Eyes on the Street: Roscoe and School/Aldine Greenway Begins to Take Shape

Curb extensions are under construction on both sides of Broadway at Aldine. Photo: John Greenfield
Curb extensions are under construction on both sides of Broadway at Aldine. Photo: John Greenfield

keating

Roscoe and School/Aldine is already a great low-stress couplet for traveling between West Lakeview and the Lakefront Trail, but it’s in the process of getting even better. The Chicago Department of Transportation recently began constructing a new neighborhood greenway that will discourage cut-through motor vehicle traffic and speeding on these quiet side streets, shorten pedestrian crossings, and make the route even more bike-friendly.

The whole corridor will get sharrows (bike-and-chevron markings) or bike lanes, plus wayfinding signs. School/Aldine (the name changes east of Clark) has a park and school on it, and will be also getting many permeable curb extensions and bike-friendly sinusoidal speed humps, plus a raised crosswalk, to slow down drivers. The greenway features a couple of other unique features, which I’ll explain shortly. Let’s walk (or bike) through the project, first heading west from the lake on Roscoe, then returning east on School/Aldine. CDOT will likely wrap up the project next month. You can view detailed “LongPlot” renderings of here and here.

From the Lakefront Trail there’s an underpass at Roscoe (although when I visited Tuesday evening after a rainstorm it was flooded and impassable.) After you come out the west end there will be a full-block curb extension on the east side of Inner Lake Shore Drive. Presumably this will be marked to allow cyclists to ride on it, so you’ll be able to head north to Roscoe, where a green bike crosswalk will escort you west across the drive.

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From there it’s a block west to Broadway, where CDOT is doing something unusual. Roscoe jogs north here, so to facilitate the move for cyclists, they’re putting in a raised contraflow bike lane on the west side of Broadway, which will curve left to meet up with an on-street bike lane on the south side of Roscoe. A bus stop and several parking spots are being relocated or removed to make room for the bike lane.

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West of Broadway, Roscoe is only getting pavement markings and signs up to Lincoln Avenue. In contrast, the return trip from Lincoln to the lake on eastbound School/Aldine includes a total of ten speed humps, and six of the intersections are getting curb extensions to shorten crossings and “neck-down” the street, which will encourage drivers to maintain a safe speed and prevent them from parking too close to the intersections, improving sightlines. The curb extensions are already half-completed. The raised crosswalk will be added at Clifton (1130 West), by Hawthorne Academy elementary school.

Curb extensions under construction at School and Lakewood (1300 West.) Photo: John Greenfield
Curb extensions under construction at School and Lakewood (1300 West.) Photo: John Greenfield

Back at Aldine/Broadway, two bus stops are being removed to make room for curb extensions on both sides of Broadway, plus a short stretch of bike lane on Broadway to facilitate a northbound jog for cyclists.

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From there it’s a block east to Inner Lake Shore Drive, where cyclists can take another green bike crosswalk and the block-long curb extension to access the underpass.

While the jury is still out on whether the raised bike lane on Roscoe  will be worth the cost and logistical hassles, overall the greenway should be a big improvement for all road users. What do you think of the design? Let us know in the comments.

This post is made possible by a grant from the Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices, P.C., a Chicago, Illinois law firm committed to representing pedestrians and cyclists. The content is Streetsblog Chicago’s own, and Keating Law Offices neither endorses the content nor exercises any editorial control.

  • Tooscrapps

    I really wish the curb extensions the City puts in here (and elsewhere) were designed to fuction more like bioswales than planting beds.

  • GA

    Going to need some kind of hard protection for that new stretch of bike lane on Broadway bridging Aldine. Guaranteed to fill up with idling/parked cars.

    Otherwise I dig it.

