Following #bikeCHI on Twitter is a great way to stay on top of what’s going on in bicycling communities or with infrastructure issues that affect bicycling. A case in point: two people posted photos Tuesday and Wednesday of construction on the Lakefront Trail along with their brief complaints.
Tweet: City says screw #B2WW. Let’s dig up Lake Front Trail and place barricades every few miles. #bikechi pic.twitter.com/BIm6lAxm
Tweet: Bike to work week is the perfect time to cut deep trenches in chicago’s bike highway. #BikeChi #ChiLFT #B2WW #fail http://twitpic.com/9vzdn8
Grid Chicago asked the Chicago Park District (not the City) why it was repaving during Bike to Work Week. A construction contract was recently undertaken and crews are “working feverishly” to repair parts of the Lakefront Trail before the glut of summer usage. The spokesperson didn’t have details on this specific detour but she said they were always provided in construction projects on the path.
Continue reading Tales from #bikeCHI: Park District repaves parts of busy Lakefront Trail during busy commuting week
Photo of the reconstructed Halsted Street bridge at Chicago Avenue (looking north) by Ian Freimuth.
John’s interview with Lorena Cupcake on Monday generated some new chatter about open grate bridges on Twitter. We’ve written about the dangerous bridges several times before and called for them to be fixed, even offering to trade 25 miles of Mayor Emanuel’s 100 miles of protected bike lanes for 25 safe bridges. Since then I’ve heard nothing but support for the idea from people who want truly safe connections across the Chicago River even if it meant fewer cycle tracks and buffered bike lane – the sentiment is based largely on the desire to maintain and fix what exists, rather than build anew.
You can now continuously ride (in the street, no sidewalk jumping necessary) on Halsted Street from Chicago Avenue to Division Street, over Goose Island. The bridge at Division Street was replaced and opened in December 2011, while the bridge at Chicago Avenue had its deck replaced (among other changes). On the edges, a concrete surface was made in a new bike lane to make the bridge more comfortable for cycling.
The pavement marking design on Halsted Street going northbound approaching Division Street uses the centered bike lane design we panned in the article, How Danes make right turns. The bike lane is in between a 10 feet and 11 feet wide travel lane, for about 500 feet, so cyclists will be passed by buses and trucks on both sides. For over 300 feet of the 500 feet section, the bike lane has only dashed lines, possibly reducing its overall visibility. This situation is found on several other streets around Chicago. Dan Ciskey told us, “I hate getting passed by people going 40 MPH on both sides of me on Roosevelt Road”. Roosevelt Road between State Street and Canal Street has a collection of different bike lane designs: There’s a centered bike lane in each direction for hundreds of feet, then the bike lane is shared (again in each direction) with an ambiguously marked bus lane for hundreds more feet. Continue reading Bridges update: Halsted now fully open, Chicago Avenue to be reconstructed, one lawsuit settled so far
Crews started constructing a protected bike lane this morning on Lake Street between Damen Avenue (connecting to an existing bike lane to the north) and Conservatory Drive/Central Park Avenue (connecting to an existing bike lane). This will add 2 miles to the 25 miles-per-year protected bike lane network. Between Damen Avenue and Talman Avenue, the street’s overhead ‘L’ has its columns on the sidewalk, while from Talman Avenue to Conservatory Drive/Central Park Avenue and beyond the columns are in the roadway. Grid Chicago has asked the Department of Transportation (CDOT) for the bike lane plans for this street to understand how the roadway columns will affect parking and the bike lane design. We have a “before” video already filmed, so it will be interesting to watch the comparison to the “after” video. Follow the jump for more photos and a map
Bikeway construction in 2012 continues at a breakneck pace. Crews were installing a buffered bike lane on Franklin Boulevard on Wednesday, between Central Park Avenue/Conservatory Drive and Sacramento Boulevard (0.75 miles) in East Garfield Park. The safety project eliminates a travel lane in each direction, creates a center left turn lane, and refreshes crosswalk markings. Adding a concrete barrier or parked cars could make it a protected bike lane. Read John’s earlier article about bikeways in this neighborhood, Are the upcoming Streets for Cycling projects in good locations?.
The abysmal pavement condition in the bike lane should have been repaired before bike lane markings were striped. The Franklin Boulevard buffered bike lane connects to a conventional bike lane on Central Park Avenue/Conservatory Drive (which connects to a bikeway on Lake Street coming soon). Sacramento Boulevard doesn’t have a bikeway.
CDOT should address this unsettling missing sewer cover and other deep potholes and pavement cracks in the bike lane. See all 18 photos. Continue reading Bike lanes update: Franklin Boulevard under construction, Wells Street soon
The Morgan Street Green/Pink Line station will be open in May, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation. This photo was taken April 2, 2012, by Jeff Zoline, a frequent photo contributor.
There are 8 transit stories in this post (1 for Pace, 2 for Metra, 4 for CTA, and one story about how transit users save money because they’re not driving to work). Hat tips to CTA Tattler and Riders for Better Transit for keeping up with transit news in Chicagoland.
1. Pace yesterday began putting more buses on routes 755 and 855, both of which can drive on the shoulders of I-55/Stevenson Expressway during rush hour periods when traffic is moving slower than 35 MPH. They’re doing this because of increased demand for a route that’s seen its reliability improved and travel time decreased. There’s no word yet on the status of running buses on the shoulder of I-90/Jane Addams Memorial Tollway.
2. People who take transit to work instead of driving save $1,006 per month because of the cost of gas, insurance, parking, and other expenses. This is actually just a monthly calculation the American Public Transport Association releases. See the savings in the top 20 cities on the APTA’s website (via Chicago Sun-Times). Continue reading Grid Bits: Pace increases bus frequency on Stevenson and other transit news
Plan drawings show lack of bicycle accommodations.
Last year I requested from the city plan drawings for the bridge replacement and road reconstruction at Halsted Street and the north branch canal (near Division Street). Included in the response to my FOIA request were plan drawings from the Department of Transportation’s Division of Engineering for a complementary project, the reconstruction of Division Street between Cleveland Street (east) and the railroad viaduct by the McGrath Lexus dealer (west).
So no one is caught off guard like some felt in regards to the Fullerton Avenue/Lake Shore Drive project, I wanted to give a heads up for a project that I think lacks consideration of the principles of complete streets and Chicago’s Complete Streets policy. In other words, what is proposed is not a complete street. Continue reading A Complete Streets “heads up” for Division Street