Today’s Headlines

  • Anti-BRT Activist Roger Romanelli Now Fighting Against Lake St. Bike Lanes (DNA)
  • Cab Drivers & Ride-Share Supporters Face Off at Budget Hearing (Tribune, DNA)
  • Editorial: City Hall Should Stop Blocking Ride-Share Drivers From Serving O’Hare (Tribune)
  • SUV Driver Kills Pedestrian in Summit (Sun-Times)
  • Driver Who Critically Injures Pedestrian in Logan Square Expected to Get a Citation (CBS)
  • Memorial Mass Held for Two Nuns Killed by Drunk Driver Last Year in Oak Lawn (Southtown)
  • Hearing Held in Advance of Bucktown Red Light Cam Removal (DNA)
  • After the “Moving Together” Summit, Hilkevitch Ponders a Future Without Private Cars (Tribune)
  • Jeff Park Nabe Association Chooses President Who Favors Suburban-Style Development (DNA)
  • Slow Roll Chicago Is Featured in Ebony Magazine
  • Meet the Music Teacher Who Commutes to Work on a Penny-Farthing Bike (DNA)
  • Moxie Hosts a Panel Discussion on 10/14: “Can Developers Solve the Affordable Housing Crisis?”

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Snotty

    Anti-BRT Activist Roger Romanelli Now Fighting Against Lake St. Bike Lanes (DNA)

    John – I am usually with you – but based on the statements in the article that this Romanelli fellow is putting forth an alternative solution with bike lanes on Randolph – your headline feels a bit dishonest. Seems like you are trying to get readers to form a bad opinion of his ideas because you disagree with him concerning the Ashland BRT. At face value – I would absolutely agree with him that Randolph is a far better option for bike lanes than Lake St.

  • 5ive

    I game here to say the same thing. I have an instinctive dislike and gut-level distrust for that Romanelli guy and his friends Plague, Famine and Death. But as I read, I thought “Huh. I’d much rather bike down Randolph rather than Lake…”

  • Romanelli’s taking a similar approach here as he did with Ashland BRT, putting forth an alternative proposal, so he can argue that he’s advocating for something instead of just against something. But, just as even a stopped clock is right twice a day, there may be some merit to the idea of moving the bike lane to Randolph, since it’s unpleasant to ride under ‘L’ tracks, and a protected bike lane is already planned for Randolph in the Loop as part of the Loop Link BRT project. On the other hand, CDOT has already built PBLs on most of Lake Street, which is designated as a Spoke Route in the city’s Bike 2020 Plan. Look for some more discussion of this topic on SBC in the near future.

  • I agree Randolph is a good idea. But Romanelli is basically arguing for the existing Lake infrastructure to be ripped out immediately and maybe a better version put in elsewhere … someday.

    I hope you can see the problem.

  • Cameron Puetz

    I know that people on this site love to hate Roger Romanelli, but he raises some very good points. Randolf seems like a much better choice than Lake. Being under the El makes riding on Lake unpleasant. Additionally, Lake doesn’t provide a route out of the Loop because it is one way the wrong way and there’s no obvious route for continuing a trip west of Ashland. Randolf pairs well with existing infrastructure on Washington to create a route into and out of the Loop, provides a much nicer environment than under the El, and the Randolf/Washington pair easily shifts to Washington/Warren at Union Park for trips that start or end further west.

  • Snotty

    I don’t see where he said “someday.” In fact – their petition clearly states they support a bike lane on Randolph.

    http://www.rfmachicago.org/petition.html

    I hope you can see that you are assuming.

  • *Randolph*

    See my comment below on the relative merits of Lake vs. Randolph. Presumably lanes will be installed on Lake between Ashland and Damen in the near future — there are already protected and buffered lanes on Lake from Damen to the city limits.

  • High_n_Dry

    Agreed. Randolph provides more shopping and dining opportunities, and is much more pleasant than riding under the El.

    The one downside is all of the stop signs on the side street/ parking area, it does make for a very slow ride.

  • Cameron Puetz

    Potentially adding lanes between Ashland and Damen does nothing to address the El noise or the lack of a west bound route out of the Loop. The existing protected lanes on Lake have been widely criticized as being unpleasant to ride in and many people prefer to take Washington over Lake. Regardless of your personal feelings about Romanelli, Randolph seems like a better option.

  • forensicgarlic

    having ridden Lake west from Ashland a couple times, the poor maintenance / sweeping of the lane is more of a concern than noise.

    Also, as a resident of West Town, the lanes are still useful without a loop connection — there are other destinations in the city.

  • Right, I’m not a big fan of the existing Lake St. PBLS:
    http://chi.streetsblog.org/2014/04/29/extended-lake-street-pbls-boon-for-cycling-or-a-boondoggle/

    Just pointing out that “There’s no obvious route for continuing a trip [on Lake] west of Ashland” probably soon won’t be an argument against bike lanes on Lake from the River to Ashland.

  • Thrown Roe

    Existing infrastructure versus proposed infrastructure: one gets demolished, the other gets postponed.

  • Thrown Roe is entirely right.

    Plus, why can’t there be PBLs on both those arterial streets? I know when I lived on the West Side I used Lake a lot more than Randolph simply because it was close and convenient (and Randolph fills up with traffic).

  • rohmen

    There is no existing bike infrastructure on Lake until you get west of Damen. Nothing “existing” would be ripped out, it just wouldn’t be extended on Lake.

    I ride out to Oak Park daily, and I’m not a huge fan of the Lake PBLs given how they are maintained. Randolph hands down gets my vote. If anything, run the PBL on Randolph up to Ogden, then run the Lake PBL from Ogden west to existing infrastructure. Would be a much, much more enjoyable ride.

  • rohmen

    Maybe Romaneli is a jerk, but I’m a daily rider out to Oak Park, and the majority of us that are have issues with the Lake PBL. Most of us actually take Fulton and avoid Lake altogether until past Central Park Ave because it’s maintained so poorly (the amount of glass is crazy).

    As a planned daily user of this proposed infrastructure, running a PBL on Randolph west to Ogden, and then on Lake from Ogden west to existing infrastructure would get my vote hands down.

  • Romanelli was one of the people who helped get Waguespack into office for his first term, against all odds.

    For that reason alone it’s worth taking his viewpoints seriously (I’m also in agreement with him/you on the Randolph vs Lake issue).

  • cjlane

    “why can’t there be PBLs on both those arterial streets?”

    Why can’t there be (non-one-way) PBLs on two parallel streets a block apart? Are you sure we have all of the PBLs we need everywhere else in the city?

  • Touche. Let’s say, his viewpoints in his role as a longstanding member of a large commercially vibrant community.