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Pedestrians, Cyclists Watch In Shock As Car Cruises Down Protected Downtown Bike Lane

The driver stopped at a red light but then continued to go down the bike lane when the light turned green, one witness said.

A driver went through a Downtown bike lane.
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DOWNTOWN — Shocked bicyclists took to Twitter Wednesday after witnessing a driver jam their car into a protected bike lane and cruise down the street, even stopping behind bicyclists and at a red light.

One witness, John Amdor, was pedaling down the Washington Street bike lane at 8:50 a.m. when he stopped at a red light at Franklin Street. Then he heard a “grinding noise” from behind, he said.

Amdor turned around and saw a car in the bike lane, driving between the curb and the platform for the bus stop at Washington and Franklin streets. The car stopped at the red light behind Amdor, and he snapped a photo of the scene: the car had two wheels in the bike lane and two on the sidewalk.

Amdor got onto the sidewalk with his bike as the light turned green and the driver took off — crossing the street and continuing to drive in the bike lane.

“I kind of got the impression they sort of panicked,” Amdor said. “I chalked it up to them sort of losing their cool because they were clearly driving somewhere they weren’t meant to drive.”

Amdor didn’t see any police officers around, but people on the sidewalk seemed as surprised by the sight as he was.

“I think it’s really concerning. It’s a real hazard for cyclists. I think it’s demonstrative of a lot of the poor behavior by drivers in Chicago,” Amdor said. “Rather than being patient and driving at a speed that’s appropriate to sharing the road with other users, both pedestrians and cyclists, people tend to drive too fast.”

Amdor said he’s been a bicyclist in the city for about 10 years and regularly bikes from Humboldt Park, where he lives, to his workplace Downtown. He’s seen drivers go into bike lanes “fairly frequently” in the past, he said, but never a Downtown one with a concrete platform for a bus stop on one side.

“Clearly, they weren’t paying close enough attention to the conditions of the roadway and found themselves in a bad spot,” Amdor said.

Had Amdor been able to speak to the driver, he would have told them, “Slow down. Pay attention,” he said.

Chicago Police officers were called to the area at about 8:57 a.m., but they couldn’t find the car or the person who had called police, said Officer Michael Carroll, a Chicago Police spokesman. No injuries were reported.

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