Today’s Headlines

  • Fare For O’Hare Workers Temporarily Waived Until New CTA Cards Arrive (Tribune)
  • Study Finds Chicago Police Getting More Aggressive About Busting DUIs (DNA)
  • State Lawmakers to Hold Hearing on Metra CEO’s Golden Parachute (Tribune)
  • Monteno Man Dies After Driving Car Into a Ditch (Tribune)
  • Elderly Driver Drags Cyclist 20 Feet Under Car in Rolling Meadows (Kevenides)
  • Senior Marks 1-Year Anniversary of Car Crashing Into House (Sun-Times)
  • A Bunch of Info About Bus Bunching (Transitized)
  • An Intro to Divvy Bike-Share (LGRAB)
  • First Impressions of Divvy (Transitized)
  • 3 Ideas for Divvy Bike Rides, Late Fees Be Damned (Refinery 29)

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  • Fred

    I have to say, I am seeing a lot more Divvy bikes on the Lakefront trail than I was expecting. I expected them between, say, McCormick and North Ave for people going from say Navy Pier to the Planetarium, but I see them well north or south of where the stations currently end. These people are obviously not using them for point-to-point transportation and must be paying overage fees to joy ride.

    Is this an education issue? Do people not realize how they are supposed to be used? Are the overage fees too low and not discouraging this?

    I’m not saying this is inherently a problem, but any time something is not being used as intended, it should be studied.

  • Fred

    Also, what is a legitimate distance a novice rider could travel in a half hour on a Divvy bike? I’m an avid rider with 2 bikes of my own, but my fiancee is afraid of biking in the city. I finally have her seeing the benefits of Divvy and think I could get her on one, but I have no idea what kind of distance we (she) could actually cover in the half hour. I want to have a pre-planned trip defined before we leave on her first trip. Any guidance?

  • Elliott Mason

    I’m not a very fast cyclist, but on my own bike (nearly as big as a divvy, but not quite as heavy) I can average about 10 minutes per mile, including waiting for stoplights and the like.

  • CL

    The link about bus bunching is a good read — the #22 is my bus (I live right off Clark) and it gets very bogged down in traffic. I notice bunching all the time. It’s a great option for short trips, but the slowness makes it a bad option for any trip longer than a couple of miles.

    I also like that the author talks about how it “feels” to riders, because I think this is key for promoting transit. Every time I end up taking the 22 (or another bus on a one-lane road) for a substantial distance, I regret it, because it is so frustrating to be crawling along, not making it through lights, as travel time ticks toward an hour. Some of the suggestions, like an extra lane where bunching is bad, and giving signal priority to the bus, could make a difference.

    Also good to hear they are making more DUI arrests, but I imagine it’s still just a tiny fraction of the people actually doing it. I see people driving after drinking all the time in Chicago — if they set up check points around the Addison area every night, we could probably fund the Clark street trolley.

  • Anna

    The title “Elderly Driver Drags Cyclist 20 Feet Under Car in Rolling Meadows” is unnecessarily and distractingly ageist. It is not known whether the driver was impaired and if he was, the impairment was the reason he crashed into and dragged the cyclist, not his age. Impaired drivers should not drive whatever their age.

  • With all due respect to our senior readers, and as someone whose dear grandmother was allowed to drive into her nineties, well after she should have stopped, I disagree. In our society, driving is considered a right, not a privilege, and far too many people are driving well past the age when it is safe for them to do so. Age seems to be a factor in many senseless crashes like this one in our area. It seems like every couple of years there’s a case where an elderly person confusedly drives onto the Lakefront Trail and injures or kills a pedestrian or cyclist.

    We need more regular screening of motorists to make sure they are still safe to drive. Once I reach the age where I can no longer safely operate a motor vehicle, I hope my license is revoked – for the safety of others, as well as myself.

  • Speed varies wildly between cyclists, but 10 mph is a fairly standard estimate for relaxed urban bike commuting. That’s roughly what Google Maps uses for bike travel time estimates. So that’s 5 miles per half hour. If you want to play it safe since you fiancee is a newbie and the Divvy bikes are slow, plan on 3 or 4 miles per half-hour session.

  • My guess is that the bike-share planners factored in this kind of behavior and didn’t want to gouge people too hard for keeping the bikes for an hour or two. I’m guess most users crunch the numbers on this as well. Using a daily pass, a two-hour divvy trip is $23. Two hours rental for a Bike and Roll Chicago cruiser bike is $20, so that’s comparable. However, a 4-hour Bike and Roll cruiser rental is $30, while this would cost $57 on a Divvy.

  • BlueFairlane

    While your points about elderly drivers are valid, I have to agree with Anna that there’s nothing in the linked article to suggest age was a factor in this particular crash, other than that the driver happened to be 78. There have been plenty of accidents just like this involving drivers much younger than that.

  • The first Tribune link goes to the Refinery 29 article instead of where it’s supposed to.

  • Crashes, not accidents.

  • I second this. The Divvy bikes have a “maximum average speed” (based purely on my personal data) of less than 10 MPH. I could achieve a faster speed but then my legs would be rotating around the bike at a fatigue-inducing fast speed.

    Need more time? Take advantage of “docksurfing”: return a bike before the 30 minute period is up and check out the same bike after a couple seconds.

  • I am a little surprised, too. I haven’t seen them but I’ve heard here and on Twitter about an unexpected amount of Divvy use on the LFT. The “most popular station” data I listed in my Divvy data article on Wednesday shows all top 5 stations as being near the lakefront – even though few stations were placed near the lakefront.

    I think Divvy is being used as an impromptu bike rental system: tourists (or other people) are walking around the city, spot a Divvy station, read the sign, see that it’s only $7, find that reasonable, and then take a cruise on the least-car-intrusive route they know about.

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