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Added Sep 10 2011

Dear car drivers,

Due to recent events of me getting assaulted by a cab driver who thought that he could run me over. I feel the need to inform people that bikes have the right of way always. I know that they do not always obey traffic rules, however they are considered pedestrians and thusly should be treated with respect. They also have the right to ride on the road in fact it is illegal for them to ride on the sidewalk so do not yell at them if they are there. In addition please try your very best to ride as far away from them as you can, I know this is also difficult when there is oncoming traffic but if you wait just a moment the oncoming car will pass and so can you. I say this because they tell cyclist to ride 3 feet away from parked cars so as to not get doored and to avoid people who might be stepping out from between cars. I have also nearly hit people who have not been paying attention when opening doors or walking in between them so try your very best to look out for other people.

Generally this comes down to courtesy, if we look around just a little more often and think about people a little more often instead of despising every person we see who we feel is "in our way" they will not be as likely to do it to someone else. There are many cars and many people and looking out for them all is not the easiest thing, especially when they are not paying attention them selfs or do not care about you. This is not however a reason to be a jerk to the next person who did nothing to you, instead this is a perfect reason to do the opposite. Lets also note that if you almost hit a biker or threaten to hit one this is assault with a deadly weapon, and even though you can drive off very quickly this does not guaranty you will not be caught and charged.
Thank you!

  • Becky S. 30 year+ resident of Edgewater.

    Since you bring up right of way, here is the IL state Law on on riding bikes.. I posted the bit pertaining to Right of way, but the whole thing is a must read for all bike riders.

    http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a143.pdf

    Right-of-Way Laws

    Right-of-way means that one person has the right to go ahead of another. This applies to bicycle riders, motorists and pedestrians. If others do not follow the rules, let them have the right-of-way to avoid the risk of an accident.

    Two-way Intersections — When you come to a stop sign at a two-way stop intersection, you must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and vehicles on the cross street before you
    go ahead.

    Four-way Intersections — At a four-way stop intersection, the driver or bicycle rider who arrives first at the intersection should be the first to go. Take turns and go one by one through the intersection after coming to a complete stop. Proceed only when it is safe to do so.

    Unmarked Intersections — At an unmarked intersection or crossing where there are no traffic signs or signals, the driver or bicycle rider on the left must yield to those on the right. When driving out of an alley or driveway, you must stop and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and vehicles before you cross the sidewalk or enter the street.

    Emergency Vehicles — Emergency vehicles with their lights flashing and sirens sounding always have the right-of-way. The law requires that you pull over to the side of the road and stop, if necessary, until the emergency vehicle passes you.

    Disabled Persons — Blind, hearing impaired or physically disabled persons can be identified by their white canes, support or guide dogs. You must always yield the right-ofway to them.

    Police — If a police officer directs otherwise, the right-of-way laws do not apply; riders and pedestrians must obey the officer’s directions.

  • I cant tell you how many times I see bike riders blowing through lights and stop signs! I watched a woman this year with her two young children on their bikes do it!

    No common sense at all........Thanks for posting the above law. Maybe this might educate a few riders out there.

  • Was this PDF messed with or are these helpful suggestions? I ask because it is legal to ride two by two but the PDF clearly reads ride single file. Weird...

  • Bob Kastigar 15 Years North Park, bike rider, retired

    Use a little common sense: stop signs and stop lights do not apply to bicycles. They were never intended to apply to bicycles.

    Long before the automobile was invented there were paths and roads for horses, carriages, bicycles, and pedestrians. Only AFTER the automobile came about did traffic control come about.

    Take a trip to Mackinac Island sometime. There are no cars on this island densely crowded in the summer. There are no traffic signals either.

    This doesn't mean cyclists should ignore traffic signals; the traffic signals inform cyclists how cars will react, not how bicyclists should react. You've seen signs that say "Deer Crossing" - do you think this sign is to control how deers should behave? Of course not! The sign is there to provide information to motorists and not to control deers.

  • EveryBlock Becca Director of Community Management

    Hey guys, just a reminder to please try to keep the discussion focused on the neighborhood.

    So in the case of this topic, that could mean discussing particular intersections or bike-related incidents in the area.

    Thanks.

  • Bob Kastigar 15 Years North Park, bike rider, retired

    A good example, in Albany Park: Carmen and Kedzie, a four-way stop.

    Slow down when approaching, reach the slowest speed when you can see both left and right ways.

    If there's no car then pedal very quickly to clear the intersection as soon as possible. There's nothing to be gained by delaying any approaching cars.

  • RJ

    Bcycles DO NOT have the right the of way. They are required to obey the same rules of the road as other vehicles. The CPD should start writing tickets for bicyles that do not obey the rules of the road and don't have lights.

  • The pdf was for the state of Illinois. Did you also notice the dialog about driving on the sidewalk? Yes, not legal in the city of Chicago, but must be for the State of Illinois.

