Jackson bike lane at Crane Tech High School, 2245 W. Jackson
Back when Chicago’s first protected bike lane (PBL) on Kinzie Avenue was a work in progress, I was a little skeptical of how well it would function.
But, aside from motor vehicles – especially mail trucks – occasionally parking in the lane, I think Kinzie has been a big success. It’s usually a pleasure to ride and it’s definitely gotten local cyclists excited about Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) Commissioner Gabe Klein’s plan to build 100 miles of protected lanes citywide by the end of the Emanuel’s first term. Continue reading “Waving” hello to Jackson, a protected bike lane that undulates
A view of the Bloomingdale Trail at Spaulding Avenue. At least one person in the audience asked for a rail car or two remain in the new park. Photo by Colin Clinard.
On the evening of Tuesday, October 4, 2011, I attended the final presentation from the Bloomingdale “charrette weekend” at the McCormick Tribune YMCA, 1834 N Lawndale. The charrette weekend hosted invited stakeholders and members of the public who gathered with the design team to learn about the Bloomingdale Trail history, devise the topics they cared about, and express ideas and concerns about the project. For 16 hours on Monday and Tuesday, the design team synthesized all of the conversations, contribution, and ideas into a final presentation that took about 90 minutes to examine.
What follows is a detailed description of who said what about the project. I’ve divided the article into many sections with bold text headings for easier reading. I imagine that this article will evolve as people ask me questions. Continue reading Bloomingdale Trail public involvement process reached a milestone this week
[These pieces also run in Time Out Chicago magazine.]
I recently fielded a couple different questions from Time Out Chicago readers about current and future Chicago greenways. I felt a little funny about giving people instructions on how to get up on the Bloomingdale Line, which is still Canadian Pacific Railroad property and has “No Trespassing” signs posted. But until the railroad does a better job of securing the line or the City of Chicago steps up and takes ownership of the right-of-way (which should be any day now) and erects more effective fencing, people are going to continue to go up there to stroll, jog and hang out anyway.
Continue reading Lakefront Trail lighting and (illegal) Bloomingdale Line access points
The intersection of Grand/Milwaukee/Halsted has the third highest incidence of collisions between automobiles and bicycles at Milwaukee Avenue intersections. Will bicycle crash data help city planners focus their attention on improving safety at the spots with the most frequent crashes?
I recently obtained from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) the 2010 vehicle crash data, which includes collisions between automobile drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians. I plan to update the Crash Portal with this information. But I also plan to do something more than make a map; Derek Eder*, myself, and others will dig deeper into the data to see what story we can tell with it. We’ll do that in addition to listing and visualizing statistics that citizen cyclists are more accustomed to, like the change in crash rates year after year. Continue reading A very initial look at 2010 bike crash data for Chicago
A rendering of the Bike/Walk35 group’s vision for the Logan Square CTA station.
One event happened last week, one is this week, one the following week, and the last happens each weekend in September.
Bike/Walk35 presentation on vision and goals for Logan Square CTA station
I joined the Bike/Walk35 group to help them create a great bike parking plan for the station. Last Thursday, August 25, 2011, at the St. Sylvester gymnasium (2157 N Humboldt), we presented on the history, goals, and vision for the Logan Square Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Blue Line station (2620 N Kedzie). Continue reading Four transportation events in and for Logan Square
CDOT will be undertaking rehabilitation work on five bridges and should take the opportunity to advance bridge bike friendliness, like it did recently on Randolph Street. Photo by Christopher Gagnon.
A Grid Chicago reader pointed me to a Request for Proposals (RFP) from the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) for a project that will rehabilitate many bridges and viaducts, mostly in and around the central business district. I discussed several of the bridges listed in the RFP in an article about open grate metal bridges and the hazards they present to people bicycling. A study CDOT commissioned and “published” in 2004 said,
These metal grate bridges…can be difficult and intimidating for a bicyclist to cross. Depending on the type and direction of the grating, grooves can cause a “channeling effect” or “sliding” for bike tires, and narrow tires can be lodged in gaps between the bridge grates. In addition, the metal can become increasingly slippery when wet, making these bridges even more difficult for bicyclists to safely cross in rain or snow.
While CDOT will not repair this problem on safety concerns alone, it should address it during routine bridge renovation.
Continue reading CDOT giving itself five opportunities to make bridges bicycle friendly