The Chainlink

Our team at the MBAC meeting just let us know that Elston (Division to North) and 18th (Clinton to Clark) will be the next protected bike lanes by the end of this year!

 

Thanks, CDOT!

 

Ethan Spotts, Active Trans

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I would like to see on-street parking reduced or eliminated (in favor of protected bike lanes) on thoroughfares in neighborhoods which are adequately served by public transportation (that is, buses, mostly). But I imagine (as noted above) no alderman is gong to risk outrage from residents and retail to support such a measure, but it's what I'd like to see. There's too much accommodation to personal automobile traffic in the city.

You all have great feedback -- keep thinking about locations! The city will need your ideas.

 

These initial projects should be considered “pilots,” demonstrating that the protected lanes can be installed quickly and affordably, with minimal impact on parking and traffic, and with strong aldermanic support. It’s important to get a few miles in on the street, so Chicagoans can spend a few months getting comfortable with them and see there’s nothing to be worried about when the city rolls out another 20+ miles after winter thaws (CDOT has said they’re planning for 25 miles by next May).

 

These lanes need to be part of a comprehensive network that connects people to where they need to go and serves the need. With your help, that’ll happen with the City’s Streets for Cycling plan, which will kick off in the next few months and inform the 100-mile network the city is aiming for. You all have great ideas about where lanes need to go, and your ideas will be needed to create a strong plan. There will be a public input process, and we’ll be working to help you plug in and share your ideas with the city so we can get the best possible results. Sign on to our Neighborhood Bikeways Campaign to make sure you get our emails about how to get involved.

 

It may be hard to imagine what this will look like with just a few pilot projects here and there right now, but we anticipate the pace will pick up significantly next year, informed by your input through the Streets for Cycling plan. And the 100-mile network will be heaven when it’s done. We can't wait!

 

- Lee Crandell, Active Trans

Is there any public information on where the protected lanes are going to be?
I can't wait either!

Active Transportation Alliance said:

It may be hard to imagine what this will look like with just a few pilot projects here and there right now, but we anticipate the pace will pick up significantly next year, informed by your input through the Streets for Cycling plan. And the 100-mile network will be heaven when it’s done. We can't wait!

 

- Lee Crandell, Active Trans

To sign up for the Neigborhood Bikeways Campaign email alerts that Lee mentioned above go to the bottom of the page...it also asks what ward you're in - not a required field but if you want to look it up you can go to Chicago Alderman lookup .

 

Horray for 100 miles of additional and/or protected bike lanes, however I have to ask - are/will statistics be kept on how many pedestrian accidents occur in protected bike lanes?  I have noticed a trend as of late of people walking westward in the Kinzie bike lane alongside the Merchandise Mart as if it is a sidewalk (there is no sidewalk there so they are using the bike lane as one).  I have managed to bypass these peds with no issue but Im sure that some may not be so lucky..

YES - that stretch of 18th is really useful, but also really scary.  That is the worst bridge in the city IMO and the speeding cars don't help.  Lately we've taken to riding the sidewalk over that bridge, but then you can't even get back on to the road without dismounting because there isn't a ramp.  This will be a huge improvement.  

Anne Alt said:
I think the improvements to 18th will help a lot of people.  This route may not see the volume of commute traffic that Milwaukee and Kinzie get, but it's important to many cyclists at all hours throughout the week.

Dubi Kaufmann said:
Awesome. The bridge on 18th needs those bike friendly panels.
WOAH! Awesome news. :-) I actually do like Elston to bike on.

CDOT is working on a new configuration of Damen Elston Fullerton.  My company worked on the Phase I design for this project.  See more information here - http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/cdot/supp_info/damen-els...

 

As a cyclist and engineer this is pretty exciting to see all of the bike friendly improvements happening across the city.

Agree with the comments above re Elston.  I use the Cortland area to Logan Blvd, and it is a disaster.
Completely agree with Duppie, and many others. A protected lane on Elston from Courtland to Western (ATA—have you tried that stretch going south on a Saturday lately??) is needed. ATA, you are way too easy to please.

I'm excited about any added safety to my regular route & one that joins the lake front to western city folk but the proposed bike lane to be added on 18th is a cushion between 2 biking hazard areas (under freeway & at lake shore path) due to the absence of any form of traffic control at the lakefront's converging point and the freeway-thinking cars entering and exiting as the protected lane ends.

Another concern about bringing more bikers onto 18th st is the disappearing bike lanes - cars easily forget about the bikers because the whole street does not have a bike lane. I say just paint out (I have some paint & will do this myself if budget or time prevent the powers that be) a bike lane all the way from halstead (an economic hub for the area) to calumet (the recreational entrance). I almost think it's worse for a street to have partial bike lanes and then they just disappear leaving bikers, cars, and peds to duke it out for space on the road.

Not addressing the end of 18th where cars, bikes, and peds converge causes daily issues for all 3 types of travelers. We're going to see more accidents as 18th becomes more traveled with the new section of lane that may entice recreational bikers who are not as experienced navigating free for all roads/sidewalks (even road warriors can be caught biking on the sidewalk at 18th/calumet).

Since the bike lanes disappear at Indiana and 18th, though not a heavily trafficked stretch, the roads and sidewalks become a free for all as bikes and peds cross the street and use the sidewalk to get onto the lake shore path. peds cross before, at and after the curve, while bikers ride on the sidewalk to get to the path since there is no curb-cut.

On the greatful side,  it will be nice to safely travel to the new section of tom-ping park at the 18th st bridge. Yay more protected bike routes!

Also, it will get more drivers used to the protected lanes and create awareness.  The east side of Elston is mostly free of intersections.  It's a good move because it creates inevitability of the PBL.

 

My favorite would be a creating Ravenswood Corridor creating PBL's on the track side in each direction. The footings are even there for a couple of flyovers at the busy intersections.  Get bikes off Clark and Damen/Lincoln and onto Ravenswood from Evanston to almost Belmont...

Duppie said:

I'll go out on a limb and say that the location of these bike lanes has to do with feasibility more than need.

Of the four bike lanes announced three are on streets that have relatively few residents and or retail businesses, so there is no one around to complain. Smart moves by the respective aldermen that carries little political risk

 

I still want to see them put a bike lane on Milwaukee/Clark/Wells/Lincoln/Southport/Name-any-other-street-in-a-gentrified-neighborhood-with-lots-of-retail.

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