Ok, so on the commute in, I really got cursed out good today. I feel (of course) like I was in the right, but I'll tell you what happened and let you decide.
Here is a map:Click Here
I was heading east on John to campus. There is a stop sign at Prospect, and Prospect is a major street, and does not stop (4 lanes).
There was a car in front of me at the stop sign trying to turn right. I checked behind me, there was a white Minivan about 200 yards back, so I took the lane since I was going straight. The van comes right up behind me and then proceeds to pull halfway into the oncoming lane to get in front of me. Well, I was calm but I didn't let him (I was thinking of my safety in crossing Prospect), I pulled my bike to the left, effectively blocking his way.
He opened his door, halfway got out and began yelling, "You're not a <much more entertaining words here> car." I remained calm, but flustered, and in a stern voice replied, "Same rules, same laws, what you are doing is dangerous and possibly illegal." It didn't get through, though he did get back in his car, still yelling mind you! Traffic cleared up, and I began to cross. He did too, turning left, and yelling among other insults, "I bet you run red lights &$%&*!"
His last comment irked me. This is partially why the JAMs don't like those of us who are assertive with our rights. Personally, I do not run lights, hardly ever. In fact, I am generally known to even sit at lights when no one is around (now saying this, I am not entirely innocent...), but this town is FULL of hundreds of cyclists who do whatever they please, do not know their rights/responsibilities, and cause general mayhem, especially closer to campus. I wish at the very least, more JAMs, and more cyclists understood the laws. I think it would at least help some.
I found a pdf online of the Illinois DOT laws that apply to bikes, I may get some card copies made and start handing them out!
Ok, rant mode off.