The Chainlink

Gabe Klein Predicts a 300-500% Increase in Bike Traffic in Chicago

Interesting article in the Chicago Tribune about the forthcoming Bike 2020 Plan. Gabe Klein thinks that Chicago can support a 3 to 5 times increase in the number of bikes. I agree and applaud the Chicago tradition of making "no little plans."

The most significant detail of the forthcoming Bike 2020 Plan is that Chicago's leaders believe that the City can support three to five times the number of bicyclists that it does now. In addition, the Bike 2020 Plan will add 600 miles of bicycle facilities to the 100 miles of protected bike lanes called for by Mayor Emmanuel.


Read the Chicago Tribune article here.    Read my post on ILBicycleLaw.com here.

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That sounds like West Forest Preserve Drive? And yes riders do travel along its length rapidly. Our club uses it regularly for excursions into the city because it is wide enough to easily accommodate cyclists alongside impatient motorists.

What might surprise a lot of Midwestern cyclists is that touring cyclists in the west are actually allowed to pedal along highways which in this area would probably be verboten.


Joe Lyons said:

The key would be the "design" of the road.  I was on a four lane in the suburbs today that goes straight through the forest preserves.  It is posted 30, but the drivers read the sign as:  "Go as fast as you can before you get to the next light."

mores |ˈmôrˌāz|

pluralnoun

the essential or characteristic customs and conventions of acommunity: an offense against social mores.

ORIGIN late 19th cent.: from Latin, plural of mos, mor-custom.

I agree that bicycle operators should follow the Rules of the Road. But I don't know if I consider their behavior in adhering to those laws a "social more". It seems that a fair number of folks are simply willing to toss out these laws and I guess invite havoc. I am not of that ilk. The sooner that motorists and cyclists reach a mutual understanding of their rights and responsibilities as defined by law the better. At any rate, thanks for your observation. 

Steven Vance said:

I don't think bicycle operators should be sharing the road with automobile operators except on roads where the design and laws demand automobiles be driven at or less than the speed of bicycles. 

 

Agreed. My direct experience is limited to the bicycle parking along Van Buren between Jackson and Clinton. There is parking under the eave of the building on the north side of the street (where the Starbucks is located). It looks to be pretty much full now. On the street (both sides) the local buildings have contracted with a company to sell parking locations to motorcyclists.

If that population were to reach the kind of growth potential Gabe is predicting for cyclists there would like not be enough spots on the streets for all the motorcycles (despite the fact that they angle in to park) and certainly no automobiles could be accommodated alongside the motorcycles.

The Willis Tower has parking to the south of the building and I believe it requires a monthly fee. It is outdoors so there is no protection provided for the bikes. If more people are to be accommodated in the cycling community I would expect that their expectations would be high enough that buildings would be coaxed into offering indoor parking for those using bicycles.

But how safe and convenient that sort of parking would be if provided today I have no idea. I am guessing that as with most "sea changes" employers are going to be caught off guard until something resembling a ready-made and proven solution is offered.

Those lockable storage containers that appear along the Metra lines here in the suburbs seem a very inviting idea.

Anne Alt said:

We need more bike stations.

If enough Loop office workers ask their bosses and the property management office for secure indoor bike space, it greatly improves the chances of getting it.  I've worked in 2 different buildings in the Loop that added indoor bike rooms (locked rooms with keys provided only to those who registered with building management) after strong tenant demand.  I know of other buildings that have responded similarly.  My current office building also has a bike room.

At my previous offices, one bike room was a locked room accessed from the parking garage and the other was created from vacant space on the 5th floor, accessible by freight elevator from the loading dock after signing in with building security and swiping a keycard on the bike room door.

If the building where you work does not have a bike room,  they need to know that there's a demand, so they need to hear from you.  Do you know other cyclists in the building?  Tell them the same thing.  Make that demand known, so building management recognizes that there's a real need.


O said:

Agreed. My direct experience is limited to the bicycle parking along Van Buren between Jackson and Clinton. There is parking under the eave of the building on the north side of the street (where the Starbucks is located). It looks to be pretty much full now. On the street (both sides) the local buildings have contracted with a company to sell parking locations to motorcyclists.

If that population were to reach the kind of growth potential Gabe is predicting for cyclists there would like not be enough spots on the streets for all the motorcycles (despite the fact that they angle in to park) and certainly no automobiles could be accommodated alongside the motorcycles.

The Willis Tower has parking to the south of the building and I believe it requires a monthly fee. It is outdoors so there is no protection provided for the bikes. If more people are to be accommodated in the cycling community I would expect that their expectations would be high enough that buildings would be coaxed into offering indoor parking for those using bicycles.

But how safe and convenient that sort of parking would be if provided today I have no idea. I am guessing that as with most "sea changes" employers are going to be caught off guard until something resembling a ready-made and proven solution is offered.

Those lockable storage containers that appear along the Metra lines here in the suburbs seem a very inviting idea.

Anne Alt said:

We need more bike stations.

Exiting times ahead for cyclist to motorist and cyclist to cyclist drama.

Speaking of bike rooms in buildings, I'm still collecting photos and info from people for an upcoming article. I've only had three submissions. 

Anne Alt said:

If enough Loop office workers ask their bosses and the property management office for secure indoor bike space, it greatly improves the chances of getting it.  I've worked in 2 different buildings in the Loop that added indoor bike rooms (locked rooms with keys provided only to those who registered with building management) after strong tenant demand.  I know of other buildings that have responded similarly.  My current office building also has a bike room.

What? You don't have the picture of the bike room at 311 S. Wacker?!!

Steven Vance said:

Speaking of bike rooms in buildings, I'm still collecting photos and info from people for an upcoming article. I've only had three submissions. 

Anne Alt said:

If enough Loop office workers ask their bosses and the property management office for secure indoor bike space, it greatly improves the chances of getting it.  I've worked in 2 different buildings in the Loop that added indoor bike rooms (locked rooms with keys provided only to those who registered with building management) after strong tenant demand.  I know of other buildings that have responded similarly.  My current office building also has a bike room.

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