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I received an email from Alderman Smith about a community meeting regarding a bike greenway on Dickens.  The meeting will be run by CDOT.

Thursday May 30

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

St James Lutheran Church

2101 N Fremont

Below is a link to a Google Maps view of Dickens.

https://www.google.com/maps/@41.9200789,-87.6431505,3a,75y,68.04h,8...

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Below is the information from Active Transportation Alliance on the project. A two-way Greenway on Dickens from Stockton to Clybourn would be a great addition to the bike network, and it would also provide great benefits for people walking along that stretch. This proposed bike route would be very beneficial for people who are not yet comfortable riding on the bike lanes of Armitage, which disappear at intersections and under the L tracks. I'll be attending the meeting and hope you can join as well.

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From Active Trans:

Join us for a public meeting next Thursday to voice your support for the proposed Dickens Avenue Neighborhood Greenway!

Dickens is a quiet, residential street that alternates between one-way and two-way for cars and connects through Oz Park. The proposed Greenway project would stretch from the Lakefront to the Clybourn Avenue bike lane, providing a key, safe west-east connection for people biking of all ages and abilities.

The proposal is to make it two-way for bikes the entire distance. Contra-flow lanes would be added as well as traffic calming features that would help keep all roadway users safe.

Alderman Michele Smith of the 43rd Ward welcomes all constituents to learn more about the project next Thursday. Chicago Department of Transportation representatives will present information on the proposed bikeway.

What: Community meeting on proposed Dickens Avenue Neighborhood Greenway
When: Thursday, May 30th, 6:00 p.m.
Where: St. James Lutheran Church, 2101 N. Fremont Street., Chicago, IL

Can't make it? Share your comments with the 43rd Ward office by emailing rocio@ward43.org.

View Active Trans e-mail in browser

Hi Michelle

   You've been a very vocal representative for Lincoln Park bicycling for many years.  All of us local cyclists appreciate your dedication.  I hope to make it to Thursday's meeting.   But first may I ask a few questions?

1.  When you speak of the Lakefront, do you really mean the eastern terminus of Dickens where it reaches Stockton Drive?  Does the proposal include funding for the Bikeway to continue around the Zoo and over Lake Shore Drive to finally reach the Lakefront Path?

2.  Included in some of the proposals for the Lincoln Yards development of the steel company land along the North Branch, is a plan to bring the 606 bikepath east across the Kennedy Expwy and the river to Clybourne Avenue.  If that happens, what thought has been given to tieing-in the Bikeway to the 606 which is a couple blocks SOUTH of Armitage?

3.  Why was Dickens chosen for the Bikeway?   For instance, a Menomonee/Willow combo route is further south, and seems to tie-in better than Dickens, in that it directly hits both the pedestrian bridge over LSD, AND the general vicinity of the 606.  Should we wait on the Bikeway until the future of the 606 is decided?

Just askin'

1. They can't even fix the puddle in the sidewalk that leads to the North Ave ped bridge, so I doubt there is going to be funds for a dedicated bikeway through the park and over LSD. This would tie into the existing path network in Lincoln Park, which is perfectly fine to ride.

2. Lincoln Yards calls for a continuous multi-use path the entire length of the riverfront. Any E-W route through the site would eventually lead to that path and onto the 606 extension. It would be wise to run a path from Clybourn to the site via the rail ROW at Lakewood and there could still be some modifications to the transit plan. A greenway ending right at the site would make it much more likely plans would include a connection to it.

3.

- In many places, Menomonee is too narrow for a contraflow bike lane, even if you remove parking.

- Willow sees heavier motor traffic than does Dickens. With the shopping west of Clybourn, the area sees lots car and truck traffic and has many driveways.

- Sure it might tie into the 606 and ped bridge more directly, but the 606 extension is still years away. We need better connections to the Cortland crossing now, not 5 years from now. Armitage is bad and in my experience, has gotten worse. Lets not forget, local users from Lakeview will also use this path, not just cyclists from the LFT. This route strikes a good balance.

Thanks CLP -- I'm responding to your questions with the caveat that I am not speaking in any official capacity, just as a citizen and person who likes to walk and ride my bike for transportation. Anyone who wants to get official answers should come to the meeting and ask the CDOT pros.

1. When you speak of the Lakefront, do you really mean the eastern terminus of Dickens where it reaches Stockton Drive?  Does the proposal include funding for the Bikeway to continue around the Zoo and over Lake Shore Drive to finally reach the Lakefront Path?

The ATA e-mail refers to "lake front" but my understanding is that the greenway would reach only to Stockton Drive. I agree that it would make sense to continue the bikeway to the Lakefront Trail, of course, but that's not within the scope of the current project.

2.  Included in some of the proposals for the Lincoln Yards development of the steel company land along the North Branch, is a plan to bring the 606 bikepath east across the Kennedy Expwy and the river to Clybourne Avenue.  If that happens, what thought has been given to tieing-in the Bikeway to the 606 which is a couple blocks SOUTH of Armitage?

Yes, I agree that a tie-in with the 606 will be key, and as Tooscraps says, my hunch is also that making use of the former rail tracks leading directly south of Lakewood/Clybourn would make the most sense. (Having said that, I do believe that Armitage must be improved for bicycling IN ADDITION TO adding the Dickens greenway, given that there are important destinations directly on that street, including of course the Brown Line stop, Lincoln Park High School, Old Town School of Folk Music, shops, etc.)

3.  Why was Dickens chosen for the Bikeway?   For instance, a Menomonee/Willow combo route is further south, and seems to tie-in better than Dickens, in that it directly hits both the pedestrian bridge over LSD, AND the general vicinity of the 606.  Should we wait on the Bikeway until the future of the 606 is decided?

I was involved as a community rep for the Streets For Cycling 2020 Plan, and our suggestion included in the plan was a pair of greenways, on Dickens westbound and Belden eastbound. However, I think a single greenway on Dickens is a fine alternative because 1/ Dickens has a very wide right of way, with plenty of room for a contraflow bike lane that still feels safe for bicyclists and 2/ Dickens already has a big natural deterrent that keeps the volume of car traffic low already: Oz Park. 

This would make a great greenway. Dickens is the best way to get to across LP to the Cortland St Bridge.

Can we get a flyover on the hill by Burling?;) I'll settle for a single track carving.

Avoiding the arteries make for a more pleasant riding experience IMO. Cars can hit 40 on those stretches.

It's not the worst, but the intersections and frequent backups leave something to be desired. I certainly try to avoid the rats nest of Ashland/Clybourn/Fullerton. To/from Cortland/606 is always Belden/Dickens for me.

Webster to Racine to Cortland isn't too bad either

Yah, Webster used to be my eastbound route until I realized how awesome Dickens is. I generally go south to Armitage at Clifton instead of Racine.

I like Webster to Southport/Kingsbury to Cortland too.

Dickens would make for an awesome two-way E/W bike connection. I'm really happy that this is being proposed and will try to make it to the meeting on Thursday to voice support.

Fullerton and Armitage are fine for confident/strong cyclists, but having a quieter residential street option is great for kids and others. 

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