The Chainlink

Alderman Sophia King is having a meeting to specifically address the needs of bike lanes in the 4th ward. 

The 4th ward includes Hyde Park, Grand Boulevard, Douglas, The Gap, Bronzeville, South Loop, Printer’s Row, Oakland, Kenwood, and North Kenwood, is one of the most diverse and dynamic in Chicago (a map of the ward is here).

Alderman King is, historically, not an advocate for bike lanes so the motives are unclear. Further, the earliest publication of this meeting is Friday, May 3rd at Noon which makes one wonder if Alderman Kings office did not want much publicity. It is also not listed on her website.

The meeting is taking place:

Tuesday, May 7th


Grace Place

637 S Dearborn

For questions, call: 773.536.8103

BikeLaneMeeting.jpeg <-- Flier for meeting

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Thanks John. Cross-posted to Facebook with following message (I tagged her to):

A little background on Alderman Sophia King :
1. Downgraded protected bike lane to regular bike lane, citing it as an "infrastructure improvement"
2. Refuses to ticket churchgoers who park in the bike lanes so they are not discouraged from blocking bike lanes for their convenience
3. Parking and convenience for motorists prioritized above bike and pedestrian safety
As bike advocates, we need to get involved in meetings like the one on Tuesday night in the 4th ward (South Loop) AND campaign for bike-friendly candidates. If they aren't, we need to make that an important campaign issue or work to support better candidates. Bike and pedestrian safety tends to go hand in hand with many other important community issues.
Why aren't our lives important to you Sophia?

I think it's critical these backwards-thinking aldermen need to know we notice and cyclists vote. If our lives aren't important to her, why support her?

Sophia King won re-election handily (66.5%) back in February while repeatedly blowing off community-organized candidate forums. However, she was appointed to the position only 3 years ago to fill the vacancy of Will Burns, who left suddenly to take a job with AirBnB. Subsequently, she was elected in a special election in 2017. Interestingly, she serves on the Pedestrian and Traffic Safety committee and the Transportation committee.

Thanks for the background. 

From Active Trans:

What: 4th Ward constituent meeting on bikeways
Where: Grace Place, 637 S. Dearborn St.
When: TOMORROW, Tuesday, May 7, 2019, at 6:00 p.m.

Earlier this year, Chicago Department of Transportation shared plans to make improvements to several South Loop streets to make walking and biking safer and easier. Planned enhancements include upgrades to the Harrison Street protected bike lane and a new neighborhood bikeway along Polk Street, Plymouth Court, and 9th Street.

These improvements will encourage more South Loop residents and visitors to walk and bike to get around, while helping to prevent crashes.

Can't make it? Email Prentice Butler, Ald. King's chief of staff, if you are a ward resident or a community-based organization, and let the alderwoman's office know why complete streets are needed to keep all roadway users safe:

I hope there's a good turn-out tonight. Someone on FB saw the CL post and shared it to a community FB group for South Loop. It was good to see that most of the comments and likes are in support of bike lanes and safety for pedestrians and cyclists. 

Hi! Do you have a link to the CL post? I live in the South Loop so I'm also interested in the FB group mentioned. I will not be able to attend tonight as I work in Evanston on Tuesdays and get off at 6pm. With that said, I'll be emailing Prentice. 

Sure! Here's the group:

It's a bit of a scroll down to the discussion. 

Small correction: The 4th ward excludes the vast majority of Hyde Park and much of South Loop. 

LOL on me  I extracted that info from the 4th ward websit . 

While it's true that most of Hyde Park falls within the 5th Ward, Sophia King certainly DOES represent HP, particularly the north side of the revitalized 53rd Street corridor.

Great news!

Changes and additions are coming to South Loop bike lanes as soon as this month, and drivers, bikers and pedestrians discussed them at a community meeting Tuesday evening.

Among the additions to be made by the Chicago Department of Transportation are concrete curbs between bike lanes and vehicle traffic on Harrison Street from Desplaines Street to Wabash Avenue, CDOT senior transportation planner David Smith said at the meeting.

The added curb would not take away any lanes of traffic on Harrison and would simply add a layer of protection for the existing two-way bike lanes, Smith said. The current bike lanes on Harrison included a narrow painted buffer between cyclists and drivers with bollards placed in spots.

Over on Polk Street, a new bike lane will be added in the short stretch from Dearborn Street to Plymouth Court to lead bikers south to 9th Street, Smith said. Concrete curbs would also be added for protection for those lanes.

Construction on the two projects is expected to start this week.


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