The Chainlink

Active Trans wants to do Open Streets on Milwaukee Ave. Will City Hall finally help out?

Last week Active Transportation Alliance announced tentative plans to stage Open Streets, a car-free "ciclovia" event, on Milwaukee Avenue from Division to Western, in addition to a downtown route. After years of lobbying the city to help fund and organize the event, as is the case in NYC, L.A., San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, plus the success of last year's Open Streets on State Street, will the advocacy group finally be able to convince City Hall to do its part?
http://gridchicago.com/2012/active-trans-proposes-a-ciclovia-on-mil...

Keep moving forward,

John Greenfield


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I'm always up for a street closed to cars, but I'd rather see the energy and resources spent on making everyday biking more safe and practical.

Milwaukee has some crappy intersections, but it is already one of the more bikeable streets in the city - it seems symbolically tone-deaf to choose that street for a ciclovia. 

I think if your going to do something like this, which does not have much of a history in chicago it is important to set the event up for success. In other words, milwaukee is already a well known cyclist street and it has a nice vibrant atmosphere so it makes sense to me to pick this street beuacse it is likely to be sucsfull. 

I dont think anyone would advocate doing this sort of temporary event at the expense of other permanent  projects. 

Would you support a car-free on a less bikeable street, say Western Avenue, or are you generally opposed to ciclovias?

Tony Adams said:

I'm always up for a street closed to cars, but I'd rather see the energy and resources spent on making everyday biking more safe and practical.

Milwaukee has some crappy intersections, but it is already one of the more bikeable streets in the city - it seems symbolically tone-deaf to choose that street for a ciclovia. 

In terms of the funding question, it's sort of an issue of hardware versus software - both nuts-and-bolts infrastructure like bike lanes and racks, plus education and events like ciclovias are useful for getting more people on bikes and thus making the streets safer to bike on. For example, Portland, Oregon, staged five ciclovias that drew 35,000 people, 5% of that city's total population, for only $250,000. That would be like if Chicago held an event that drew 135,000 people. As ex-Active Trans / current BTA director Rob Sadowsky told me, “That’s not a lot of money for five programs that touch a large percentage of residents and get a lot of people moving.”

carl whetherspoon said:

I think if your going to do something like this, which does not have much of a history in chicago it is important to set the event up for success. In other words, milwaukee is already a well known cyclist street and it has a nice vibrant atmosphere so it makes sense to me to pick this street beuacse it is likely to be sucsfull. 

I dont think anyone would advocate doing this sort of temporary event at the expense of other permanent  projects. 

The purpose of these events is not to make a specific street more bikeable, but to show that streets are social spaces as well as transportation spaces. (There are other purposes, but I think this responds best to your comment.)

Active Trans, in the sense of Open Streets Chicago 3.0, is essentially a client of the Chicago Loop Alliance (for State Street) and Wicker Park-Bucktown SSA (for Milwaukee Avenue) - the two special service areas (SSA) are hiring Active Trans to put on the event and to find sponsors to pay for what the SSAs can't. Each group here (ATA, CLA, WPB) have multiple programs to make streets safer for walking and biking. Open Streets is one project of many. 

Tony Adams said:

I'm always up for a street closed to cars, but I'd rather see the energy and resources spent on making everyday biking more safe and practical.

Milwaukee has some crappy intersections, but it is already one of the more bikeable streets in the city - it seems symbolically tone-deaf to choose that street for a ciclovia. 

I'll be there.

Occupy Milwaukee Street with your bikes!

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