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
Updated June 28, 2011, to add link and photo about how citizen cyclists are accommodated in Copenhagen, New York City, and San Francisco (at end of post). Updated July 8, 2011, to add a section about “shared responsibility.”
When roads or bridges are reconstructed, bike lanes and people riding in them lose. The photo shows where a section of the bike lane has been removed and the remainder of the bike lane has been closed, without notification.
I wanted to renew my driver’s license Monday and I had two choices: downtown or northwest side. I looked at the map to find that the Illinois Secretary of State’s Drivers Services Facility called “Chicago North,” at 5401 N Elston Avenue, was only 4 miles from my house. It’s about 4 miles to downtown, but I believed going north would be easier and faster on my bike.
It was. Aside from an infrastructural design issue on Elston Avenue that makes right-hooks really easy, almost inviting, and a bike-unfriendly construction detour, I got there in great time. Going to downtown would mean more lights, more traffic.
Continue reading Making construction areas and detours bike-friendly
Last week in his interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, new commissioner of the Department of Transportation (CDOT), Gabe Klein, indicated he wanted to explore installing a pedestrian scramble at some intersections in the city. This would mean that vehicle traffic is stopped in all directions (an “all red” phase) and people walking can cross in any direction from any corner to any other corner.
“It’s something we would be interested in piloting at the busiest intersections,” Klein said.
Continue reading Building Chicago’s first pedestrian scramble