  • JoshT Parent, Neighbor, 2 flat owner/glorified janitor

    Our city's roadways are not designed for bicycle, automobile and pedestrian traffic - even with the 'half hearted' notion of lane divider lines. And even if all parties were to follow the traffic rules we will continue to encounter the obvious shortcomings of our urban planning. Get used to living in fear as a motorist a cyclist and a pedestrian - because we don't do big things here anymore.

  • Jay

    cyclist are considered pedestrians, when i say they have the right of way i do not mean when they are now obeying traffic signals but at any rate you should let them go first as not to hit them. you have protection they do not.

  • Jay

    it is illegal in the city to ride on the sidewalk unless you are under 15. There are even spray painted signs that say no bikes on the sidewalk. you are more likely to hit someone on the sidewalk and it is way to crowded.

  • Jay

    regardless of how you feel about bikers you need to have some compassion for other human beings, and from the looks of this message board a good lot of you don't. Keep in mind AGAIN, cars have protection a biker has none!!!!! Yes I know a lot of bikers do not obey traffic laws this is bad but this does not mean you should treat them like scum, they ARE humans!! Just like you!! OMG! NO WAY! You don't run over people walking on the street even if they are not obeying traffic signals do you? Have common sense people and grow a heart.

  • I experienced a bike rider zip from a side street to a busy street right in front of me. She looked North, but, not South, which was the direction I was comng from. I had to slam on my brakes. She was going at a high speed. This happened blocks from were 2 others on bikes had been hit and killed. I was livid. The rules of the road should be followed by those on bikes, too. Period.

  • Becky S. 30 year+ resident of Edgewater.

    I was just pointing out IL state law, which does apply in Chicago. The PDF was not messed with, it was taken directly from the government website. If you don't believe what it said, I suggest you ask a cop. I plan on asking the next one I see.

    It's about safety for all, not just bike riders or people in cars. I'm all for riding bikes, when it is done safely and according to IL State Law. (Not guidelines, but actual laws). Responsible bike riding is something that we as a community need to promote, before we start having to issue bike riding license like you have to get with a car & having the cops ticket people who are clearly ignoring the Law.

  • Can you provide a URL or cite the law that says single file? When I get home I will find the two at a time law when I can.

  • Bob Kastigar 15 Years North Park, bike rider, retired

    Jay said: "it is illegal in the city to ride on the sidewalk unless you are under 15"

    The age limit is 12.

    http://www.chicagobikes.org/bikelaws/index.php?show=chicago

    9-52-020 Riding bicycles on sidewalks and certain roadways - Permalink

    (a) No person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk within a business district. (b) No person 12 or more years of age shall ride a bicycle upon any sidewalk in any district, unless such sidewalk has been officially designated and marked as a bicycle route.

  • Courtesy extends in both directions.

  • Becky S. 30 year+ resident of Edgewater.

    JoshT: The reason the city isn't better laid out for bike riders, is that it wasn't even laid out for cars. The current systems of streets was put into place after The Great Chicago Fire in 1871. The roads were designed for Horse and buggy. What was built after that point, was built to the grid system, so the street widths couldn't easily change without messing up the grid system.

    You are right, Cars, Bikes and Pedestrians will most likely always be in each other's "Space". Which is why we have to promote more responsible driving, bike riding and even walking between all. This starts with getting people to follow the rules as much as we can.

    We live in city where there are roughly 11,500 per square mile in the city, It's going to be a bit cramped. All the more reason to promote being courteous in dealing with others.

    I looked up the information on the population of Andersonville, (http://www.city-data.com/neighborhood/Andersonville-Chicago-IL.html):

    Area: 0.849 square miles

    Population: 16,525

    Population density:
    Andersonville: 19,469 people per square mile
    Chicago: 12,750 people per square mile

  • Becky S. 30 year+ resident of Edgewater.

    @Spencer: http://www.chicagobikes.org & http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/ are run by the IL department of Transport and the Secretary of States office. They aren't talking about guild lines, they are indeed talking about what is Law, in not only Chicago, But the entire state.

  • Walk-About Hello, again...

    Once, I was driving and turning right - into a Walgreens when a bike rider hit me. The rider was knocked down and just a little scraped up.

    I was concerned that I was really going to be in trouble for being involved with a bike. Didn't happen!

    The cop sited the bike rider and asked, "Why didn't you stop?" to the biker.

    Cop said it was the biker's fault for not stopping.

  • Bob Kastigar 15 Years North Park, bike rider, retired

    How did the bike rider hit you, Gordon?

    Did you turn right in front of the bike rider? Was he approaching from the opposite direction and run into you? Was the rider exiting the Walgreens and run into you?

    It's not clear why the bicycle rider was supposed to stop for you, rather than you stop for the bicycle.

  • Walk-About Hello, again...

    The bike rider was behind me and hit my bumper.

  • ChicagoGirl0042 30+ Years in Logan Square/Edgewater/Andersonville

    @Bob, I don't understand why you are attacking Gordon when it was the police officer who decided who was at fault in that case.

