CHICAGO (CBS) — A stunned Chicago bicyclist shared a photo on Twitter, after spotting a car squeeze into a protected bike lane downtown, the passenger side wheels up on the curb as it stopped behind him at a red light.
John Amdor, who took the picture, said he was riding his bike downtown, when he stopped for a red light at Washington and Franklin, and heard a grinding noise behind him.
Amdor turned around, and couldn’t believe what he saw behind him in the protected bike lane on Washington Street. A car was lodged in between the raised Loop Link bus island and the curb.
He was heading into work Wednesday morning when it happened. He said the driver who pulled into the bike lane behind him managed to drive off.
Amdor’s picture has been shared more than 200 times on Twitter.
He also shared a video of the car continuing east in the bike lane after crossing Franklin.
“I think a lot of people see this as a particularly egregious example of behavior that we encounter every day,” Amdor said. “The bike lanes are set aside as space for cyclists to use safely, but that’s something you often see violated.”
The Active Transportation Alliance described this particular situation as unique – a car actually driving in a bike lane divided from the rest of the street by a concrete island. The non-profit organization works to improve conditions for cycling, walking, and public transportation. Advocacy Director Jim Merrell urged people to call 311 if they see an obstructed bike lane.
City officials have been putting together a database to track the problem, so they can do more targeted enforcement when drivers park, stop, or drive in dedicated bike lanes.
“As the number of protected bike lanes grow around the city, and more people are using bicycles as everyday transportation, we’re starting to see more people encounter these obstructions,” Merrell said. “We know that it’s not just an inconvenience, it really is a hazard that puts people in harm’s way.”