Grid Shots: The view from CTA bridges

Bridges at Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) train stations over the tracks are becoming extinct. When the Belmont Brown/Red/Purple line station was rebuilt for the Brown Line Capacity Expansion project, the bridge at the south end was removed.


I took this photo in 2006 from the Belmont footbridge, not long before it was closed to passengers and then demolished. 


Adams and Wabash, Brown/Pink/Green/Orange/Purple lines. Photo by Clark Maxwell. 


Madison and Wabash, Brown/Pink/Green/Orange/Purple lines. Photo by Clark Maxwell. 

View four more photos taken from CTA footbridges.

Still to go: 99.5 miles of protected bike lanes, 25 bridges

Well, Mayor Rahm Emanuel only promised one: 100 miles of protected bike lanes. But as I pointed out on Friday, July 22, 2011, there are 25 bridges that are still hostile to cycling.


If you can see the water below, you’re on an open metal grate bridge. But don’t look down as you may lose your balance.  Continue reading Still to go: 99.5 miles of protected bike lanes, 25 bridges

On open metal grate bridges

It’s raining as I write this which means many bicyclists in Chicago who want to travel over one of the 25 open metal grate bridges without a bike-friendly deck treatment have to decide: risk the slippery conditions on the bridge that cause your bike to feel wobbly and possibly fishtail, or ride on the sidewalk across the river.


A photo I took last night showing the new anti-slip metal plates over the bike lane on the Kinzie Street bridge. These plates cover the metal grates that make bicycling dangerous, especially when wet. 

Riders no longer have to make that choice today if they bicycle through the Kinzie Street protected bike lane as the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) installed a metal deck over the bike lane portion of the bridge. This is the third bridge in two years that CDOT has treated to make bicycle friendly. (The ribbon cutting ceremony is Monday, July 25, at 11 AM, on the southeast corner of Kinzie and Jefferson.) The other two bridges treated recently are Harrison Street bridge in 2009, and Randolph Street bridge in 2011.

But we still have 25 more dangerous bridges. And CDOT knows this. Continue reading On open metal grate bridges