    As for the argument about do bike riders have to follow the law. They are not pedestrians.

    Anyone who argues that bike riders have the right of way all of the time should go into their local police districts and ask the desk there if that is true. Why not go directly to the source. Not for the sake of this argument, but for their own safety and for their own benefit of not getting ticketed.

    There was posts a few months back about how they were ticketing bike riders in other parts of the city more frequently for failure to stop according to the rules of the road (which was posted previously by Becky as issued by the State of IL).

    You can use in the search field on Google "site:chicago.everyblock.com <insert terms of your choice >" to look for older posts if you would like to look up the ticketing issue, or maybe just search Google. I am sure it made other blogs in addition to this site as it probably made a lot of folks really angry.

  • I didn't take it that Bob was attaching Gordon.

    Like Bob, I was wondering what detail was missing. That the bike rider was behind him and hit his bumper explains it all! I, a bike commuter, would agree with the Police in this instance.

  • Walk-About Hello, again...

    Just FYI: I didn't take offense to Bob's question.

  • Bob Kastigar 15 Years North Park, bike rider, retired

    Gordon: from what you said in your second post it sound like you were passing the cyclist, then made a right turn in FRONT of the cyclist.

    If this is the case then you are at fault, no matter what the police officer said. You're fortunate this wasn't followed by a civil action by the cyclist seeking damages.

    The law is clear: cars must maintain a 3-foor distance from cyclists. You didn't, you pulled in front of another moving vehicle.

    If it had been another car you would NEVER has passed up the car and then pulled in front of the car to make a turn. Because it was a cyclist you thought it was OK to do this, that the cyclist should stop and wait for you to get by.

    ChicagoGirl0042: the police officer was wrong in his interpretation of the law. He took action based on his interpretation which he has the right to do. If this had been followed up by any civil action the police officer would have been correct - by the judge. All to often the police are car-centric and focus on cars, not giving equal value to both cars and bikes.

    I'm not out to offend anybody, I'm just trying to share information, and interpretation of the information as shared on this thread.

  • Walk-About Hello, again...

    Nope. The biker was always behind me.

  • Bob - your first paragraph is making assumptions, that he was passing the cyclist. And then you continue on with comments based on the assumption being true. As a bike commuter, I am encouraged when these dialogs start. But when a post, such as yours is written based on an unknown fact, then the trouble starts.

    Would you not agree that the same percentage of drivers are as concerned about bikers as the same percentage of bikers who ride cautiously? Or if you like to look at it as glass half empty.....There are just as many jerk drivers as there are jerk bikers. (I guess we would have to take cab drivers out of the equation wouldn't we.)

  • Walk-About Hello, again...

    It IS interesting how assumptions can get in the way of meaning and reality...

    This particular biker was apparently way behind me when I began to slow down and turn right...(and yes, I used blinker). But the biker was practically RACING and he came up on me too fast and he was faced with a choice of hitting me or going into the other lane of traffic.

    He should not have been going so fast in this setting. The city is not really the best place to FLY on your bike. You might end up on your butt!

    Bob, you mentioned I was lucky he didn't go after me in civil court. It's interesting that up until the time the cop said he was at fault, he was talking up how sore and "hurt" he was. Well....maybe not.

    When all was said and done...we got back in our car and followed him to the lakefront...(it was almost difficult to keep up with him - we had car traffic and he was on his bike, racing again), where we watched him joining a soccer game.

    I guess he wasn't TOO sore.

  • RJ

    bicycles are vehicles like cars, trucks. motorcycles. This is the law in illinois. Pedistrians are pedistrians ...period.
    I ride bicycles and motorcycles in the city When I ride I keep in mind that all other vehicles are out to kill me. On my average commute I get cutoff by two vehicles. So I drive very defensivly; It's the only way to stay allive riding.

  • and RJ, if we could get constructive word out, maybe our cutoffs would decrease. Maybe?

    Gordon - what you described is what I imagined. When I come up on a line of cars, yet my path is clear, it is NOT the time to speed up! That is if you are riding defensively. (thank you Active Transportation Alliance for the brochure that taught me that.) I think that is the point to get out to riders....to watch your speed when the car traffic has slowed dramatically.

  • Bob Kastigar 15 Years North Park, bike rider, retired

    Thank you for verifying:

    The biker was in the right lane, and you turned, pulling in front of him.

  • Walk-About Hello, again...

    Bob, Bob, Weave and Bob:

    When I first mentioned this incident, I wasn't intending to give every detail...only to point out that bikers are not ALWAYS in the right.

  • Bob Kastigar 15 Years North Park, bike rider, retired

    Thank you for pointing out the details of an incident where a bicyclists was in the right - and both the driver and policeman were wrong.

  • Bob-with all due respect- when you can't be a part of the solution, do not be a part of the problem. Please.

  • and Thank you Everyblock for allowing us to have this dialog.

