Here’s how to provide input on new West Side Divvy station locations
It appears that last year’s long-awaited expansion of the Divvy system into the Far South Side was a success, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, plus a speed bump or two with the implementation of new dockless electric bikes. This year the Chicago Department of Transportation and Lyft, the Divvy concessionaire, will be expanding the system further into the West side, and once again they’re looking for feedback from local residents on where the new stations should go.
While CDOT doesn’t have an exact start date for this year’s expansion, here’s some info about how the community input process is being conducted. The department and Lyft are currently working with aldermen, community organizations, and residents in North Lawndale, Little Village, Belmont Cragin, Hermosa, Austin, and West Humboldt Park. As station locations in those neighborhoods are finalized in the coming weeks they’ll be reaching out to stakeholders in the rest of the Phase 2 Expansion area.
According to a Block Club report by Pascal Sabino, some West Side leaders have argued that the stations shouldn’t be installed in areas with high crime rates, but 24th Ward alderman Michael Scott Jr. rejected that reasoning. “If we’re talking about a better quality of life for the entire community, we have to be able to service the entire community,” he said. “Whether that block is one that is a little bit rougher or not, we still want to be able to serve those folks and make this block as walkable or bike-friendly as possible, so that, hopefully… it won’t be as rough later down the line.”
Community members can get involved by participating in an online survey, where they can comment on locations that CDOT is proposing, and suggest ideas for new locations. People can also sign up here to get e-mails on planning activities in their local network. The outreach team is also posting yard signs asking residents to “imagine a Divvy station here” with QR codes they can scan and URLs that will take them to the survey website.
“Our goal is to be deliberate and thoughtful and ensure that the Divvy system serves the needs of residents in expansion neighborhoods,” said CDOT spokesperson Mike Claffey. “The path to success hinges on building relationships with community partners so that local input and ideas can guide our planning process.”