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Posts tagged "Noble Square"

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Milwaukee Bike Lane Overhaul Includes Some Concrete Protection

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Concrete curbs will protect a section of the southbound bike lane on Milwaukee. Photo: John Greenfield

Illinois Bicycle Lawyers - Mike Keating logo

Note: Keating Law Offices, P.C. has generously agreed to sponsor two Streetsblog Chicago posts about bicycle safety topics per month. The firm’s support will help make Streetsblog Chicago a sustainable project.

Chicago’s busiest cycling street is receiving some safety improvements, including a segment of bike lanes with concrete protection. Milwaukee Avenue, nicknamed “The Hipster Highway” due to its high bike traffic, is currently getting upgrades between Elston Avenue and Division Street in River West and Noble Square.

In 2013, the Chicago Department of Transportation installed a combination of buffered and protected bike lanes on Milwaukee between Kinzie Street and Elston. The current project includes a similar mix of bikeway styles, plus a short stretch of curb-protected bike lane, as well as a parking-protected lane with concrete “parking caps.”

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Milwaukee from Division and Augusta has been upgraded to a double-buffered bike lane. Photo: John Greenfield

Contractors working for the Chicago Department of Transportation started construction last week and had completed a significant portion of the new bikeways by last Monday evening. From Division to Augusta Boulevard, existing conventional bike lanes have been upgraded to lanes with a striped buffer on each side. This help keep moving cars further away from bikes, and encourage cyclists to ride a few feet away from parked automobiles, so that they don’t get “doored.”

Previously, the bike lanes disappeared about 150 feet south of Division, but the buffered lanes go all the way to the intersection’s south crosswalk — a nice improvement. The new northbound section is located next to the curb, and drivers are currently parking in it, but adding “No Parking” signs should help solve that problem.

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Eyes on the Street: CDOT Will Fix Milwaukee/Division Sidewalk, Crosswalks

That sidewalk pavement is embarrassing

This sidewalk on Milwaukee at Ashland will be improved next year.

The Chicago Department of Transportation’s Walk To Transit project will bring “quick fixes” to ten Chicago Transit Authority rail stations next year, including several long-needed improvements to the sidewalks and crosswalks around the Division Blue Line station. Currently, people walking to and from the transit line, or to the numerous shops and residences around the Polish Triangle, face some dismal walking conditions. CDOT will make these improvements as part of Walk To Transit’s first phase:

  • CDOT will “improve [a] sidewalk in poor condition” along Milwaukee, at the northeast corner with Ashland. Over 250 people board or disembark the 56-Milwaukee bus each day onto that broken-up and uneven sidewalk, and many more walk past on their way to shops along this stretch.
  • The project will paint new, zebra-style crosswalks to replace the faded lines at Milwaukee Avenue and Division Street, making it easier for motorists to see where pedestrians are expected to cross.
  • A pedestrian island will be built on Division at Greenview Avenue’s east leg, one block east of Milwaukee, so people can cross the street one travel direction at a time. Division is seven lanes wide at that location, including two parking lanes, four travel lanes, and a painted median.
  • Missing curb ramps and a crosswalk will be constructed on the west leg of Greenview Avenue at Division Street.

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Senior Killed by Drunk Driver at North Avenue and the Kennedy


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The crash site from Guerrero-Lopez’s perspective.

An SUV driver has been charged with a DUI after he fatally struck an elderly pedestrian at North Avenue and the Kennedy Expressway. This was second time in six weeks that a person on foot was killed at this location.

On April 21, Kim Kyeyul, 72, rear-ended a semi truck with his car on North just east of the Kennedy. After he exited his car to talk to the other driver, he was fatally struck by a second trucker.

On Sunday around 6:30 a.m., construction worker Manuel Guerrero-Lopez, 26, was driving west in his 2004 Volkswagen Tourareg, police said. Guerrero-Lopez, of the 8100 block of South Kostner, ran a red light on the west side of the Kennedy viaduct and struck a southbound Toyota Camry exiting the expressway, according to the police report.

The SUV flipped on the passenger side and slid into the eastbound lanes of North, striking Charles Jones, 73, of the 500 block of Monroe Street in Valparaiso, Indiana, according to authorities. Police said Jones was standing in the middle of the street panhandling. However, Jones’ wife Barbara said that she had never known him to panhandle, and that he said he was going to Chicago to look at a new car, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Charles Jones was pronounced dead at the crash scene at 6:48 a.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. Guerrero-Lopez, who was unable to take a field sobriety test, was transported to Illinois Masonic Hopital. there his blood-alcohol level was found to be .161 percent, more than twice the legal limit, prosecutors said.

Guerrero-Lopez has been charged with aggravated DUI resulting in a death, as well as misdemeanor counts of disobeying a red light, DUI, and failure to exercise due care to avoid a pedestrian in the road, police said. At a hearing on Tuesday, Judge Laura Sullivan ordered him held on $250,000 bond, according to the State’s Attorney’s office. The next hearing is scheduled for June 23.

Barbara Jones described her husband, who was the stepfather of her five children, as a hardworking man who kept a positive attitude, despite losing a leg to complications from diabetes eight years ago, the Tribune reported. “He was an optimist,” she said. “Every morning he’d put that leg on and do something – odd jobs, something.”

Fatality Tracker: 2014 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths

Pedestrian: 15 (6 were hit-and-run crashes)
Bicyclist: 1 (1 was a hit-and-run crash)