Business as usual: Wells Street bridge closure detour falls short of “8 to 80” bike planning

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A variable message sign on Wells Street at Hubbard directs traffic to LaSalle Street. There was no sign directing bicyclists, which is odd because this route on June 26, 2012, saw 679 riders from 7-9 AM at Chicago Avenue. 

The Wells Street bridge closed on Monday, November 5, to all traffic (the sidewalks were open in the morning) so that the bridge can be rebuilt; a new concrete deck will be constructed providing a safer surface for bicycling. The Chicago Department of Transportation estimates construction will finish by December 1, 2013. To reroute traffic, CDOT posted a map and plan showing different detour routes for different transportation modes: one each for pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers, and bus operators.

Information on the street, however, doesn’t match the plan. People on bikes are directed by the map to turn left from Wells Street onto Kinzie Street and then use Clark Street to cross the river. Yet a variable message sign on Wells Street directs Wells Street traffic to use Illinois Street. One Grid Chicago reader told us that changing lanes on his bicycle, during morning rush hour, from the bike lane on Wells Street to make a left onto Kinzie Street was difficult because many drivers were not turning left onto Illinois Street; in the subsequent days he took Clark Street from the north but found traffic to be worse. Continue reading Business as usual: Wells Street bridge closure detour falls short of “8 to 80” bike planning

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Tales from #bikeCHI: Park District repaves parts of busy Lakefront Trail during busy commuting week

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.

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Tweet: City says screw ‪#B2WW‬. Let’s dig up Lake Front Trail and place barricades every few miles. ‪#bikechi‬ pic.twitter.com/BIm6lAxm

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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

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Tales from #bikeCHI: volume 2

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The Lakefront Trail on an emptier day. Photo by Katherine of Chicago. 

#bikeCHI is the hashtag to use on Twitter when you’re talking about cycling in Chicago. It’s a pretty broad topic.

I think you probably know what Zach is talking about. At the most recent Bloomingdale Trail meeting, it was revealed that the Lakefront Trail can be a very busy place: during one count period, there were over 2,300 people per hour in each direction. That’s a higher “ADT” than many streets in Chicago*. Continue reading Tales from #bikeCHI: volume 2

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Tales from #bikeCHI

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Texting while cycling is illegal in Chicago, since November 2011. Photo by Eric Pancer. 

#bikeCHI is the Twitter #hashtag to use if you’re talking about riding a bike in Chicago. Here’re two interesting tweets from tonight, both from Dan Ciskey, in order:

I sympathize with the first one: “just another day in the bike lane” is the new “just another day at the office”. It doesn’t matter, though, if you ride in the bike lane or not, there are hazards everywhere. Continue reading Tales from #bikeCHI

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