The Chainlink

Got a note from ATA a few minutes ago about the startup of Bus Rapid Transit in the Loop:

I routinely ride north/south so will cross those corridors. Here's what the northbound bike lane on Franklin looks like at (I believe) Washington:

The little box in the lower left-hand corner is the northern edge of a parking spot. I don't know if the Geek Squad car planned to turn right, but he could. There are no separate bike traffic lights at this intersection, nor any "Look out for bikes" warnings for pedestrians. During the construction, I've had a few close calls. I can't imagine things are going to get better when the BRT lane is open. I'm a little worried how this is going to work itself out, and I'm normally a pretty confident urban bike rider.

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If the previous "protected" lanes are any indication, this is going to be a clusterfuck of pedestrians and cars, and the city will ignore any issues.

Yeah, I forgot to mention that there is a west-to-east bike lane as well. That hasn't been open yet, but will add one more dimension to the hazards. For those of you old enough to remember the Atari 2600, this is how I imagine things...

I just realized that the Madison bus lane has no corresponding bike lane.  They supposedly will build a protected lane on Randolph in the coming months.

I rode this route this morning and in the same breath had 1) a pedestrian almost walk right into me trying to get to the island thing in the middle and 2) a car nearly turn right into me because he couldn't see me due to all the pedestrians on said island.

What a nightmare this is going to be. Tomorrow I'm not even going to use the bike lane on Franklin, would prefer to be amongst the cars here.

This morning, the Chicago Bicycle Program posted on its Facebook page a helmet-cam video intended to hype the new lane.  The first minute of the video showed:

- a car illegally parked between the bike lane and the bus lane, forcing a bus to stop;

- a person strolling down the middle of the bike lane as if it were an express pedestrian lane; and

- a car right hooking the videographer while pulling into a parking garage.


The video was deleted after about 3 comments were posted.

Riding north on Franklin yesterday, cars were turning right onto Washington by using the bike lane. That meant that they squeezed between the two sets of curbs. I suspect that might actually have been safer than turning from the right-hand auto lane, but it still looked wrong. Perhaps I'll try and keep my phone handy this afternoon so I can take some video.

More like a crosswalk.

One month of police writing tickets, and the problems would be solved.

So first snow/frozen rain of the season and I look out at the Washington protected bike lane just now - and its a completely unmaintained mess.

The Clinton lanes were completely impassable. 

A friend reports that he was nearly run down by a car that beeped at him and then hopped the curb while he was stopped in the new Washington lane.

Meanwhile, on Canal, snow was plowed so as to form 2 complete barriers across the entire northbound bike lane on both sides of Polk, and the post office cleared its sidewalk by shoveling directly into lane.

A certain amount of problems are to be expected early in the snow season, especially with new infrastructure. I would hope things improve as the winter goes on.

On a related note, I know we can probably call 311 to report issues, but do those sorts of calls result in any meaningful statistics with which we can rate the system?


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