  • Amadeo

    Anyone out there live on Aldine between Broadway and Lake Shore Dr.? I kinda doubt it, ’cause if you did you’d know the following:
    It’s 1/4 mile from Broadway to LSD; there are no cross streets or alleys; it has only one single family home on that long block; it is loaded with 4-plus-ones with high residential density; approaching LSD it has high-rise apartment buildings with greater residential density; the morning rush hour has traffic backing up half way down the block; it has a constant daytime flow of garbage trucks, delivery trucks, moving trucks, contractors’ vans doing construction work on houses, all of which obstruct traffic; the din from the horns of irritated drivers is a constant problem; etc., etc.
    Will all of all those trucks and vans have to avoid parking in the sacrosanct bike lane?
    If so, the bike lane and the expanded curb at LSD will make things only worse for traffic and congestion and acoustical pollution.
    As a personal note: I rarely use my car during 6 months of the year and bike to most destinations. But that doesn’t mean I favor this kind of nonsense. Aldine is plenty wide already and doesn’t need a special dedicated bike lane to be able to bicycle safely.
    Unfortunately, the all-year, car-free bicycling crowd has their lobbies that get their way in such schemes, obsessed as they are with increasing every opportunity they can get to gloat over car drivers stuck in traffic.

  • Roo_Beav

    I counted 22 curb cuts in this block leading to parking garages/parking courts/etc. Vehicles would only be parked in the bike lane if they are double parked, which is already not allowed. It sounds like the solution needed to address the problems you mention is to make most of the street parking into loading zones during the daytime. There should be enough off-street parking during the day to handle the change.

  • GA

    Take some curb space away from private vehicle parking and add more loading zones. Yes, everybody should be prevented from parking in the bike lanes. Lived on Aldine for 2 years, Melrose for 5, and then Briar for 3.

  • Kaveh

    I’ve lived on this corridor for 3 years now and use it most days to get to the LFT. The weakest link is crossing Inner LSD so I’m glad they’re cleaning that up. The streets were already pretty good bike routes, so this is a great place for a greenway. A lot of what’s being done here seems like just advertising to people that this is a good bike route, and alerting drivers too, so hopefully it encourages more timid cyclists or people new to the area to use the route.

  • Amadeo

    Not sure I catch your drift. Compared to the very high demand for parking in such a high-density area, it doesn’t make sense to say “there should be enough off-street parking during the day to handle the change.” And, of course, there’d be even less parking if all of Aldine from Broadway to LSD were made into a “loading zone parking only” street.
    You raise a point about the large incidence of curb-cuts, suggesting that there are plenty of spaces into which large trucks could plop themselves. I’m afraid you just don’t know the territory. 90% of moving, delivery, and garbage trucks are double-parked on the street when performing their services. They never get ticketed– but they might decide that it’s too risky to park in a bike lane, and end up choosing to park in the middle of the street–and then they’d end up obstructing the traffic even more.

    One final point: a bike lane on Aldine actually would decrease the safety of bicyclists. It’s more than likely that bicyclists in a dedicated lane will bike faster and with less concern for their safety than those who are bicycling without the “benefit” of a dedicated lane. Aldine is a street filled with over-sized SUVs–making it very hard for a driver coming out of a driveway to peer over the roof of the vehicle to see if there is oncoming traffic. Even if you merely inch out into the street, it’s possible that the vision of the bicyclist would still be obstructed until the last second–leading the bicyclist to swerve out of the way, possibly into traffic moving outside of the lane.

  • Kaveh

    As Roo_Beav said, it’s already illegal to park where the lane will be because it’s double-parking. But I’ve often seen delivery trucks block the whole street by double-parking in a way that doesn’t give cars enough room to get by. I doubt the bike lane will change much on this street except advertise it as a good bike route and maybe persuade some of the drivers be a little more respectful.

  • Roo_Beav

    Do I have it right that your arguments against a bike lane are:
    – Street is already safe AND street is filled with irritated, honking drivers
    – Not enough parking, causing illegal double parking AND too much parking, causing visibility issues.

    I stand by my original solution to the problem of no space for commercial vehicles during the day, when residents have left for work. Reallocate some curbside parking space to daytime loading zones, which could be used by residents for overnight parking. There wouldn’t be any less parking, just a different type of parking.

