The Chainlink

Alderman Pawar discusses his proposal for a bike boulevard on Berteau

As part of our project to interview all 50 Chicago aldermen about their views
on sustainable transportation, I recently caught up with Ameya Pawar, the new
head of the 47th Ward, which includes parts of Lakeview, Ravenswood and Lincoln
Square. Pawar discussed his ideas for traffic calming, eco-friendly street design,
why he thinks Berteau Avenue is a good location for the city's first bike boulevard,
and much more:
http://gridchicago.com/2012/talking-transportation-with-47thy-ward-...

Keep moving forward,

John Greenfield


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I like the way he thinks.  He's got a lot of great ideas that could make some very positive improvements for the 47th ward.

I agree. And with all due respect to older, wiser Chainlink members, and speaking as (hopefully) a future senior citizen, I think age has something to do with it. Pawar is only 31 and he grew up with the notions that sustainable transportation and green technology are good things. Whereas elderly 50th Ward alderman Berny Stone probably stayed in office too long, so that he crankily put the kibosh on the North Shore Channel Trail bike bridge: http://gridchicago.com/2011/will-the-new-50th-ward-alderman-build-t...

I think age has something to do with it.

Absolutely.  I think his age and education are significant factors in shaping his ideas on transportation.

I'm also encouraged by what I've heard about Arena in the 45th.  I had an opportunity to speak with him a few months and was impressed with his vision for transportation in the 45th ward.

Don't even get me started about the Stone age in the 50th ward.  Hopefully things will improve there in the near future.

I find it perplexing that Berteau has been chosen for any kind of bike routing through that area. It is quite a narrow street to begin with and traffic flows (mostly) in both directions with little room for anyone. As mentioned, it would also be a rather short route. Are they going to be removing the already limited parking spaces for this improvement? I know most people here don't care about losing parking spaces for bike lanes. But this is a neighborhood with many mulit-unit dwellings and finding parking is never easy for the working peoples. Perhaps it was wisely chosen because it would make life easier for Rahmbo to start biking to work? He is right around the corner from there.

Personally, I would have appreciated the money going towards making Montrose more bike friendly. It connects much more of that neighborhood to to other areas than Berteau does. Or the Alderman could have lined his streets with more city installed bike racks.

I should be writing an update about the Stone Bridge in the near future. Last I checked, the new alderman Debra Silverstein expressed interest in building it and CDOT was doing a feasibility study.

Anne Alt said:

I think age has something to do with it.

Absolutely.  I think his age and education are significant factors in shaping his ideas on transportation.

Don't even get me started about the Stone age in the 50th ward.  Hopefully things will improve there in the near future.

Do you understand the concept of a bike boulevard or neighborhood greenway?  This treatment intended for quiet residential streets and does NOT involve bike lanes. 

It's a relatively new concept, unfamiliar to most people.  Bike boulevard is the earlier name for it.  Recently, some places have started calling it a neighborhood greenway, where it's also intended to create a safer zone for pedestrians.


Please take a look at this info from Portland and this from Berkeley about the kinds of changes used to create a boulevard/greenway.

Since neighborhood greenways will be built only on side streets (and protected bike lanes will only be going in on commercial/main streets) I asked CDOT bike planner Mike Amsden if Leland (4700 N.) or Grace (3800 N.) would be better alternatives to Berteau (4200 N.) since Leland and Grace connect to the lakefront. Mike explained the drawbacks of those streets and the advantages of Berteau in this interview:

http://gridchicago.com/2012/are-the-upcoming-streets-for-cycling-pr...

Thanks for sharing those video's Anne. Many of the examples that were shown in those videos used existing wide streets that allowed for parking on either side and ample room for car traffic with bike traffic. Berteau isn't really set up like that. So it is hard for me to envision how that could work on a street like Berteau. Further those videos describe the linking nature of these new systems to other existing (or future) ones, while having chosen a street that is short, narrow and dead ends at the river or dumps you off on bike friendly Irving Park.

I'm all for small and big changes all over the city for creating new bike/green or whatever "ways." I just don't understand how the limited funds went to Berteau.

Please (re-)read the article. It pretty clearly explains why they chose Berteau

J M said:

I'm all for small and big changes all over the city for creating new bike/green or whatever "ways." I just don't understand how the limited funds went to Berteau.

I am pretty excited that the Lawrence road diet finally will become a reality. Together with the new Ravenswood station (and bridge) and the new commerical development, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to improve that corridor.

+1

Duppie said:

I am pretty excited that the Lawrence road diet finally will become a reality. Together with the new Ravenswood station (and bridge) and the new commerical development, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to improve that corridor.

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