Today’s Headlines

  • Tons of CTA Construction Projects Going on this Fall (RedEye)
  • Man Killed in Humboldt Park is 4th Person Fatally Struck on North This Year (DNA)
  • Driver Kills Pedestrian in Southwest-Surburban Rockdale (Sun-Times)
  • Should Metra Be Doing More to Prevent Suicides? (Tribune)
  • Opinion: Milwaukee’s Bublr Bikes Are a Better Deal Than Chicago’s Divvy (Tribune)
  • Plan Commission Approves River North Towers With Relatively Low Parking Ratios (DNA)
  • Meeting on Logan “Micro Apartment” Proposal 6:30 Tomorrow at Haas Park (DNA)
  • CDOT Repaving State Street in Loop for the First Time in Many Years (Sun-Times)
  • Man Caught on Security Cam Stealing Bike Parts Outside Sox Park Station (DNA)
  • 10 Ways You Can Avoid Driving Like a Jagbag (Tiny Fix)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • High_n_Dry

    I’m not a Tribune subscriber. Why does the author have the opinion that Bublr is better than Divvy? Cheaper? Different bikes?

  • Pat

    Google “chicago is overpaying for divvy” to get around the pay-wall

  • Kevin M

    One more transpo article: http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-airline-fuel-tax-0826-biz-20140826-story.html?track=rss

    “In Illinois, two separate tax breaks on fuel amount to $85 million a
    year, said a study by the UNITE HERE International union to be released
    Tuesday. Nationwide, the tax breaks totaled an estimated $1 billion on
    12 billion gallons of jet fuel bought”

    It must be nice to be a commercial airline business. Amtrak limps by year after year, under-funded and under siege by fiscal-conservative hypocrites while the airlines get tax-free fuel (along with other significant subsidies).

  • High_n_Dry

    Well I’ll be damned, that works. Thanks.

  • “Interestingly, the ideal way to fund and operate a community bike program comes from Madison, Wis. — one of the most liberal cities in the nation.”
    The subtle bias of the author is pretty clear here. The author is from the conservative Illinois Policy Institute. Even a slanted comparison of the two systems would recognize that the scope and operation of Divvy is far larger than Bublr.
    Also, classic anti-alternative transportation strategy in talking about how Divvy operates at a loss without mentioning that at $148,000 annual operating loss, Divvy is an incredible bargain when compared to any other transportation system.

    Edit: My second favorite quote, “The attitude in Milwaukee is so different that when longtime Milwaukee developer Gary Grunau learned his city would be launching Bublr, he signed a five-year, $75,000 contract to get a bike station in front of the 46-acre corporate campus he co-owns.”
    Yeah, cause 46 acre corporate campuses are exactly the type of land use scale that will lead to a successful bike share.

  • CL

    “Give us [cyclists] three feet when passing”

    That’s fine, I probably give them more than that — I tend to cross over the median to pass a cyclist — but usually when I find myself crowding a cyclist, it’s because the cyclist rode up next to me. In rush hour traffic, cyclists can often go faster than cars, and they give me like five inches.

  • Dustin

    “Extra 56 bus service” during the Damen Blue Line closure is a breathtakingly inadequate solution. If I owned a business near the station, I’d be livid. As it is, I’m still pretty livid. Does anyone have advice on who I can complain to, beside Proco Joe? At least, I hope they have an agreement in place with Divvy to handle the increased use of Divvy stations near Damen.

  • Yeah, the article is a poorly argued hatchet job. It’s also too early to compare the fantastically successful Divvy with the nascent Bublr.

  • Kevin M

    What are your alternative suggestions to the extra 56 service?

  • Fred

    The campus he is talking about is called Schlitz Park. Its an adaptive re-use of the former headquarters of Schlitz Brewing Company and a growing employment center just outside of city center. Its not a sprawling suburban office park. If you work there and live downtown, bike share would be an excellent way to get there.

    http://www.schlitzpark.com/

  • Dustin

    A shuttle bus would be a good start. Or perhaps some solution that involved circumventing traffic on Milwaukee. Actually, though, I’m only assuming that Milwaukee has terrible traffic during rush periods–I don’t know this for sure because I’m not a masochist and have never attempted to use Milwaukee during rush periods.

    I’m also peeved that Milwaukee’s car parking has not been moved to side streets; it’s a horrible use of the space on a major bike and pedestrian thoroughfare. Temporarily (or permanently) moving these spots could create a lane for fast bus service through the corridor during Blue Line improvements. I understand that neighborhood politics means this can never be, but a man can dream, right?

  • Karen Kaz

    As both a cyclist and a driver (and the author of that piece), I would say don’t worry if they’re the ones passing you. The difference in safety or perception of safety from a cyclists point of view is significant.

    If you’re passing me, you’re going faster, you’re coming from behind me, and I have no idea if you even know I’m there or if you will slow down or stop if I put my hand out to signal that OH CRAP I have to swerve around a pothole or car door.

    If I’m passing you, you’re going slower than me or you are stopped and I have much more control over the situation. I’ve scoped out the space ahead and see there isn’t a pothole I’ll have to swerve around. I can easily slow down or stop if things get too hairy. Obviously this assumes that you as the driver won’t unexpectedly swerve or a passenger won’t jump out your car door, but generally I don’t get too worried about passing a line of slow or stopped cars closely, so you shouldn’t either.

