Stop signs and lights are to slow down motorized traffic, and do not take bikes into consideration. If Chicago is serious about getting people on bikes, this is one of the many issues where the law needs adjustment. As for Anne's reply: If you cannot avoid a bicyclist who runs through a red light, chances are you are driving well over the speed limit (like most motorists here in town). Furthermore, you may be technically right (should this result in a crash) but in my opinion you're morally wrong. If you don't want to be sad, curse the cyclist, honk, show him/her the finger, flash your lights, but hit the brakes nonetheless. Better yet, try not to be in a car in the first place.
...So, pretty much what I'm seeing here Patrick, is you saying "If I get into an accident, I'll be the one worse off, so fuck traffic laws."
....We want to be respected by cars and yet you seem to not want to act like traffic, even though you are on a road....We complain about pissy motorists adding a couple minutes to their commute to slow down for us for our safety, but we should be allowed to do whatever we please? Can't have your cake and eat it too.
Our existing traffic laws were written for motor vehicles. I think much of the code needs to be rewritten to reflect the reality of how self-propelled traffic operates.