Critical Mass To Make Rush Hour More Challenging Friday Night

Bikers "Mass" up traffic in Wicker Park

Heads up Friday drivers.

Rush hour may be a little more challenging than normal as September’s monthly Critical Mass ride gets going at 5:30 Friday evening.

The last Friday of the month “parade” of bicycle riders steps off from Daley Center Plaza and will take some unknown 10-20 mile route through the city this evening.

Typically, the mass of bicyclists take over streets on their route and clog up traffic at intersections completely stopping cross traffic for long durations between 10-30 minutes at a time.

With beautiful weather Friday, the turnout for Critical Mass should be large. Big turnouts translate into a longer line of bikes, longer delays for motorists and pedestrians at intersections.

So if you stumble upon Critical Mass this evening be prepared to wait.

And as the Critical Mass drivers shout at passersby…”Happy Friday!”

14 Responses to Critical Mass To Make Rush Hour More Challenging Friday Night

  1. David says:

    Self concerned jerks that make bicycling hard for the rest of us. Arrest them and confiscate the bicycles au nd scrap them

  2. Drew says:

    I talked to a few CDOT employee’s that were handing out literature on how to be a safe biker in the City a few weeks ago…

    They can’t stand the Crit Mass people at CDOT and think the CPD should be Ticketing the Bikers.

    They also commented that Gabe and his current schemes are costing CDOT quality employees that are exiting the department and looking for other City and State Agencies that want to focus on Transportation and not focus on alienating 1 segment of society by hyper-focusing on 1 specific part of Transportation.

  3. Pete says:

    The Critical Massholes are to biking what Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are to the black race: setting back the cause due to their embarrassing behavior. Its time for responsible cyclists to reject the Critical Massholes and time for CPD to stop tolerating this mass lawbreaking that would not be tolerated from any other group.

  4. David says:

    What is interesting is that in the most bicycle friendly city in America — Portland — there is NO Critical Mass movement. And perhaps that is why it IS the most bicycle friendly city in the Country… because the Cyclists there decided to be effective instead of feeling good.

    A smart cycling community would agree to:

    1. No Bikes, let alone Bike Lanes on a number of major routes (Western, Irving, Ashland, Cicero, Pulaski, Peterson, North.)

    2. In exchange, the City would “bike friendly” parallel streets (over the objections of the NIMBY’s) such as Bryn Mawr, with limited stop signs and signals at the major intersection with longer yellows for the Bike Street to allow them to clear the intersection.

    3. Everyone would work together to kill the meter deal to allow the city to properly rationalize the use of the streets.

  5. Jeff says:

    There are quite a number of youtube videos depicting Critical Mass riders getting injured by drivers, in various cities around the world. To the extent that Critical Mass riders are seeking to provoke a response, part of the responsibility for these incidents rests with them.

  6. The Parking Ticket Geek says:


    The general theme of your ideas is well reasoned and intelligent. I wish the powers that be would be interested in some thoughtful discussion of these issues, with ideas like yours and from others.

    I feel sometimes the pro-bike crowd wants to be able to ride their bikes without ANY restrictions and that drivers just have to deal with it. At the same time, there are a few drivers who feel bikers have no place on city streets. There’s room for both.

    The other component that would have to be implemented to make your ideas work would be tougher enforcement of bike laws. The fact that bikers can violate the law without any fear of enforcement gives them incentive to ride without any regard for others.

    Fear of enforcement for drivers is one thing that makes drivers behave properly.

  7. David says:

    Enforcement…. the thing is that, contrary to public belief, the City has actually started to enforce the traffic laws against bicycles. Red Light and stop sign tickets are clearly up according to conversations with other bicyclists and lots of us stop and wait at all stop lights and slow (and stop if need be) at stop signs if the way is not fully clear.

  8. Drew says:


    Regardless of IF the Way isn’t fully clear…A Red Light or Stop Sign Means STOP!

    It’s not Stop if Need Be. Its Follow State Frigging Law.

    Stop at Lights when Red
    Stop at Stop Signs.
    Yield for Pedestrians when they are in a Crosswalk.

    Or in Short….Don’t drive like a Dork.

  9. Drew says:

    Oh…and FYI

    I ride a Bike. I refuse to own a car in this city. I can get I-Go or Zip Cars at will if I need to drive to the Burbs to do shopping.

  10. The Parking Ticket Geek says:


    Enforcement may be up a bit, but it needs to be up A LOT in order to have any type of effect on bicyclist behavior.

    I work on Milwaukee Avenue. During rush hour, I can see hundreds of bikers per hour blowing through stop signs/lights, weaving through traffic, riding on sidewalks, riding the wrong way, etc. I’m not trying to be hyperbolic here, but seriously, maybe 1-2% of the bikers follow the law. Some will stop at major intersections but only because there is too much traffic to cross.

    I also see a lot of belligerence from bikers. Many refuse to stop for any reason. And if they have to stop due to let’s say, a pedestrian or perhaps to allow a car to park, some can be very vocal in their displeasure.

    Whatever happened to “share the road”. No. Seriously. What happened to it?!?

  11. Anonymous says:

    What we need to stop this critical mass stupidity is a police chief with a pair of “spheres” like Putin. These bozos “work” like a flash mob. The date and the starting point is easy to know, but you get someone to infiltrate the flash mobbers to get the route a few days or hours in advance. Then you deploy Chicago’s Finest with spike strips or even thumbtacks to trap them in one block where around the corner is the dumpster. Have the CM flash mobbers throw their bikes in.

    Then watch the ATA and others whiners whine on the news.

  12. David says:

    Anon wrote:

    What an interesting proposal. My response to it s Seig Heil. That’s about as an illegal, unconstitutional and inflammatory proposal as I have ever seen. CM is a major problem. The wholesale destruction of property is not the right response. Not that you and some of the other paranoid Hitler Youth will notice

  13. Pete says:

    Critical Massholes should be treated like any other rioters. Tear gas and rubber bullet time, if they ignore lawful orders to disperse.

  14. Jeff says:

    Tonight’s Critical Mass route will go from the Daley Center, east on Washington, south on State, east on Congress, north on Michigan, west on Ontario, north on LaSalle, west on Oak, north on Wells, east on Lincoln, north on Clark, west on Fullerton, north on Halsted, north on Clark (at the intersection with Halsted), a circle tour around Wrigley, west on Addison, south on Lincoln, south on Southport, west on Webster, south on Damen, south/east on Milwaukeee, ending at Division (Polish Triangle area).

    Seems like a route designed for maximum traffic disruption in the most congested parts of the city/maximum chances for biker/motorist conflicts.

    Like the Bible says: “They that sow the wind, shall reap the whirlwind.”

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