Come Testify in Support of Traffic Calming on Manor Avenue at Tonight’s Hearing

Manor Greenway traffic diverter trial

Tonight the Chicago Department of Transportation will present data and analysis from their study of traffic patterns during the two weeks a temporary traffic diverter was in place on Manor Avenue. The meeting takes place at the Horner Park Fieldhouse at 6:30 PM.

Alder Deb Mell, 33rd Ward, canceled the trial early because of some angry residents in Ravenswood Manor. The diverter was part of the Manor Greenway proposal, which also features traffic calming elements on Manor Avenue and adjacent streets to make it safer and more convenient to walk and bike to and through the neighborhood.

Those other traffic calming elements are at risk, too, because some residents want CDOT’s whole proposal scrapped. The proposal is supported by the Ravenswood Manor Improvement Association board, which voted last year, the Horner Park Advisory Council, and the ward’s Transportation Action Committee, of which I’m a member.

Mell has dedicated some of the ward’s discretionary “menu” funds to help pay for the project.

A plan view of some of the traffic calming elements that CDOT has proposed for the "Manor Greenway" project.
A plan view of some of the traffic calming elements that CDOT has proposed for the “Manor Greenway” project.

I’m not aware if the concerns of the opposing residents have changed at all, but earlier some people had argued that since this proposal was discussed by the ward’s transportation advisory council “secretly” — in reality it was discussed at a public monthly meeting at a fixed place and time, announced by Mell every other week – the whole plan must be thrown out and everyone should start over.

Come to the meeting tonight to testify about how it important it is to fill the gap in the multi-use trails along the Chicago River between Montrose and Lawrence, and to say that you want a safer path to reach the local businesses at the CTA Brown Line station along the route.

  • The worst case scenario didn’t happen. While the diverter isn’t coming back, all of the other parts are still in play, and construction is supposed to begin late 2017/early 2018.

    And CDOT already has the money from the federal government, so Trump’s BS shouldn’t affect that.

  • Carter O’Brien

    So traffic calming on Manor, a parking prohibition, and a protected (or green?) bike lane? That’s a big win.

    Is the Montrose crossing still being included? I’d suggest Deb Mell get in touch with whomever is spearheading the Riverview “UnderBridge,” as that project should start next year, and I am still a bit confused about how the City envisions cyclists exiting Horner Park and crossing Montrose here. Without something at Montrose to clam traffic It would seem more natural to have cyclists take the eastern path in place that goes by the Divvy station and hugs the River, but hey, if you can sell CPD on a more streamlined path to continue going north, great.

  • Jeremy Atherton

    The proposals shown didn’t include any dedicated bike lanes, and the only parking changes will be on Lawrence. The plans shown included a new path in Horner park connecting to a reworked intersection at Montrose Avenue and Manor Ave that would include a dedicated left turn lane, a traffic island and a new crosswalk. There will also be a new crossing at Lawrence.

  • planetshwoop

    SO SO grateful to those of you who have advocated for this. (I am often unable to make these meetings.) The Lawrence crossing is horrifying, and with the garden and pre-school there I’m glad to see positive change.

  • All of the original elements are in play, except for any of the changes to Wilson/Manor/Mozart. The diverter was proposed for that intersection, but so were some changes to the crosswalks, including a raise crosswalk. Those will not be happening.

    A new, short, north-south path will be built between the southern sidewalk on Montrose to the circular path in Horner Park.
    http://www.33rdward.org/sites/www.33rdward.org/files/assets/Manor%20Montrose%20Connection.jpg

    The image shows an outdated, but essentially identical, new path alignment.

    There are no bike lanes. There are the entrance treatments at Montrose and Lawrence, shared lane markings, some curb extensions/bumpouts, and some raised crosswalks on Francisco.

  • I have asked CDOT twice now that the openings in the refuge islands be wide enough for multiple pedestrians and multiple bicyclists traveling in both directions to be able to fit.

    People often walk and bike in groups. If I am cycling with a friend, the two of us should be able to cross together and wait in the island, and then cross again, together. If there’s not enough room, then we will have to cross separately, which isn’t a way to support comfortable, bike-friendly infrastructure.

  • Carter O’Brien

    The fact it is a new path in Horner is promising, just please stay on top of the connection to the underbridge, I don’t want to see cyclists having to bike through basketball game crowds and so forth.

  • CDOT staff have never discussed connections to the Irving Park underbridge during discussions of the Manor Greenway.

    Can you show me on a map where you’re concerned about conflicts?

  • Also, some people suggested that parking be removed on Manor between Wilson and Eastwood to eliminate a pinch point there.

  • Carter O’Brien

    This was originally described by Streetsblog as a way to continue/extend the River cycling route, connecting up with Horner Park. Since the underbridge is that river route – there isn’t one now – it is obvious you need to connect it to Manor, per that selling point.

    Horner Park is a very busy park. So if we want to have the northern end up of it become a bicycle throughput then the obvious questions are where and how. I can dig through the old postings to find that description if you need me to, I have no idea if this was CDOT or your TAC proposing it – which I support, I just would like to see it done smart so there is minimal blowback from park users.

  • The only change they’ve proposed is the path in the image I linked to in the previous comment.
    —-
    I don’t think it’s so busy that a doubling in bicycle use would have much of an impact.

    One person expressed a concern that the shared-use path that’s half a block long proposed for Lawrence between Manor and the Ronan Park driveway would be bad because pedestrians and cyclists would share it.

    The next day I biked on the UIC campus to meet someone at the library; classes were changing, and there were many students walking on the same path as me. Setting aside that some of the UIC paths are deficient for even the amount of pedestrians there, it wasn’t a problem for anyone to bike very slowly among the students.

  • Carter O’Brien

    Right there is no bike traffic in this context, as there is no river route on this stretch. People following the river may choose to take a scenic route through Horner, but it is pretty clumsy and indirect.

    So this is not a question of doubling, tripling, etc. a known entity. This is proposing that a new cyclist thoroughfare be superimposed in the northern end of Horner Park – it’s a net plus but let’s not bandy about calling it what it is. And if you visit Horner on a nice day this summer you’ll understand the need to do this thoughtfully, it is incredibly busy with the baseball diamonds, basketball courts, BBQ picnicking, a playground, etc.

    Long run, the river connection vision the City has is awesome, but these half-assed measures aren’t going to cut it if the cycling traffic grows as is hoped, so we need to keep pressure on to have dedicated bike/ped trails along the entire length of the river.

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More Support Needed to Save Manor Avenue Traffic Diverter Test

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The Chicago Department of Transportation’s proposal for a neighborhood greenway on Manor Avenue is endorsed by 33rd Ward alder Deb Mell and the ward’s Transportation Action Committee (I am a member of the TAC). But the initiative is facing fierce opposition from some Ravenswood Manor neighbors who object to plans for traffic diverters at Manor and […]