Array

The Garfield Park fieldhouse, along the upcoming West Side Boulevards bike route

After attending the West Side and South Side meetings for the Streets for Cycling plan to install hundreds of miles of protected bike lanes and other innovative bikeways, I confess I was a little concerned about the city’s initial plans.

At the meetings, Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) staffers announced that a 4.1-mile network of protected bike lanes (PBLs) will be built along the West Side segment of the Boulevard System. Another 1.5-mile segment will be built along Garfield Boulevard (5500 S.) from King to Halsted. CDOT also announced that the city’s first neighborhood greenway (AKA bike boulevard), a traffic-calmed, bike-and-ped-prioritized side street, will be created on a .9-mile stretch of Berteau Avenue (4200 N.) from Lincoln to Clark.

Array

CDOT handout outlining the West Side Boulevard PBL route

I became more nervous about these locations after I learned that the West Side route and the Berteau greenway were first proposed by aldermen, and that one of the main motivations for putting PBLs on the boulevards is traffic calming. It reminded me of how, when I used to work for the city getting bike racks installed, aldermen would sometimes ask us to install racks at the end of a cul-de-sac to keep cars from driving over the curb, not because anyone would actually want to park a bike there.

I e-mailed CDOT the following lists of my initial concerns:

West Side Boulevards

  • This would be a nice recreational route connecting Douglas Park and Garfield Park, but not particularly useful as a transportation route because it is roundabout.
  • Most of the city’s boulevards already have low-volume, low-speed service drives which function as de facto bike boulevards, so adding protected bike lanes might be redundant.
  • Traffic calming on the boulevards is a worthy goal, but if adding PBLs here would be redundant, it would be a shame to waste miles of PBLs.

Berteau

  • This route dead-ends at Graceland Cemetery, forcing the cyclist to detour two blocks north or south to Montrose (4400 N.) or Irving Park (4000 N.), neither of which is particularly pleasant to ride on, in order to reach the lakefront.
  • A connection from Lincoln to Clark is not particularly useful since both streets are bikeable diagonal routes to/from downtown – there’s no need to transfer between them.
  • Grace (3800 N.) or Leland (4700 N.) seem like better choices for a neighborhood greenway in this part of town – they continue for miles all the way to Lake Shore Drive, at which point one could jog a bit north or south to access the Lakefront Trail.

In my e-mail I wrote, “I’m guessing you can give me some additional info that might help me understand why these locations were chosen.” Lo and behold, after discussing my concerns on the phone yesterday with Mike Amsden, CDOT’s project leader for Streets for Cycling, as well as riding the West Side route yesterday afternoon, I feel a lot more confident that these are good locations for the city’s first large-scale PBL route and neighborhood greenway. Here’s a transcript of our phone conversation.

Array

Mike and me at Wednesday’s North Side Streets for Cycling meeting at the Sulzer Library in Lincoln Square – photo by Serge Lubomudrov

[On the phone I congratulated Mike for the great turnout at Wednesday's North Side meeting, about 120 people compared to roughly 35 people each for the South Side and West Side meetings, then brought up the subject of the upcoming projects.]

So you told me the other day that the idea for the West Side Boulevard route was first brought up by aldermen.

Yes. When we’re trying to figure out what to do in this initial push [to have 25 miles of protected bike lanes installed by May], we have to take into account time, budget and also demand, who wants it. About a year and a half ago [12th Ward] Alderman [George] Cardenas met with CDOT and really stressed that Douglas Park is largely inaccessible to bikes and peds, and he really wanted something done there.

After the new administration came in we reached out to Alderman Cardenas again and he was definitely interested. We didn’t want to just do something in the park. We also wanted to help people get to the park. And that’s really the most important thing. It may not be a transportation route for a lot of people, although it very well could be for some. But most importantly [the PBLs will be] connections that give people who live near the boulevards an option to ride their bikes to the parks, which are the major destinations in the area. People want to go to the parks, and they don’t always want to drive there but right now they feel like they have to.

Array

Sacramento Boulevard in Douglas Park

So it was just Alderman Cardenas asking for this?

