The Chainlink

Swap car lanes for bike lanes along Chicago Avenue in West Town?

A proposal to put a stretch of Chicago Avenue in West Town on a “road diet” to accommodate bike lanes on both sides of the street will be on the Chicago Department of Transportation’s exploratory docket in 2018.

The idea to reduce the number of traffic lanes from four to two and install a center turn lane was a recommendation in a taxpayer-funded “We Are West Town” Master Plan completed last spring.

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That's going to be a tough sell. Augusta and Grand are already two lanes. There's really no where for the traffic to go. The 66 bus is already slow, and would grind to a halt. Augusta has dedicated bike lanes, so I could see opposition to adding them to Chicago.

I would've said Grand is four lanes?

Either way, I'm sympathetic to the argument that bus lanes are more needed on Chicago than bike lanes.

From Halsted to Damon there's parking on both sides, which effectively reduces the street to a single lane of traffic in each direction. 

Chicago Avenue is currently striped for two travel lanes in each direction plus parking on both sides west of Ogden to the City limits.

Yes, this is what I thought. I agree it is narrow, though.

My recommendation would be to convert the existing right traffic lane into a shared Bus and Bike only lane, like southbound Clark has through Lincoln Park.  Also, eliminate a few parking spaces near intersections to allow left turn lanes.

Do the southbound drivers respect this lane you describe on Clark Street? I had no idea it existed.

The bus/bike lane is actually striped and marked in the parking lane, and parking is banned during morning rush. I've never seen any moving cars in the lane, but of course there is always one car in each block that is parked in the lane.  Despite this, I think it works very well.

That's cool. I need to find an excuse to be up there during the morning rush hour. I'd like to see it in action.

The lane is on Clark between Diversey and Dickens.

I'll have to bike on that part of Clark, to take a look at that sometime. I also do wonder how well that shared bus/bike lane works.

I dont see how that would work.  

Just taking away that right turn when youre heading north on Damen & Milwaukee has backed up traffic there.  

Chicago avenue would be a disaster.


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