  • ChicagoCyclist

    Amadeo’s despondent description of the area is basically pretty much what exists everywhere in the Chicago along the lakefront in Lincoln Park, Lakeview, and many points north and south and west. The fact that there are trucks (delivery, moving, landscaping, whatever — often breaking the law by parking in bike lanes and/or double-parking); horrifically oversized SUV’s; honking, cursing, red-faced drivers; and (lo-and-behold!) rush-hour congestion is the case everywhere in this and neighboring areas, and is NOT a reason not to provide high-quality facilities and street designs for cyclists and pedestrians (as CDOT is admirably doing here). Yes, people in cars in this area at rush-hours (and at other times too) are indeed screwed. That is why, if these drivers were a little more rational and thoughtful, they wouldn’t drive — they would take public transportation (and lobby hard for better mass rapid transit!), bicycle (with regular bikes, e-bikes, trikes, cargo bikes, etc.), walk, and/or take ride-share / taxis or use car-share. Sorry, but the problems that inefficient private, single occupant vehicles cause (congestion, crash dangers, pollution, noise, road rage, obesity, isolated and un-socialized individuals, etc.) are not going to be solved by giving driving more literal or figurative ‘space’. We have to dis-incentivize driving. Taking away space and not focusing on or caring about automobile delay, when we design and built roads, is the way to go, the goal, the future. And that will help make our City better, more attractive, more livable, more fun!

  • Amadeo

    Though I agree in principle and in general with what you say, immiseration of the car-driving experience is not the route–it simply hasn’t worked in the past and won’t work in the future. And doubling down on the immiseration yet again, will fail again. An ameliorating remedy: cut fares of public transit, extra city sticker fees imposed on SUVs, increase in the fuel tax. And even those measures won’t stop the drivers all that much as long as the destinations from home to work are so widely dispersed in the city and burbs that it is still a saving in time to drive.
    So it’s easy enough for you, a young buff “all-season/any weather” bicyclist, to cry out with joy, “Car-free, car-free at last.” Others (old people, people with multiple jobs in different places, people with minor disabilities, people with children in tow, et al.) are not so fortunate.

  • Chautauqua

    The underpasses at Barry, Addison or Bittersweet are much better suited for this bike corridor and added bike traffic. The Roscoe underpass is already dangerous for pedestrians, cyclists and baby carriages. Many – but not all – of the cyclist are inconsiderate and treat that stretch of the path like a race course. Inner Lake Shore Drive is already a mess between Melrose and Roscoe. And the only time I’ve seen a bikepedestrian accident was a cyclist running into someone stepping off a curb at the 600 block of Roscoe. Moreover most cyclist ride eastbound on Roscoe. That will not change. And, yes, I bike and use the CTA daily.

  • Carter O’Brien

    My mom lives right over here on Hawthorne & LSD, and I haven’t been a fan of any of the side streets between Belmont and Addison to access the lake during rush hour, due to the overall congestion (traffic and pedestrians), so it will be great if this helps.

    I’ve had much better success hitting the lake from Belmont> Broadway> Barry in the morning and then LFT>Briar> Halsted>Belmont (or Barry, if you want the mellow route) heading back west later in the day. Briar has a similar issue to Roscoe where it doesn’t go through at Broadway, but Broadway feels far less congested south of Belmont, that could be due to Nettlehorst, the Jewel and Treasure Island further north, etc., I’m not quite sure.

  • johnaustingreenfield

    There is no underpass at Bittersweet. I assume you’re talking about Buena, a block or so north.

    “Moreover most cyclist ride eastbound on Roscoe. That will not change.” So you’re saying you don’t believe bike lanes and wayfinding signs directing cyclists to the correct eastbound route to the lake won’t make a difference? Why would cyclists risk riding into oncoming traffic when a safe, legal alternative is clearly marked?

