The Chainlink

Incredibly unsafe Left Turn Green Light @ Chicago & Wells

There is an incredibly unsafe configuration of the left turn green light at Chicago onto Wells. At 99% of intersections in Chicago, the left turn green light happens before the actual full on green light cycle for that street. This is not the case at Chicago/wells where the green left turn light happens after straightbound traffic gets a red light! 

I cant be the only cyclist who watches the light turn red the opposite direction and then start moving. Yes I was wrong for doing so but when you are riding into a 40 mph headwind and just about every other light in Chicago has the left turn light in the beginning of the cycle and not at the end, one is not expecting that. I’m sure that I’m not the first cyclist that this has Encountered this and also pedestrians crossing the street must be perplexed at this situation as well!

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Hmmm, I've never seen that. Very unusual, indeed. And yeah, it was pretty windy today.

The light at Lawrence and Western on Lawrence does the same thing, among others. Wells and Chicago has been like that for about 2 years.

Regardless of the time that those lights have been like that, it should be either be before or after the green light systematically not just have them at certain places be that way. I’m interested in knowing how many other people have been caught off guard by this. 

It's up to the Aldermen in the ward where they go and their job to advertise it. I can appreciate your concern, but I'm guessing that crashes actually go down at these intersections (and by saying that I'm guessing, I'm just recalling that they do but don't remember where to quote that data.)

It's a safety/traffic flow issue.  The turn after red, helps to clear out the cars hanging out in the intersection waiting to make a left turn.  That way, there's less chance that the cross traffic gets a green while vehicles trying to make a left turn are still in the intersection.

Makes sense to me.

I just want to make sure I understand the issue here...

YOU didn't pay attention the signals or what was happening but the unsafe condition was caused by the SIGNALS?

Things on the road don't always happen as you expect, this is why it is critical to pay attention to what is going on around you.

Why don't you go back and reread what I wrote where I said I was wrong. Reading Comprehension jesus.

You also titled it as an unsafe left turn light.

The light isn't dangerous, you are.

The left turn and light IS unsafe and dangerous if it is unpredictably unusual.

Dug, it's okay for other people to have an opinion of their own. Relax.

Never assume.

Lagging left turn signals are not dangerous. The danger here, to the extent there was one, arose from a user not following signals. Driving a car or a bike safely on streets with controlled intersections requires observing signals as they actually exist.

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