He was really the impetus for this, and then we reached out to [28th Ward] Alderman [Jason] Ervin, who’s on the city’s Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety. I did a presentation for the committee about our Netherlands trip. At the meeting Alderman Ervin expressed a definite interest in doing things like this because of the traffic speeds in his ward, so we knew we had a partner. [24th Ward Alderman] Michael Chandler is also involved.

Why is there a gap in the West Side route on Central Park Boulevard?

Right now there’s a bike lane there, and the roadway’s tighter there – it’s just a two-lane road with bike lanes and parking lanes. Not to say that something couldn’t happen in the longer term but we’d probably have to take out parking. It’s not as easy to implement protected bike lanes there.

Array

Looking at the route on the Chicago Bike Map, it appears that just about all of the route except Sacramento is on boulevards that have service drives.

Actually, the only section with true service drives is Franklin Boulevard, at the north end of the route. There are no service drives on the rest of the route. Douglas Boulevard and Independence Boulevard are shown with double orange lines on the bike map, but they have a parkway in the middle and then travel lanes on either side of the parkway. [Riding the route confirmed this.]

OK. How about on Garfield Boulevard – are there service drives on that?

No, it’s the same thing. There are three or four lanes in each direction with a parkway in the middle.

Array

Independence Boulevard – similar configuration as Garfield Boulevard

Will there be a protected bike lane on the stretch of Franklin that does have service drives?

Yes. The protected bike lane on Franklin will be in the main drive. The service drives are good to ride on, but a lot of them are controlled with stop signs and they don’t always match up with the intersections – sometimes it’s tricky to cross. When you get to the ends of each they don’t always provide good connections to get back to the main road. It will come down to a case-by-case basis. On the North Side, where most of the boulevards do have service drives, who knows what could happen up there. Just because we’re doing something here doesn’t mean the same thing will be applied to other roadways.

The other thing with Franklin is that while protected bike lanes are great bike routes, they’re also really good traffic calming and safety improvement projects, especially for pedestrians. You’ve got Westinghouse High School on the south side of Franklin there, and the students have a four-lane road to cross. We did traffic counts on the boulevards and found that on Independence Boulevard, for example, during a 24-hour period there more than a thousand cars speeding at over 45 miles per hour.

Array

Franklin and Homan

Franklin’s an example where by getting rid of the four lanes – motorists definitely don’t need the four lanes – it calms traffic, it provides bicyclists with a safe, protected route that’s a through route, and also it’s a heck of a lot easier for pedestrians to cross that street.

OK, anything else I should know about the boulevard routes?

I appreciate your questions and concerns, but going forward with our locations, not everyone’s going to like them and people may think there are things wrong with them. But we’ve heard, especially at the West Side meeting, from the people who live out there, how great it is that we’re doing something. So we’re really trying to make sure we’re pleasing the people who live out there.

Array

Douglas Boulevard

For people who have been riding a long time it may not always make the most sense because it’s not the most direct, straight, fastest route. But the people that we’re trying to reach are not always concerned with the fastest route, they’re concerned with the safest route that gets them to where them to where they want to go, and that’s really what we think we’re doing here.

So you think the West Side route will mainly be used by people who want to access the parks?

It’s neighborhood use, the parks and also there’s the Pink Line [California station] a quarter mile east of Marshall Boulevard, there’s the Blue Line [Pulaski stop] a quarter mile west of Independence. We’re trying to get neighborhood residents to use their bikes for a variety of different purposes.

Moving on to the neighborhood greenway (AKA bike boulevard) on Berteau, what’s the history behind that – who’s idea was it?

We got an e-mail from [47th Ward] Alderman [Ameya] Pawar’s office asking us to do a bike boulevard on Berteau if it was feasible. We were thrilled to get an e-mail like that, so we looked at Berteau and we looked at several other streets in the ward. You had mentioned Grace and Leland as alternatives [Here's a Google map comparing Leland, Berteau and Grace]. I admit those are great routes as well but they really wanted to do Berteau because it provides access under the Metra viaduct and they say that they’ve received a lot of complaints about motorists using it as a shortcut.

