Commuter Complaints: Cyclists vs cars in the battle for city streets

Which corner you’ll take in this fight really depends on what portion of the pavement you place yourself.

One side says drivers are the problem:

I don’t think they pay enough attention to cyclists and pedestrians.

They don’t pay attention to their surroundings especially with the bike lanes.

They’re never nice.. they either leave you alone or they honk or flip you off.

The other side says cyclists can be selfish:

…most of them they won’t stop for pedestrians they feel there’s a path for them and that’s it .. We’re supposed to get out of the way.

Bicycles need to follow the rules too that is like number 1.. like the city of Chicago could make a lot of money if they started ticketing bicycles cause they do not follow the rules of the road.

They’re right about one thing:   Cyclists do have to follow the rules of the road.   All the laws, signs and signals that apply to motorists, according to Secretary of State Jesse White, apply to cyclists too.

Kye “The Bike Guy” has been riding the streets of Chicago for 20 years.  He’s also a driver.  He says between cars, busses, ride shares, cabs and pedestrians it’s crucial to keep your head on a swivel.

“Be very aware of everything that’s going on,” he says. “Follow the rules of the road, don’t go flying into an intersection and watch out for the pedestrians also walking in the bike lane.”

Kye says cyclists should not assume the world revolves around them but says drivers should assume,  “there’s a biker to the left, assume there’s a biker to the right (and) look at those side mirrors, put your signal on.  Put your signals on because it allows us to predict what you’re going to be doing.”

And that could mean the difference between life and death.  The number of bicyclists killed in the U.S. in 2015 jumped nearly 13 percent.

Front and rear reflectors are required on bikes in Illinois and front lights if you ride your bike at night. And everyone needs to remember, we are all out there sharing the road.