  • ChicagoCyclist

    Umm …first of all, I am not young or buff (alas :). Second, we (as a society, as a state, as a city) have not ever tried de-incentivizing driving and prioritizing other modes of travel (bicycling, walking, and transit) — at least not since the 1930s or 40s, when private vehicle ownership took off. Private motor vehicles have been the prioritized mode of travel for many decades and continue to dominate in policy, investment, subsidization, and travel practice. De-incentivizing private SOV trips, when combined with incentivizing other more sustainable modes, will help. It will also make private SOV drivers face / realize / admit the negative effects or impacts of this mode of travel. Yes, we do indeed have sprawling land use, which is a barrier to cycling, walking, and transit. Nonetheless, in many cities (including Chicago), bicycling is actually almost always faster and more consistent (in terms of time) than driving or taking transit, even at distances of 5-10 miles, and especially during rush hours. Finally, lots of streets are “major feeder streets for accessing LSD” — just ask the folks who live around them. You yourself are an example, since you happen to live near Aldine. Also, I never said “car free.” I — like most cyclists — own a car. When I use it in the city, though, I expect to move at an average of 5 mph and to have to constantly look out for pedestrians, cyclists, moms with strollers, wheelchair users, stakeboarders, scooter riders, seniors with walkers, etc. etc.

  • Carter O’Brien

    I have to agree re: Aldine, I wouldn’t bike anywhere near that stretch in the morning rush. Cars trying to on to LSD are massively distracted by the Inner LSD traffic, and are impulsive/focused on finding that gap within which they can merge.

  • Amadeo

    Sorry if I mistook you for young, buff, and car-free. Your comment just had that ring to it.
    But let’s be honest about Chicago weather. The incidence of bicycle riding that displaces car usage drops off the face of the data map by early Nov. and doesn’t return as a significant factor till May. My point remains: Given the configuration of the relationship between home and place of work in Chicago, a car is essential for hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans who require point to point travel.
    I’m afraid that you’re quite mistaken about the uniqueness of Aldine as a feeder street for LSD–there is no other side street that gives such near-direct access to the northbound ramp of LSD. I’ve lived on Aldine for 37 years, and on Roscoe before that for 26 years, and so I kinda know the territory.
    And you’re also mistaken about bicycling coming any where near close to matching car travel time on LSD, even in rush hour. I’ve been keeping tabs nearly daily on approximate travel AM rush hour from Hollywood to Monroe on LSD. Comes in at about 17 minutes (PM travel times are worse because of the light at Chicago Ave.). When I bicycle from Belmont to Chicago Ave. it takes me just around 30 minutes and much longer if I’m bicycling against the wind.
    What we can hope for in the future is more electrical cars and staggered work schedules that lessen the pressure of same-time departures–as well as a stricter limitation of the presence on the streets of Lift and Uber.
    Finally, if you’re moving at 5 mph “in the city” (so you live in the burbs?), I think you need to get a smaller, more maneuverable car. As bad as traffic is, I never come close to averaging that figure and my Ford Fiesta tells me so.

  • Amadeo

    A bicycle lane does you no good when you get to LSD. And you’re absolutely right about how dangerous it is. To privilege the passage of bicycles, however, would only make congestion much worse. So, what I do when I bicycle at that time, is dismount, walk to Roscoe, walk across to the underpass and catch the bike path there. Of course, if you’re young and buff and an all-season/all-weather bicyclist, this would be the ultimate of inconveniences and beneath one’s indignity.

  • Chautauqua

    You’re probably correct about the northern underpass. As to the direction topic, just a hunch from living there for 15 years. Most of the bikes on Roscoe go east (and there are a lot). I can’t see a lot of people turning around and heading down Halsted or Clark to get to Aldine (my gut says they like the side streets). I think that most recreational riders fell safer seeing the driver. I’ve seen one cyclist get flattened riding the correct way on Waveland when a car door suddenly opened. I also know that this happened to a spin class instructors I used to work with years ago. I asked some valet workers how they like the lane in front of their hotel. They generally didn’t care for them. Bikes would ride in both directions even though it was a one way path. It also created conflicts between the bikers and cars try to take turns or staying out of each others way while parking on the curb – or driving away. The bike pats in other areas of town seemed to work well. And I echo the one person about concerns re: Aldine. Aldine may be the only street I’ve seen that can get backed up as far as Broadway. And I haven’t seen any conversation about the school drop offs and picks at Nettelhorst. I imagine they have to learn to wait to get into line once Aldine is narrowed from its current flow. I think the concept is better suited for a different undeerpass. More work maybe involved in terms of street lights and stops, but a bigger underpass would be better. It is all rather academic as it will be created.If it works well that would be great but I’m dubious on the matter.