Array

Berteau Avenue Photo by Suzanne Nathan. See what Berteau Avenue looks like now in this full photoset

Of the three streets we’re talking about, Berteau has the least amount of one-way stretches, which present unique challenges. It also connects to four really good bike routes: Lincoln, Damen, Clark and Southport. It is a short stretch but in our opinion and the alderman’s opinion it’s a good location for the first time doing this. It’s not a huge corridor, it gets you from one bike route to another, and it connects to schools and thriving retail districts.

It’s going to be a two-way bikeway, and there are some sections of Berteau that are one-way, so is there going to be a contra-flow bike lane on some stretches?

Most likely. We haven’t finalized a design yet but it will be two-way the whole way for bikes. I’m not sure how that will be handled – there could be other options. It’s currently one-way on the block from Damen to Lincoln, and also on the two blocks west of Clark.

Looking at Grace, it goes back and forth, there’s like a half-mile stretch that’s one way. I love Grace, it’s one of my favorite routes, but when you get to Wrigley Field there’s a whole different traffic pattern going on during Cubs games, so that would take a lot of coordination. Grace would work as a neighborhood greenway for most of its length, but when you get to Wrigley we might have to do something else because of the weird traffic patterns and a lot of different interests right there. With Leland it’s the same thing – it’s a good route but there are a lot of one-way stretches.

And the other really good thing about doing a neighborhood greenway on Berteau is it’s one alderman and he really wants to do this. We’re supposed to be focusing on protected bike lanes right now. We do want to do other things but we want to make sure that we’re not stretching ourselves too thin. Berteau is a good pilot location because it’s one alderman and it’s a short distance. It’s not a ton of work but it’s still a meaningful section.

Array

Berteau Avenue Photo by Suzanne Nathan. See what Berteau Avenue looks like now in this full photoset

Those sound like good reasons, but it appears that a drawback of this route is that it dead-ends at Graceland Cemetery. It seems like if you’re doing an east-west route on the east side of town it would be a big advantage to have it go all the way to the Lakefront. This route isn’t very useful for that, because from Clark you’d have to go north to Montrose or south to Irving Park to get to the lake, and neither is very bike-friendly.

Like I said, Berteau ties into Clark, and that is the first piece of what will hopefully be a network we’ll develop that will get you to the lakefront. These neighborhood greenways may not always be a three-mile direct shot because of all the challenges we face.

What I’d love to see in the long term would be a route where you can take the North Shore Channel Trail south to Leland, take Leland over to Lincoln, cut down Lincoln where there’s a great retail district and slow traffic, head over on Berteau, get to Clark and you’ll be near Wrigley and all the Clark Street craziness. And then if you want to continue to the lake you have Grace right there. So, in a vacuum Berteau doesn’t look like much, but in the long term it will fit into a network of neighborhood greenways, protected bike lanes, bike lanes and marked shared lanes – that’s what it’s really about.

Who do you think is going to be using the Berteau neighborhood greenway off the bat?

We’ve heard from a few nearby residents who are really excited about it, so it’s going to be a localized thing. And due to the two diagonals on each end I think it will be popular for northwest to southeast travel or vice versa. Instead of taking Lincoln down to Montrose or Addison, people may switch over to Berteau and head down Clark to get where they’re going. And that’s really the benefit of calling these streets neighborhood greenways: Berteau’s there right now – anybody can ride on it, but a lot of people aren’t aware it’s a good bike route.

OK, I guess that’s about all I need to know about those routes. Anything else you want to tell me?

I think that’s it. Like I said, we’re trying to do things we can do quickly, but that also make sense. I think we’re doing a good job.

More discussion on this is in the comments below, on The Chainlink, and on EveryBlock

flattr this!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QVDONMKZAPS7JYV4FDOOSN6N5E big D

    Actually, that’s not a (pink) Cadillac.

    • http://www.stevevance.net/ Steven Vance

      What car is it?

  • Anonymous

    It seems logical to do something like make Irving Park a one way street
    for cars headed east from Ashland to Sheridan, with transit and cars
    still going in both directions on that stretch. Then make Montrose a
    one-way street going west from Broadway to Ashland using a similar
    setup. You mostly cut people off from not being able to turn into the
    brick walls of Graceland and I’m sure the residents of Graceland won’t
    lobby all that hard against the plan.

