CDOT Acts Quickly To Remove Dumpster Blocking Dearborn Bike Lane


A mysterious dumpster blocked both lanes of the Dearborn protected bike lane this morning, causing Chicagoans to tweet their displeasure.

The dumpster, placed there by Waste Management, appeared to be filled with snow. The sidewalks of the adjacent 55 West Wacker building were completely cleared. I went inside to talk to the front desk security guard, but told me he’d just started his shift and didn’t know the story.

I alerted the Chicago Department of Transportation’s Permit Office at 8 AM and got a response within the hour. A staffer wrote back saying that there was no permit for the dumpster, and that its location has a permit moratorium due to the presence of the bike lane, so Waste Management wouldn’t have been issued a permit if they had applied for one.

The staffer said CDOT contacted the dumpster company to have it removed and he confirmed it had been removed by 10:35 a.m. He wasn’t sure whether that was because of CDOT’s request or because Waste Management had already been planning to pick it up. I’m waiting to hear back from Waste Management about this, but kudos to CDOT for their speedy response.

Snow in the Dearborn protected bike lane
An impassable patch of six-inch deep snow at Randolph.

The dumpster wasn’t the only roadblock on Dearborn this morning. In addition to the usual line of slush on the outside of the bike lane left by snow plows (and in the middle when the plow makes two passes), there was a large pile of snow obstructing the lane at Randolph that forced me to dismount and walk my bike across it. “We are doing all we can, every day, to get the snow out of the protected bike lanes,” wrote CDOT spokesman Pete Scales. He added that because of the bike lanes’ curbside location, “snow/ice/slush that is still out there will eventually find its way into the bike lane near the gutters, and will need to be cleaned out repeatedly.” Dearborn, Scales said, has been plowed ten times in the past nine days.


How Can Chicago Fix the “Weak Links” That Mar Bike Access Downtown?

Biking downtown has improved substantially with the addition of protected bike lanes on Kinzie Street and Dearborn Street, but much work remains to be done to create a safe, cohesive bike network linking people to Chicago’s biggest employment center. At last week’s meeting of the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Council, Michelle Stenzel, a community representative for the […]

Eyes on the Street: Dearborn Street Striping Upgrades Begin

Frequent Dearborn Street bike lane user Justin Haugens sends us these photos from his way to work in the South Loop. At the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Council meeting two weeks ago, a CDOT staffer said that Dearborn Street would be receiving a slew of upgrades to better identify areas of conflict between people driving and bicycling, […]

In 15 Days, Divvy Bike-Share Sold 1,300 Annual Memberships

Two of the major topics of the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Council meeting on Wednesday were bike-share and the Dearborn Street bike lane. Divvy bike-share was supposed to launch with 40 stations today during the Bike To Work Day Rally, but on Tuesday, the company announced that the system would launch on June 28 with 75 […]