The Chainlink

Anyone heard about the campaign below or seen this sign?

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Good stuff, thanks.


Barrington Hills has not yet posted anything about last night's meeting, but I noticed that before the meeting, they published a rather nice summary sheet that ended up pretty much settling the issue:

It looks like a shoulder/bike lanes will NOT be part of the road reconstruction. But it doesn't seem to have much to do with the lobbying. Instead, BH says that the scoring procedure to win funding simply changed, and they no longer need bicycle accommodations to boost their score. They had been hoping the bicycle accommodation would boost the score by 20 points, but under the new scoring, it would only boost it 2 to 4 points, so given the opposition, they figured it's not worth including it in the proposal.

Oddly, while the 2014 scoring criteria definitely show the 2 to 4 points for bicycle/pedestrian accommodations that BH references, there was nothing in the 2012 scoring criteria that had *anything* to do with bicycles, much less giving them 20 points. In fact, it would seem odd for bicycle accommodations to be responsible for 24% (20 points out of 85) of the total scoring. And for it to *decrease* in importance so drastically between 2012 and 2014.

So now I'm wondering if the whole thing was just a miscommunication/misunderstanding a couple years ago between McHenry County and Barrington Hills (and a handout from BH to their consulting firm which went ahead and made a whole bike-lane-included design that will never be used!) Or did I miss something and bicycle accommodations *have* actually decreased in importance for securing funding?

2012 scoring criteria:

2014 scoring criteria:

+1 skyrefuge 

Tempting as it is to go piss on things, that's farther than I really want to go. I'll leave it to the locals to fight this pissing match. Courage!

MK said:

No respect, I tells ya.

John Durham said:

From the website copy: 

We have no obligation to a professional biking community, clad in spandex, who are regularly abusive to our residents and drivers, and urinate on our property.


You may be interested in reading some of the commentary provided to the May 2014 meeting of the Village Board. It is available here:

Page 18 is a letter of complaint regarding 2 "packs of bike riders" which is supported by two low-resolution photos probably taken with the complainants cellphone whilst she drove along behind them.

We have no obligation to a professional biking community, clad in spandex, who are regularly abusive to our residents and drivers, and urinate on our property. 

      Sounds punk rock

I frequently do a Sunday morning bike shop ride that sometimes goes through parts of Barrington Hills. Usually 10 to 20 of us split into two groups. We see many other single riders and groups of various sizes. I would be surprised if there were not a fair number of chainlinkers represented amongst all that lycra.
I am not particularly interested in having bike lanes there. I would, however, be delighted if they were to actually trim the shrubbery to the point that it is not encroaching as much as three feet into the (already narrow) roadway! Perhaps the horses like to browse as they stroll past? 
The anti-bike-path signs are very recent. Police profiling of cyclists there is less so. I am all for cyclists obeying the law, but sending cops out to hide in the shrubbery specifically to target cyclists is a bit extreme.
The whole single file nonsense is weird.

I wonder whether they have ever noticed the percentage of squirrels, raccoons, deer, etc that are urinating on their properties? Sometimes the options are a bit sparce. Ironically, if they were to change to the point of losing their bucolic character, the bike traffic would probably go down, since many cyclists are there because of the lack of heavy traffic.

I know the a local bike club does weekend rides through Barrington Hills.  Its one of few areas where traffic is low enough where cyclists can get up to speed and keep it constant.  I for one like riding through the area as its peaceful and enjoyable.  Maybe I'll remove the baseball card from my spokes to keep the "engine noise" down.

Today I discovered BH's audio archives from their meetings, and have been playing them in the background at work. I cut out some of the choice lines I noticed, some of them fairly hilarious and/or shocking. It's normal hearing this kind of stuff from anonymous Internet commenters, but it's a bit different hearing it from grown-up village board members.

These all come from the Planning Board (a lower level than the actual Village board), and much of the time is spent with the understanding that complaining about "clowns" on bikes violating the law has nothing to do with Planning, but they can't stop themselves. And even they are bemused to see all the members of the public showing up to give comments at their normally-ignored meetings. But they're all there because somehow bikes blocking cars enrages people all out of proportion to how much it actually impacts their life. Surely the Planning Board has made tons of decisions that have a larger financial and material impact on residents of the community than bicyclists do, but no one ever turned out for those meetings! So that was informative to me. Complaining about bikes is easy to do in an Internet comments section, but to actually get your ass to a public meeting and join the political process over it? That's a whole other level!