    People commuting in cars would have direct options, merchants who are
    skeptical would have the possibility of increased transit, bike and foot
    traffic, and CDOT could actually do what is needed in the area instead
    of doing what is possible because one alderman wants a traffic calming
    measure disguised as a bike path. I like my bike paths to actually go
    somewhere, not to end in the middle of a block long brick wall.

    This is the second project that has had trouble spanning the east-west distance from west of Graceland Cemetery to the lakefront and Redline east of the cemetery. The proposed Irving Park BRT plan also punted on the issue. Punting on connecting the neighborhoods east and west of the cemetery hurts development all over that part of the city. There is a lot of stagnation that happens because of the imposing long brick walls running N and S of Graceland. It’s just not that appealing to go east-west if you live in that part of Buena Park/Uptown and I’m sure the same is true if you live in the Ravenswood corridor west of the cemetery.

  • Anonymous

    I think that is either a Caprice or a Malibu. General Motors lives!

    • http://www.stevevance.net/ Steven Vance

      I changed the caption. 

  • Anon

    I can’t believe you didn’t look at a map to see whether or not there were service drives before you e-mailed CDOT in a tizzy.

    • http://www.stevevance.net/ Steven Vance

      The question was not asked because it wasn’t known if Garfield had service drives. It was asked to talk about the differences between streets with service drives, and those without – see the prior and following questions about Franklin’s lack of service drives on a short segment. 

      • http://twitter.com/aka60643 AKA60643

        Garfield definitely lacks service drives.  It’s just wide and fast.

  • http://twitter.com/aka60643 AKA60643

    I and many people I know were thrilled to hear about Berteau being the first greenway location.  Many cyclists now use it to bypass Montrose and Irving Park and in conjunction with north-south routes to reach destinations on those streets.  It will be a benefit to people who live in the neighborhood and people working and patronizing businesses in the neighborhood.

    Many of us have been asking for lanes on Garfield Blvd. to get safer access to the red line station.  Getting protected lanes from Halsted to King Dr. will give safer access from east and west.  Speeding and aggressive driving are major hazards to cyclists there.  If I go to Hyde Park and don’t ride all the way, I usually use the red line and experience at least one threatening incident riding between the station and Washington Park due to aggressive driving.  This means that I go there less often than I’d like, because I feel that the risk is too high at some times of day. 

    I made a trip to Hyde Park last night by car to visit friends.  If protected lanes were already in place, I would have felt safe enough to do a bike-transit combo trip.  A public transit-only trip between Beverly and Hyde Park really isn’t feasible, because any possible combination would be a 3-leg trip that typically takes 1 1/4-1 1/2 hrs or more with waits for between legs.  Doing a bike-red line combo takes me less than 1 hour.  Driving takes about 1/2 hour.  I prefer to do the bike-train combo when possible, but that’s pretty much limited to daylight non-rush hour trips for safety reasons.

    Many of us have asked for lanes on the west side boulevards, because speeding traffic there is a significant problem to cyclists.  I have friends who live in Little Village, Lawndale and Garfield Park who would like to be able to ride more safely on the boulevards.  Many of us who live outside those neighborhoods visit friends and parks there.

    I support the choice of these locations, because I think they’ll be well used.

    • Anonymous

      What businesses in the neighborhood? Berteau is almost entirely residential except for where it crosses the Ravenswood corridor and there it is offices, not storefronts. I just walked the entire .9 mile route in Google street maps and saw a half dozen storefronts total.

      The fact is this stretch of Berteau has no parking meters so it means CDOT doesn’t have their hands tied by the meter deal. They can stripe one street, add 1 mile to the boss’s PBL pledge, hold a ribbon cutting ceremony, and call it a day.

      I’m all for pilot programs except for when the pilots offer no real benefit and face none of the constraints that block more serious projects – political compromise between wards, public buy-in, financing, design. What is actually being piloted in the Berteau PBL? The ability to paint roads? The ability to reward people who bike the wrong way down a one-way street?