  • john early ave resident for 10+ years

    As a biker and a car driver, I understand that the biker has to obey the rules like a car driver has to - not that hard to understand. I see a lot of bikers do some dangerous things - also see lots of drivers not apply the caution they should around bikers. I get particularly annoyed, though, when I have bikers pass me on the sidewalk as I am walking. I think that the police should enforce that more often,.

  • ChicagoGirl0042 30+ Years in Logan Square/Edgewater/Andersonville

    @Bob - You have failed to back up your argument with anything other then your own view point, when others have backed up their arguments with state law and the fact that this bike rider in Grodon's case was the one that got the ticket. I fail to see how your view point is the one that is correct here.

    It is important for all individuals on bikes and cars to follow the law. It keeps everyone safe.

    I hadn't heard of the Active Transportation Alliance until this site, I would for more bike riders to know about them. It is clear to me as a pedestrian that not enough bike riders know about it as I have nearly gotten hit by bike riders who have failed to follow the State Laws that they are required to do so.

    If a bike rider ever does hit me due to their failure to follow the law, I do plan on doing all with in my power to press charges and civil suit against them as allowed by law. Which trust me, those laws include stopping at stop signs, and following the directions of one way streets, and stopping at stop signs and yielding when required to oncoming traffic (car and foot).

    I can't ride a bike any longer, but that hasn't stopped me from reading the rules. There is no reason that any one else has for not reading them. Knowing your rights begins with knowing the laws.

  • Bob Kastigar 15 Years North Park, bike rider, retired

    "If a bike rider ever does hit me due to their failure to follow the law, I do plan on doing all with in my power to press charges and civil suit against them as allowed by law. "

    Cars too?

  • ChicagoGirl0042 30+ Years in Logan Square/Edgewater/Andersonville

    Yep cars too. But this thread is about bike riders.

  • Absolutely cars too. When a small commercial truck back into my husband's car at a stop sign, and the company refused liability, I filed a suit in small claims court. Rather than going to court, they chose to file a claim with their insurance, who paid for the damage to our car.

  • Becky S. 30 year+ resident of Edgewater.

    If you own a car, you are required by law to carry insurance for that reason. Perhaps we should require bike riders to have to get a license and insurance too to encourage responsible bike riding.

  • As a cyclist I totally agree with the need for everyone to open their eyes and pay attention when they are driving. I, like most cyclists have had plenty of close calls thanks to inattentive or overly aggressive drivers. However, cyclists are not consdered pedestrians. We have to follow the same rules of the road as cars. This means no blowing stop signs, going the wrong way down one way streets, or weaving in and out of cars in traffic. Active transportation alliance should have a link to the complete rules of the road for cyclists. The truth is, when we ignore the rules of the road and behave as though we always have the right of way (which we don't) we only make drvers and pedestrians more angry, generating more ill will, and make it more difficult to garner community support for more bike lanes.

  • vb urban explorer

    A small percentage of automobile vehicle operators flout the rules of the road. A high percentage of bicycle vehicle operators flout the rules of the road. That's a problem.

    When I ride up from behind, to a line of cars at a four-way stop sign intersection, I don't jump to the right, pass them all at full speed, and blast through the intersection (like I saw a rider do recently). I get in line, act like a vehicle, and take my turn.

  • I'm a driver AND a cyclist. Since I work over 30 miles away, I have to drive and I'm a cyclist for pleasure usually going from about Foster and Sheridan up to Evanston or Winnetka and back.

    What never ceases to amaze me is the entitlement attitude some BIKERS have. I've seen this both while I've been on my bike and driving. Its almost like they feel they need to assert their 'right' to use the streets and so they can be very aggressive, break traffic laws, and put themselves at risk and HOPE that the driver is able to take evasive maneuvers. Its crazy that some of us bikers feel we need to be just as bad as some drivers!

    I've been driving up Bryn Mawr toward Ridge and had bikes ride right out in front of me at stop lights where I have the green and they are perpendicular under a red signal. I've had bikes ride up to the front of a line of cars and pull in front of them at a stop light.... and then get pissed off and flip me off when I try to pass them. Getting in and out of the park in our community during the mid evening hours is impossible some weekends. Bikes don't stop along the path or even slow down. As a rider and a driver, I get we need to share the road... but that whole sharing concept works both ways.

    Slower traffic should keep right. That means whether you're in a car or on a bike. That's the rules of the road and when these rules break down (either by drivers or riders), accidents happen and people get hurt. Drivers AND riders need to navigate defensively, have some consideration for others, and get over the temptation to think that the world revolves around them!

  • Will Pruitt Social Work/Street level/Uptown

    To Jay, et. al.: re: cyclists. I live near Thorndale and Winthrop. On nice days I like to walk to and from my job in Uptown via Sheridan. Many times per week I am nearly run down by cyclists ignoring the law. Sadly, they are most often the ones with expensive bikes and riding gear. Same applies on the Path in Lincoln Park. If you have to obtain a license to fish in this state, why not to own a bike?

