The Chainlink

Coming home from the Jefferson Park Transit Center, I discovered the new bike lane on both sides of Foster Avenue. It only runs the short distance from roughly Milwaukee Avenue to Elston Avenue.

Elston is the dividing line between the 45th Ward and the 39th Ward, I think. So this needs to be expanded further east on Foster in the 39th Ward. It should go at least as far as Gompers Park to tie into the new North Branch Trail path, or continue even further east to the North Shore Channel path.

Foster Avenue isn't wide enough for two-lanes and two lanes aren't necessary. There is room for parking as well as a bicycle lane along the whole length of Foster, all the way to the lake front path. There are various parks and shopping along the way. There is a dearth of east-west routes through the city and this would help satisfy that shortage.

If it could be done in the 45th Ward it should be done in the 39th Ward. If you live in the 39th Ward ( write or call Ald. Margaret Laurino (Phone: 773-736-5594, Fax: 773-736-2333, ) and suggest that this be done

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Bob, I noticed the bike lane the other day as well.  They did a pretty good job of marking it and it seem that there is plenty of room for parking, the bike lane and the travel lane.  I agree, it should extend further west and there is no reason it can't extend east all the way.  It was a nice surprise to see it as it appeared almost overnight.

Great to hear about the new lane.

Is Foster really not wide enough for four lanes plus parking between, say, Clark and Broadway? I would've thought it was but it's been a while since I was up there.

I got a reply from the 45th Ward:


The bike lane on Foster was installed with two goals in mind. First, it was intended to help slow traffic on that section (we've had several cars hit a daycare in that stretch). Second, it was intended by CDOT to provide an east-west connection between the bike lanes on Milwaukee and Central to the west, and Elston to the east. 

Owen R. Brugh
Chief of Staff and General Counsel
to Ald. John Arena, 45th Ward

What you have there is a clear indication of two aldermen, or even wards, with different ideas. John Arena is in 45 and he is very progressive and is all about biking and pedestrian safety.  

I would love it if we could get bike lanes up and down foster as there are not enough large east west streets that are safe for bikes. Getting out to vote and campaign for the right alderman is a huge part of it. 

Sposato is in the 38th ward.  The 39th Ward, that contains Foster from Elston to Kedzie, is run by Ald. Margaret Laurino, who took over when her father, the former alderman, died. 

But you're right - getting her to support a bike lane down Foster, as much as it is needed, will be like pulling teeth.

Right, got the wards mixed up, but yes, it is too bad that we have choppy bike lanes and pedestrian friendly areas that are dictated by ward boundaries. 

Maybe if a lot of us leaned on the Alderman to get things done...

Write or call Ald. Margaret Laurino (Phone: 773-736-5594, Fax: 773-736-2333, ) and suggest that this be done


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