      • http://www.stevevance.net/ Steven Vance

        I rode the route (in person) yesterday afternoon to get some photos (which I’ll upload soon). I only recall two business areas, in two buildings flanking Ravenswood. I think EveryBlock has their office in the western building. 

        I understand what you’re saying about the pilot programs. If you look through all the things CDOT has been saying about protected bike lanes and bike boulevards, the word “easy” appears frequently. In the article and list I published last year, “Put the first cycle track somewhere else”, few of them were easy locations – they are locations where people are cycling and have plenty of room (streets like Halsted, Grand, Archer, Chicago). 

        Berteau should not count as 1 mile of the PBL pledge – it’s a different facility type. 

      • guest

        Isn’t the point of the Neighborhood Greenways to be low-traffic, residential streets? The greenway concept works precisely because a greenway street doesn’t have a lot of commercial destinations that generate automobile traffic.

        As for the PBL pledge, it’s my understanding based on the presentation at the meetings that the greenways are not being included toward the PBL mileage. Is that not correct?

        • Anonymous

          You are correct about the distinction between a greenway and a PBL. I still think it is a semantic difference. Painting a bike lane on an already leafy green quiet street is supposed to encourage what exactly? What are riders supposed to do when they hit Clark or Lincoln? I thought the idea behind a Neighborhood Greenway was creating new greenspace in the city, not simply rebranding existing green streets. The NYC uses greenways to “expand green space in low income and industrial areas” — that doesn’t exactly sound like Berteau.

          • http://www.stevevance.net/ Steven Vance

            The design hasn’t been finalized, or published, but neighborhood greenways don’t have bike lanes. They have symbols, signage, and often curb modifications. 

            Portland added bioswales to their neighborhood greenways because they used sewer/water money to help pay for them. 

            See this video: http://www.streetfilms.org/portlands-bike-boulevards-become-neighborhood-greenways/

          • Anonymous

            Thank you for the additional detail Steven. I don’t mean to be a grouch. I just get a bit frustrated with the lack of ambition in the city sometimes. I think the system is skewed way too much towards PR and not nearly enough towards hard data and better outcomes. A new “greenway” on a street that is already green and doesn’t connect to anything sounds like a giant waste to me.

            I live on a .5 mile residential one way street that connects Montrose and Irving Park east of Graceland and it strikes me as ridiculous to relabel such a street as a Neighborhood Greenway even though, unlike Berteau, there is the potential to reduce traffic, connect to a park, and connect commerce cyclists to commerce on Kenmore. I’ve lived places in the city with no greenspace and it is horrible. CDOT relabeling existing green streets as greenways and calling it progress is wrong.

          • http://www.stevevance.net/ Steven Vance

            I think you’ll find that I’m equally frustrated (not really about this, but about lots of other things). 

            Making Berteau a two-way street for cycling seems like a wonderful idea. I went there yesterday to take photos for this story (and to act as the “before” view of the project – not yet uploaded). I found it a pain in the butt to navigate this neighborhood. None of the one-way streets were in the direction I wanted to go. I did ride on the sidewalk many times – one-way streets are extremely frustrating, especially for “visitors”. 

          • http://twitter.com/aka60643 AKA60643

            Since we have flooding problems on many residential streets (potential blvd/greenway candidates) in neighborhoods across the city, I would love to see bioswales as a component of greenway design where appropriate.

            I get the impression that there are a lot of misunderstandings here about the differences between protected bike lanes and blvd/ greenway routes.  PBLs are intended for busier streets – think Lincoln, Clark, 31st St., Garfield, etc.

            I was a bit puzzled and frustrated that the program decided to change the name from bike boulevard to neighborhood greenway midstream, at a point where this type of treatment exists in few municipalities and relatively few people outside the planning and advocacy communities are aware of the concept outside of those municipalities.  I have to wonder if that change will cause even more confusion.

          • guest

            It’s more than painting a bike lane (in fact, I don’t think they plan to stripe these with bike lanes). I’m not sure what the exact plans are for Berteau but I assume they’ll be reconfiguring stop signs to allow for continuous movement, putting in some traffic calming (speed tables, bump outs) and restricting vehicular through-movements at various intersections (to discourage through traffic).

