The Chainlink

Today, I saw another cyclist get hit at the Chicago/Ogdon/Milwaukee intersection. My workplace is nearby and I can't even count the number of accidents and near-hits I've seen there. It is an extremely dangerous intersection for cyclists, pedestrians and even drivers.

 

Why aren't the protected bike lanes going where cyclists need the most protection? According to Steve's Bike Crash Map Kinzie and Elston are relatively safe when compared with Milwaukee, Wells, and Lincoln. Steve probably know this data much better than I.

 

So what's the thinking behind the protected bike lane placement? Trying to establish safer alternative routes? If the hotspot streets & intersections are avoided for protected lane construction, how else can they be made safer?

Views: 710

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Kinzie happened because you've got two major bike corridors (Milwaukee and Elston) feeding into a narrow and difficult spot just before downtown.  Kinzie is a way to convince people who might be comfortable riding on Milwaukee that they really can ride their bikes to work downtown.  And while there happens to be a Sun-Times columnist who used Kinzie, there just weren't that many cars on it, so the audience for his complaints is limited.  You can put a couple blocks of protected space on Kinzie and make a lot of people a lot more likely to ride on Milwaukee and on Elston.  If you were going to put a protected lane on Milwaukee, which 2 blocks would matter that much?  It's not realistic to think the city is going to roll out a 6-mile protected lane down the whole length of Milwaukee as it's first foray into separate lanes.  In that way, I think Kinzie is a really good choice.

 

The other thing is that instead of looking at a map of accidents, you'd need to think about the ratio of accidents per cyclist.  The Milwaukee corridor has more accidents mostly because there are way more cyclists on Milwaukee.  I don't think it's more dangerous than Elston.

Why would we need to look at a ratio? Protected bike lane have a static cost per foot so they should be installed wherever they will do the most good.

Ryan said:

 

The other thing is that instead of looking at a map of accidents, you'd need to think about the ratio of accidents per cyclist.  The Milwaukee corridor has more accidents mostly because there are way more cyclists on Milwaukee.  I don't think it's more dangerous than Elston.

Ratio vs. "raw accidents" is almost a philosophical question, as demonstrated by this hypothetical:

 

Intersection #1 has 1000 riders per day. Each day 2 riders are in an accident.

Intersection #2 has 50 riders per day. Each day 1 rider is in an accident.

 

Intersection #1 "injures more cyclists."

Intersection #2 "is more dangerous."

 

To really try to assess in this manner, one would also have to determine if the proposed solution would reduce the number of accidents more in one location than another. Perhaps the accidents at intersection #2 will be solved through fixing the four foot deep pothole in the bicycle lane!

 

-jbn

I like that reponse Justin. I see what you're saying. Maybe the solution isn't always a protected bike lane? I think the Ogden/MKE/Chicago intersection could be improved with a few different solutions.

 

I was thinking more like Milwaukee has twice the bike traffic and auto traffic as Elston, both increase the likelihood of a collision and the necessity for some sort of intervention. 

 

I think if Elston is being established under the theory that it'll be a bike highway (wouldn't that be grand!) then we'll need plenty of East/West arteries to tempt riders off Clybourn and Milwaukee and  feed onto Elston.

RSS

© 2008-2016   The Chainlink Community, L.L.C.   Powered by

Disclaimer  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service