The Chainlink

New one for me tonight. I was making a left on Desplaines onto Milwaukee. I took the center of the lane because a car was parked in the bike lane ahead...by the bars just around the bend. 

When the light turned green, I was very startled when the bus driver directly behind me in the lane tried to pass me on the right...also making a left. He forced me into oncoming traffic and both of us were forced to stop due to the oncoming traffic. I found myself almost touching him as he was forced to stop with me right at his open window. I yelled "what are you doing!" He yelled at me, saying I'm not allowed in the road, only in the bike lane on the right. 

Since he felt I was breaking the rules, seems he felt it best to almost run me over to teach me a lesson. Sometimes I just don't get some people. 

At the next light I stopped to explain how wrong he was, and he just laughed and waved as he sped off. 

Hopefully my note to the CTA will at least get read by someone. Drivers with no knowledge of the rules of the road should not be behind the wheel, especially on Milwaukee Avenue. 

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"I took the center of the lane because a car was parked in the bike lane ahead. He yelled at me, saying I'm not allowed in the road, only in the bike lane on the right. He forced me into oncoming traffic. "

Que to the bike lanes don't make us safer guy.

Yeah Brian, there are a more & more psycho CTA drivers out there then ever before. Report it to the CTA and then start believing in U.F.O.'s, Santa Claus and the Cubs winning the world series. Good luck with that.

Yes, I don't think the city or any of the agencies really care about receiving resident input.  If they did, they would be actively seeking it.

I have used the CTA's fill-in-the-blank form for complaints and complements.  I fill in date, time, route number, & bus number, and have received back messages that they won't follow through because I didn't put in the stop where I boarded the bus.  That doesn't seem like necessary information that would prevent contacting the driver.

I sent both an email note to their feedback address and filled out the online form. Got a personal response to both first thing this morning from the same person... assuring me the information would be shared with the manager of that driver. So...at least I got that. 

I recall reading somewhere that bike lanes aren't to keep bikes in, but to keep others out. I hope you got his bus number. With the bus number and time, they should be able to identify the driver. CTA does respond to input from their website. I've written a couple times about bus drivers running red lights.

Well...for whatever it's worth...or not...I wrote about the experience to the CTA, with the bus number and a photo of the driver I snapped further up the road. 

I received two phone calls about my complaint about the dangerous bus driver. One from the customer relations people saying they would most definitely forward it to his manager. And one call from his manager telling me they called him in over the matter. So...it does at least sound as if they took the matter seriously. 

Good one. I have had similar experience reporting CTA bus drivers. This is one thing cyclists can do that does make a difference to driver behavior. Also, other drivers will hear about the complaint and understand that cyclists have cell phones and email, and know how to use them ;).

That's encouraging. There has been occasions when I've seen dangerous driving by a CTA driver and was fortunate enough to spot a supervisor a little further along on the route. I stopped to talk with the supervisor and they did talk to the driver. 

FYI - if you spot someone in a CTA van stopped at a corner (or someone in a CTA uniform standing on a corner) with a clipboard, that's usually a supervisor. At a major station, the supervisor is often in a little booth.

On one of those occasions, the bus was getting close to Howard station so I talked to the supervisor there. I waited around to watch and that bus driver DID get an earful.

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