M. Jantzen visited Chicago earlier in August 2011 and recently uploaded photos from his trip.
Upon arriving at Midway Airport, one is presented with three distinct types of fare vending machines. One takes cash only. Two take credit cards. One dispenses multi-day passes. Two add value to Chicago Cards. O’Hare Airport only has two types of machines and they have small signs above them that say “Cash only” or “Cash and credit.”
Fifty feet away from the vending machines, in the paid area, are two units of double deck bike racks that can hold 28 or more bicycles. It’s well-used, even in the “less warm” months of the year.
You’ll pass the CNA building (333 S Wabash) on any of the elevated Loop ‘L’ lines. I like it because it’s not grey, black, or blue.
[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
Thank you, Alan Brake.
Klein also reiterated the Emanuel Administration’s commitment to building the Bloomingdale Trail. While that project is routinely compared to New York’s High Line park, the Bloomingdale Trail is being conceived as a transportation artery, not a merely as a place for a romantic promenade. It will be the most protected bike lane of all. I can’t wait to take a spin down it, preferably using a shared bike.
From Share The Road, Slash The Parking.
I love the grittiness (c’mon, this is Chicago) of the old Soo Line along Bloomingdale Avenue.
New York City’s High Line is a place to see and be seen, but the Bloomingdale Trail will be a place to use. Ride a bike (bikes are banned from the High Line), jog, push a stroller, walk your dog, etc…
High Line designers were so concerned with cleaner aesthetics, the abandoned railroad viaduct is now beautiful enough to film a commercial (or something) featuring people doing Tai Chi.
[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
Alderman Burnett with John
[This piece also runs on the website Gapers Block.]
This is the first of a series of interviews I hope to conduct with all fifty Chicago aldermen about walking, biking and transit issues in their wards. As “mini mayors,” these City Council representatives have a huge influence on the kinds of projects that are built in their districts.
For example, a handful of aldermen have opted to use menu money discretionary funds to stripe additional bicycle lanes in their wards or to bankroll innovative transportation projects, like the Albany Home Zone traffic-calmed block in Logan Square. On the other hand, they can stand in the way of progress, like when former 50th Ward Alderman Berny Stone vetoed a bike bridge on the North Shore Channel Trail in West Rogers Park. Continue reading Talking transportation with 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett Jr.
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.