Today’s Headlines

  • Under Pressure, CTA Implements Temporary Shuttle to Pullman Walmart (Tribune, Sun-Times)
  • Kane and DuPage Counties Approve Their New Members for the Metra Board (Sun-Times)
  • SUV Driver Kills Woman in Rosemont; No Criminal Charges (Tribune)
  • Ventra Gets Some Positive Reviews (Sun-Times)
  • Push-to-Walk Buttons Suggest Pedestrians Are a Lower Priority Than Drivers (Transitized)
  • The Paramount Room Installs Bike Repair Station to Complement Milwaukee Lanes (DNA)
  • Kinsman Resumes Beekeeping by Bike After Being Attacked by Men in Car (Sun-Times)
  • Track Your Sustainable Commute, Win Prizes During Car-Free Week (Active Trans)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Anonymous

    the link for your headline about Metra board members is incorrect.

  • So the Halsted bike lane from Harrison down to 14th is (or newly was, yesterday) getting some kind of bike-lane ‘improvement’ — they’re grinding off last year’s brand new green pavement and such to rearrange how the intersections work. Now there’s going to be a shiny non-sharrowed good fast-moving bike lane that dead-ends at Harrison (where there is nothing north of, on Halsted).

    Meanwhile, Elston north of about North Avenue (all the parts that didn’t get whiz bang new protected-or-buffered stuff last year) has a ‘conventional’ bike lane whose inner stripe is almost entirely worn off, because it was painted 10 years ago and not ever maintained — and a really heavy bike commuter share.

    Maybe it’d be better if CDOT focussed on consolidating, maintaining, and de-invisible-ing existing, well-used bike lanes (like the one on Taylor from Halsted west, or Lawrence west from Western to Cicero) instead of expensively moving the deck chairs over and over on the same few high-visibility roads?

    Just a thought. :->

  • Per CDOT’s Nate Roseberry:

    The Halsted project is a mix of bicycle facilities from 26th to Van Buren. Below is a list of the facility types from south to north:

    26th to Lumber: Barrier Protected Bicycle Lanes (with bridge plates over river)
    Lumber to Roosevelt: Enhancements / upgrades to existing bicycle lanes
    Roosevelt to Harrison: Buffer Protected Bicycle Lanes
    Harrison to Van Buren: Buffer / Barrier Protected Bicycle Lanes

  • In theory. Do they have an estimate on when any of that will be installed?

    Or any kind of position paper about the long-deferred maintenance of older, heavily-used lanes?

  • Work is supposed to wrap up this week.

    Here’s Steven’s explanation of some the issues involved in bike lane maintenance: http://gridchicago.com/2011/the-case-of-the-disappearing-bike-lane/

  • I read that post back when it was new; I suppose I was more asking if anything has been figured out in the past two years, and if CDOT has any plan at all for refurbishing no-longer-even-useful markings. I know they’re supposed to paint them back in new whenever there is resurfacing activity, but this isn’t happening — one example I can personally attest is on Lawrence near Kostner, where a succession of intersections were paved beautifully smooth (after being dug up for water mains), and beautiful crosswalks put in, but the bike lane just ignored.

    Also, amusingly, Active Trans’ bikeway tracking map still lists the Harrison-to-14th Halsted work as ‘planned’, not ‘under construction’.

  • tamanduabeijo

    So more corporate welfare for Walmart. Lovely.

  • Anonymous

    Bravo Paramount. FYI – that’s a great place, you should all visit

  • “Harrison to Van Buren: Buffer / Barrier Protected Bicycle Lanes”

    That’s not what IDOT was showing in their plans in the Circle Interchange project. IDOT showed buffered bike lanes in each direction but with bus stops atop them.

  • “26th to Lumber: Barrier Protected Bicycle Lanes”

    Did Roseberry say how these were going to work under the railroad viaduct between Archer and the river?

  • CDOT has not developed an explicit bike lane maintenance plan (in my Chicago lifetime, 2006+) aside from restriping them during “Arterial Resurfacing (AR)” projects and by asking aldermen to use their discretionary “menu” funds.

  • Anonymous

    the link to the metra board is still not working. I get a 404 error

  • Anna Schibrowsky

    The northbound lane under the railroad viaduct is completely buffered. The southbound lane is buffered halfway to two-thirds of the way. Then it merges into the right-turn lane.

    Before this week, this stretch only had sharrows. It always felt dangerous to me, even though I’ve biked it as part of my daily commute off and on for five years. As you go up the bridge over the river, you can’t see vehicles going down the other side of the bridge. On the southbound side, once you’re coming down the bridge you can’t see what’s under the viaduct. Cars pick up a lot of speed in this stretch, so it’s not unusual for a motorist to be going 40 MPH and moving into the right lane to turn southwest onto Archer Avenue. You also have the #8 buses turning right here. Anyway, my point is that it’s good that they’ve done something to make this area safer. Hopefully this will encourage more interneighborhood cycling and use of the Pilsen Divvy bikes to access the Orange Line at Halsted and Archer, and hopefully I will see fewer adult cyclists illegally riding the sidewalk over the bridge and under the viaduct.

    However, the southbound markings don’t solve the conflict at this intersection of whether southbound cyclists should be in the straight southbound lane or the right turn lane. Legally, as I understand it, cyclists should be in the right-most lane going their direction of travel, which is the straight southbound lane. When I’ve followed this rule at this intersection, though, impatient motorists have routinely swerved around me on the right. Biking in the right-turn lane feels safer, but it’s illegal. They’ve also striped a buffered lane on the south side of Halsted here, so perhaps that will encourage motorists to stay in their own lane now, but it doesn’t clear up where cyclists should be.

  • Huh. Is there a plan in place for funding the replacement/maintenance of non-bike-lane pavement paint, like the center yellow or any of the right-turn-only mid-lane signage?

  • “Legally, as I understand it, cyclists should be in the right-most lane going their direction of travel, which is the straight southbound lane.”

    I believe this is true as well, except in cases where it’s signed that buses and bicyclists don’t have to turn right from the right-turn lane.

  • Sort of. The city has done some “routine” maintenance of pavement markings in special areas, but I don’t know if that’s aldermanic “menu” funds or capital budget.

  • I think the best long-term strategy is to put the painted-on-the-pavement part of bike lanes, once ‘built’, into the same category as all other safety markings painted on the pavement. If that has a budget line-item, then it should be included … and if it doesn’t, WOW IT SHOULD. :->

  • I really need to come take a look at it.

  • Anna Schibrowsky

    I wanted to snap a photo, but my phone was dead. I’d definitely like to read your opinion on it from an urban planner’s perspective. If possible, come down Halsted through Pilsen so you can see more of the recent improvements.