The Chainlink

I haven't heard much talk...maybe I missed it...of the new two-way lanes going in on the east side of Clinton, south of Randolph...From Randolph, looks like is stretches at least a few blocks. The lanes are painted. Looks like some guys were installing new traffic signals today (I'm guessing with bike signals). All near the Ogilvie train station. Looks pretty impressive for the short distance it seems to go.

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The heavily buffered bike lane has already made riding down Des Plaines St unsafe enough as it is. Do they really need to screw up the alternate? 

What sort of issues has the buffering created on Des Plaines Rich? I'm generally opposed to them...as some readers may recall...due to their lack of winter maintenance. I wiped out hard on Milwaukee this past winter near Ogden, and slipped a disc in my back in the process. Back pain and nerve trouble with leg/foot numbness has really curtailed my biking... and physical therapy is ongoing. That winter day, the streets were absolutely wonderful to ride on...but when I was forced into a buffered area, I learned too late that the conditions there were drastically different, with a sheet of ice. During the winter, sharing the road with plows and salt trucks makes riding much safer in my opinion. At least on icy days. And yes, this project is part of the larger BRT project. I'm curious to see how it all shapes up. 

Ah yes I do remember reading about your fall. It's one of the reasons I'll be looking into studded tires this winter. Hope you don't have to go through that again! 

The Des Plaines buffered lane is no good because of the increased right hook risk. Randolph, Madison, and Adams have expressway entrances one block west of Des Plaines. During rush hour there are always drivers turning right across the bike lane. They almost never check their side view mirrors and don't see bikers off to their right because parked cars block the view until about 15 feet before the intersection. 

I'm not looking forward to Clybourn this winter either. 

Just a note on this- while the law requires us to ride in bike lanes when there is one adjacent to the road, there is an exception for when that would be dangerous.

With ice...it's often hard to know you're headed for dangerous conditions until you're upon them. And in some spots, it can be a tight squeeze between traffic and buffered lanes if you opt to ride outside the buffered lanes. 

The law does NOT require us to ride in bike lanes or on paths UNLESS there is signage indicating that is illegal for bikes to be in traffic lanes on that street/ road (such as Lake Shore Drive, interstates, portions of Sheridan Rd. north of the city,etc.).

Anne, you are correct, and thanks for the update! Apparently the law was changed in 2013. It had been 9-52-020, section d. http://www.scribd.com/doc/152769201/SO2013-3348-BicyclePedestrianOr... 

I will enjoy taking the lane on Elston this winter, when I can keep up with traffic.

I wish the city would stop installing 2-way bike lanes on multilane 1-way streets. Pedestrians won't be looking southbound for bike traffic on Clinton.

Oh, they'll get used to it! I will just take one generation to happen. ;)

Yep, a generation.  Just like Dearborn.

So I guess they are getting rid of the canal bike lane? I noticed they did not repaint it after they repaved from Monroe past Madison. I think it will be tricky riding south bound on Clinton . North of Randolph the bike lane is on the west side of the street then all of a sudden it jumps to the east side! 

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