CDOT Acts Quickly To Remove Dumpster Blocking Dearborn Bike Lane

 

A mysterious dumpster blocked both lanes of the Dearborn protected bike lane this morning, causing Chicagoans to tweet their displeasure.

The dumpster, placed there by Waste Management, appeared to be filled with snow. The sidewalks of the adjacent 55 West Wacker building were completely cleared. I went inside to talk to the front desk security guard, but told me he’d just started his shift and didn’t know the story.

I alerted the Chicago Department of Transportation’s Permit Office at 8 AM and got a response within the hour. A staffer wrote back saying that there was no permit for the dumpster, and that its location has a permit moratorium due to the presence of the bike lane, so Waste Management wouldn’t have been issued a permit if they had applied for one.

The staffer said CDOT contacted the dumpster company to have it removed and he confirmed it had been removed by 10:35 a.m. He wasn’t sure whether that was because of CDOT’s request or because Waste Management had already been planning to pick it up. I’m waiting to hear back from Waste Management about this, but kudos to CDOT for their speedy response.

Snow in the Dearborn protected bike lane
An impassable patch of six-inch deep snow at Randolph.

The dumpster wasn’t the only roadblock on Dearborn this morning. In addition to the usual line of slush on the outside of the bike lane left by snow plows (and in the middle when the plow makes two passes), there was a large pile of snow obstructing the lane at Randolph that forced me to dismount and walk my bike across it. “We are doing all we can, every day, to get the snow out of the protected bike lanes,” wrote CDOT spokesman Pete Scales. He added that because of the bike lanes’ curbside location, “snow/ice/slush that is still out there will eventually find its way into the bike lane near the gutters, and will need to be cleaned out repeatedly.” Dearborn, Scales said, has been plowed ten times in the past nine days.

  • Eric Masek

    Please direct the plows to 31st st to clear the bike lanes there.

    thank you

  • Anne A

    18th St. bike lanes near Wentworth have been horrendous for a while.

  • duppie

    Sounds like good intent (removing snow from their property without moving it into the street) executed badly.

  • oooBooo

    I remember when 31st was plowed curb to curb.

  • Adam Herstein

    Will Waste Management be fined?

  • Lisa Curcio

    This has been a very difficult weather situation for all, and overall I think the Dearborn lanes were not in bad shape today. (Except for that lovely dumpster–was certainly glad to see it gone.) That pile at Randolph was still there at 4:30 tonight, though. It looks like Daley Center management pushed it there.

  • CDOT staff at past Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Council meetings has said that you can email cdotnews@cityofchicago.org to report problem areas.

  • Lake Wentworth

  • Jennifer

    More than usual?

  • Mcass777

    I knew that winter would not be kind to the pbl. I rode down the middle of Kinzie several times this week as the bike lane was a mess. I guess it is to be expected, but when there was no pbl, the streets were plowed curb to curb or at least to the point of burying the parked cars! At least The old bike lanes would be clear. I saw the pbl plow go thru only to have a property owner plow snow right back into the pbl! What a week to ride!

  • BlueFairlane

    This was one of my biggest objections to the protected bike lanes before they were installed, though most said my concerns were silly.

  • Mcass777

    I bet I had a comment about this back then as well!

  • The pile may have been created by the Daley Center, but it looks like a plow blade pushed it from the south and then raised the blade. That still could be due to Daley Center–but CDOT did NOT do anything to move the pile which became an ice block.

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