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Last night I went to the community input meeting for the proposed North Broadway Plan. One aspect of this plan is a bike lane on Broadway running north from Foster (where the already-approved bike lane, scheduled I believe to be built as soon as the weather allows, will end) to Thorndale. The proposed bike lane would not be in the street; it would run in the existing sidewalk right-of-way, at sidewalk grade. (In the renderings, it was shown as having no separation from the sidewalk, just a different surface treatment).

Are there currently any bike lanes in Chicago like this? My gut instinct is that this sounds like an awful idea from both a pedestrian and cyclist perspective. But I know these types of lanes are used in Europe (especially Germany?) and if there are any nearby I'd like to see one in person to see how they really work.

Apparently the reason for doing the bike lane this way is that this section of Broadway is administered by IDOT, not CDOT, and the planners didn't feel like they would be able to get IDOT to allow a bike lane in the street right-of-way.

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Hi Eli,

I went too, but i thought the solution you mention was only for one block (between Bryn Mawr, and Hollywood). South of Bryn Mawr would be a more conventional road diet. But I maybe wrong. Due to the large project area and the large subject matter, They didn't really spend enough time on the details.

I emailed them for the presentation, but haven't heard back. Will keep you posted.

They have those or something like them in Tel Aviv.    Cyclicts are supposed to ride in the bike lane that is on the sidewalk.  To me it seemed like a nightmare, and some friends who live there agreed its a mess.  It may also be the culture there, but in Chicago, we also don't seem to pay attention to the rules of the road like other cities do (like we don't get tickets for jaywalking here even though it's illegal. Other cities you don't do it cause you actually get tickets). 

More detail on the North Broadway redevelopment and the meeting last night.

Thanks for that link, Duppie. It's definitely possible I misunderstood the extent of these lanes.

Given that pedestrians can't stay out the bike lanes on Dearborn I wouldn't have much hope for them staying out of a painted part of the sidewalk.  On the other hand I don't want Broadway shrunk north of Hollywood.  If anything it should be expanded so Sheridan can be reduced; Loyola is rumored to be itching to find a way to close it as the university extends south of Sheridan towards Granville, anyway, and Sheridan itself gets torn up badly by all the traffic headed to/from the northern suburbs.

This sounds like a horrible idea.

Peds will think that this is just a wider sidewalk.

Uneducated cops will give you tickets for riding on "sidewalk" - even though it will be dismissed.

Cyclists will get more of a bad rap because of this.

In my opinion, riding on Broadway is a nightmare no matter how you slice it, and this potential re-design sounds just as bad as the current non-solution. I generally just take Kenmore north and Winthrop south along that corridor.


Nançois 8.5 said:

I generally just take Kenmore north and Winthrop south along that corridor.

There's an example of this in Schaumburg. Somewhere. I seem to remember taking a picture of it and thinking it was odd, and now I can't find it on Google Maps. The sidewalk is concrete, and the bike path is asphalt, and they were laid side-by-side to each other.

In any event it's the suburbs, so you'll never really get a feel for "how it works" at volume.

The larger point would be, this only works with very different surfaces, so it's clear where bikes are supposed to be, and where people are supposed to be. This type of layout leaves no room for questions: [1]

But that's an arterial with no commercial buildings; not really Broadway-like. I had to look near City Hall in Dordrecht to get an idea of what a people-friendly commercial area looks like in the Netherlands: [2]

Now that looks safe for all users.

Broadway/Sheridan needs a bike lane PAST Thorndale. The LFP goes to Ardmore and is 2 blocks East.

And getting past or through Loyola now is a mess.

But any new bike lanes need more than those plastic pylons for separation, the Milwaukee lane was destroyed by snow plows this winter.

As both Nançois and I indicated yesterday, Kenmore and Winthrop are your friends in that neighborhood. You won't be able to ride 18 mph, but you're only a few blocks from the Loyola campus or Clark (for points further north), so it shouldn't be too much of an inconvenience.

Bike lanes shared with sidewalks at sidewalk grade are a disaster. Pedestrians simply don't pay attention once they are safe from motor vehicles. Example: think of the Lakefront Trail on a nice summer day

Enough said....!


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