Project watch: 18th Street and Jackson Boulevard protected bike lanes

Two Grid Chicago Bike Lane Correspondents have sent photos and videos that show the few-days old construction of a protected bike lane on 18th Street between Clark and Canal Streets, a half-mile stretch between South Loop/Chinatown and Pilsen. It’s in the very early stages of construction and it looks to have a design very similar to existing Kinzie Street and fellow, in-progress cycle track, Jackson Boulevard. As we noted before, plates to cover the open metal grate bridge will come in 2012.

[flickr]photo:6330214662[/flickr] Continue reading Project watch: 18th Street and Jackson Boulevard protected bike lanes

“Waving” hello to Jackson, a protected bike lane that undulates


Jackson bike lane at Crane Tech High School, 2245 W. Jackson

Back when Chicago’s first protected bike lane (PBL) on Kinzie Avenue was a work in progress, I was a little skeptical of how well it would function.

But, aside from motor vehicles – especially mail trucks – occasionally parking in the lane, I think Kinzie has been a big success. It’s usually a pleasure to ride and it’s definitely gotten local cyclists excited about Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) Commissioner Gabe Klein’s plan to build 100 miles of protected lanes citywide by the end of the Emanuel’s first term. Continue reading “Waving” hello to Jackson, a protected bike lane that undulates

Construction has begun on the Jackson protected bike lane (photo gallery)

Crews from Marking Specialists started installing pavement markings on Wednesday, October 5, 2011, continuing on Thursday and Friday. The project’s western extent was pushed to Western Avenue, making it 0.5 miles longer – now at 2 miles long. There are many aspects of this facility that differ from the Kinzie Street protected bike lane, Chicago’s first. John will have a more in-depth article about this project on Tuesday or Wednesday – this is just a photo gallery.


West of Damen, the eastbound protected bike lane is on the south side of the street. At Damen, it switches to the left side. It’s unclear how bicyclists are expected to make this “crossover”. Continue reading Construction has begun on the Jackson protected bike lane (photo gallery)

Talking transportation with 25th Ward Alderman Danny Solis


This is the second of a series of interviews I hope to conduct with all fifty Chicago aldermen about walking, biking and transit issues in their ward. Earlier this year I talked to 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett. Last month I spoke with 25th Ward Alderman Daniel “Danny” Solis, whose district includes such diverse neighborhoods as Pilsen, Chinatown, University Village and Little Italy. The different ethnicities of his ward are reflected by the artwork in his City Hall office, including works by Mexican, Italian, African-American and Chinese artists, including a life-size replica of a terra cotta soldier from the mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang.

We discussed Solis’ efforts to improve pedestrian safety in his ward after a hit-and-run pedestrian fatality at 18th and Halsted, the upcoming protected bike lane on 18th between Canal and Clark and the pros and cons of the Pink Line conversion. We also talked about his dream of a bike/ped path along 16th, the new sustainable streetscape in his ward, and his upcoming trip to Amsterdam to study bike infrastructure. Continue reading Talking transportation with 25th Ward Alderman Danny Solis

Highlights from MBAC, and room for improvement


Alderman Laurino, 39th Ward, talks about her proposed ordinance that would ban texting and other tasks while bicycling. See “More topics” below. 

These are the highlights from the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Council (MBAC) meeting last Wednesday, September 13, 2011. The next meeting is Wednesday, December 14, 2011, at City Hall, 121 N LaSalle Street.

New protected bike lanes

These two protected bike lanes (PBL) will be installed in 2011. These were announced by Chicago Bicycle Program Bikeways Engineer David Gleason and Bikeways Planner Mike Amsden. Continue reading Highlights from MBAC, and room for improvement

USPS responds to our letter

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.