The many comments from members of the public are all pretty entertaining too, but more like cyclist-hating Internet commenters we're all familiar with, so I only included stuff from the actual board:

Some tension on the planning board!

The whole 7 minutes from here to the end of the board discussion are all pretty informative/entertaining, (with thankfully one woman standing up a bit as a voice of sanity amidst the bicycle rage), but here some of the final lines, on how they can stop the traffic-blocking cyclist groups:

(speaking of how it's easy for bikes to evade arrest) "It's kind of like one of these smash'n'grabs with a gang!"

"It's gotta be a coordinated effort with several police cars blocking the road..."

"A giant net!"

"Herd 'em into a truck!"

"Or a big, deep hole."

Uh, you're being recorded!

A: "What's the logic of 4 feet on each side?" (referring to the added shoulder/bike lane width)

B: "The state adopted a provision, because an Illinois legislator was sideswiped, of 3 foot separation while riding your bicycle."

A: "More of them should be sideswiped."

B: "I...wouldn't suggest that on the public record sir."

At least some self-awareness!

C: "So we try to lobby our state reps...and ask, what is the vehicle? ....we want our money, we want our cake and eat it too. We want our money, and we don't want bike paths".

Enforcement apparently increasing:

18 (or 11) tickets were handed out to cyclists the previous Saturday. Police are being "a lot more aggressive than they have been in the past".

Agreed. Two of my favorite places to ride is Barrington Hills and the North Shore. In my experience, the North suburbs is a lot more bike-friendly (and seems to have a lot more cyclists too) than the Northwest suburbs.

Mike Zumwalt said:

Never been to Barrington Hills but if you want to live in posh community AND ride a bike move to Lake Forest.

The folks in Barrington aren't saying who can and can't pass through their community, nor are they dictating what mode of travel can be used. What they are saying is that they like their community just the way it is and that they don't want to change it to suit you - a non-resident.

Haegers Bend is a quiet little country road that connects nothing to nothing. It's not a shortcut to anything and nobody passes through the community on this road trying to get somewhere else. Nobody - nobody - who doesn't live there ever uses this road unless they are there to enjoy the rustic quietude. Insisting that the community should upgrade the road and install bike lanes so that you can enjoy it is...something special. Indeed, the community doesn't own the land the road sits on, it's literally private property and the road can not be altered or expanded without the approval of the landowners who gave the community a conditional easement to build it.

As to supporters of the project, Barrington Hills held a community meeting to discuss the project a couple of days ago and there was one supporter. One. Everyone else was in opposition, most strongly so. This project isn't supported by the community, it's supported by tourists and the politicians that brought it up have already been voted out of office or are backtracking on it as fast as they can. Look through the posts here on chainlink and you'll see the scope of the problem - Barrington Hills is a small community of about 4000 people yet many chainlinkers - of whom, few if any are residents - ride the roads out there with some regularity.

Barrington Hills doesn't need outside money to repair the existing road. According to reports, they have never taken any outside money for road work. A couple of years ago they asked for some outside money to repave this road and were turned down, at least in part because they didn't include bike lanes. In response to that denial, the proposal was expanded to include the bike lanes but the community has clearly decided that they don't want the outside money badly enough to accept those terms.

h' 1.0 said:

How does this work exactly? You draw lines around an area and decide who can and can't pass through it and by what mode of travel? Every little feifdom decides separately what sort of infrastructure there will be, no potential for an area or regional plan with consistency from place to place?

I have no say in what happens 2 blocks from my home because there's a ward boundary in between?

Is it inappropriate for me to get involved in a campaign to shape the way Wrigley Field is developed because I don't live on the corner of Wilton and Waveland?

Also... odd framing of Barrington Hills as being single-mindedly against this project.  No single BH resident actually wants bike lanes? Not a one?

I am not now nor have I ever been 'beaglezog', whoever he is.

James BlackHeron said:

You will just have to fill in the gaps in his monologue by reading beaglezog's place for the other half of it. 


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