The Chainlink

I'd appreciate any advice on how to handle threatening/abusive CTA drivers. Two weeks ago, a driver abruptly veered right into the bike lane on Halsted while overlapped with me, squeezing me between the bus and the parked cars. This was not at a marked bus stop. The driver did eventually come to a halt, but never opened the doors.

While he was stopped, I got off my bike (since I was trapped and couldn't proceed in the bike lane), walked around to the front of the stopped bus, and took a picture to have a record of the bus's run number in order to have a record of it to complain to the CTA. When the driver saw me doing this he became enraged. He began honking repeatedly and accelerated (from a complete stop) directly forward in the bike lane toward me, even though there was no traffic in the car lane and (initially) plenty of room between him and me for him to go around me. I took several pictures of the bus getting closer and closer while this was happening and then eventually, when he got too close for comfort, fled.

I have reported this to the CTA and been told, in essence, that they will look into it but won't tell me the result or any consequences that the driver may face. I attempted to file a police report, but the police staffer first tried to convince me to file a non-criminal report, then lied and told me she was filing a criminal complaint, but gave me a document which indicates that it is a non-criminal incident report.

It's very upsetting to me to think that this person is going to continue to be given a 20-ton weapon and paid to go around threatening people with it by the CTA. I would appreciate any suggestions for ways to see that this person faces real consequences.

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Local news story?

Hmmm, those pics are pretty convincing evidence. It should be possible to identify the driver, given the run number. All I can suggest is that you keep the pressure on them and consider engaging an attorney if you have the will and the means.

Somebody with Slow Roll just posted a video showing a #8 bus driving in the Halsted bike lane and said the driver did so from 69th all the way to 55th. I've seen lots of past bike lane violations on Halsted near REI (south of North Ave.). I think we need a lot more complaints to CTA. I'm also mentioning this to the folks at Active Trans.

Info links:

http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/cdot/supp_info/bicycling...

http://chicagocompletestreets.org/your-safety/enforcement-laws/
9-40-060 – Drivers must not park, stand or drive a vehicle in any bike lane
9-40-160 – Drivers must exercise due care to avoid crashing with any bicyclist or pedestrian on the roadway
9-4-025 a,b – Penalty for motorists who violate bicycle safety provisions: $150 to $500
9-36-010 e – Drivers must pass bicycles with at least 3 feet of clearance when passing

Thanks Anne Alt, that's interesting. Do you have a link to that video? I wonder if it is the same driver. The events I described happened a bit north of REI, near Altgeld.

I looked to see if it was on Youtube or other public source, but it appears to be posted directly to Facebook.

I'm wondering if the ongoing months of misery caused by the Jane Byrne interchange construction are feeding into this problem. I've been avoid that section of Halsted for a while due to the mess. The bus drivers can't. At times I've walked across the bridge there and traffic was so slow that I covered a 4-5 block distance faster than the bus - and I was not walking very fast.

This doesn't excuse the bad behavior, but I have to wonder if it's making things worse.

http://www.thechainlink.org/forum/topics/bicyclist-attacks-and-bloo...

Excuses for recurring incidents, and no solution for resolving disputes according to the existing laws and enforcement, lead to the possibility of a frustrating occurrence like this.

http://www.thechainlink.org/forum/topics/cyclists-protect-yourself-...

Or ends up as a tragic situation like this.

I have had similar experiences with CTA drivers, not only in bike lanes, but when they fail to yield coming out of a bus stop and cut me (and other cyclists) off. I frequently wear a camera on my helmet and record these and other wild things drivers do. I've seen other cyclists who are doing so. 

I think it would be great to have an online archive/blog to upload these types of photos and videos to build a critical mass, if you will, of data to drive some media attention.

Is there such a resource that folks here know of? 

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