  • Inactive user

    If you are on the road, you aren't a Pedestrian. Roads were built for automobiles, not for Biking. Share with the rest of us, but your story about a cab running you down is like me watching for the millionth time of a biker screaming past and blowing a stop sign and or red light. It's called courtesy.

  • ChicagoGirl0042 30+ Years in Logan Square/Edgewater/Andersonville

    Coming right off of the bike path at Ardmore is the worst. I don't know what it is, but from there north until where Sheridan heads west for the two blocks before heading north again. That is probably the worst area of Edgewater in my experience for nearly getting hit by a bike rider in my experience.

    It never use to be this bad either, this has been a problem that has been worse in the last 5 years or so.

  • any mos a here

    Competely agree ChicagoGirl. It would be nice to see the Alderman get on this since the cooridor there is also getting hit with violence. He could include pedestrian saftey, bike sharing/ courtesy in his plan and meeting later this month.

    Kenmore/Winthrop bikepaths do include stop signs but are not often heeded on glenlake or granville. This is a problem for pedestrians (including dogs) and cars. It gets pretty scary at times and I fear that someone will get hurt (either a rider or a walker).

  • What if the bike path were extended from Ardmore north to Thorndale? Thorndale is less residential and more commercial and appears wider than Ardmore. Would provide more eyes and ears on Thorndale.

  • Bob Kastigar 15 Years North Park, bike rider, retired

    What if the bike path were extended from Ardmore north all the way to Evanston?

    Wouldn't that be even better?

  • ChicagoGirl0042 30+ Years in Logan Square/Edgewater/Andersonville

    The bike path switches to streets after Ardmore. I rather have the money that this city have spent on stopping the shootings going on in this area then on serving only part of the population. The city is in a financial state where it shouldn't be spending on items that are not necessary to run this city.

    I rather have cops on Thorndale preventing shootings there then rerouting bike riders there. I know from talking to other local bike riders that one of the concerns that they have is safety, they don't want to ride through areas where there have been shootings either.

    The problem that I see is the lack of people following the laws of the state. Here is even a news story from back in June on one of the setups they did with educating bike riders about the laws. Much like they have been doing with drivers and people in cross walks.

    http://articles.chicagobreakingnews.com/2011-06-07/news/29631549_1_bicyclists-red-lights-traffic-law

  • Scott Chasen from Ocean Beach, San Diego, now in Edgewater

    as long as you stay off the sidewalk, no exceptions except kids

  • ChicagoGirl0042 30+ Years in Logan Square/Edgewater/Andersonville

    Scott - your right about that. I know that is a big problem along Sheridan Rd. from Ardmore up past Loyola (at a minimum, probably further). I know there are a lot of signs posted along that route reminding people about the law and the associated fees for riding a bike on the sidewalk if you are over 12.

  • Inactive user
  • DGA

    Wonderful post Gregory!

  • Ray

    Bikes on the roads with cars. The law is the law and is quite clear on how bikes are to operate. I think if more bicyclists actually followed the law, there would be less accidents. The question of right of way is determined by law. Period. Until the law is changed, following it is the best course.

  • Bob Kastigar 15 Years North Park, bike rider, retired

    Cars on the roads with bikes. The law is the law and is quite clear on how cars are to operate. I think if more automobiles actually followed the law, there would be fewer accidents.

  • This comment has been removed by EveryBlock staff.
  • As a driver I am always aware of and attempt to be courteous to bicyclists. However I find they ALWAYS want the right of way; they want the rights of pedestrians and they want the rights of drivers but they don't seem to want to follow any of the rules of t he road. Yesterday driving down a street in Ravenswood Manor there were 4 bicyclists riding down the road in front of me. I was trying to catch a train and wanted to pass them. But they rode 4- across and refused to move over to the side. I would say this happens to me at least once a week. I live in fear that one day I will not be able to avoid someone riding against a green light in front of me or something similar. It seems to me that drivers would be more courteous to bicyclists if the bicyclists followed the rules of the road instead of making up their own.

  • ChicagoGirl0042 30+ Years in Logan Square/Edgewater/Andersonville

    Nancy, that is another great example of how the laws get broken. They are suppose to ride single file.

    It is a shame that there are people that no matter how many times they are presented with the laws regarding bike riding, they will forever be in denial and forever giving bike riders a bad name. Not all are bad, but there are enough bad apples out there to leave a bad taste in the mouth for me.

    I for one plan on telling my Alderman that I don't want him supporting any more money spent on special projects for bike only usage (such as the protected bike lanes) until we get other issues like crime fixed around here because most of the time your rewarding bad behavior. Your rewarding people for breaking the law.

  • It's about time pedestrians and cyclists both were cited even a fraction of the amount of time that drivers are... then maybe we would start to see some sanity by all parties in sharing the road. Besides, maybe the city could start balancing its budget on the backs of its other residents besides just the drivers, who up to now have been the lowest-hanging fruit and cash-cow. Just think how much money they would take in!

