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Cyclists, Drivers Sound Off About Their Pet Peeves Sharing Chicago's Roads

By DNAinfo Staff | October 19, 2015 6:07am
 Cyclists waiting for green light at Milwaukee, Ogden avenues.
Cyclists waiting for green light at Milwaukee, Ogden avenues.
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DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser

CHICAGO — A story about a conflict between a cyclist and an SUV — this one driven by an off-duty Chicago Police officer — ignited a heated response from DNAinfo Chicago readers on our Neighborhood Square community platform.

More than 150 cyclists, drivers and neutral observers weighed in on the issue of how and when to share streets, how drivers and riders can safely navigate bike lanes, and their biggest pet peeves and grievances from the road.

Neighborhood Square user @MichaelB said the streets themselves are sometimes to blame for tight spots that pit bikes against cars.

"The new zig zag, unpredictable patterns of streets like Milwaukee, combined with the massive number of blind spots from cars parked in the middle of the street, and the false sense of security created by "protected" bicycle and pedestrian lanes (that force pedestrians into a bike lane and right into traffic with no buffer) and that give the false appearance of protection (that is quite the opposite in reality), all conspire to create a disastrous conditions that are not safe and cause more accidents and injuries to everyone - cars, bicycles and pedestrians."

User @sir_randall954 offered an easy rule of thumb for drivers navigating around bikes:

"If you are ever operating a vehicle where a cyclist can touch your vehicle, you are too dam {sic] close"


How can drivers and cyclists safely share the road? User @chris-balcomb said one solution is making sure as a biker that you can be seen and heard:

I have built my own horn system for my bike," @chris-balcomb wrote. "Other than that if someone is encroaching in your lane there is no way to warn them besides yell and/or slap the side of their car.

Commenter @gurl1999 warns that drivers could stand to be more cautious to help create a safer environment for bikers sharing the road.

do you know how many cars run stop signs every single day? I see far more drivers blowing signs - racing through yellow/red lights. yet it is always the biker who gets the blame.

And as the debate wages on, Neighborhood Square commenter @Comoncomon warns both sides against judging their fellow commuters unfairly:

None of you are seeing the bigger picture when it comes to people that drive a car or ride a bike. It has nothing to do with what they are taking as transit. You need to judge person by person. Some people are just idiots and cause harm to others and themselves.

Do you have something to say? Share your opinion on Neighborhood Square.

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