The Chainlink

Kind of a Missed Connection but Interesting Interpretive Question Raised by Raging Driver

Was thinking of posting this in the missed connection thread but the road-raging driver that prompted me to post really wasn't anything new or interesting for regular commuters in the city.  

In any event, I was riding southbound on the LFP this morning when a silver Mercedes with a 50 something dude in it stops at the stop sign just west of the LFP at Foster or Lawrence (I can't remember which).  I'm on the path headed towards the street and he pulls away from the stop sign, heading towards the path, looking straight at me.  He doesn't slow and I start shaking my head and then as I enter the street yell "hey."  I avoid hitting him and he stops, blocking the path both ways, and starts yelling profanities at me.  In between profanities, he yells that I have a yield sign.  This guy is clearly an asshat and probably deeply unhappy in his life but the comment about the yield sign caused me to check the path before each of the streets the rest of the way down the path.  As it turns out, there are some (not all) streets before which on the path there are yield signs. Soo...where the yield signs are present, are cyclist, bladers, runners, walkers, etc. on the LFP supposed to yield to all cars that have come to a stop and then proceed to cross the path or does the stopped car need to wait for the path to clear before proceeding?  Just curious what others thought.

In case you were wondering whether yelling profanities at bikers who may or may not have been in the right really qualifies one as an asshat, he also gunned his engine to peel out and slammed his brakes in some adolescent attempt to scare me.

Last, apologies if this has been covered before.  I didn't find anything on a quick search.

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Are there any other intersections similar?  Stop signs for vehicles in one direction, and yield signs for vehicles in the other direction?  This is common on several intersections along the Lake Front Path.

All over the city there are 4-way stop signs; are there any 4-way yield signs?

Where the yield signs are present, are cyclist, roller-bladers, runners, walkers, etc. on the LFP supposed to yield to all cars that have come to a stop and then proceed to cross the path or does the stopped car need to wait for the path to clear before proceeding?  I, too, am curious what others think and how they approach these crazy intersections.

I approach these intersections expecting the drivers to stop, but going slowly enough that they can see me approaching and so that I can stop if they don't.  I also make eye contact with drivers, and give a shout if they are not looking at me.

The yield signs lead to a lot of confusion, with most cyclists proceeding more or less as I do, some crossing the streets at full speed, and others coming to a complete stop, waiting for the cars to pass.

I'm with you on that.  Right now I'm avoiding taking the LFP north because of the unholy mess around Navy Pier.  I'll make a note to myself to watch out for this in, say, the summer of 2018 or when they complete the project, whichever comes first. 

The last time I went over the rules and regulations of driver's responsibility pamphlet at the DMV for a license renewal, I read somewhere that automobiles should always yield to pedestrians and bicyclists.

Pedestrians and bicyclists should have the right of way legally, but drivers are a lost cause in their interpretation of how to share the road.

Yeah, there are many so-called adults who clearly never learned sharing as children.

Now THAT's the understatement of the year.

Sounds like crappy signage, but the driver needs to chill.


Sometimes at an intersection you'll see a flashing red in one direction and a flashing yellow in the other.  Drivers immediately recognize that the cars with the red need to stop and can't just drive into the cars that have the yellow.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but....

Aren't those YIELD signs placed right before the sidewalk, meaning we have to yield for pedestrians using said sidewalk?

Good question John.  I don't know.

Seems like a good, cheap clarification would be to pull down the yield signs on the bike path and add a yield sign to the street that clarifies that cars need to yield to bikes, bladers, runners and walkers on the path.

As for pedestrians on the sidewalk crossing the path, it might be good to have signs that say that LFP traffic does not stop and to look both ways before entering the path.

The signage is really confusing.  Are cyclists supposed to yield to stopped vehicles?  This issue was discussed recently in Streetsblog Chicago.

That's definitely worth a lot. Having confusing signage is a recipe for continued problems on a path with so much traffic.

Who would be the best advocate to get whomever is responsible to make a change designed to clarify rights and responsibilities at these intersections?  Active Trans?  I suspect this is already on someone's list but it couldn't hurt to follow up.


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