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  • Nancy, let's be fair and disclose that you are a realtor in Chicago. Chances are you're getting most of your clients to/from site locations via car, correct? As a realtor, could you outline the increase or decrease of home values in walkable communities for us here?

  • Reading that Nancy is a realtor brought Big Shoulders Realty to mind. Met the owner the other day. He says he has shown houses by using bikes. Sounds like a great way to see a neighborhood.

  • Mark, I'm afraid you're wrong.

    http://www.chicagobikes.org/bikelaws/?show=search&chapter=6&db=chi

    (Glencoe has a similar law, which is maddening because it's not posted and, as far as I'm concerned, all the suburbs look alike, so when a group is riding up Sheridan Road it's impossible to tell when we're supposed to go from two-abreast to single-file.)

    But also: Sheesh. I agree with you in principle, but you gotta be a jerk about it? Unless you're going out of your way to prove my theory that cyclists and drivers are all jerks in equal proportion. (The only difference being that of impact: When cyclists are jerks and scofflaws, we annoy and delay; when drivers are jerks and scofflaws, they maim and kill.)

  • This comment has been removed by EveryBlock staff.
  • Becky S. 30 year+ resident of Edgewater.

    Just a note, I wouldn't say that bikes couldn't kill someone. They are more unlikely, but they can kill. I've seen bike riders going pretty fast and all it takes is to hit someone, they fall and hit their head hard enough. It really doesn't take that hard of a hit to the head to seriously damage and or kill someone. A little blood leaking in the brain, can go unnoticed till to late and that will kill you.

  • Becky S. 30 year+ resident of Edgewater.

    Also the above is why anyone on a bike (motorized or not) should wear a helmet. Scooters too.

  • John A Ravenswood Resident

    @Becky - good call out. A few years ago, a friend of mine was struck by a cyclist as he walked to the Blue Line. My friend spent a few days in a coma and thankfully recovered. His recoverey was not a sure thing and even today, he is cautioned about many things I take for granted.

  • Becky S. 30 year+ resident of Edgewater.

    @John, I had epilepsy as a child. I've spent the better part of my childhood and all of my adult life being careful to not hit my head.I hope your friend has a continued recovery. I know how much it can suck to have to be extra cautious. But the alternative would be way worse.

    2.5 million people in this country have epilepsy and you can't tell by looking at someone if they have it.

  • EveryBlock Becca Director of Community Management

    Hey everyone, just a reminder about our community guidelines again. Please avoid making personal attacks directed at specific individuals.

    Also, let's please keep this discussion focused on cycling issues/incidents in the neighborhood where it was posted. Thanks.

    http://www.everyblock.com/about/comment-policy/

  • Mark Twain, you raise a very good question regarding value of "walkable" neighborhoods. Absolutely without question, the more "walkable" a neighborhood is, the more positive impact that will have on the home's value. I am all for that. For any that are not familiar, check out www.walkscore.com and plug in your address to get your home's "walk score". I use this information all the time with my clients and I do appreciate the walkability of our city's neighborhoods. But the more walkable it is, sometimes the more difficult it is for us realtors to get around! (although my comments above had nothing to do with being a realtor but just a frustrated driver trying to find a fair solution to a growing problem).

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  • "Coming right off of the bike path at Ardmore is the worst. I don't know what it is, but from there north until where Sheridan heads west for the two blocks before heading north again. That is probably the worst area of Edgewater in my experience for nearly getting hit by a bike rider in my experience.

    It never use to be this bad either, this has been a problem that has been worse in the last 5 years or so."

    Five years ago, Ardmore between Sheridan and Kenmore was clearly marked with bike lanes. Recently, Ardmore got some new asphalt, but remarking the lanes has fallen off the map.

    I recently pulled up to Sheridan east bond on Ardmore. Heard some honking behind me as I waited for the light. The honker then pulled into the right lane that I had left clear for him, to make his turn onto south bond Sheridan. I asked him what the problem might be and he told me. "Everyday I pull up here there are bikes in the way .. you belong on the sidewalk." I explained that this was a street with bike lanes. But he said that bike lanes end at intersections, where bikes should get on the sidewalk and out of his way. Never mind that it's illegal to ride a bike on a sidewalk. It's going to take a lot of effort to get drivers to share the road with bikers.

  • Thanks for pointing this out.

    That is a high traffic area, and the sidewalks for pedestrians are not any safer. The area between 6033 N. Sheridan and close to Thorndale has been fenced (with mid thigh to hip high fences to protect the parkway grass) so that pedestrians are stuck and cannot get clear from dogs or bikes. The sidewalks get very busy with children and strollers, etc.

    Illegal bikers are a problem, but knowing that the streets are not marked helps me to have a bit more patience with them. The whole area is ripe and ready for an accident. Hopefully one will not happen!

    Be safe!

