Tonight: Defend the Marshall Boulevard Redesign

Marshall Boulevard bike lane
The road diet has calmed traffic at the curve from Marshall to 24th Boulevard.

Tonight the future of the Marshall Boulevard bike lane could be at stake at a community meeting hosted by 12th Ward Alderman George Cardenas.

The Marshall Boulevard bike lane was installed last fall and runs from Sacramento Drive in Douglas Park half a mile to 24th Boulevard in Little Village. It consists of a buffered lane on one side of the street and a parking-protected lane on the other side. The redesign has noticeably calmed traffic, according to resident Dan Korn. “The sharp curve at the corner of 24th and Marshall used to be good for at least one bad crash a month; it seems to be better now, so far,” he posted on The Chainlink.

When the redesign was implemented, curbside parking was removed on one side of the street, and residents were reportedly confused about where they could park. According to a post on The Chainlink, tempers flared because cars were ticketed en masse before the parking signs had been updated to reflect the new rules. This spring, the proper signs were put up.

Korn reports that compliance with the new parking rules has improved recently, but some local residents remain opposed to the redesign because “[t]hey think that there are not enough cyclists using the bike lanes to justify the parking that was removed.”

If you’d like to speak up for a redesign that has calmed traffic and created safer biking conditions, the meeting is at 5:30 p.m. at the Saucedo Academy School auditorium, 2850 W. 24th Blvd.

Also this week are two meetings that are part of ThinkBike, in which the Dutch consulate sends over transportation planners from the Netherlands to work with local planners on designing solutions. These meetings will deal with two specific projects. CDOT wants to connect the Lakefront Trail with the Loop via Monroe Street, currently four to six lanes wide without provisions for cycling. The second project is figuring out how to provide for cycling on Milwaukee between Division and North Avenue through Wicker Park. The workshops are invite-only, but the public can get in on the Dutch at two events, starting tomorrow.

There’s a reception with Chicago Department of Transportation commissioner Gabe Klein and Dutch Ambassador Rudolf Bekink Thursday morning at 9:00 a.m. at Collaboraction, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave, Room 300 Theater, and a recap at 5:30 p.m. on Friday at the Cultural Center’s Millennium Park room. Both of these events are open to the public but you’re encouraged to RSVP.

ThinkBike first occurred in Chicago in fall 2010, when the initiatives under consideration were Lincoln Park (building a neighborhood-level bike plan and addressing Clark Street issues) and the Washington/Madison corridor downtown that is now part of the Central Loop BRT project.

Visit our calendar page for information on these and other events.

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