People ride their bikes across the point at which Milwaukee Avenue was measured to have a mode share of 22% bicycles.
These are important to mention because they will be shared again and again. While nothing was inaccurate, there was definitely space to clarify and expand. Original article.
1. “[Gabe] Klein hopes the percentage of trips taken by bike will rise from under 2 percent to 5 percent”
The percentage of “trips taken by bike” (for any purpose) is not known. We only know the percentage of trips taken by bike to work, and it stands at 1.4% right now.
The goal of the Bike 2015 Plan is to have 5 percent of all trips under 5 miles be by bike. But we won’t know when we achieve that because we lack baseline data: no survey collects the data on trips by bike for all purposes and categorizes them by distance – there was a household travel survey in 2007-2008 from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), but only for counties and not Chicago. I have written many times before about the “missing data” and baseline data problem: One, two, three, four.
Continue reading Imprecisions in widely shared Reuters article on Chicago biking
[flickr]photo:6168877252[/flickr]Rey Colón, Forrest Claypool and Rahm Emanuel
Yesterday was a busy one for transit-related press events in Chicago. In the morning Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) President Forrest Claypool appeared at the Logan Square Blue Line station, my local stop, to announce their plans to clean and rehab 100 stations within the next year at a cost of $25 million. In the afternoon public transit workers and boosters railed against a Republican proposal to slash more than a third of federal highway and public transportation funding.
I’ve often wondered why the CTA has allowed some of its stations to become so shabby when other systems, like Washington, D.C.’s Metro, have much more appealing facilities. Logan Square was a good example, with crumbling plaster, a dingy, cave-like platform tunnel, and an eternally dripping platform tunnel ceiling. Dismal conditions like these breed discontent from regular customers and discourage potential riders from using transit instead of driving.
Continue reading Emanuel touts “swat team” CTA station renewal; advocates rally against federal cuts to transit
Alderman Laurino, 39th Ward, talks about her proposed ordinance that would ban texting and other tasks while bicycling. See “More topics” below.
These are the highlights from the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Council (MBAC) meeting last Wednesday, September 13, 2011. The next meeting is Wednesday, December 14, 2011, at City Hall, 121 N LaSalle Street.
New protected bike lanes
These two protected bike lanes (PBL) will be installed in 2011. These were announced by Chicago Bicycle Program Bikeways Engineer David Gleason and Bikeways Planner Mike Amsden. Continue reading Highlights from MBAC, and room for improvement
[flickr]photo:6052421155[/flickr] [All photos courtesy of the Chicago Department of Transportation, except where noted.]
Last Tuesday evening when I first pedaled down the new Madison Street bike lane, crisp white lines on fresh, smooth asphalt, my initial emotion was exhilaration. Just like the first time I rode the Kinzie Street protected bike lane, I was experiencing something that had never been done before in Chicago, and it was a liberating sensation.
For years I’ve wished the city would stripe bike lanes within the central Loop, defined by the Chicago River, Michigan Avenue and the Congress Parkway, but until now this seemed verboten. The taboo against downtown lanes has always struck me as typical of the conservative way the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) did bike improvements under Mayor Daley. The attitude seemed to be that the Central Business District (CBD) was too congested to have bike lanes, when in reality the Loop is too congested NOT to have lanes encouraging people to bicycle instead of driving.
So I was thrilled last week when Steven forwarded a newsletter from 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly announcing that CDOT was striping lanes on Madison from Michigan to Wells. But I confess that a couple blocks into my maiden voyage down the new lane I became a little disappointed. I realized that many cyclists will not feel comfortable riding in the lane because it is marked to the left of a bus-only lane. This means cyclists will be pedaling between two lanes of moving traffic with no protection except paint on the road.
Continue reading Mixed feelings about Chicago’s first Loop bike lane
[flickr]photo:6054914196[/flickr]Fencing installed to keep pedestrians from crossing LSD at Queen’s Landing
[This piece also appears in Time Out Chicago.]
Gabe Klein’s words were eerily prescient. In July I asked the new Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) chief if he’d consider re-installing the signalized crosswalk that had allowed pedestrians to safely cross from Buckingham Fountain to Monroe Harbor for 17 years until Mayor Daley removed it. “I would like to put it back,” he said. “People are crossing anyway and they’re running across Lake Shore Drive.”
On August 6, during Eminem’s set at Lollapalooza, as dozens of kids ran across the drive attempting to jump the fences on the east side of the festival, two young men were struck by a car, sustaining serious-to-critical injuries, as they tried to sprint across the ten lanes of traffic east of the fountain.
Continue reading After Lolla crash CDOT says Queen’s Landing crosswalk will re-open
Last week Grid Chicago received a letter from the United States Postal Service (USPS) in response to our correspondence with them where we advised them of the illegality of parking in bike lanes. I attached photos of two separate USPS vehicles parked in the Kinzie Street protected bike lane sent to me by a Grid Chicago reader.
Then, today, I received a copy of a letter 42nd Ward Alderman Reilly wrote to USPS. As you can tell, he was a bit more stern in asking the organization to respond, saying:
USPS employees have repeatedly been witnessed parking in dedicated bicycle lanes- posing a risk to cyclists who utilize these busy lanes.
Please report back to my office the steps that the USPS will take to address this serious public safety concern.
Our original article on the matter has been the most popular since we began, with over 1,600 views. Please send in your photos of USPS and other delivery vehicles parked in the Kinzie Street bike lane. Our first and only protected bike lane should be that, a protected bike lane, and not another strip of asphalt for people to park in.
Let us know if USPS is still blocking the bike lane.