The Chainlink

Does anyone know what's up with this?  I couldn't ride yesterday, but today there were trucks in the bike lane and traffic was routed through the bike lane closer to grand.  I called the Chicago Department of Transportation and none of the 3 people I spoke with knew anything about it.

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I've been wondering the same thing.

It's only a block or so long, but that block really, really sucks. No idea (nothing posted) about how long it'll last.

The signs say the bike lane is closed, and cars should share + yield to bikes. I'll let you guess what actually happens.

With the huge number of bikes on Milwaukee these days, it'd make a lot more sense to leave the bike traffic alone and just close that block to cars. As it is, the traffic seems to be getting people all het up, so they come gunning out of the construction on either end and it's even crazier than normal.

How would that be a good idea to just have bikes and no cars on Milwaukee? I take that route everyday and there are way more cars than bikes.  Would be nice, but a ridiculous idea.

If you mean there's way more space taken up by cars than bikes, you're absolutely correct. If you're referring to the number of people, however, it's not so clear. Back in June, before the protected bike lane installation, CDOT estimated more than 40% of traffic as bike traffic. 60/40 is more, but hardly "way more". Further, as anyone who's been riding that route since before the protected bike lanes can attest, the number of bikes on that route has gone up significantly over the summer. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that cars and bikes are in equal numbers down that stretch.

Ugh, at any rate, my commute home was really terrible down that stretch, so I'm looking for an alternate route. Any suggestions? I'm thinking Noble.


Apie (10.6) said:

How would that be a good idea to just have bikes and no cars on Milwaukee? I take that route everyday and there are way more cars than bikes.  Would be nice, but a ridiculous idea.

I don't usually take Milwaukee because I have my side street route that makes my ride just a bit longer--which is what I want.  So I don't know if this will work for any of you, but I take Kinzie straight across DesPlaines to Green.  Right on Green to Hubbard; left on Hubbard to Noble; right on Noble.  I take it to Augusta, but one can continue across Augusta a short block and reconnect with Milwaukee.

"I take Kinzie straight across DesPlaines to Green.  Right on Green to Hubbard; left on Hubbard to Noble, right on Noble."

Same! :D Though mine is just because it takes me closer to home that way, not to extend my route.

Taking an educated guess: water main construction after which a full repaving will be done. CDOT said this was coming but didn't say when.

It sucks.  It feels like back to the bad old days of bobbing and weaving and trying to stay alive.  Given the amount of bike traffic in that area it seems to me that CDOT should do something to carve space for cyclists during construction.

Are those numbers during rush hour? That intersection is busy with vehicles all day long.
 
David Altenburg said:

If you mean there's way more space taken up by cars than bikes, you're absolutely correct. If you're referring to the number of people, however, it's not so clear. Back in June, before the protected bike lane installation, CDOT estimated more than 40% of traffic as bike traffic. 60/40 is more, but hardly "way more". Further, as anyone who's been riding that route since before the protected bike lanes can attest, the number of bikes on that route has gone up significantly over the summer. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that cars and bikes are in equal numbers down that stretch.

Ugh, at any rate, my commute home was really terrible down that stretch, so I'm looking for an alternate route. Any suggestions? I'm thinking Noble.


Apie (10.6) said:

How would that be a good idea to just have bikes and no cars on Milwaukee? I take that route everyday and there are way more cars than bikes.  Would be nice, but a ridiculous idea.

You must be joking. When a sidewalk is closed, the city will even go to the lengths of using the bike lane as the temporary sidewalk, then not taking any space away from cars for people riding bikes.

Brendan Kevenides said:

Given the amount of bike traffic in that area it seems to me that CDOT should do something to carve space for cyclists during construction.

Which seems pretty dumb after they just re-did most of the road in, what was it, may? Here are our tax dollars at work!

Also, in regards to shutting it down to cars... it seems like they could take out the lane of parked cars going northbound and free up some room to at least keep one bike lane (either north or southbound) functional.



Steven Vance said:

Taking an educated guess: water main construction after which a full repaving will be done. CDOT said this was coming but didn't say when.

Those are not tax dollars at work, but rather user fees. Water main replacement is paid for by the increased water rates that went in effect last year.

After ignoring our water mains for decades something had to happen, so I am quite OK with the increased rates. I have noticed a lot more water main being replaced in the last two years. A side-effect is that the pavement ends up in great shape once the work is complete.

But I agree, it sucks while the work takes place.

Tim said:

Which seems pretty dumb after they just re-did most of the road in, what was it, may? Here are our tax dollars at work!

Also, in regards to shutting it down to cars... it seems like they could take out the lane of parked cars going northbound and free up some room to at least keep one bike lane (either north or southbound) functional.



Steven Vance said:

Taking an educated guess: water main construction after which a full repaving will be done. CDOT said this was coming but didn't say when.

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