Bike lane distribution and equity in regards to the Streets for Cycling Plan 2020


Residents of the 35th Ward leave their comments on where the bikeway network needs help at a public meeting in September 2011. Alderman Rey Colón attended the meeting, operated by Active Transportation Alliance and Sam Schwartz Engineering. 

The first meeting to give city staff input on where to implement bikeways and bikeway fixes arrives in two Saturdays on December 10, 2011, at 23 E Madison (from 10 AM to 4 PM). The open house represents the launch of the Streets for Cycling Plan 2020, what the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) has been talking about since June 2011.

What is the Streets for Cycling Plan 2020?

Continue reading Bike lane distribution and equity in regards to the Streets for Cycling Plan 2020

Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 meeting schedule


A group of Chicagoans ride through Bridgeport. 

This is the public meeting schedule of four meetings for the Streets for Cycling Plan 2020. Any changes to this schedule will be first posted on the Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 Facebook page, and the Chicago Bicycle Program website.

Saturday, December 10, 2011
Open House
23 E Madison Street
10 AM to 4 PM Continue reading Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 meeting schedule

Bicycling in Chicago, a view from the south side – part 2


People bike during the Perimeter Ride on Doty Avenue, near 103rd Street and Stony Island Avenue. These street conditions are described below in “Bridging the gaps”. Photo by Eric Rogers. 

In Part 1, I examined some of the challenges for cyclists on the south side. It is estimated that approximately 60% of potential cyclists don’t feel safe on city streets, so they ride mostly on very quiet neighborhood streets, or use cars to transport their bikes to paths miles from where they live – if they ride at all. Let’s take a look at who’s riding now and what can be done to get more of Chicago rolling.

Who’s riding now?

Within bike friendly neighborhood areas such as Beverly and Morgan Park, I see a wide range of people riding: children (with and without their parents), teens, senior citizens, and adults of all ages.  Between neighborhoods, where street conditions are usually more challenging, the riders I see are mostly male and relatively fearless.  I don’t have much female company when I’m riding streets like Vincennes Avenue, Torrence Avenue, or 103rd Street. Continue reading Bicycling in Chicago, a view from the south side – part 2

Bicycling in Chicago, a view from the south side – part 1


Bicycling on 76th Street, a recommended bike route under the Skyway and several railroad viaducts, and some of the poor conditions described below. Photo by Eric Rogers. 

Editor’s note: Anne Alt writes about cycling on the south side of Chicago, in two parts. -SV

Five years ago, I moved from Rogers Park to Beverly when my husband and I bought a house. I’d spent a fair amount of time riding on the south side, but didn’t fully appreciate how much more difficult it would be to ride to other south side destinations until I started doing it from here on a regular basis.

What’s different about riding on the south side? Continue reading Bicycling in Chicago, a view from the south side – part 1

Englewood Flyover broke ground today – will save 7,500 hours of Metra delays annually

Updated October 11, 2011, to add link to Transportation Secretary LaHood’s blog.

Photo by ABC7 reported Charles Thomas, taken this morning. In this photo are Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Gabe Klein, and Governor Pat Quinn. 

I woke up this morning and saw Gabe Klein tweeting about a groundbreaking ceremony for CREATE P1 (known as the Englewood Flyover), one of the nation’s most important projects (actually a group of 67 projects). It separates freight from passenger rail traffic, and upgrades facilities for smoother and faster switching and travel. The Englewood Flyover will elevate Metra Rock Island District trains (north-south) over Norfolk Southern and Amtrak trains (east-west) in the Englewood and Grand Crossing neighborhoods.

According to the project description on the CREATE website“Metra riders experience more than 7,500 annual passenger hours of delay” – this will be eliminated.

The bridge will be built big enough to carry three tracks (where there are two now) over five tracks (where there are three now). The bridge will begin at about 5700 S LaSalle Street and end at about 6900 S Princeton Avenue. Recovery/stimulus money will pick up most of the construction tab:

The $133 million for the Englewood Flyover includes $126 million in federal funding leveraged through $6.6 million from Governor Quinn’s six-year, $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now!, the largest capital program in state history. A consortium of railroads involved in the CREATE program earlier contributed $3 million toward design costs. (Decatur Tribune)

Illinois Jobs Now! is the capital expenditure plan from Governor Quinn that was signed in 2009 and supported by bonds (debt), and fee and tax increases. The event was also an opportunity to promote President Obama’s American Jobs Act, as Transportation secretary Ray LaHood attended alongside Representative Dan Lipinski and other “politicos”.

Ray, on his Fast Lane blog, wrote more about the impact on jobs:

 A strict “Buy America” requirement ensures U.S. manufacturers and workers receive the maximum economic benefits from this federal investment.  This means that the Englewood flyover project will create nearly 1,500 jobs.

View Englewood Flyover in a larger map