The Chainlink

Whiny CBS 2 Chicago Report on the Dearborn Bike Lane Remodeling


Slightly whiny and jaded report from CBS2's Derrick Blakley and comments from the never-bike-friendly Rob Johnson. 

The Dearborn bike path reconstruction project to cost 1.2 million dollars.

"The concrete curbs make it much more difficult for vehicles to be able to enter and obstruct the bike lane," said Jim Merrell of the ATA.

"The Dearborn bike lane is being upgraded from Polk Street to Kinzie and cost almost $1.2 million. The city says around 800 cyclists use the Dearborn Bikeway for the p.m. rush, which comes out to $1,500 per cyclist."

The money comes from a federal grant, not local taxes, but as Derrick Blakley notes and Rob Johnson smugly agrees, 'they are your tax dollars.' 

Gee, they must never rework any roads for vehicular traffic ever?

I heard the live radio promo Friday evening on AM78 and Rob Johnson was really playing it up to the vehicle drivers how much of a waste of taxpayers money this was and not necessary for the added safety of cyclists. IMO, Rob Johnson is getting in the John Kass cyclist lovers category. 

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Painted bike lanes are *not* enough. There are over 4000 reports in Bike Lane Uprising in less than one year, and the vast, vast majority of the blocked lanes are painted. Drivers don't give a rat's a** about paint on the pavement. Or plastic bollards for that matter.

I like riding in a protected lane when there is fast car traffic.  The protected lane on Clybourn, for example, is pretty usable.  There are still problems, though.  Horse carriages use the entire lane and block cyclists.  Also, drivers sometimes park in a way that blocks entrance to the protected lane.  But overall, I'd rather have it than not.

I don't think the emphasized the cost of the project enough.  So here it is one more time:

I used to fly down dearborn after work from jackson to chicago ave pre bike lane, it was a rush and often the highlight of my day. then they put them in and I started getting stuck behind slower cyclists. that was a drag.

I wonder what the numbers are for a cost benefit analysis. safety too. how many more cyclists appear when they install bike lanes. is the rate of accidents lowered significantly.

The dollar facts might not matter so much though. Urban cycling has been politicized.

I don't quite understand the John Forrester cultists. That ship sailed a long time ago. If you want to ride with motorized traffic, you're welcome to, regardless of infrasturcture. For those of you who complain that infra like PBLs force you to ride more slowly - please try to remember that it is not all about you, where "you" is the confident, and often faster, cyclist who can and does mix comfortable with car traffic. Cycling infrastructure designed only for such riders is useless. It is far more important to create a built environment, and a driving culture, that is safe and hospitable for *everyone*. 

+1  The huge increase in the number of people riding Dearborn compared to what it was before the bike lane speaks volumes.

What about the layout north of Kinzie? Running on the left of the street with lots of left turning traffic is always pretty hair-raising until the lane all but disappears at the Newberry. From there up to the lake traffic is light enough, though. It's a decent by-pass when winter or storms shut down the lake trail.

I agree.  Whoever designed the Dearborn bike lane north of Kinzie should be forced to ride it every single day.  Its a complete sh#tshow.

and it shows that the people who design these bike lanes do not ride.  It endangers a rider if they stay in the designated bike lane.  Makes me furious every time I have to use it.  Usually, as soon as I pass Kindle, I just get over to the right.

Kindle, not Kindle.

Kinzie St. not Kindle St. :-)

Damn auto-sellect-correct!

I think its unnecessary too.  And based on the Elston and Division protected lanes, they won't be fixing the road surface as part of the project, or the flooding issues (which will get worse I think). And just wait until after snowfalls; unusable for days I bet.

I don't see how the flooding will get worse. The water collects along the curb due to the grading of the street.


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