The Curbee Is Dead, Long Live the Curbee!

A motorist took out the old cyclist footrest on Milwaukee, but a new one has been installed.

A Divvy bike rider rests their foot on the new Curbee, created by Dero.
A Divvy bike rider rests their foot on the new Curbee, created by Dero.

In Summer 2014 Streetsblog Chicago’s Steven Vance and his friend Ryan Lakes, an architect, installed a Copenhagen-style footrest for northwest-bound cyclists south of Milwaukee, Ogden, and Chicago, so riders would have a spot to wait for the multi-phase stoplight. Metal fabricator Adam Clark constructed the fixture, dubbed the “Curbee,” which had approval from the Chicago Department of Transportation and the City Council. (It’s hilarious that all 50 aldermen have to pass an ordinance to allow a piece of metal to be bolted to a sidewalk.) It became a popular resting place for commuters on “The Hipster Highway” and was soon covered with a colorful array of stickers from rock bands and bike law firms.

Ryan Lakes demonstrates how to use the original Curbee. Image: Steven Vance
Ryan Lakes demonstrates how to use the original Curbee. Image: Steven Vance

However, because cars are awful, less than three years later the Curbee met an untimely demise when a driver ran over it. On December 26, 2017, Streetsblog reader David Altenburg, notified Steven that the Curbee was lying damaged in the parkway.

Former Active Transportation Alliance staffer Jason Jenkins, who now works for the bike parking company Dero, offered to send one of their “Biker Bar” (see what they did there?) footrests, in any color in their catalog. West Town Bikes director Alex Wilson suggested we use the same yellow hue as the education center’s logo, which would also be more visible to motorists than the previous Curbee, which was black.

The shiny new stand was installed at the same location on June 2. So next time you’re taking a load off at the the next-gen Curbee you can thank Steven and company and Dero for this convenience. And if you decide to stop for a drink at the adjacent bar the Matchbox, be sure to pour a little out for its dear, departed predecessor, which now resides in street furniture Heaven.

Where else would you like to see bicycle footrests installed in Chicago? Let us know in the comments.

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