  • any mos a...I am unfamiliar with this area, so do not feel comfortable doing what I want to suggest. And that is, have you thought to email CDOT or Active Transportation Alliance? Could it be that the lanes just need to be painted again?...or did the traffic flow change.

  • Several years ago, in front of 6033 N Sheridan, an elderly women using a walker was scared so badly by a bike rider coming up behind her ON the sidewalk, she fell, hit her head on the sidewalk and DIED. There are way too many seniors, dog walkers, strollers, people out for just a walk and rollar bladers on Sheridan Rd from Rosemont to Ardmore for ANY bikes to be on the sidewalk. Police often stand on the corner of Glenlake & Sheridan and Ardmore & Sheridan and give tickets to bike riders riding on the sidewalk. Why? Because it's against the law to ride a bike on the sidewalks in the city of Chicago unless you're 12 years and under.

    FYI about the bike lanes needing repainting and the "No bikes on the sidewalk" signs needing repainting, I have brought this to the attention of our alderman. Hopefully it will get done before next year:(

    Extending the bike path from Ardmore to Thorndale along the back of the high rises seems like a pretty good idea and would serve a needed visibility on Thorndale, which is a wider street then Ardmore. If we are to be a "bike friendly" city, then we need to start making it that way. On the other hand, bike riders need to also obey the rules of the road..period and as with anything else, we ALL need to be paying attention out there:)

  • You are aboslutely WRONG. Bicycles must obey the same traffic laws as cars. Furthermore, riding a bicycle on the sidewalk for people older than 12 is an ordinance violation.

  • Inactive user

    Do pedestrians still have the right of way when crossing against the light?!? No.... We simply don't run them over because we don't want to dent or scratch our vehicles.... Sometimes "pedestrians" abuse rights and waste the time of others...something they are otherwise NOT worth and would not be given voluntarily... courtesy goes both ways... Nobody has time for stupid games.

  • Bob Kastigar 15 Years North Park, bike rider, retired

    In a marked crosswalk, yes - the do have the right of way.

    If you're driving a car you're going much faster than someone walking so you're wasting much more time for someone walking that you driving.

    Stop, and wait.

  • Inactive user

    It has makes no difference about my rate of speed... We are talking about pedestrians that are walking in front of a green light during a don't walk signal. They DO NOT have the right of legally. They are breaking the law... On van not break the law...JAYWALKING... and still have the right ofway simultaneously. They are wasting the time of others. That's basic reason. Of course we don't run them over... However, sometimes groups of criminals use that as a tactic to stop cars and then car-jack... Socially they are trash and wasting time. They can cross at and with the light. Unless they are elderly and/or handicapped, then it may take them a little longer to cross if they started at a legal time... I'm talking about the "people" playing games....

  • Inactive user

    It makes no difference about my rate of speed in comparison to a pedestrian... We are talking about pedestrians that are walking in front of a green light during a don't walk signal. They DO NOT have the right of way legally. They are breaking the law... On can not break the law...JAYWALKING... and still have the right of way simultaneously. They are wasting the time of others. That's basic reason. Of course we don't run them over... However, sometimes groups of criminals use that as a tactic to stop cars and then car-jack... Socially they are trash and wasting time. They can cross at and with the light. Unless they are elderly and/or handicapped, then it may take them a little longer to cross if they started at a legal time... I'm talking about the "people" playing games....We agree Bob, I have never run them over... but...I see what they are doing, wasting my time and that of every other driver in front or behind me, needlessly waiting on them.

    .

  • Inactive user

    How's it possible to jaywalk... a ticketable offense... and still simultaneously have the "right of way" as a pedestrian?!? That's not logical...LMFAO!

  • Inactive user

    I've never hit a biker either... but they can move over so drivers can pass and not take up the middle of the road like some do...Too bad with parking being such an issue there are not bike paths everywhere!

  • @Bob Kastigar. Where is North Park?

    @ Christy Furr, Early this year, an elderly man crossing WITH the walk sign was hit and killed by a driver on Sheridan Rd & Ardmore. While I agree that SOME pedestrians don't obey laws I think that motorists are in the majority in breaking the rules of the road laws. Sheridan Rd is like a mini Indy 500 EVERY day and even with a walk sign, we have to look both ways before we cross...just like our parents taught us to do. Why? Because motorists blow through yellow lights AND red lights on a daily basis. The speed limit on Sheridan Rd is 35, what a joke, very few motorists do 35 more like 45, including the many school busses who travel Sheridan Rd when Sacred Heart lets out. Pedestrians are the ones who, every time we step out of our homes, are endangered by bikes on the sidewalks, motorists not obeying laws or getting caught in the crossfire from thugs/bangers. The walk sign is timed for motorists NOT pedestrians so a handicapped or elderly person barely makes it across. If there are no cars in sight, I'm crossing whether I have a walk sign or not. Those crosswalks that REQUIRE motorists to STOP and let a pedestrian cross are like death alley. It's also a law to stop at a crosswalk IF a pedestrian is in one. Obviously you drive even to the corner store so how would you know what pedestrians go through?

