A Subaru apparently hit a bicyclist Tuesday afternoon near the unfinished Navy Pier Flyover, smashing the car's windshield and reportedly sending the bicyclist to the hospital.
The driver and police declined to comment immediately following the apparent collision at noon on Lower Lake Shore Drive at Grand Avenue. But remnants of the crash, including a mangled bicycle and busted Subaru windshield, were on full display.
There's also a new Facebook page that is pushing to get the project completed ASAP with no further delays.
Whoah. No fun to wake up to this.
There are rules... http://www.thechainlink.org/page/chainlink-community-participation-...
I understand this is HUGE to a lot of us. I hate riding through that mess and dealing with pedestrians walking the entire width, forcing me close to the speeding traffic. And I see both sides of this issue.
That said, let's keep it respectful. No personal attacks and careful with the language. Thanks!
Absurd how long this flyover is taking. I pedal by every day for the last 2 years. It could've been opened 3 months ago.
Your evaluation is based upon what authority -- pedaling by every day? Are you deeply versed in the scope and financing of this project?
I honestly haven't read a great explanation of why the timeline is what it is on the flyover, but from what I have seen, the time it's taking to construct it seems to be more funding related than actual complexity of construction related.
I personally think it's fair to be a little upset how this is being handled when compared to highway/road construction projects. I'm not going to say it never happens, but it seems rare to hear about a highway/road construction project grinding to a halt--or only progressing so far--because the funding simply ran out for that year. In other words, we still see greater funding support/ease for road projects vs. cycling infrastructure, and the flyover is no exception even though the scale of the project is similar.
And given the funding-related issues with the flyover, I do think it's also fair to question whether this project was worth the cost and time. Could an equally safe alternative have been designed for a much lower cost and implemented at a much quicker pace? Steven Vance suggested a few viable (and much less costly) alternatives on streetsblog and his blog, so I think it's hard to argue the answer is clearly "no" to that question.
Having read the discussion of the flyover and seeing the increased passion over a project we would all probably agree that we would like to see done but might disagree on method and timetable, I asked a friend who had some knowledge for some perspective. I got the following reply:
The original design for the river crossing was a cantilevered bike attachment to east side of the bridge. But it got complicated because the bridge is historic and the SHPO wanted something different. Eventually, the designers came up with the idea of cutting through the bridge house, which was approved.
Needless to say, this was an extremely complex undertaking that involved numerous public meetings, as well as regulatory input from the Corps of Engineers, the Coast Guard, the USEPA, IDOT, Chicago Park District, Illinois and the client, Chicago DOT. Some examples of the hurdles the design team faced:
Overall, I wish the project could have progressed faster, because it does have great long-term benefits for everyone, not just bicyclists. When complete, it will be a great asset that fits within Burnham’s concept of the lakefront as the one defining feature of Chicago. Here’s the website with the latest updates on the project status http://www.navypierflyover.com/
Hope this helps.
Thanks to John Greenfield for doing some research and putting it all in perspective in the Chicago Reader. And super thanks to fellow Chainlink members that chimed in and are now Internet famous. :-)
A few excerpts:
Still, the story inspired a thread on the Chainlink, a social networking site for local cyclists, in which members wondered aloud why, three years after the groundbreaking, the flyover still isn't finished.
Active Transportation Alliance director Ron Burke has also expressed concerns about the construction time line, calling the overpass "a worthwhile investment given that it's such a busy bike/ped corridor," but adding that he's "disappointed it's taking so long."
A commenter on the Chainlink thread named Jorge defended CDOT's explanation of the project's cost leading to its seemingly slow completion.
"Why is it taking so long? Funding is spread out over years. It is that simple."
He scoffed at the idea that the grassroots Complete the Navy Pier Flyover. And Soon campaign could accelerate the project. "There is no possible way for that to happen," he wrote. "Might as well pray for it to happen sooner. Same effect, nothing."
Jorge also pushed back at the notion that the $60 million project is a boondoggle, noting that it will prevent crashes and injuries, and improve access to Navy Pier. "When are cyclists ever afforded luxuries in our car culture?" he wrote.
Jorge's got a point. We often take massive expenditures to facilitate driving for granted. Last week, for example, the Illinois Tollway board voted unanimously for a $4 billion expansion of the Tri-State Tollway. That's the equivalent of 67 Navy Pier Flyovers. It's about time that bike riders and pedestrians got some Cadillac-quality infrastructure for a change. While it would have been nice to see the flyover project expedited, in about a year and a half trail users' patience will be rewarded with a first-class facility.
Full Article on Chicago Reader:
If you are a regular rider on the bike path and are concerned about the progress of the Flyover I'd like to talk to you. I'm doing a story for WTTW on Wednesday, Oct 25th Please let me know ASAP by responding to this message if you would like to participate. Elizabeth Brackett
As to Anne's comment, this is my reaction with every crash. I am loathe to seek an eye for an eye and am much less concerned with putting a driver in jail and much more concerned with the cyclist being able to pay his/her medical bills and getting something out of their misery.
As to the flyover, I know there were serious environmental obstacles to overcome but am not close to this and do not know exactly what was in play and how it caused delay. Once it finally gets done and becomes part of our culture there will only be the question of the altitude gain as novice riders grimace over the summit before they look down and see there were not a lot of alternatives. Over time we will forget all the years we shared the sidewalk under the drive with pedestrians riding perhaps six or seven mph and will be dumbfounded when told stories of how dangerous that section had been. We will forget the the time and the cost, accepting the flyover as that climb before or after you get to Monroe Harbor.