            It’s not as flashy as a new PBL but it’s a nice way of giving bicyclists a route that is 100% bike friendly and, in the case of Berteau, connects a few key bike routes and some popular commercial centers.

            I agree that the Greenway name is rather misleading. I prefer “Bike Boulevard” as has been used in some cities.

          • http://www.stevevance.net/ Steven Vance

            The thinking behind the different name is that the street is not getting these changes just for bicycling. By calming traffic, it makes it safer for all road users. However, I’m not sure what’s so green about the changes. 

      • http://twitter.com/aka60643 AKA60643

        What businesses in the neighborhood?  Those nearby on Montrose, Lincoln and Irving Park.  For example, if want to visit Cafe 28 on Irving Park with friends, a quieter version of Berteau plus Ravenswood would be a very nice way to go.  It’s an easier way to connect to existing bike routes on Lincoln and Clark. 

        One of the potential benefits of greenways is easier access to neighborhood businesses via side streets.  It would also make it easier for those who work on the Ravenswood corridor to get to their jobs by bike.

    • Clark Wellington

      I really like the Garfield lane, but I think it would be far superior if it actually continued into Hyde Park. Right now, there are NO bike lanes in HP (despite being a college neighborhood), and Garfield is an unnecessarily wide drag strip here. Plus, the jog around the park is pretty terrifying for non-experienced bicyclists. Fixing that would make it easy to ride to/from HP to the Red and Green lines, adding some much needed transit connections.

      • http://www.stevevance.net/ Steven Vance

        Speaking of connecting to Hyde Park. It’d have to go through Washington Park, where bike lanes were installed in 2011. But I received at least one email or comment from a reader saying that people parked in the bike lane constantly. I forwarded this concern to CDOT. The response was that they would install more “no parking” signs to discourage this. I’m checking to see if that happened.

        • Clark Wellington

          If I remember correctly, there are no lanes on the Morgan/Rainey/Payne route you’d need to take to go E/W through Washington Park (I think the bike lanes run N/S generally). I realize they may be difficult to put in, due to the weird combination of merges/splits of the roadway in that area, but that’s part of what would make bike infrastructure continuing across the park so useful. Not to mention the benefits in Hyde Park itself, where a four-lane 55th street is totally unnecessary.

        • http://twitter.com/aka60643 AKA60643

          Last time I passed through there, I thought I saw new bike lanes running E-W through the park on Morgan.  I agree with Clark’s points below about the need for a good E-W connection there.

  • Mark Roschen

    I can’t wait to ride the boulevard circuit once they whole system has either regular bike lanes or protected bike lanes.  I’m an experienced rider, but I don’t feel safe riding the boulevards now with the speeding traffic running curb-to-curb.  The service drives are not practical to ride on for me as their intersections are very dangerous and the roadway surfaces are not maintained since they are basically used only for local residents to park on. 

    • http://www.stevevance.net/ Steven Vance

      I don’t like riding the service drives for the reasons you list, but also because there are more controlled intersections (as Mike points out in the interview), requiring one to stop more often. 

      • http://twitter.com/aka60643 AKA60643

        Exactly.  My biggest issue with the service drives is that traffic controls are biased strongly against them, resulting in long wait times at major crossings. Poor road surface maintenance is a major problem on some of them.

  • Julie M.

    I’m happy to see that Leland is being seriously considered – yes it does have lots of one way stretches, but it’s a great path from Lincoln Square to the lake.  I highlighted it as a favorite route at the Sulzer library meeting on Wednesday.  However, if/when the Lawrence streetscaping goes through (next year?), it may not be needed as much. Berteau may be most useful for area residents, but personally I’m happy to see more greenways than less!

    • http://www.stevevance.net/ Steven Vance

      Did you see that Berteau will be two-way for cycling?