  • Carter O’Brien

    “I’m afraid that you’re quite mistaken about the uniqueness of Aldine as a feeder street for LSD–there is no other side street that gives such near-direct access to the northbound ramp of LSD.”

    Agreed. It backs up daily, and it makes perfect sense – many drivers don’t want to fight their way to/down Belmont for that LSD access when Aldine seems much more convenient.

  • Chautauqua

    It is funny how that street is so blocked. I think they must get a large number of garbage trucks between the city and all the multi-unit places. Hawthorne is much easier if driving east (and you have a four way stop). But, yea, I would never bike down Aldine most of the time. On Roscoe, the “lane shrinkage” issue is more from taxis, moving and delivery trucks.

  • ChicagoCyclist

    I live in Edgewater and when I drive AM rush hour (say around 8 AM) to the Loop is much longer than 17 minutes. That is in fact the “free flow” time at the speed limit of 40 mph (when there is zero traffic delay). LSD is more often than not backed up from around Foster to the Loop — average time is around 40-45 minutes, sometimes however, it is much longer (maybe due to a crash or construction, or just a lot of drivers changing lanes-?). On bike, my commute from Edgewater to Loop, which is about 9.5-10 miles is pretty much always 43 min. and 27 seconds. It’s that consistent! If folks drive at rush hour on city streets (which many more do than take Lakeshore Dr.), then they are stuck in traffic much longer — especially at those 6-corner intersections.

    Though not young and buff, I do ride year-round — and I’m not alone. In fact, I say that if you have the right gear, it’s easier and more comfortable to ride in winter than summer, when (when it’s hot and humid) you’re drenched in sweat before you even get on your bike. If you look at Divvy data (available to anyone), you can see that I am not alone. Yes, right now, less than 5% of commute trips are by bike in Chicago. However, it’s been rising fast. I am not interested in what the number is now, I like CDOT with this and many other bikeway projects, am interested in increasing the number / percent of cycling. No one can know what is possible — look at Portland, look at Minneapolis, look at Boulder, CO, look at Davis, CA, look at Amsterdam or Copenhagen! And don’t forget, there are e-bikes (which are the fastest growing type of transportation worldwide) and e-cargo bikes.

    As for Aldine, yes, it is a local east-west street near a ramp onto LSD (at Belmont), but my point was there are many such streets along the length of LSD. (I.e. I wasn’t thinking just of Belmont/LSD interchange.) But in this area specifically, there are also Cornelia, Hawthorne, and Barry. I think that drivers coming south on Broadway are “cutting through” on Aldine to the Inner Drive to avoid going down to Belmont and turning left (as the roadway network / functional class intends them to do). That fact might be better dealt with in another way than just letting vehicles do as they are now (i.e. taking Aldine).

    The whole point for CDOT’s choosing Aldine and Roscoe as bikeways, I would remind you, is the underpass beneath LSD, which is located between the two streets. That is a rare and valuable asset. People (NIMBYs) always say bikeways can’t be done ’cause the streets are too congested already, and/or that creating the bikeways will produce carmeggedon. Well, I say, carmeggedon is already happening. Drivers have to live with the carmeggedon they’ve created, or get out of their cars. It’s pretty certain, if history is any indication, to only get worse for drivers. And that’s a good thing!

    Yeah, 5 mph may be too low. Overall, I think travel times in Lincoln Park / Lakeview area at rush hour (and I’m not including when the Cubbies are playing) may be around / average 10 mph. I usually manage 11-12 mph on my bike :).

