everyone did that the roads would be much safer for us all regardless if we are on bikes or in cars.

  • Alexander Kessler

    Yes agreed, protected bike lanes especially.

  • Alexander Kessler

    Yep, I’ve got no issue with the the Idaho stop. Complete disregard for any kind of traffic signals is common, though, which I think we agree is different than a safely approaching an intersection and noting the current traffic before deciding to pass through a stop sign or light.

    I think being aware that you are sharing the road with multi-ton vehicles that have blind spots is all the more reason to want to share the road safely with those vehicles and make sure they see you.

  • Matt

    Sorry, it wasn’t a dig at you at all (I liked your whole message). I just saw the line as an opportunity to make the point I wanted to make. It was actually more in response to the people responding sort of justifying one “side’s” bad behavior by the other “side’s” also bad behavior.

  • planetshwoop

    The Prospect Heights story is horrible. That crossing looks insane: four wide lanes of traffic, no island, no signal, and no safety measures other than some zebra stripping on the street.

    I don’t know what happened obviously but that seems criminally dangerous from the picture .

    And it happened during the day, not at dusk or something! Yikes!

  • planetshwoop

    I usually take the lane on Bryn Mawr for that stretch. Not worth trying to share.

    Crossing the off-ramp of LSD to get to the LFT is awful too. I have considered a folding stop sign.

  • Tooscrapps

    What is the law on this regarding cyclists using the “crosswalk” and cars having to stop? Given the presence of the green signs and the striping, it would seem that the motorist was required to stop.

    The dumb part of it is that if they shortened the left turn lanes they could easily add some sort of island.

  • planetshwoop

    I am not sure but I take the advice of Mr Bike and typically dismount for crossings like that.

    But double lane crossings are always extra horrifying bc of the tendency of drivers to try and go around the car that’s stopped.