Skip to Content
Streetsblog Chicago home
Streetsblog Chicago home
Log In
Bicycling

Eyes on the Street: Elston Avenue Obstacles

photo 2-1
A not-so-magic carpet ride: Red Carpet buses block the bike lane. Photo: Joe Robinson

Business owners along the Elston corridor recently groused about the city’s plans to upgrade the bike lanes between North and Webster from conventional to buffered lanes, arguing that bicyclists get in the way of their trucks. This week, cyclists in Elston’s existing protected bike lanes, located between Milwaukee and North, have had plenty of obstructions themselves.

Streetsblog reader Alex Hartzler wrote us to report that a construction project last night blocked the southbound protected lane on Elston, just south of North. “No accommodation for cyclists, of course,” he said.

“I rode by that last night, too,” Chicago Department of Transportation spokesman Pete Scales told me after I asked about the project. “There’s some ComEd electrical work going on, with a crew repairing the lines above. There is only one truck parked in the lane, with a ton of caution cones set out to warn passing traffic.”

“The caution cones may have the intent of warning traffic, but I doubt they have that effect,” Hartzler responded. “They are simply placed between the bollards.”

I asked transportation advocate Joe Robinson, who works nearby, to snap a photo of the worksite. When he got there, there was no ComEd truck to be seen. However, he did snap the above photo of five Red Carpet charter buses parked in the southbound protected lane at LeMoyne, close to where the electrical work took place.

Rather than bikes getting in the way of large vehicles on Elston, it seems that the opposite is true.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog Chicago

We are all in an underperforming Chicagoland transit network. But some of us are looking at the Star:Line.

According to Star:Line Chicago, "The 2034sight Plan is an ambitious — and achievable — ten-year framework to lay the groundwork to modernize Chicagoland’s existing local passenger rail system."

July 19, 2024

A semi driver fatally struck a person walking on Lower Wacker Drive. Did a locked gate contribute to the crash?

The victim may have been walking in the street because a gate limiting pedestrian access on the south side of Wacker was locked at the time.

July 19, 2024

This is Grand! CDOT cuts ribbon on new protected bike lanes on a key West Side diagonal street

The project also has lots of other nifty Complete Streets features, like raised crosswalks, bus islands, and the conversion of a dangerous slip lane to a new plaza.

July 18, 2024
See all posts