  • EveryBlock Becca Director of Community Management

    Hey everyone, Kris has the right idea, let's keep this discussion focused on Edgewater/Andersonville so it doesn't continue to go off course.

    Thanks.

  • AS I Stated before., Bicycles do not always have the right-of-way. They must obey all the same laws cars do. Riding on a sidewalk when cyclist is over than 12 is an oridnance violation. If you have any further questions or discussions,. contact the police police department. I am sure CPD will discuss your issues with the law.

  • Bob Kastigar 15 Years North Park, bike rider, retired

    "I've never hit a biker either... but they can move over so drivers can pass and not take up the middle of the road like some do.."

    Bicycles has the right to the full use of a lane when riding on the right may be unsafe.

    Foster Avenue, east & west of Pulaski, is a four-lane street and cyclists are entitled to the use of one lane on the right and cars can pass on the left lane, maintaining the 3-foot separation required by law.

    Pulaski Avenue, north and south of Foster, is a a four-lane street and cyclists are entitled to the use of one lane on the right and cars can pass on the left lane, maintaining the 3-foot separation required by law.

    http://www.chicagobikes.org/bikelaws/index.php

  • Really, this started out as a discussion about bikes on the sidewalks and how it got to this is beyond me. The law is the law..period. Now, if we could just enforce the laws perhaps we could all feel safer.

  • @ Bob Kastigar,
    This is the Edgewater EB site, many people do not even know where you are referring to. I've never even been to Pulaski, how does that pertain to Edgewater and bikes on the sidewalk?

  • Bob Kastigar 15 Years North Park, bike rider, retired

    It says "Andersonville" not Edgewater.

    In the column on the right you can see that the topic "Bikes have the right of way always" has been posted to five different groups:

    Edgewater, Andersonville, Ward 40, Ward 48, 60640

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  • EveryBlock Becca Director of Community Management

    Guys, knock it off, please. Let's keep this discussion on-topic.

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  • Alex M. Jeff Park, web design, DJ, thinker

    I understand what you're saying Jay, but drivers like myself aren't going to feel bad for cyclists if they're CONSTANTLY running RED LIGHTS (not stop signs). Even when I walk past that new path they have by Merchandise Mart, it's one cyclist after the next running the red light.

    I know if I ran the light in my car I'd get pulled over (or photographed) and handed a fine. Where's the fine for the cyclists? Fine them and make them sit through 4-8 hours of drivers ed classes.

    I've had a few occasions also where cyclists almost ran right through me as I was walking. How am I supposed to think these guys deserve respect when they won't give any to anyone?

    I consider myself courteous to cyclists when I drive. I check for them, watch for them, and show them respect as vehicles on the road. It's also how and why I can spot so many who continually break the laws.

    I say build the bike lanes and such, but I want to see the police ticket and fine the cyclists...just like they do automobiles.

  • @ Bob, I'm all for more bike paths if it gets cyclists out of harms way from vehicle traffic. However, I expect cyclists to be held to the rules of the road as vehicles.

    Now all we have to do is figure out how to protect pedestrians from the cyclists and the vehicles.

  • RJ

    Guess they have the same problem with bikes in Portland;
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3nMnr8ZirI

  • MichaelK Peterson Woods

    RJ;
    Did you happen to pick up on the sidebar video featuring Steve Buscemi? It's a riot!

  • Becky S. 30 year+ resident of Edgewater.

    RJ & Michael, Those are hysterical.

  • Beware of yellow cab 5229TX

    I've been assaulted by the cab driver of this taxi. Taxi drivers have far too many rights and get away with entirely far too much. I was jogging and had a cab roll through a stop sign and drive right into me on Irving, one block east of Ashland. I slammed my hands on his hood to keep from falling. He then proceeded to stalk and harass me for "damaging his vehicle" (because I apparently have super human strength?? ...that, and I was so rudely in his way as he drove his front end into my knee caps). He followed me in his car around the corner at irving and ashland all the way up to Ashland and Lawrence, shouting profanities and trying to cut me off at intersections forcing me to run around him (remember, me on foot, him in car). He even stopped to get a bat out of his trunk at one point, about a block south of montrose, on ashland.

  • Also, as mentioned a few times above, bikes DO NOT BELONG ON SIDEWALKS! They DO NOT have the right of way over people on foot! It's unlawful and dangerous to ride your bike on the sidewalk. I've had too many close calls with bicyclists while out on a run or while walking my dog. Keep it on the road (I bike too — recreationally AND as transportation).

  • Bob Kastigar 15 Years North Park, bike rider, retired

    http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/bacp/publicvehicleinfo/passengerinfo/bacpcabaffidavit.pdf

    Fill out and mail in this paper form to file a complaint about the taxi, driver, and your experience. You'll be contacted about following up on your complaint.

    It's worthwhile to do it - for the rest of us.

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