    Now, if after the traffic clears and you’re up to speed again you’ve caught up with the cyclist, do try to give more room if you pass them.

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    And they salmon around drivers too.

  • Dustin

    Thanks Steven–I knew I’d read about this somewhere, but I didn’t remember where. So who can I talk to about this? You’d think, in this case, there would be enough business owners affected that somebody could be persuaded to care.

    This is an amazing opportunity to overcome status quo bias, and I don’t want to see it wasted…

  • CL

    I don’t worry if I’m stopped, but sometimes traffic is roughly the speed that a cyclist can travel, and I find myself basically riding alongside a cyclist when there is no room — I accelerate to pass, they catch back up and ride next to me, and so on. That’s really the only time I get nervous about it, when they keep positioning themselves to be right beside me and I feel like any deviation from a perfectly straight line means I’m going to hurt someone.

  • Kevin M

    Dustin, I’d throw support behind a campaign to re-do Milwaukee through Wicker Park to make it more safe for cyclist traffic. I think a LOT of other cyclists would get behind this, too. Recruitment would be easy–just hold a sign up at Milwaukee/Division and/or Milwaukee/Damen. A petition could swell quickly, I presume.

    We shouldn’t be risking daily doorings/collisions on a major bike corridor. To continue this dangerous situation is a sign of inept transportation and civic leadership that needs a wake-up call. We’re heading in to an aldermanic election; now is the time to make some strong demands for reasonable improvements such as this.

    Please post any plans or ideas for campaign-building to Streetsblog and brace for an avalanche of support.

  • I’m Serious

    It’s a democracy, and regular cyclists are less than 10%. People forget that.

  • I’m Serious

    You are allowed to walk to Logan Square or Western. It’s a 12 minute walk from California.

  • Mishellie

    Right, but they put themselves there and the three foot law does not apply in reverse- cyclists are allowed to filter.

    It’s really the high speed close passes that are terrifying. Being close to you isn’t so bad.

  • Kevin M

    There’s a long of history of laws and public-dollar expenditures passed by democratic institutions that establish and protect the rights of minorities. And don’t you forget that.

  • Mishellie

    Not on Milwaukee ave they’re not. That’s one of the very few streets we’ve been GREATLY encouraged to use as a bike route – and it’s still shitty for cyclists along much of it. Shitty and dangerous. Until you hit the PBLs

  • Mishellie

    To DAMEN? no…

  • rohmen

    I think many people in the area would actually support removing parking on Milwaukee to create a better cycling situation–at least from Division north to Damen or Western, as that’s the real troublesome spot. The problem, though, is how do you sub-out the removed spots so that the City doesn’t pay a fortune to our parking overlords under the meter deal?

    Does the parking meter deal allow for rush hour parking restrictions, like those used on North Ave through Wicker Park and Madison Street through the West Loop?

  • I suppose a 46 acre square (if it is a squarish shape) is only 1,415 feet on each side which is about a quarter-mile, which isn’t too bad a walk.

  • I’m Serious

    There is already a bike lane. What is the number of doorings per bike mile traveled on Milwaukee?

  • I’m Serious

    Most people on Milwaukee are still drivers.

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    Circumventing traffic on Milwaukee. It’s a State Road. IL 21. I don’t think the city could do that without IDOT approval, even if it is a temporary closure.

  • Cameron Puetz

    Schlitz Park is a triangular area tucked into a bend in the Milwaukee River just north of downtown. The area around it is relatively dense and since the neighborhood grew up around the brewery, it fits well into the urban fabric.

    It’s similar to 600 W Chicago and the other industrial reuse sites that you see along the North Branch in River North. It’s a downtown adjacent site that could benefit from bike share.

  • Kevin M

    No, there is not already a bike lane.

  • Barely. CDOT estimated that more than 40 percent of the rush hour trips on Milwaukee in River West were made by bike *before* protected lanes were added: http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/cdot/Complete%20Streets/MilwaukeeSpokeRoute.pdf

  • I’m Serious

    Yes there is.

  • I’m Serious

    Rush hour are trips? So for 25% of the day.

  • cjlane

    “on Milwaukee in River West”

    That carries thru to Milwaukee in Wicker Park/Bucktown? Or Logan? Both of which are what is relevant to discussion of what to do bt Division and Belmont while Blue Line stations are closed.

  • cjlane

    “Yeah, cause 46 acre corporate campuses are exactly the type of land use scale that will lead to a successful bike share.”

    As others have noted, that’s not really *that* big. It’s basically the size of the United Center together with its parking lots. Sure, you’d eventually want a station at each major access point and/or individual destination with the area, but when the system is starting with *10* (yes, ten) total stations, you’re not going to have 4 of them serving your 46 acres destination. In two years, when there are 100, maybe they get one on each end, and after that, perhaps even better density, but for now, having one is a big deal.

  • StefanieA

    Anyone else bothered that CDOT’s plans for State Street are basically to repaint as is? This would have been a great opportunity to make simple changes like painted curb extensions or transit lanes or bike lanes…

  • what_eva

    Milwaukee is IL-21 north of the intersection with Harlem in Niles up to Gurnee. It does *not* run into the city. There may still be a state jurisdiction issue, but it’s not due to IL-21

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