  • Amadeo

    ChicagoCyclist, Caught your most recent post on the question of travel times–which for some reason is not posted here. But again your computation is off. Just to show you how far off your calculation is: The distance from Hollywood and Sheridan Rd. to Monroe St. & LSD is 7.9 miles. If your car moved at the “free flow speed of 40 mph”, the trip would take you 12 minutes, not the 17 min. I cited. But let’s move on:
    We know that traffic starts to slow down considerably at Belmont (not Foster, as you claim, unless there’s an accident–not a daily occurrence).
    The master planners of the North Lake Shore Drive Project have stated that traffic moves so quickly from Hollywood to Irving that maybe they could just drop one whole lane from car traffic (get the idea (and yours): traffic moves well so let’s punish the drivers and slow it down).
    For the sake of argument, we’ll say that drivers average 40 mph up to Belmont (4 miles). That’s a 6 minute trip. I gave a figure of 17 minutes to cover 8 miles–that equals about 28 mph–and leaves 11 minutes to cover the next 4 miles, which would require your car to travel at something around 21 mph to make it to Monroe. Sounds about right to me.
    I have never heard any radio traffic announcer give as travel time for that distance anything like 40-45 minutes–unless there’s an accident. Maybe you forget to fully release the emergency brake when you drive and that would explain why you drive so slowly–which is perfectly understandable since you acknowledge that you bicycle everywhere whatever the weather and only with heavy heart get behind the wheel of a car.
    And how come you drive into the Loop?–I never do.

  • Chautauqua

    I know that you are you offering suggestions,

  • ChicagoCyclist

    Just drive up north to Broadway and Ardmore one morning around 8:00 am, hang a Huey, and drive south to Hollywood, onto LSD. You’ll see what I mean. Then you can get back to me. Bumper-to-bumper often starts around Foster, Lawrence, or Montrose. My point is the trip travel time varies a lot (wildly!). It’s called Travel Time Planning Index: http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/mobility/roads/cmp/performance-measurement

  • Amadeo

    Just wondering why the “think-big” planners at CDOT and IDOT consider that traffic btw Hollywood and Irving is so sparse compared to further south that they’re thinking of dropping one lane entirely from all vehicular traffic? Be that as it may:
    The travel data I’ve been accumulating applies only to travel times on LSD. And there’s a reason for that: The Burnham-crazed planners and their project to bring about colossal, billion-dollar changes to the drive. The distances just ain’t that great–a 50% reduction (very unlikely) in driving time btw Belmont & Michigan (-4 min) or Belmont to Randolph (-6 min) comes to peanuts. And besides, a saving for whom? Certainly not for most car drivers who would see their travel time go up.
    And besides, these puny savings realized with a dedicated bus lane just ain’t gonna persuade most car drivers to switch over to a bus (walking time to the bus stop, waiting time at the bus stop, time lost with transferring, standing for the duration of the trip, etc.). But never fear: Our Burnham-crazed planners will tell you that you’d enjoy a savings of 1020 minutes over 255 workdays (Belmont to Michigan) and 1530 min to Randolph.
    Gee, if only I could just store up all those minutes into a compressed package of time, I could get a whole extra day of free time to myself (yeah, right–I’d say better to gamble on getting a socialist government elected that would reduce the work week for all of us).
    So keep pushing your immiseration agenda for the car-driving stiffs–maybe you’ll inch up that figure on cyclist commuters to 5.5%

  • ChicagoCyclist

    5.5% commute mode share for cycling would be great! In 20 years, 12%-15% would be truly excellent! Combine that with 20-30% using transit, and 10-15% walking, fabulous! Remember, commute trips are only 15-25% of the trips people make. In Chicago, non-commute bike trips are estimated to be quite a lot higher than the commute share. Private SOV are not a sustainable mode of travel in urbanized areas. The more that we force folks to realize that fact (by slowing them down with congestion — by, for example, transferring ROW to bikes and peda — and making drivers pay more — through tolls, higher taxes and fees and insurance rates, VMT charges, congestion pricing, etc. — the better (for society as a whole).

  • Amadeo

    I’d say you’re on the money if you envision a Chicago in which more than 75% of the population is young and buff and without children–and even most of them won’t be walking or bicycling very much for 6 months out of the year because of the weather. You should try to understand why people drive and then criticize them. I’m guessing that most of them have good reasons. Immiserization is a poor strategy, in any case.
    And, how the heck do you determine the incidence of non-commute bike trips? Most of that is recreational or for short errands. And just because a lot of people take leisurely rides around town (which I do a lot), you want to cripple the ability of others to drive?
    Cars will continue to be a vital form of transportation in Chicago for hundreds of thousands of people because the destinations that people select are so far-flung.
    I share your vision of a car-free Chicago, and in point of fact the 3 weeks we spend at the seashore without ever getting behind the wheel of a car are priceless. But I’m not oblivious to the real needs of others for cars and not indifferent, as you are, to the congestion effects brought on by the visions of Burnhamian grandeur that the CMAP crowd would have us endure.
    Instead, fight for a social democratic world where the work week is cut down such that your time belongs to yourself and not to your bosses.

