We can continue this discussion on the OP from 2009 if you all prefer.
Lately, on the streets of Evanston where I have quietly and safely ridden my bicycle or walked for 16 years, I have been faced with reckless driving. Drivers who are so frustrated they would prefer to hit and run other vehicles rather than slowing down for a few seconds. Drivers who are looking at their smartphones right on their steering wheel rather than using a dash mount and who are not watching the road. I see so many drivers taking unnecessary risks it makes me think there is severe mental dysphoria in a particular group of Chicagoans.
Perhaps it's relevant to say that it's occasionally so bad out there that there have been times as a result of these incidents which I've either observed or narrowly avoided that I later feel I have been targeted.
I read this article from a year ago from the Illinois Answers project about Milwaukee Avenue's bike lane. It's tragic. It appears the bike lane has been a failure for many Chicagoans. I haven't been on the Milwaukee Avenue bike lane frequently and not for some time. For me, not needing to ride this bike lane was just dumb luck.
To me it appears not to be a coincidence pedestrian deaths in the United States are on the rise. This year's report from Freakonomics Radio was well researched. The report follows their 2014 report on the same subject. Follow the link to hear the podcast on their website or to read the transcript.
All I have to say for now folks is that I feel so fortunate to be alive and unharmed.
Starting today I am definitely going to stop, to calm down, and to at least dial 311 wherever I am.
You guessed it, though. All this craziness isn't going to stop me from getting the exercise and transportation my bicycles provide.
“Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion. Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing. He is not a good man who, without a protest, allows wrong to be committed in his name, and with the means which he helps to supply, because he will not trouble himself to use his mind on the subject.” - John Stuart Mill, 1867
I really could not agree with you more. I think the insanity was exacerbated when Covid temporarily reduced traffic and some people thought they could just do anything they wanted on the roads and highways. Even though traffic is more normal in volume now, those people continue to drive like there's no one else on the road, or less than no one in the case of cyclists.