Today’s Headlines for Wednesday, May 13

  • 6 Business Leaders Ask Mayor & Aldermen to Save the Kinzie Protected Lanes (Active Trans)
  • Curbed Provides a Progress Report on the Chicago Riverwalk
  • Man Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for 2013 DUI Crash That Killed His Girlfriend (Sun-Times)
  • Group Delays Vote on New Whole Foods Over Concerns About Driveway, Stoplight (DNA)
  • Why the League of American Bicyclists Rated Illinois the 14th Most Bicycle-Friendly State
  • Construction Blocks Northbound Milwaukee Bike Lane, Creating a Hazard for Cyclists (Sun-Times)
  • Glenview School District Program Teaches 1st & 2nd Graders to Ride Bikes (Tribune)
  • Driving From Beverly to Bridgeport: Notes on Ashland Avenue (Main Street Beverly)
  • Cycling Beekeeper’s Hives Stolen in McKinley Park (DNA)
  • Despite Drivers Taking Slower Turns Around ‘Lincoln Hub’, Neighbors Complain (DNA)
  • West Town Bikes’s Middle School Students Prepping for Bloomingdale Trail Opening (RedEye)

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  • David Altenburg

    RE: The construction at Kinzie and Milwuakee. The problem isn’t (primarily) that there’s construction obstructing the bike lane. It’s that the signage and barriers provide no indication of where traffic should go, and that the barrier isn’t very visible from the other side of the intersection.

    That means that cyclists have to make a last-minute decision to merge with turning traffic or to try to squeeze onto the other side of the barrier (without being able to see what obstruction may lie on the right of the barrier). The fact that the construction lies at the bottom of an overpass ramp means that everyone’s moving quickly when the conflict point occurs.

    It’s really unclear what the intention of that barrier is – it’s really half-assed, and I cannot imagine that it’s in compliance with CDOT’s policies.

  • Neil W.

    I wonder if those businesses who are in support of keeping the Kinzie protected bike lane are hiring. They sound like exactly the kind of people I would like to work for. Kudos to them for stepping up.

  • Erik Swedlund

    Every morning that I bike to work I am faced with this decision, and each time I’m baffled again. I eventually concluded that the barrier was meant to set aside a sidewalk area for pedestrians, but the placement with the gap on the right did not make that conclusion easy. When I remember that it’s coming up, I try to make sure I get solidly in front of any cars as we wait for the light coming from westbound Kinzie (but it’s tough because the bike box is not obeyed).

  • You’re correct that the concert Jersey barriers create a sidewalk in the roadway. The detour appears to be made correctly as it has ramps from the sidewalk to the road surface, and a protected sidewalk. I was surprised it was done so well to protect pedestrians.

    I also see the problems @davidaltenburg:disqus identifies but I think an additional one is the alignment of those barriers. They are too far into the roadway too early. They should transition better from curb outward, in a smoother curve, instead of one placed at an angle and the other two parallel to the curb.

  • Erik Swedlund

    Agreed, the pedestrian accommodations are commendable and in line with with policies that CDOT had expressed. However, and as you state, the particular placement of the barriers is confusing–especially to cyclists. The small gap on the right between the easternmost barrier and the sidewalk represents an alternative for cyclist, as one Divvy rider is seen to be taking in the photo (there aren’t a lot of pedestrians here, so it seems reasonable and probably is).

    Not every construction site will have a perfect accomodation for all modes, but given CDOT’s pledge to prioritize pedestrian and bicycle traffic, and this being the most highly trafficked cycling street in the nation, I find the confusion facing cyclists disappointing.

  • I think it would be reasonable to close the left turn lane from Desplaines onto Milwaukee and divert motorists (excepting buses) to make the left turn onto Hubbard.

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