The Chainlink

A friend of mine posted this to Facebook this morning:  

Any other commuters out there caught in the CPD's bike trap this morning at six corners? At least ten other cyclists received tickets while I was stopped, so I know you're out there, fronds and fronds of fronds. Alternatively, if you're versed in Chicago bike law, I'd love to chat. I'll trade advice for really excellent baked goods or, you know, money.

Does anyone know what prompted these tickets? Was anyone else stopped?

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I'd like to point out that of all the intersections to take the pedestrian signal as a cyclist, this one makes the least sense.  The greens rotate the other direction, so doing as these cyclists did only put them sitting in front of starbucks (in the intersection) waiting for the same green they would have gotten had they waited.  
For comparison, consider the Milwaukee-Grand-Halsted corner.  A cyclist traveling on Milwaukee can cut his time at the intersection in half by acting as pedestrian and advancing across Grand in the crosswalk.  

Actually Milwaukee/Grand/Halsted has a non-standard CW light cycle, and the other 6-ways have the standard CCW cycle. M/G/H changed a couple of years ago for some reason.

I never known there was a "standard," though it shouldn't surprise me.  Perhaps it is for the timing of left-hand turners?  

Nearly everyone traveling SE that stops at the Starbucks is easily passed on the actual green; they have to wait for cars #2, #3, and #4 that go South through the yellow Damen light and those cyclists that waited at the red have some speed built up by that point.  

I'm sure glad they've dealt with the vehicles parked/stopped in the bike lanes. On to more pressing matters.

From me:


I am writing to voice my frustration and make sure that you know I think Brian Hopkins and the CPD's actions regarding the bicyclist targeted enforcement in Wicker Park on event were incredibly disrespectful and shortsighted. 
Attached are pictures of the danger that drivers put me in every day on our streets when I am on my bike (the pictures I attached were 20 pictures or cars in bike lanes). Please request that our law enforcement hand out tickets to them, those drivers in their murder weapons, breaking the law, that threaten my health, my safety and that of our city and environment every day. 
I believe enforcement should focus on the types of violations that are most common and have the greatest potential to cause harm, such as cars speeding or failing to yield to pedestrians. I am not a danger to others on my bike.
I would much prefer you use your effort, time, and resources to make that intersection safe for all road users; make travel safer and more orderly. Adding curb extensions to shorten crossing distances and an additional crosswalk connecting the southwest and northern corners, as well as replacing a slip lane with pedestrian space.
Thank you for the understanding.

I always cross with the pedestrians at that light going SB on Milwaukee and pause in front of the Starbucks because I feel like it gives me more space, and the drivers behind me more space as well. Recently there had been that concrete barricade and scaffolding. I don't need some SUV cutting me off by turning right in front of me because they are late to yoga. And what's more I sometimes ride through with my son in the cargo bike so more space is good space.

I was also under the impression that cyclists were allowed in the crosswalk as long as they were taking every reasonable precaution to allow for pedestrians safety? But I think the caveat is that you need to stay in the crosswalk the entire time for it to be legal. It's in the vehicular code.... you can look it up.

What I would really love to see on the stretch of Milwaukee south of Damen is one row of parking removed with full bike lanes and wider sidewalks! Maybe I can start on a rendering of what that would look like and present it to the alderman instead. There is NO REASON why a vibrant commercial strip like Milwaukee needs to feel like a congested death trap.


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