Today’s Headlines for Tuesday, October 4

  • More Coverage of the Memorial for Anastasia Kondrasheva (DNA, WLS)
  • 4 Days After Kondrasheva‘s Death, Tribune Published Another Bike Backlash Piece
  • Husband of Cyclist Killed in Mt. Prospect: Slow Investigation Process Is “Torture” (Tribune)
  • Support Flows in for Danielle Palagi, Who Lost Foot After Bike/Truck Crash (Tribune)
  • GoFundMe Launched for Victor Noriega, Nearly Killed by Hit-and-Run Driver (DNA)
  • The Price of Clear Bike Lanes Is Eternal Vigilance (Klest Law)
  • Glowacz: Let’s Fix All the Non-Buffered Lanes Before Building More PBLs (ChiGov.com)
  • Manor Greenway Test Inspires Anonymous NIMBY & Parody Twitter Profiles
  • CTA Is Testing Hard-Back Seats, Which May Be More Hygenic (DNA)
  • Cheap Ride-Share Provides Competition for the CTA (Tribune)
  • Metra Launches “Keep Your Selfies Safe” Rail Safety Poster & Essay Contest
  • National Shared Mobility Summit 10/17-19 Includes Union Station & Divvy Tours

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Pat

    Are there any reliable figures on how many car-lane miles have actually been replaced by bike lanes in Chicago?

    Bike lane haters always throw that out there, but its been my understanding that most bike lane space come at the expense of lane narrowing and parking removal. Does the Tribune writer understand that 4-5 feet does not equal a travel lane and that lane width doesn’t matter if you’re stuck in traffic?

  • johnaustingreenfield

    I’ve asked CDOT about this. Hopefully I’ll get an answer later today.

  • rohmen

    Whatever the figures say, I don’t think it helps perception that CDOT often ties PBLs to the idea of “traffic calming” projects.

  • what_eva

    Exactly. One example would be the 4-to-3 conversion on Lawrence. It was done for traffic calming reasons, but given the extra space, bike lanes were added. Similar story with many of the boulevard PBLs. Lanes needed to be removed for calming purposes. Adding bike lanes with the excess space makes sense.

    The obvious one I can think of that wasn’t calming, purely taking a travel lane for bike lanes is Dearborn.

  • I don’t get why tying PBLs to traffic calming projects hurts the perception (of what).

  • The other thing people who wanna talk about traffic and transportation should know is that lanes != capacity.

    Re: the Lawrence Avenue road diet (which actually put Lawrence Avenue’s road cross section in line with what it already was on the east and west ends of the project), converting 2 of the 4 travel lanes to bike lanes and a center turn lane didn’t mean that the road’s car capacity was cut in half. Capacity is affected by more than the number of lanes!

  • I love that there are now two Twitter accounts about the Manor Avenue car traffic diverter test.

    One is modeled after Trump’s account, and the new one, the “parody” one is mildly funny.

  • johnaustingreenfield

    Here’s the CDOT response:
    “Of the more than 4,000 miles of City Streets, only 23 miles of streets have had travel lanes re-purposed to provide better pedestrian, bicycle, and motor vehicle accommodations. Re-purposing travel lanes has proven to reduce vehicular speeding and increase safety for all modes of transportation, while having a minimal or no impact on motor vehicle travel times.”

  • rohmen

    Right or wrong, people like Grossman associate “traffic calming” with increased delays in travel times.

    In reality, traffic calming may just be getting a street back to being safe by forcing people not to excessively speed, but I guarantee you that’s not how someone like Grossman views it.

    People like him hear the stated goal of calming traffic, and then get stuck in rush hour traffic, and all of the sudden “traffic calming” is what’s to blame. Since PBLs are often the most visible part of a traffic calming plan (and are touted as such by CDOT), they get them blame, even when they play little to no role in the delay issues.

    I mean, where else do you think the whole PBL backlash is coming from? It’s not like Grossman is going to say I love traffic claiming but hate PBLs. In his mind, there one in the same.

  • Pat

    Truth.

    Or recognize choke points. You could remove a full lane from Clark b/t Armitage and North and you’d likely still have the same backups where it narrow backs to one lane in each direction. But hey, at least you can treat a few blocks like a drag strip and get in front of two extra cars before you sit traffic again!

  • Chicagoan

    Don’t tell Ron Grossman, he can’t handle the truth.

  • Anne A

    And that has slowed daytime travel speeds on Dearborn significantly. The downside I see every day is a LOT more emergency traffic pushed over to State St. – sirens blaring past my office windows constantly on some days. A few of you have probably been talking to me or someone at my office on the phone and heard how loud it gets.

  • Anne A

    It might make his head explode. And that might not impair his thought processes. ;)

  • planetshwoop

    What’s fascinating to me is that this is an international phenomenon, PBL backlash. It seems fairly common that governments worldwide are enacting cycling infrastructure, and where it touches streets there is tons of moaning about how terrible it is. (See the comments for each article too.)

    Or, it seems to generate tons of traffic to publish articles about bikes because people have such strong feelings so it gets column inches.

    I don’t know what the solution is towards ending this kind of debate because it’s toxic. Probably tons more PBLs so they’re convenient everywhere, not in tiny pockets?

    London: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/78d33ca8-8665-11e6-a29c-6e7d9515ad15.html?siteedition=intl#axzz4MAlKbxhe

    St. John’s NF: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/puddister-not-backpedalling-on-bike-lanes-1.3790235

    LA:
    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/livable-city/la-oe-babin-bicycle-laws-20161003-snap-story.html

  • planetshwoop

    Imagining that “cheap ride-share” is a good idea is maddening to me. These businesses do not to my knowledge: accomodate low-mobility riders, provide discounts to seniors or children, allow space for kids or babies. (I’ve never heard of an UberPool that can accomodate infants the way the CTA can.)

    Not to mention… these businesses do not have a way for non-users to complain about their services when they violate the law. How they would determine fares over the long term is unclear. Their model, so far, appears to rely upon subsidies from investors and not internally generated profits.

    I am well aware that the CTA relies upon significant subsidies from governments, but it comes with certain obligations they must fulfill. If we turn to private services for this, I question a) will they eventually require some kind of bail-out and b) how will they provide equitable services and c) how can you complain if they act inappropriately?

  • rohmen

    Ironically, increased PBL coverage actually helps eliminate one of the biggest anti-cyclist arguments—scofflaw cyclists. Purely anecdotal, but the more I see infrastructure actually designed with cyclists in mind, the more I see cyclists adhere to the “rules.” Building PBLs, and actually embracing Idaho stops as legal and getting people to understand them, would cut the instances of so-called “scofflaw” behavior down to pretty small numbers IMHO.

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