Sunday, December 4, 2011

Seize the opportunity to help shape Chicago’s north side bikeways

Lincoln Park is in the North Side Community
Area for purposes of the Streets for Cycling Plan
Hopefully you've heard the news already that the Chicago Department of Transportation has launched its Streets for Cycling Plan 2020, which aims to gather community input and then use the information to “develop a citywide network of 150-250 miles of innovative bikeways that will make bicycling a safe and easy option for all Chicagoans, from 8 years old to 80.”

For purposes of gathering community input, the S4C team has divided the city into nine community areas, and Lincoln Park is in the North Side Community Area, which also includes the neighborhoods of Lakeview, North Center, Lincoln Square/Ravenswood, Uptown, Edgewater, West Ridge and Rogers Park.

There are three ways to get involved right now, in the next few weeks.

First, keep up on the latest of the project team by “Liking” the Facebook page . You’ll also be able to post specific suggestions and comments at that site. If you’re not a Facebooker yet, you can try checking the CDOT Bicycle Program page for Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 ,  because they will post information there as well.

Second, make sure to drop in at the Streets for Cycling Open House on December 10 any time from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at the pop-up storefront location of 23 E. Madison, where the Streets for Cycling project team will have information about various bikeways, mapping activities, and an opportunity to discuss biking in your neighborhood with CDOT staff.

Third, if you’re in any of the north side neighborhoods listed above, join the North Side Community Advisory Group by e-mailing volunteer North Side co-leader Michelle Stenzel at to get on the e-mail list. (Bike Walk Lincoln Park co-chair Michael Reynolds will serve as the Lincoln Park neighborhood captain.) In your e-mail to Michelle, please specify which north side neighborhood you live in. 

The North Side Community Advisory Group will be meeting on Saturday, December 17 at a time and place to be determined soon, and you’ll get full information via e-mail. The purpose of that meeting will be to evaluate existing conditions on the north side, including destinations to which you’d like to ride your bike and barriers that keep you from doing it.
Chicago's Streets for Cycling Plan 2020: Because you shouldn't have to be brave to ride your bicycle in the city.
(Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
If you’re reading this and thinking you have nothing to contribute at this point because you don’t yet ride your bike in the city, you’re wrong. The city is not putting in improved bike facilities for the current bicyclists already riding, but instead to encourage the millions of Chicagoans who don’t ride to give it a try, and to make it one more truly safe, easy and convenient mode of transportation in the city.  They WANT to hear from people who currently don’t ride their bikes! So even if you don’t ride your bicycle in the city, you have very valuable insights to share, and we hope you make an extra effort to contribute to the plan.

You may be wondering why this is being done at such a busy time of year, during the darkest days of winter, and the simplified answer is: There’s no time to waste! It takes a few months to gather input, then for the planners to come up with drafts of the plan, and then to launch the actual plan and put it into motion. We’ve needed these improvements for safe bicycling in Chicago for years, and they’re already overdue. So ignore the cold weather -- let’s all jump in and seize this opportunity to help shape our city’s future. See you soon.
Note that this post was edited December 7, 2011 to update the link to the CDOT Bicycle Program to reflect that there is now a dedicated page for the Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 project.

No comments:

Post a Comment