Today’s Headlines for April 17

  • Konkol: Ald. Reilly “Tired” of Arguing With Transportation Commissioner Over Kinzie Bike Lane
  • Active Trans Starts Petition to Prevent Removal of Kinzie Bike Lane
  • Ald. Reilly Defends His Proposal to Remove Kinzie Bike Lane at Wolf Point on Twitter
  • Feds Require Metra to Start Safety Whistleblower Program After Serious Incidents in 2014 (Tribune)
  • Simplified Zoning Map Shows Only Single-Family Homes Allowed Near CTA Stations (City Notes)
  • Chicagoans Just Need to Learn to Deal With People Riding Bikes (Tribune)
  • Only Injuries in Garfield Park Crash That Flipped Over Police Car (Sun-Times)
  • Divvy Visualization Winner Shaun Jacobsen Highlights Where Divvy is Faster than Transit

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  • You have got to be kidding me Konkol

    “Any honest driver, cyclist or pedestrian who has navigated that stretch of Kinzie in the last month will tell you that traffic will get worse once those high-density residential towers rising at Wolf Point are finished. And it doesn’t take a genius to figure out the proposed office and apartment high-rise buildings at Hubbard and Wells will probably make matters worse.”

    Right because everyone will own a car and no one will simply walk to/from the Merchandise Mart station nor the numerous bus routes nearby. Even if his totally unsourced claims come true isn’t the point of the bike lane to separate out the traffic?

  • That zoning map tool is awesome.

    And also, what the HECK for large stretches of arterial streets (like Elston in its nearly-six-lanes-wide parts) being zoned exclusively for single-family homes?? Arterials should be largely commercial-with-several-apartments-overhead.

  • Yeah, sounds like he’s suggesting a return to the 4-lane Kinzie (not the narrow street he claimed) that existed before.

  • ohsweetnothing

    In Reilly’s twitter comments, he states that moving the bike lanes would be temporary due to all of the havoc construction at Wolf Point would create. So which is it?? A permanent move for post-project density or temporary due to construction safety concerns?? And hasn’t construction been ongoing for at least a year now?

  • David Altenburg

    Really bizarre that this isn’t clear.

  • Cameron Puetz

    If you can stomach it to the end, Konkol makes two good points. First, there never has been a study of what streets work best for PBL. These are relatively new pieces of infrastructure, there aren’t a lot of tested design standards. There should be more studying what works and tweaking designs as best practices are developed. Secondly, he raises the issue of road design being the alderman’s prerogative. The main beneficiaries of the Kinzie PBL aren’t residents of the ward, they’re commuters who live along the corridors that feed into Kinzie. Allowing alderman to dictate everything that happens in their ward, doesn’t result in a city wide transportation plan that works.

  • ohsweetnothing

    Unless he has been egregiously misquoted, then it looks like that falls squarely on Reilly. He may very well have let it slip how he plans on keeping the lane off of Kenzie permanently.

    Also of note…Grand Avenue is NOT in Reilly’s ward.

  • Pat

    Grand is until Jefferson.

  • ohsweetnothing

    Right. Which doesn’t include everything West, like crucially, where Milwaukee meets Grand and Halsted.

  • Pat

    Can we just agree the bulk of the PBL and his “area of concern” is in his ward?

  • ohsweetnothing

    No, because even if Reilly is all aboard with moving the PBL to Grand, the PBL would be useless if Burnett doesn’t want it for the most western 4 blocks. That would be where the PBL would connect with the Milwaukee PBL.

  • RW

    Hard to know if a) he was misquoted/unclear, b) is back-pedaling (no pun intended) due to pushback or c) is taking the ‘ the move is temporary, but then shoot, no money to restore the lane on Kinzie’ approach. If the move is temporary, I’d want to see a timeline for the move and for restoration, in writing.

  • Pat

    I’m not disagreeing with that, but your original comment was misleading. A bike lane that doesn’t connect to the Milwaukee trunk is a non-starter.

  • ohsweetnothing

    Ah yes! It was confusing. I was actually considering editing it until you commented. Yes we’re in agreement then.

    The point I was trying to make is Reilly is acting like the Grand PBL is a done deal when there is no guarantee Burnett is on board.

  • ohsweetnothing

    Relatively new *in Chicago*, no? There are best practices out there already, they just get watered down via the political process (for better or for worse I guess) here. It goes into your second point, which I wholeheartedly agree with…especially regarding traffic policy.

  • Pat

    Exactly. Frankly, with the Ohio freeway ramp right there, seems like a recipe for even more griping.

  • Bikes should not have to stop at stop signs. We do not require walkers to stop at stop signs because the law and the sign was created for cars not walkers. The idea that bikes should obey car laws was a lazy lawmaker afterthought. Different realities require different laws.

    And this is at the heart of the drivers versus bikers frustrations. Every driver currently has the expectation that bikers should obey laws written for them. They do not recognize the modal differences and they won’t until the laws are changed and the media publishes those changes.

    In the meantime bikers and urbanists need to point this out to angry drivers that it is the law that is wrong and not always the biker.

  • cjlane

    So, a bike that might be moving the speed of a car on a side street (~20 mph) and thus really too fast for cross traffic to see, should feel free to just go thru the stop sign, and any ‘incident’ would be the car driver’s fault? Especially where the cross traffic has no obligation to stop.

    So, a cyclist seeking to cross Irving Park Road at, say, Greenview, can just assume the R-o-W and ignore the stop sign??!???

    If there is to be a change that makes bikes exempt from stop signs, there would need to be an adjustment regarding determination of liability for any crashes. The primary reason pedestrians are exempt is that they are moving slowly

  • cjlane

    A ton of the zoning just enshrines what is already there–so the fact that a lot of Elston was/is commercial with an apartment above = C1-1, and that others had two flats = RS-3 (there *should* be an RS-4, that allows 2 units always, but restricts the height/bulk same as RS-3) AND the exemption in RS-3 allows new two-flats on blocks with 60%+ 2-flats already, which applies to much of Elston where it is RS-3.

  • You really needed to stretch my words in order to cover your argument didn’t you? All I intended to say was that if a bike has clear vision and there are no cars or pedestrians or other bikes then they should not be required to stop. I said nothing about liability. I said nothing about right-of-way. If the biker makes a mistake and there is an incident then, of course, the presence of the sign comes into play.

  • cjlane

    A cyclist moving at full speed just doesn’t have “clear vision” in most places in Chicago.

    And, I didn’t have to stretch your words. You stated “Bikes should not have to stop at stop signs.” and analogized to walkers, who have no obligation to break stride at a stop sign, thus implying that cyclist should be allowed to ignore stop signs.

    You did not suggest a “third way” where, for example, bikes are permitted to treat Stops as Yields wherever there is “clear vision” (ie, the Idaho plan); indeed, had a read a ‘third way’ suggestion into your post, that would have been a greater stretching of your words.

    Is your real suggestion that bikes be legally allowed to ‘California stop’ at stop signs? And, if that were the law, do you really think that would make an iota of difference to the sorts of car drivers who are perpetually irritated by all people on bikes on the street? If so, I applaud your Pollyanna view of human nature.

  • Yes you got it. Sorry I said too little. Idaho California whatever. Special laws for bikes that’s what I mean

    Car drivers? What can we say? At least we agree they often tend towards the irrational. My thought is that we would take away their easiest complaint about bikes never obeying stop signs.