Jagoff of the Week: Chicago Drivers

Screenshot 2015-07-07 at 11.29.51 AM

By Carol LaChapelle

This originally ran in our special Lumpen Field Guide to Chicago Jagoffs

They race through parking lots, pause at stop signs, and blow through alleys, sometimes while honking, most often not.

They are Chicago drivers. They are jagoffs.

They accelerate when approaching red lights then come to a screeching stop in the middle of the crosswalk.

They don’t back up.

They are Chicago drivers. They are jagoffs.

They make right turns on red while looking left; they drive too close to bike lanes; they drive in bike lanes.

They are Chicago drivers. They are jagoffs.

They do all this while on their cell phones or while texting.

I’m neither a Chicago driver nor a jagoff. I’m an urban walker and cyclist. In 2013 I was hit on my bike while crossing legally at a three-way stop on Pratt and Bell. That Chicago driver not only struck my rear tire but did so in a big white Mercedes, then fled the scene.

He was immediately pursued by a witness, a Chicago driver who is not a jagoff. She pulled him over blocks away, then made him come back and apologize to me.

I was a month shy of my 70th birthday.

We will be running entries from the Field Guide on this website, one a week, until we run out, and then we’ll just make up some more. If you have a jagoff you’d like to submit, email Lumpen online editor Sam Stecklow here.

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