The Chainlink

Getting fed up with Dearborn southbound - alternatives?

So, to avoid all the construction around Lakepoint Tower on the LFP I've been going home from the Fullerton/LFP area by using Wells/Kinzie/Dearborn/Wabash/11th, or sometimes Wabash/18th before I get back on the LFP to continue south. Dearborn going south in the afternoon is such a *%&&$#^ joke! Constant instances of pedestrians standing right in the bike lane along with cars parking and people getting out and walking across the bike lane along with the cars that are coming out of garages and not paying attention to southbound bike traffic. Dearborn may give Active Trans the warm fuzzies because of the "euro" bike signals, but in my opinion it's an utter failure because now, well over a year since it's creation it is still a bloody minefield of stupid, inconsiderate pedestrians who don't have an effing clue. Is there another suitable southbound bike lane that can get me down to where I can switch over to Wabash? In the past I've ridden State Street just because of being fed up with Dearborn, but from what I've heard (haven't ridden State in months), it's a horrible mess because of the pothole trashed pavement. Also, besides riding so far south in the city, what about a quick and relatively painless way to get back over to the LFP just south of the river? Going back east immediately after crossing the river would be a nice option. I don't mind trying to dodge peds and rude cyclists on the LFP where I have a little more room to maneuver, I just hate having to ride my brakes the entire distance of Dearborn.

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I ride Wells in every morning. While it's dark as a dungeon thanks to the L tracks, bikes are allowed to take the entire right lane, which I often do. Might be worth a try.

How about going down to the Riverwalk?  There is a ramp on the east side of State at Wacker. It goes east along--wait for it--the river, under LSD and lets you hook back into the LFP at the north end of Dusable harbor.  Fair warning, there are pedestrians down there, but it is far less stressful than dealing with the clueless idiots on Dearborn.

Clark. But don't tell CDOT. They might use their peculiar brand of design expertise to try to improve it.

LOL

Kevin C said:

Clark. But don't tell CDOT. They might use their peculiar brand of design expertise to try to improve it.

hAHAHa

Kevin C said:

Clark. But don't tell CDOT. They might use their peculiar brand of design expertise to try to improve it.

If you want to move at a reasonable speed and can deal with the buses, Clark works. 

Nikul Shah said:

I find clark to be a better ride SB through the Loop.

While the bridge over the river on Wells was under construction, Clark was the detour route. I routinely rode in from Evanston all the way to Randolph. It's not clear how far south you need to get before cutting back to LFT, but if all you want to do is avoid the Navy Pier mess, I doubt you'd have to go much past Lake.

Just want to speak up for Dearborn, as I ride it almost every day and rarely encounter the problems you are describing. (And I would rather occasionally brake for a ped than have a car on one occasion fail to brake for me.)

I'd recommend Clark too.  Its my normal route when I'm not taking the LFP.  Even after the bike lane ends, its wide enough for a decent ride.  River North can get tight, but take the lane when you need to.

As far as getting back to the LFP, try Washington, to Michigan, to Randolph, to the LFP.  That's my normal route when leaving work (Clark and Washington).  Its loop traffic, but not too bad.

Just FYI, Clark Street bridge was raised up this morning so I had to maneuver over to Wells.

I've experienced the problems described on Dearborn much more often in the Loop proper than outside the Loop. It's especially bad from Washington to Jackson - peds stepping out anywhere and everywhere, stepping off the curb when they don't have the light and standing there blocking the bike lane, etc. It does slow down my trip a little and sometimes causes me to miss a light.

I ride Dearborn most often because it's most direct for my top destinations. Sometimes I use Clark instead.  In River North, I've often used Wells, but the bike lane can get clogged with delivery trucks during morning rush hour.

While riding Dearborn, I find that looking ahead and ringing the bell when it looks like a ped is about to step in front of me usually works. Sometimes I have to call out "stop" or "please wait." I try to be firm but polite unless someone is really being an ass, and that's been working for me most of the time.  At evening rush hour, this is a daily problem at every intersection from Madison to Van Buren - less so at other times of day.

Alex Z said:

Just want to speak up for Dearborn, as I ride it almost every day and rarely encounter the problems you are describing. (And I would rather occasionally brake for a ped than have a car on one occasion fail to brake for me.)

The bridge was up for ongoing riverwalk construction.

Nikul Shah said:

I noticed the bridge was up yesterday afternoon. Anyone know if there is a specific reason the bridge has been up so often?


J.A.W. said:

Just FYI, Clark Street bridge was raised up this morning so I had to maneuver over to Wells.

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