A Cheat Sheet to the “Chicago Tonight” Bike Issues Discussion

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The "Chicago Tonight" studio has an excellent view of riverfront skyscrapers. Image: WTTW

I had a great time discussing recent bicycling issues on WTTW’s current affairs show “Chicago Tonight” with host Phil Ponce for a segment that aired last night. In case you’re short on time, here’s a list of the topics we covered.

00:35 How the proposal to extend The 606 figures into Chicago’s bid for the new Amazon Headquarters

02:00 How a $12M check from Illinois’ richest man facilitated the Lakefront Trail separation project

03:05 Chicago has seen half as many on-street bike fatalities so far this year as in 2016

03:40 The city has piloted “dashed bike lanes” on Milwaukee Ave. as part of a complete streets overhaul

04:50 How four fatal truck-bike crashes last year helped bring about Chicago’s side guard ordinance

0:5:55 Police have issued far more bike tickets in African-American communities than majority-white ones

06:30 After a cyclist broke her arm, the park district is addressing the lakefront algae menace

07:15 Why it was a bad idea to close a segment of The 606 for a $200-a-plate dinner

  • Gregory Curtis

    Racial disparities got like five seconds of time. Part of the problem.

  • I find that I experience increasing amounts of distress about the algae issue, and I don’t know why. Once upon a time there was a situation on the LFT (not a promenade or a spur, the actual trail) involving ice and an organized race, and it never, ever occurred to me to take legal action. So I’ve been trying to figure out if I’m just jealous because I missed out on monetary compensation and/or 15 minutes of fame to Raise Awareness, or if others here are similarly concerned about the possible implications of this case.

  • johnaustingreenfield

    I agree that it’s important to discuss racial disparities in any wide-ranging discussion of urban cycling issues. Two of the eight topics we covered, the CPD’s lopsided ticketing practices, and why the dinner that closed a portion of The 606 was a bad idea in light of concerns about displacement from lower-income and working-class people of color in Humboldt Park and Logan Square, involve racial justice issues.

  • Jeff Carlson

    Good interview. I have only been on the 606 once and rarely use the LFT. But I ride to work from the Loop to Lincoln Park every day and N Lawndale twice a month. The streets need the attention. For example, there is no connection from the Dearborn and Clinton Bike Lanes, going north, to Wells. Going west, the Roosevelt bike lane comes and goes once you pass the medical district. The Clinton PBL disappears at Van Buren then switches to one-way on the other side of the street!

    Kingsbury/Larabee needs to be a PBL that connects to Kinzie and from there to Dearborn and Clinton. The problem with Wells is all the bars/Taxis/Ubers/Delivery Trucks. Passing Bottled Blond is the worst! It would be really easy for the city to make a more complete network by filling in a few gaps.

  • Note that there is no bike lane between the Kinzie and Dearborn protected bike lanes, EVEN THOUGH KINZIE STREET INTERSECTS DEARBORN STREET.

    The Kinzie PBL ends at Wells, and then there’s a one-way bike lane for half a block between LaSalle and Clark Streets. It has been this way for six years.

  • Jeff Carlson

    And Wells is one way going south at Kinzie so there is no connection from either Kinzie or Dearborn to go north. You have to do a convoluted route via Franklin or salmon up Kingsbury in that one way block in front of the East Bangkok Club. (Auto-correct did Bangkok!)

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