The Chainlink

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday morning opened part of the long-awaited Navy Pier Flyover, as well as the 41st Street pedestrian bridge, creating new ways to get around for pedestrians and bicyclists near the lakefront.

The flyover, first started in 2014, has been delayed by various factors, including needed repairs on the Lake Shore Drive bridge over the Chicago River. Emanuel also has blamed the state for delaying funding for the project during the budget crisis.

The newly opened portion of the Flyover will carry pedestrians and bicyclists over Grand Avenue and Illinois Street, where there are currently frequent conflicts between travelers on the Lakefront Trail and cars. Work is continuing through 2019.

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Very nice! Thanks for sharing.

That is really narrow.

I'm happy this is finally opening, even if it's just the first portion of it.

I imagine some people are going to haul ass going down the ramp on the North side, onto the sea-wall, especially on days with big tailwinds.

I rode it this morning. It’s fast going northbound. I thought it was kind of dangerous.

Maybe they'll be adding "speed bumps" like on many side streets in Chicago, put there to annoy cyclists.

(insert Divvy rider joke here)

Here's my trip over in last evening... sorry about portrait video, handlebar phone mount + basket = no landscape video and as you can see at the end, having both hands on the handlebars is the best way to avoid launching yourself into the lake! 

Was that guy in your video trying to fly with his arms?

It looked to me like he was doing some selfie recording. 

My thoughts after riding it:

  • Awesome view, so much better than going under and dodging traffic at Grand/Illinois. 
  • Awesome bridge design. I love the railing and lights, and the whole thing looks really cool. 
  • The 16' width is not wide enough for "separated" lane striping. It should just be shared-use. Striping separate narrow lanes will result in lots of aggravation since anything other than single file pedestrians (i.e. strollers, dogs, 2-wide runners/walkers, wheelchairs, etc.) will encroach into the bike lanes that many cyclists rightfully feel entitled to be for bikes-only. 
  • The end of the NB ramp seems a little dangerous. Cyclists will be flying downhill into a congested area where SB peds will be crossing over bike traffic to get to the west side of the bridge. Dark+slippery+lake... I dunno. I hope everyone uses some common sense here and we don't see 25mph Divvy riders crashing into the lake after hitting pedestrians. 
  • How good are the brakes on those 4 person quadcycles that are rented at Navy Pier? You just know they're gonna ride up there, turn around, and go for it.  

It was nice to read that Randy Neufeld was the first one to roll on this beautiful looking piece of civil engineering. If the 606 is crazy in fair weather, this narrow strip will be insane especially where it dumps its travelers under lower LSD. Better check it now before that or if it gets reclosed.

I hope Chicago will continue to improve and build more serious transportation infrastructure for bicyclists.



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