The Chainlink

So today I rode the Sheridan ravine between Tower and Scott as I often do. Probably one of the best bit of climbing we have in cook county. It always peeves me though that there are those no cyclist signs and I've been honked at and have seen cops waiting by Tower presumably to discourage cyclists though I've never tested them. 

There's a couple other places on the north shore I've seen these signs (Ridge south of Emerson comes to mind) and I always wonder what the legality of them is or if they're just hoping people comply. The "ride single file" signs in Winnetka actually have a city ordinance code under them but I haven't noticed anything on the 'no bikes' signs. 

I guess I want to prepare myself for the inevitability of being hassled by some north shore cop. Or am I being a bad ambassador by not following these questionable and frankly discriminatory rules?

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Glenview road from Harms to Waukegan is rideable -as ever, ride it with caution. i for one very seldom recommend sidewalks for cycling as pedestrians are not expecting to encounter a rider, and drivers at cross streets are not looking for you. i have often ridden on Glenview road with little difficulty.

Many riders use the sidewalk along Lake avenue between Waukegan and Milwaukee. There are few peds along the way as the houses that back onto Lake are mostly fenced off from street.

Glenview rd crosses Milwaukee becoming Deerlove rd and joins Central st. There is a new bike lane along Central that will take you as far west as Wolf. Unfortunately, the bike lane disappears at Wolf and leaves you on a high traffic stretch of Central with few options as the side streets in the area are mostly cul-de-sacs.

 The other problem with going W on Central from Deerlove is a very narrow railroad viaduct about a quarter mile from the east end of the bike path.

Signs along the Central bike path indicate that a through route to Wilmette is a work in progress.

Riding along Golf road is suicidal... Some riders will use E Lake ave west of Greenwood.

The Lake Bluff ban is utter nonsense and the Sheridan road ban is close behind. While there's certainly an argument for being a little more cautious on that stretch of road in the ravines, both are about keeping people out of their towns. The Ridge ban is a bit tougher to argue with. It's not just the average trips that are high, it's just a busy road with tiny lanes. That hasn't stopped me from riding on any of them.

I should be responsible and say that any municipality has the right to ticket anyone they want in violation of their ordinance. I'm not sure what the jurisdiction of those stretches are, but if they aren't exclusively maintained state roads, each municipality is well within their rights to ticket cyclists for riding on them.

"...both are about keeping people out of their towns."


 Green Bay Rd. in Lake Forest is posted "Ride bicycles on sidewalk." It's a low-traffic road through residential neighbourhoods and otherwise a good way across Lake Forest N of Old Elm. Also, i don't think bikes are welcome on Sheridan rd in Lake Forest as well.

That sounds right. Once the Robert McClory Trail was complete a lot of those bans went into place.

Interesting.  I remember Barrington Hills went through a battle recently regarding accepting federal funds for improving roads, and the resulting concessions that would have to be made for cyclists under complete streets for doing so.  Wonder if Sheridan gets federal funds, and if so, how that impacts local government attempts to ban cyclists on stretches.   It's a pretty big arterial, so hard to imagine municipalities don't seek fed grants for it. 

I'm not an expert, but outside of a challenge based on federal funds, i think local governments generally get away with banning cyclists from stretches of streets under the whole Boub case standard, which generally classifies cyclists as "permitted, but not intended" users outside of a clear contrary intent by the municipality. 

Getting Federal dollars for improvements and jurisdiction are a bit different. You're totally right about complete streets improvements being rolled into federal projects, but the banning of vehicles is slightly different. And Boub is more about cyclists rights after a crash, not requiring facilities/accommodations.

Back to the original post, any municipality can ban whatever kind of vehicle they want (scooters, cars, larger trucks, bikes) on their roads if they have jurisdiction. So for instance, when Chicago installed the Dearborn bike lane, they could change the light timing at all of the intersections along Dearborn except for Congress and Wacker, which are state routes. So the same thing applies to banning vehicles, if that makes sense.

Sometimes when an improvement project happens, and road conditions change dramatically, the state can sometimes assume all or partial jurisdiction (and thus maintenance), which I don't think happened with Sheridan Road. And while Ridge might be shared jurisdiction, the ban pre-dates any improvements made to that street.



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