The Chainlink

Last week I was riding on 51st street (on the South side) near Martin Luther King Drive and a SUV with 3 individuals started threatening me because I was using the full lane due to road conditions, they pulled ahead of me, got out of the vehicle and threatened to beat me. I flagged down a police SUV and told them what was happening, the vehicle with the people who threatened me were stuck in traffic, as the vehicle approached I pointed it out to the police (1st District, 51st and the Dan Ryan), the police looked at them and asked if I wanted an escort home! WTF???

I don't understand why they DID NOT pull these people over and question them!

Yesterday I was on a ride with the Chatham Devcorp touring the Chatham area, there were about 30-40 individuals in the ride. We had multiple people in cars the threatening to run us over!

After the ride was over I was heading home on 87th Street and a vehicle pulled up to me and a passenger told me that he would beat my ass if I were not a senior citizen ( just for riding my bike and following the rules of the road)!

Today (July 17,2016) at the Bike Box on 51st and Calumet, 2 customers stopped by for estimates on some repair work, these guys were over 12 years of age, they were riding on the sidewalk (which is illegal in Chicago), they each were issued citations ($25.00 fine). 

They were were riding on the sidewalk because the police will NOT enforce the laws that allow them to ride in the street safely!

I was speaking to another individual who stated that he will not not ride in the streets on the South Side of Chicago because he has been told by motorists that "we don't do that over here (the South Side). He has been threatened also!

The 5th Ward Alderman has stated publicly that "Black people do not ride bikes"(WTF!!!!??????)

How do we (on the South Side) deal with these issues? 

This reminds me of the "broken window" policing policy.

Any suggestions? Or is this an issue only that South Siders have to deal with?

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I also ride all over the city. I have a lot more positive, friendly encounters with drives on the south side than in places like Lincoln Park. That being said, barriers to riding safely between neighborhoods (highways, waterways, industrial parks, etc.) make it more challenging to travel a distance in many areas of the south side - much more so than most of the north side. Parts of the northwest side have many of the same barriers as the south side.


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