      “It’s going to be a two-way bikeway, and there are some sections of Berteau that are one-way, so is there going to be a contra-flow bike lane on some stretches?
      Most likely. We haven’t finalized a design yet but it will be two-way the whole way for bikes. I’m sure how that will be handled – there could be other options. It’s currently one-way on the block from Damen to Lincoln, and also on the two blocks west of Clark.”

  • Emailspyro

    Regarding Berteau, there is a great opportunity for future expansion and that would be going threw the cemetery to get to the lake.  The cemetery is naturally a safe place for bicycles.  This is a historic cemetery and a route would enhance its connection to the city.

    Looking at a map we are talking .4 miles of green, safe travel to the Lake.
    The route would pick up at Buena and that will take you to the LSD underpass and the Lake.
    Also, lets make sure that to the West, the boulevard for Berteau reaches the River (Rockwell).  This gets you to the future IDOT Irving Park underpass that connects Horner Park and California Park.  I Live at Berteau and Campbell and I see so many bicycle riders trying to get to the parks or the Rockwell industrial corridor.  
    Rockwell is a perfect street for bicycles and is part of the future Addison Industrial Green Tech Corridor plans that will see Rockwell realigned and connected to the future River bicycle paths.
    Thanks for the work you are doing!

    • http://twitter.com/aka60643 AKA60643

      Good map.  However, I think the idea of a route through Graceland is overly optimistic.  Right now they don’t even allow bikes to be ridden within the cemetery and they are VERY resistant to the idea.

      • Emailspyro

        Oh, I see… well, maybe they can due guided tours and have a cafe and make some cash from the bikers.  That will make them partake : )  If not, that is to be respected of course.  

        • Anonymous

          FYI – Graceland is still an operating cemetery with ongoing cremation and burial services.

          http://www.gracelandcemetery.org/

        • http://twitter.com/aka60643 AKA60643

          Various organizations do guided walking tours there now, including the Chicago History Museum.   I’ve included Graceland in a couple of bike tours of Louis Sullivan architecture, but had to do the cemetery portion as a walking tour.

        • http://www.stevevance.net/ Steven Vance

          There’s a cemetery in the Portland, Oregon, area that allows cycling through. There were issues a couple years ago when the cemetery installed speed bumps because people thought others were cycling too fast. 

          http://bikeportland.org/2009/09/23/new-speed-bumps-on-popular-cemetery-route-necessarily-dangerous-23685

  • Emailspyro

    I created a quick image to show the potential for Berteau and the destinations it will help connect.

  • http://twitter.com/aka60643 AKA60643

    Graceland, combined with the heavy traffic on Irving Park and Montrose, is a formidable barrier.  I hope that CDOT will offer a bike route solution to connect destinations east and west of Graceland.

    • http://www.stevevance.net/ Steven Vance

      I don’t think Montrose at Graceland Cemetery has heavy traffic. I think the parking lane on the south side (against the cemetery wall) is a great candidate for converting to a cycle track, as Montrose feels narrow and conflicted. 

      • http://twitter.com/aka60643 AKA60643

        Perhaps you’ve ridden it at different times than I have.  I’d love to see a cycle track there, but I suspect that there would be a bit of neighborhood resistance over loss of parking.

        • http://www.stevevance.net/ Steven Vance

          Randy Neufeld suggested I do my PhD thesis on “How to remove parking”. I submitted that in my statement to two schools (along with two other ideas). We’ll see what happens!

  • Nancy

    Wouldn’t Leland or Grace be better?  Why mess with the residents on Berteau for only .9 mile that ends at Graceland?  Looks silly to go to the trouble.  The underpasses flood when it rains.

    • http://www.stevevance.net/ Steven Vance

      I’ve heard a bunch of people clamoring for a Leland bike boulevard.

      I wonder if the flooding of the Metra underpasses will be affected by the viaduct work that’s going on there now.

  • Pingback: Will 47th Ward residents learn to love the bike boulevard? | Grid Chicago

  • Pingback: Bike lanes update: Franklin Boulevard under construction, Wells Street soon | Grid Chicago

  • Pingback: A post about posts: why CDOT took out bollards along the Kinzie lanes | Grid Chicago

  • Pingback: Concerns from locals about protected lanes on the West Side boulevards | Grid Chicago