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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!

  • 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.)

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  • 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.

Hello, neighbor. This thread was closed due to violations of the EveryBlock community guidelines, which intend to keep discussions informative, friendly and respectful.

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