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Eyes on the Street: Trattoria No. 10 Puts “Stop Signs” in Dearborn Bike Lane

The Trattoria No. 10 restaurant at 10 N Dearborn Street installed their own "stop for pedestrians" signs (taped to bricks) on Tuesday in the middle of the two-way Dearborn bike lane. The Chicago Department of Transportation received notification via Twitter, to which they responded:

@justinhaugens Those signs should not be placed in the bike lane. We sent an inspector out, and the signs were removed. #bikechi

— CDOT (@ChicagoDOT) May 15, 2013

Trattoria made a quick adjustment and now the signs are placed on the outside of the bike lane, one on the sidewalk and one in a hashed area that the restaurant's valet operator uses to load vehicles. Michelle Stenzel pointed out on The Chainlink that loading in this area is dangerous because it gets in the way of people's sightlines: "there is an alley right there, and drivers of turning vehicles can't see the bicyclists (and vice versa)."

This is the first warm weather period since the bike lane opened in December, and bike traffic is growing while the sidewalks become busier. When I was riding on Tuesday and waiting for the bike-only signal at Randolph, I turned my head to notice five people queueing behind me. While it's important for cyclists to stay aware of people on foot and yield to pedestrians, these signs added unnecessary confusion.

Restaurant owner Dan Rosenthal told Streetsblog that he recognizes it was a mistake to put the signs in the bike lane, saying "our chef, who bikes, told us that's dangerous. We put them on the sides to eliminate that hazard." Rosenthal said they placed the signs there because "there are a lot of unsuspecting pedestrians that cross here, we want everyone to be safe." He has sent a letter to Alderman Brendan Reilly asking for something to be done. "If the city would help correct this hazardous condition, it would be better for the bikers and better for my guests," he said.

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