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!
Ethan Spotts, Active Trans
Elston *could* be great because there aren't any buses, and fewer places you have to thread the needle between parked cars and traffic. But north of North Ave. you still have to go through two extremely dangerous intersections (Ashland and the clusterfuck at Damen/Fullerton). Then turning west there are no good routes for bikes to go under the expressway. Logan Blvd. is a deathtrap; not surprised there's a ghost bike. And navigating the square to get to Wrightwood can be tough. Milwaukee is still a little better than Elston because at least there's strength in numbers.
The entire northwest side west of Elston and north of Logan Square is pretty bike unfriendly. The Milwaukee bike lane ends north of Logan Square. The blue line north of Logan Square doesn't have a station with even a recommended bike route leading to it, let alone bike lanes, until you get to Jefferson Park. Fortunately, I'm close enough to Diversey/Kostner where a small stretch of bike lane (poorly maintained and almost unmarked now) begins and goes all the way to Milwaukee. I think that mile-or-so stretch is the only bike lane in Hermosa. We got left out of the 2020 plan too. Yay!
The Dutch also have a very different history with cars, and cities are built very differently. However, perhaps most importantly, they came to the realization that cars were killing their communities, and thereby a good deal of their commerce. Thinking along those lines, it became much easier to drastically curb car usage, and to give more public space to pedestrians, cyclists and public transportation.
Steven Vance said:
The Dutch build something of much higher quality that lasts longer: red-dyed asphalt, or red-dyed brick. Brick may not seem like it's good to ride on. A majority of cycle tracks in Amsterdam are made of brick. They are easier to repair (when broken by tree roots or cracking, just replace the broken bricks) and when installed well, are comfortable to ride on (the Dutch also tend to ride with tires >32mm and with less air than seems optimal). The Dutch use asphalt mostly for inter-city paths, or side paths (cycle tracks that are separated from the main roadway by some distance, and not attached to a sidewalk like urban cycle tracks).
Daniel G said:
Don't the Dutch just mix up green-colored asphalt for bike lanes instead of dumping hundreds of gallons of special paint onto them every few months? I'm going to take a flying leap and say that we here in the United States do not do civic projects well at all anymore compared to over there, and large projects usually fall to pessimism, parasitism, and rent-seeking/profiteering.