The Chainlink

Effectively dealing with cars that drive in the bike lane

I could use a couple of good suggestions after nearly being hit by 3 seperate drivers within 1 block near the Logan & Elston intersection on Sunday. Suggestions need to be acceptable to use in front of my kids.

I know people are in a hurry to get to target for Christmas shopping but common - you can't see my 6ft orange bike carrying multiple people on it?
First woman cried because we actually collided when she decided to pull across the bike lane to park after waiting in line for the light. Effective but not my first choice.

Second guy, 3 cars after I start moving cuts into the bike lane to get around traffic turning left onto elston. When I pull up next him at the light, I knock on his window and ask of he saw me. Answer no - never looked. My response was not to drive in the bike lane - ever. Maybe effective.

3rd guy, front car at light directly in front of the guy I just knocked on the window for. He pulls on front of me in the intersection and double parks in the bike lane pinning me in the intersection next to all the anxious drivers I just passed. 2nd guy I had an exchange with stops to let me in to traffic so I give up.

I cannot avoid this intersection and complaining at a caps meeting won't get me anywhere since I have a somewhat poor relationship with them for past biking issues.

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Certain things you'll have to deal with.  It's the nature of the best. 

Suggestions:  Pull over and call 311 or 911 at the time of the incident.  Invest in a cycle cam. 

Good luck, Anika. 

Go around them. The people driving in the bike lane don't give a crap about you or the laws, and no amount of arguing with them will change their minds. Most people just get angry at you if you point out their wrongdoing, anyway. The cops won't do anything if you call 911, by the way.

I know it's not the solution, but this is how I feel sometimes when people cut me off, give me the squeeze, tailgate me, etc...

I think the only thing that's ever worked for me is taking photos of them in the bike lane.  Some people laugh and even pose for the photo, but a decent amount speed off when they realize what I'm doing.

give them a thumbs down or a nod of disapproval. thats all you can do in the moment.

that whole stretch of elston from western to past damen is a clusterfuck of poor planning and bad drivers.

Part of the problem is that THE COPS DON"T CARE.   I nearly got double right hooked by two cars with a Police SUV across the intersection.    I complained to the Cops.  They said that they saw it, but since "I wasn't hit" it wasn't a violation.   Really? 

I really HATE HATE HATE the new 311/911 Campaign in which the Police, essentially, are writing off a very large portion of crime in Chicago.  (I guess I knew that they already didn't care....   but this campaign makes it even more obvious... frankly, it almost sounds like they are admitting that they will do NOTHING about a Burglary....)

Agreed. A cabbie assaulted me by purposely trying to hit me with his car, then proceeded to get out of his cab and scream at me. Upon calling 911, I was told that it's only considered assault if there is a verbal threat made. This is 100% untrue – assault is any threat of violence and purposely swerving a car in front of a cyclist to intimidate him or her definitely counts. I explained this to the police officer and she disagreed and hung up on me. Chicago's finest!

David crZven said:

Part of the problem is that THE COPS DON"T CARE.   I nearly got double right hooked by two cars with a Police SUV across the intersection.    I complained to the Cops.  They said that they saw it, but since "I wasn't hit" it wasn't a violation.   Really? 

I really HATE HATE HATE the new 311/911 Campaign in which the Police, essentially, are writing off a very large portion of crime in Chicago.  (I guess I knew that they already didn't care....   but this campaign makes it even more obvious... frankly, it almost sounds like they are admitting that they will do NOTHING about a Burglary....)

i'm glad you're okay, especially since there was a collision.  The two other guys sounded like they had no remorse.  I'm a nonconfrontational person.  Whenever I pass a car that almost hit me, I look into their passenger window and they usually glare at me or give me an obscene gesture. When I almost get doored, I look back and the driver is looking towards the sidewalk and not the street.  Or worse on their phone. 

You are actually bringing to their attention that hey this street has a bike lane and maybe they should expect bikes to be in it.  And that's more than I do which is nothing so I applaud you for that.  As other people pointed out already, calling 311 or 911 will result in nothing when no collision has happened.  It sucks, but unless you are actually hurt they don't care.  There's no punishment for near misses.

 

To avoid the second situation, I usually pull all the way to the right whenever I see cars backed up behind a left turning vehicle.  I get this won't work with all intersections especially if someone is illegally parked too close to the intersection.    

Dont assume that anyone driving a motor vehicle sees you.

Expect the unexpected.

Plan a "way out" if you cruise that red light or stop sign

because drivers will want to smash you when you pull out across their right of way.

Stop in line with cars at a red light, instead of riding around the shoulder in front of them.

If you show that you are obeying the rules of the road drivers will begin to show you respect.

OP problem--cars pulling into bike lane or parking in the bike lane--is against the law, but unless there is a police officer right there who is willing to enforce the law, not much to do.

"Almost" hitting someone is not against the law.  It happens who knows how many times every day everywhere between cars.  The activity leading up to "almost" hitting someone might be against the law, but again, unless the police officer is there and sees it, not likely that there will be anything done.

Excerpted from http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/assault :

There can be no assault if the act does not produce a true apprehension of harm in the victim. There must be a reasonable fear of injury. The usual test applied is whether the act would induce such apprehension in the mind of a reasonable person.

The police officer you spoke to probably wanted to get you off the phone because you were cutting into her break time.


Adam Herstein (5.5 mi) said:

Agreed. A cabbie assaulted me by purposely trying to hit me with his car, then proceeded to get out of his cab and scream at me. Upon calling 911, I was told that it's only considered assault if there is a verbal threat made. This is 100% untrue – assault is any threat of violence and purposely swerving a car in front of a cyclist to intimidate him or her definitely counts. I explained this to the police officer and she disagreed and hung up on me. Chicago's finest!

David crZven said:

Part of the problem is that THE COPS DON"T CARE.   I nearly got double right hooked by two cars with a Police SUV across the intersection.    I complained to the Cops.  They said that they saw it, but since "I wasn't hit" it wasn't a violation.   Really? 

I really HATE HATE HATE the new 311/911 Campaign in which the Police, essentially, are writing off a very large portion of crime in Chicago.  (I guess I knew that they already didn't care....   but this campaign makes it even more obvious... frankly, it almost sounds like they are admitting that they will do NOTHING about a Burglary....)

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