Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Aldermanic candidates voice opinions on bike, walk + transit issues

by Michelle Stenzel

We're thrilled to share with you that all four candidates who will be on the ballot for the 43rd ward aldermanic election responded to our questionnaire on bicycling, walking and public transportation issues! The questionnaire began with eight citywide questions posed by the Active Transportation Alliance, and then Bike Walk Lincoln Park provided five ward-specific queries as well. 
Crosswalk with in-street Stop For Pedestrians sign on Diversey near the L station. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
The citywide questions touch on many topics of interest, including separated trails for biking and walking on the lake front, support for participatory budgeting in the ward, and support for photo enforcement technology of existing traffic laws. 

We encourage you to read the full questionnaire responses of all four candidates: 

Jen Kramer


                               Jerry Quandt

Michele Smith

                         Caroline Vickrey 

For your convenience, we've posted the five 43rd ward Bike Walk Lincoln Park questions below, followed by each candidate's answer.

BWLP's Question #1

What do you believe is working well for people walking, riding bikes or taking public transportation in the 43rd ward, and what do you believe are some of the most important changes that would make it more safe, convenient and pleasant?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Active transport questionnaires for the aldermanic candidates

by Michelle Stenzel

The election for mayor and all 50 aldermanic seats is coming up soon! Four candidates will be on the ballot in the 43rd ward: Jen Kramer (jenkramer43.com), Jerry Quandt (jerryquandt.com), Michele Smith (michelesmith.org), and Caroline Vickrey (carolinefor43.com). 

Problems related to biking, walking, and taking public transit in our ward are very important to many Lincoln Park residents, so we are giving the candidates a chance to state their views on those issues in order to help voters make an informed decision.

[Edit: On January 27, 2015, we provided the candidates' complete responses on this blog post.]

Stop for Pedestrians sign on Stockton Drive alongside Green City Market, in July 2012.
We've partnered with Active Transportation Alliance in this effort. Active Trans has sent an eight-item questionnaire to 200+ candidates for all 50 wards (link to that questionnaire here). Bike Walk Lincoln Park provided an additional five ward-specific questions that was attached for the 43rd ward candidates. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Our narrow, beloved Lakefront Trail takes a beating and gets TLC

by Michelle Stenzel

I've taken a lot of pictures of the Lakefront Trail in the last few weeks. It started one day in October, when I found myself on the 70th floor of Lake Point Tower for the first time, and I looked down and saw that famous landmark, beloved recreational and commuting route, and enormous point of pride for all of Chicago, the mighty Lakefront Trail:

What, you can't see it? It's right there! Okay, let me zoom in a little for you:

It's not that 16-lane wide mass of concrete taking up most of the right side of the photo -- it's that thin ribbon of asphalt to its left!
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Small improvements for people walking in Lincoln Park

by Michelle Stenzel

We're eagerly waiting for the re-paved Lincoln Avenue to materialize, and when it does, I'll be sure to post "after" pictures. In the mean time, I noticed a few small improvements made lately in the neighborhood.

There are new "Stop for Pedestrian" signs installed on Armitage, at Mohawk Street and at Cleveland Avenue:
New "Stop for Pedestrian"signs on Armitage at Cleveland. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
The signs are on both crosswalks, alongside the zebra-stripe markings. These intersections are "uncontrolled", which means that there is no stop sign or red light for drivers. 

I also noticed new faux-brick stamped crosswalks at the intersection of Clark and Webster:
New crosswalks on Webster at Clark Street. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
This is a very busy intersection, especially before school starts at neighboring Francis Parker School. It's nice to see the fresh striping, paint and stamped asphalt. Families with kids at the school and all the neighborhood people likely appreciate the increased visibility of the crosswalks.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Lincoln Avenue bike lane improvements are coming

by Michelle Stenzel

Lincoln Avenue has long been a popular bicycling route within Lincoln Park because it provides a direct southeast path toward the city center, leads to DePaul University, and it has bustling commercial areas along much of its length. Unfortunately, the asphalt has been in terrible disrepair for years, with enormous cracks and potholes that often made the bike lanes virtually useless. 
Lincoln Avenue bike lane and crosswalk near Montana Street. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
Fortunately, Alderman Michele Smith announced this week that the long wait is coming to an end: Most of Lincoln will be resurfaced over the next few weeks.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Clybourn Avenue would benefit from protected bike lanes

by Michelle Stenzel

Last week, the public was given its first glimpse of the changes being proposed to Clybourn Avenue from Division Street to North Avenue. You can read media coverage of the meeting on DNA Info Chicago and on Streetsblog Chicago.

As you know from our prior post, Clybourn north of North Avenue received buffered bike lanes last year; however, the southern section still has no bike lanes at all. 

Here's a map that shows in red the section of Clybourn that's in the current project area (it also includes one block of Division):
Red shows the parts of Clybourn and Division that are in the project area. Purple lines are existing buffered bike lanes. This screen shot was taken from the Active Transportation Alliance's Bikeways Tracker.
This project is not in Lincoln Park, but we're writing about it because every improvement for bicycling on nearby streets is important for the entire bicycling network, and in this case, it could greatly benefit Lincoln Parkers who ride on Clybourn to get to Larrabee or Halsted to head northbound. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Thinking big for a better Lake Shore Drive

by Michelle Stenzel

Readers of this blog know that the North Lake Shore Drive re-design process is well underway. (Links for background reading are provided at the end of this post.) The process of identifying problems with the current state is now concluded, and the next step is submitting specific ideas for how to solve the problems.

John Krause, an architect and long-time supporter of Bike Walk Lincoln Park, has laid out his vision for how we can make this important part of our city work better for all users, and he's looking for feedback. You can see his entire proposal for North Lake Shore Drive at this link to a PDF. (John is the  Executive Director of Chicago Streetcar Renaissance, and he'll be presenting his plan for streetcars in Chicago at the Transport Chicago conference at UIC on June 6th.)
Redefine The Drive vision for North Lake Shore Drive by John Krause of Chicago Streetcar Renaissance.
John doesn't think small. And why should he? If we do it right, this project has the real potential to transform the way Chicago residents interact with our lakeside parks, to enhance the natural beauty of the shoreline, and at the same time to improve the way we transport ourselves to and through the corridor.

I've posted screen shots of the four North Lake Shore Drive segments below from John's proposal. Some of the highlights of the plan include:

  • LSD dips downward at most junctions to allow the cross street to cross at grade;
  • New junctions at Division, Diversey and Addison to relieve motor vehicle backups at the existing junctions;
  • Lakefront light rail runs through the middle of the corridor from Michigan Avenue and Oak Street all the way to Hollywood;
  • East-west buses connect to the lakefront and the light rail stations;
  • LSD is re-routed north of LaSalle Drive onto Cannon Drive and then onto "inner North Lake Shore Drive", all the way to Belmont.