I was on my way home today I had an altercation with Checker
#1478. I was northwest bound on Milwaukee at Western. As I
got to the intersection the light was already green so I followed
other traffic and after I cleared the intersection I started
to get into the left-hand turn lane where there is a new turn
arrow to Armitage. Just as I started my lane change I heard
the ever-familiar horn blaring behind me. As I turned around
I see this cab darting left through the corner before the
traffic with the right-of-way even entered the intersection.
As he pulls up beside me at the red light her was so hot to
get to I ask him if he is honking at me. He shouts at me to
get out of the middle of the lane. At this point I inform
him of two things: there is only one lane and that I am traffic
with a right to the road even if I am not the intended user.
He started to yell more at me and I decided to leave. Before
I left I did note that he had a fare, a cup of coffee and
did not have his lights on and it was 4:40. I did have both
taillight and headlight on at the time. Of course I had my
helmet on too. I got home and filed a complaint with the city
and then called the cab company to complain to them. When
I did reach Betty she curtly informed me that I had to call
the complaint line. When I did call 312-733-4790, extension
21, I found Al. After I calmly told him my story I then said
that this happened while I was on my bike. He then became
much more interested and immediately told me that he was a
Chicago BikeFed member and that he had twice won the Late
Ride's helmet decorating contest. I felt that Al had really
been concerned about what had happened to me and feared for
all of our safety. He also told me that since September 11th,
the city had experienced nearly a 50% turnover of drivers.
Al laughed out loud when I told him that I went as a gas pump
with "Gridlock Formula". I later learned that the cabbies
name is Angel Cruz.