Today’s Headlines

  • Toddler Killed in CTA Bus Crash in South Shore (Tribune, Sun-Times)
  • CTA Says It Has Doubled the Number of Vets on Staff Since 2010 (DNA)
  • Some CTA Board Members Rarely, or Never, Ride the CTA (RedEye)
  • Cab Driver Dies After Striking Median in Bronzeville (Tribune)
  • Kamin: Despite Bike Gains, Chicago Still Has Low Mode Share, Network Gaps (Tribune)
  • A Preview of Upcoming Suburban Trail Projects (Tribune)
  • Highland Park Getting Walking, Biking Improvements This Summer (Tribune)
  • LSD Opened to Cycling Last Sunday for Bike the Drive (Tribune, NBC)
  • Divvy Sets New Record on Bike the Drive Sunday: 16,259 Rides (Tribune)
  • Left-Hook Bike Crash Survivor Gets $490K Settlement (Kevenides)
  • Newsflash: A Whopping 3.7% of Surveyed Voters Groused About Bike Lanes (Sun-Times)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • That sun-times polling article is ridiculous. I expect better journalism from Carol Marin.

  • Mishellie

    I’m so sick of “it’s making traffic worse” as an excuse to hate bikes. Does ANYONE have scientific evidence of that? Because on my bike? More often than not, I’m passing the cars that are stuck behind EACH OTHER making traffic worse. It has nothing to do with me or my bike.

  • Kevin M

    Yeah, remove the mice and the elephant will roam, right?

  • Anne A

    I share your feelings about this article. It seems designed to inflame the “bike lanes are making traffic worse” sentiments and ignite a larger backlash. I’m writing to Carol Marin asking her to do more research about public opinion on bike lanes and try again for a more balanced article. Will anyone else join me in this effort?
    cmarin@suntimes.com

  • Deni

    True, I expect that kind of nonsense from the Kasses of the world, but not her.

  • I don’t even mind if the article is written from a viewpoint. But it didn’t even make a decent case that people actually care about the bike lanes enough to have it influence their vote. The gist of the article was, “A few people don’t like bike lanes.”

  • rohmen

    Agreed. Even using the pollster’s logic of a 4 to 1 impact when unsolicited issues are raised during a poll, that still means the poll (to the extent it is reliable at all) indicates only 16% of sampled voters find bike lanes objectionable. That’s still such a ridiculously small number that the sun time’s article is basically meaningless.

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    Carol Marin probably didn’t write the headline. However, I believe her reporting was just the facts. At the end, she did express an opinion, however, it was couched under the fact that voters have many reasons to be discontented by the Mayor.

    The fact that voters in a poll brought up the issue of the bike lanes without being prompted and that 3.7% did so, and the pollster said when voters bring up issues that were not specifically asked for in the poll means up to 4.5 times as many may feel this way. What this could mean (within a margin of error) is that nearly 17% of these likely voters feel the same way. Now 17% may not seem a lot, but combined with other issues, may be a harbinger that people don’t like the mayor when it comes to the next election.

    Has there been decent outreach to drivers to explain how bike lanes work? Has there been decent outreach to bikers to say, hey were doing a good thing, please do your best to obey traffic laws.

    I was southbound on Sheridan nearing Diversey slowing for the red light, ready to make a right turn this past Sunday. Now I am watching my right side to make sure I had no biker behind me or on my right side. Suddenly a northbound biker from my left rides past the intersection and crosses over the two southbound lanes in front of my moving car. (I was about 15 feet from the intersection). She rolled up the curb and onto the sidewalk north of the bus shelter. Hardly a week goes by that I don’t come close to missing a biker making bad decisions in the roadway. Speaking just for myself, if I were to hit a biker making a bad choice, I would not feel good about it, even if it was not my fault. I am certain there a lot of drivers that feel the same way.

  • Fred

    But you regularly go a week or more without coming close to missing a driver making a bad decision in the roadway?

  • If that’s what the article’s point was, fine, relate the bike lane to mayoral discontent. But a pollster should also ask questions about how strong of an opinion they have about things and how it might influence their vote. I don’t like Rahm’s apparent support of a Chicago casino but that is not an issue that would get me to sway one way or the other. Otherwise it seems like the point of the article was just to say, “A few people don’t like bike lanes.” While both fascinating and absurd, who cares?

    Lastly, stories about biker misconduct are kind of tired. We have ample evidence that drivers violate traffic laws much more frequently and with more disastrous (often fatal) results.

  • duppie

    Willie, I generally like your posts. They are insightful and often show a fresh perspective on urban planning.
    Too bad then that your post ended in another tired rant about bicycle.Those rants do nothing to further the conversation.

  • I wrote to her.

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    I’m sorry you feel that way.

    However, if voters feel discontent regarding bikers, its because very little has been done from all perspectives (car and bike) to build understanding of appropriate rules. I am honestly fearful of the possibility of hurting someone on a bike. And if I, a very careful driver feels this way, I can’t be alone.

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    Yup.

  • Anne A

    We would ALL benefit from a broad public education campaign aimed at all types of road users with the goal of safer sharing of our public roadways and sidewalks. The question is how to most effectively develop and deliver such a campaign.

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