Where Will Bike-Share Stations Go? System Map Begins to Take Shape

Damen Blue Line Stop
The Damen Blue Line station will have two Divvy stations nearby. Photo: Daniel Rangel.

Chicago’s bike-share system, which will go by the name of Divvy, is on track to launch by the Bike To Work Day Rally on June 14. Divvy will start out with 75 stations in downtown and River North before growing to about 400 stations in an area roughly bounded by Lake Michigan, Devon, California and 63rd. So will there be a bike-share station where you live or work? While station locations are still subject to change at this point, some details about the system map have emerged from aldermen’s offices.

The Chicago Department of Transportation has been briefing aldermen on potential locations in their wards. These locations are based on a variety of factors, including available space on the sidewalk, the ability to move metered parking spaces to make way for on-street bike-share stations, and ideas from residents contributed via CDOT’s suggest-a-station website and three public meetings in 2012.

Since the stations aren’t set in stone, aldermen are being cautious so far about identifying locations. But the Lakeview Patch reported on the location of 12 stations for the 44th Ward, represented by Alderman Tom Tunney. Alderman Ameya Pawar, who represents the 47th Ward, showed a partial station map in an email newsletter last week. And Streetsblog has picked up several locations in Alderman Scott Waguespack’s 32nd Ward and Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno’s 1st Ward. CDOT did not return a request for information about station siting.

Moreno’s CDOT liaison Rudy DeJesus explained that the parts of Logan Square, Wicker Park, and Bucktown in the 1st Ward will be getting a total of 25 stations, of which 22 will be installed this year. The California and Western Blue Line stations will each get one bike-share station, and the Damen Blue Line station will have one bike-share station plus another close by “because of its proximity to the Wicker Park neighborhood,” he said.

Bike sharing locations in the 47th Ward
Bike-share locations currently proposed in the 47th Ward. Locations are subject to change.

Paul Sajovec, chief of staff for the 32nd Ward, told Streetsblog that “at this point, any location is under consideration.” Some of the locations proposed in the ward include Cortland and Damen (primarily a retail area), Augusta and Damen (primarily a residential area), Elston and Webster (mainly commercial), and Milwaukee and Leavitt (retail and residential). “CDOT has walked us through some of those locations,” Sajovec said. “My impression is that they’re trying to refine it so if it ends up not working out, people don’t get worked up.”

Divvy station placement should be very flexible even after the system launches, Sajovec noted. “They’re solar powered and disconnected from the grid,” he said. “It wouldn’t surprise us or [CDOT] if they rolled things out and some places weren’t great, and a few of them got moved.”

Bill Higgins, transportation planner for the 47th Ward, gave Streetsblog one example of how stations can move. Because of long-term construction activity to rebuild the Ravenswood Metra station at Lawrence and construction of a new grocery store on Lawrence adjacent to the station, he said, “We’re going to have to put [the bike sharing station] a block or two away from where we ultimately want it located.”

Other locations proposed in the 47th Ward – which covers Lincoln Square – include Chase Park at Ashland/Leland/Clark, the Trader Joe’s at Lincoln and Grace, the Sulzer Library at Lincoln and Sunnyside, and all Brown Line stations.

After the initial 75 stations, Valadez said the map will expand “inside-out, starting downtown and sprawling out from there.” He expects the 1st ward will see stations installed “later in the summer.”

  • Anonymous

    Looking at the map in the article, and being familiar with that neighborhood, it finally dawned on me how close these stations will be relation to each other. It looks like everyone living the area depicted by the map will have a station no more than 2 blocks walking from their house. Wow!

  • That’s great for the North Siders. We’ll see what happens in the rest of the city.

  • Jeff

    Wait. Have they painted them already? Let’s call them Chicycles.

  • Carl

    Totally agree. Seeing that map really illustrates how transformative this will be. Initially, thousands of people who were apprehensive about riding will opt to hop on, try it out and fall in love. Kudos to CDOT for being smart about location placement. This is going to be transformative.

  • Glad to know that it won’t just start within the 312 area code.

    Once upon a time, when we first contemplated a bike sharing scheme within WPB, we thought the neighborhood’s “outer corners” would be great locations — Metra, Division/Leavitt — in addition to the “L” stops. I like to think of bike sharing as a “walk extender,” best for trips of 0.3-3.0 miles.

  • I called 10 ward offices. Only 4 would talk to me about the locations. I called Alderman Solis’s office (which covers some of the south side) and they had nothing to say except to talk to CDOT.

  • I am excited for Divvy! I will use it quite a bit.

    But I am skeptical about the June 14 launch date: it is 5 weeks away & I have seen no installations.

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