  • Amadeo

    Went out to pick up a pizza at Pat’s Pizzeria, Lincoln and Seminary, and took the car. Traveled 1.8 miles, 12 minutes each way (in Cubs and Belmont & Halsted fair traffic). If I’d taken public trans. it would have taken 25 min each way, and that’s not accounting for the wait time. No way I could have juggled a large pizza on the bike (would not have fit across my rake either).
    This is just one reason why people like to have a car.
    And by the way, Chicago ranks 3rd in the world in metro sq mile area. It ain’t like getting around in Paris on the metro.
    We need a mix and not a ham-fisted knockout of the car option.

  • ChicagoCyclist

    That is why I purposefully mentioned cargo-bikes and e-bikes. You know what they are, right? You can carry much more than a pizza with the right bike. Just like a pick-up truck can carry more than a Mini Cooper. I personally know several families with 1-2 kids in Chicago (the city proper, different neighborhoods), and in Aurora and in Elgin (suburbs) that survive fine (they are very happy) without a car. Yes, the development we have is not “made for it”. That is what I — and many others who are concerned about the future of our cities, residents and their (long-term sustainable) well-being — want to change.

  • ChicagoCyclist

    Where did you catch my most recent post, if not here?? If you can repost it, that’d be great! Thanks.

  • ChicagoCyclist

    Carrots and sticks are both important to change society’s behavior. The four “E”s are all important: “E”ngineering changes (i.e. roads designed and operated to be “Complete Streets” — i.e. streets that serve all users of all ages and abilities safely, comfortably, and conveniently), “E”ducation campaigns (on the inefficiency and negative effects of too much private, SOV travel, and on how efficient and fun cycling can be in most places, for most kinds of trips), “E”nforcement (speed and red-light cameras, etc.), and “E”ncouragement (social marketing toward cycling and walking).

    Non-commute trips are estimated (just like commute trips) from Census and FHWA surveys. We know that commute trips make up less than 30% of trips people make.

    “Young and buff” has little or nothing to do with cycling for transportation. E-bikes, cargo bikes, e-cargo bikes, adult trikes exist for those who want or need them. I am not saying “no” to cars. I’m saying if you want to drive in the big cities like Chicago, LA, NYC, DC, Seattle, San Francisco, etc. etc., you better be ready for congestion, which is good, because it slows traffic and it keeps crashes from happening! Speed is the main cause of fatal and incapacitating injuring crashes.

  • ChicagoCyclist

    You can see “Annualized Average Daily Traffic” (AADT) here: https://www.gettingaroundillinois.com/gai.htm?mt=aadt
    Northern stretches of LSD drive have 80,000 to 100,000 cars per day on average. That is some of the highest AADT in the City and the country! Delay may be worse to the south (at rush hours) but it’s very bad here too.

  • Amadeo

    I too am “concerned about the future of our cities”, but as Larry Shannon (“Night of the Iguana”) used to say, “You’re not operating on the realistic level”. Sure we can increase bike usage, but in the end, Chicago will continue for the foreseeable future to be heavily dependent on cars–because of the vast expanse of the city and because the destinations of drivers are not readily matched up with public transit.
    Not such a great idea to take “greater congestion” as an objective. Be careful of what you wish for. Right now it’s the public transit associations and bicyclist associations that are calling the tune in CMAP and similar public planning outfits. There are next to no organizations that represent car drivers in determining the shape, for example, of North Lake Shore Dr. At a certain point, the level of exasperation of car drivers will reach a tipping point and they will organize–and they are not necessarily the most progressive crowd.
    Anyhow, fess up: with all the bias you have against cars and all those acronyms you throw around, you must be working for CMAP or some other self-entitled public planning agency.
    And, finally, I’d take your suggestion that I drive up to Ardmore at 8am to see how congested it is, but at that time it takes me 10 minutes to get the 150 feet to the stop sign at Aldine and LSD. But that don’t mean I hold it against those who need to be on the move at that time.

