• Outdoors Outdoors

Alarming dashcam footage reveals dangerous, common behavior of drivers: 'This irks the hell out of me'

"The hope is that drivers will get the message…"

“The hope is that drivers will get the message ..."

Photo Credit: u/theurkelgrueinyou / Reddit

An estimated one billion people bicycle every day for transportation, recreation, and sport, according to the Australia-based Better Health Channel. And, per the Chicago Department of Transportation, over the past four years, the bike network in the city has increased by over 30%. 

One Chicago rider shared an alarming dashcam video on Reddit in r/chibike, a self-described "friendly" community for cyclists in the Windy City.

The video reveals the biker riding alongside a row of cars illegally parked in a bike lane along a busy road. 

Every year, thousands of cyclists are injured or killed in the United States. Streetsblog USA reported that cities with protected and separated lanes for bicyclists have 44% fewer deaths.

The Chicago City Council recently passed a city ordinance raising the fine for blocking a bike lane to $250 with a warning that offending vehicles will be towed.

The Chicago-Sun Times reported, "The hope is that drivers will get the message to stop parking in bike lanes — a practice that forces cyclists … into lanes of traffic and risk being hit or hitting others." 

Chicago currently has over 440 miles of bikeways, according to a city website, but only about 95 of those miles are protected bike lanes and Neighborhood Greenways. Fortunately, the city has future plans that include 150 miles of new, strategically placed bike lanes for commuters. 

"Human-powered and not reliant on gasoline, bicycles don't add pollution to the atmosphere," the UCLA Transportation page reported. UCLA estimated that moderate increases in bicycle use could save six to 14 million tons of carbon pollution annually. 

Ensuring bike safety will reduce traffic congestion, lower the amount of toxic air pollution created by cars, improve air quality for everyone, and ultimately encourage more people to bike.

Cycling is also great for your mental and physical health. It's a low-impact exercise that encourages regular physical activity and a longer lifespan. According to the International Journal of Sports Medicine, at least half of Tour de France cyclists live eight years longer than the general population.

Research has found that people who consistently make one big choice that benefits the health of our planet are more likely to be drawn to other community-oriented behaviors.

The Reddit poster stated, "Infrastructure should adequately serve the population regardless of method of travel. A more clear parking area by this bike lane would keep everyone safe."

"Bike lane does not equal right turn lane!!!" a user posted passionately.

Another user commented, "This irks the hell out of me."

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