New pedestrian and bicycle projects discussed at March MBAC meeting

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Rolling out a green lane at Lincoln Avenue north of Webster Avenue in Lincoln Park. Photo by Grant Davis. 

We don’t have a recap from the March 14, 2012, meeting of the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Council (MBAC) because we didn’t receive an event notice. Luann Hamilton at the Department of Transportation responded to our email inquiry, writing, “staff inadvertently missed sending the March meeting announcement to the MBAC listserv, so attendance was light”. She sent additional information about how the “council” part of MBAC will be composed, which we reported on after the December meeting:

We are restructuring the council to reflect changes in cycling issues in the years since MBAC was established, e.g., including the public health community due to the relationship between health and active lifestyles and transportation; also including the Department of Streets and Sanitation and other departments with which we will need to coordinate more closely with due to the installation of protected bike lanes. We are also including three citizen members nominated by the Active Transportation Alliance, at our request.

The meeting minutes are online (PDF).

New projects

There are some new transportation initiatives that were discussed, including:

The Green Bike Lane Project. Chicago, along with 5 other cities, are recipients of a grant to “facilitate a partnership between the cities and provide them with resources and technical assistance, while expanding the knowledge base and sharing it widely”. The project is focused on building “green lanes”, which comprise cycle tracks and other new-to-us bikeway enhancements. The project, managed by the Bikes Belong advocacy group, is sponsored by Volkswagen, SRAM Cycling Fund, and other organizations. The project is independent of the green bike lanes that separate through traffic lanes from turn lanes.

Make Way for Play. From a program email: “Make Way for Play is a guide to improve pedestrian, bicycle and transit access to Chicago’s parks and maximize the use of the public way to promote active living. We are exploring tactics that range from traffic calming to creatively using the public way to allow for play. The end product will be a guidebook that public agencies, stakeholders and community groups can use to facilitate active living and improve the health of Chicagoans.” The program is seeking input from Chicagoans via this interactive mapping tool, and a survey.

The next MBAC meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 13, during Bike To Work Week, at City Hall, 121 N LaSalle Street, from 3 to 4:30 PM. While setting up your calendar, look at the schedule of open houses to review the Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 draft network at four locations in May and June.

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