  • Amadeo

    Of course “young and buff” has a lot to do with cycling. You’d have to be blind not to recognize the demographic distribution of commuter bicyclists. Most people over 35 (especially with family) have had enough of bicycling 10 miles one way in bad weather 6 months out of the year. And for many, public transit is a poor option for point to point travel that doesn’t match up well with buses and RT.
    How anyone can say congestion is “good” is beyond me. It has the effect of increasing pollution from car exhaust and exasperating car drivers–which is likely to lead them to engage in reckless driving to get the edge in the backup. But most of the time LSD’s moves smoothly–though too fast. And the solution there is enforcement of speed limits.
    Planners like yourself are convinced that they know how to condition people into behaving the way they (the planners) want them to behave (for the sake of beneficent, but unrealistic objectives). But there’s little evidence to suggest that making things worse for car drivers has modified their behavior in the direction you’d like to maneuver them. You might try to understand them better, and why they are so resistant to behave the way you want them to behave.
    And then there are those goofy brick islands jutting out from the curb. They certainly don’t make life easier for pedestrians, and their “calming” effect on drivers is nil. But they do make things more difficult and dangerous for bicyclists, who find themselves squeezed between the car on their left and the protruding brick island.
    Let’s try to think “small” and incremental, rather than BIG- BURNHAM-style. The money to be spent on the latest mega boondoggle (the North LSD Project) will prove to be an incredible boondoggle that benefits mainly contractors and the campaign coffers of Emmanuel.

  • ChciagoCyclist

    Ignorance is indeed the bane of our society. You probably know as much about aerospace engineering, neurosurgery, American history, and political science as you do about transportation planning! :)

  • Amadeo

    I’m weak on aerospace engineering and neurosurgery, but maybe my Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia Univ. helps me with the other categories–plus good ole common sense.
    I remember how, in the final chapter of our encounter with the “closer” of a time-share pitch (after our repeated “No’s” to all previous enticements), he said: “What do we have to do to make this deal work for you?”
    How about trying that with a survey of people who commute on North Lake Shore Dr.? I’m sure it would be a lot cheaper than the work-up of 20 different scenarios for the Drive. (Of course, car drivers are not the only “stakeholders”, but it seems it’s only organizations that front for bicyclists, pedestrians, and public transit users that have a voice.)
    And those goofy brick islands just off the curb: I was scared to death on my bike at Aldine and Broadway yesterday as the Broadway bus rolled up to my side–a very tight squeeze indeed.

  • ChicagoCyclist

    The terms for various treatments and geometric designs, which are intended to slow traffic are: “traffic calming” and “speed management.” See ITE’s guide on traffic calming at https://www.ite.org/traffic/tcdevices.asp. You might also Google “traffic calming measures.” Engineers and academics have developed, studied and tested traffic calming designs — which include ‘goofy’ curb extensions, as well as (believe it or not) bikeway facilities — over the last 2-3 decades. They are an important tool for creating “Complete Streets” (see https://smartgrowthamerica.org/program/national-complete-streets-coalition/). You can be sure — and I feel certain that you will agree on this — that professional traffic engineers (indeed, the professional organization that represents the lot of them) know quite a bit more about designing and operating streets than do political scientists — which is not meant to express any disparagement toward political science or its practitioners, but rather to recognize specialist knowledge on an important topic that — alas! — everyone thinks they know everything about!

  • ChicagoCyclist

    In addition to my response below, which should help you understand the concept of traffic calming, please read the first few comments on this Washington Post article article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/under-rules-of-the-road-its-car-vs-bike-or-maybe-the-rules-make-losers-of-both/2018/08/14/20193380-9f48-11e8-83d2-70203b8d7b44_story.html?utm_term=.e8104dfc0bad

    These are some smart people!

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