By Michelle Stenzel
Construction crews will be breaking ground next week on the much-needed reconstruction of the Fullerton Parkway bridge over the lagoon, near Lake Shore Drive. Apparently the planning, design and approval process occurred years ago, prior to the reign of our current mayor, CDOT commissioner, and alderman.
|Satellite view of the Fullerton Parkway bridge project, with south sidewalk eliminated to add a lane for eastbound car traffic. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)|
Many elements of the redesign will be great improvements, like replacing the crumbling bridge structure while replicating its Art Deco facade, improving the north-south underpass for people using the gravel path to eliminate standing water and make full use of its width, and eliminating the center pier of the bridge to better accommodate rowing activities on the lagoon.
Unfortunately, the plans also have elements that are detrimental for people walking and riding bikes on Fullerton to and from the lake front trail. I attended the meeting Wednesday night at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in which CDOT staff members presented the plans and answered questions.
|The south sidewalk of the Fullerton Parkway bridge will be eliminated permanently to create a second right turn lane for cars going onto southbound Lake Shore Drive. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)|
Here are the problems with the design as we see it:
1/ Elimination of the sidewalk on the south side of the bridge
The south sidewalk will be eliminated permanently from Cannon Drive eastward to the lake front trail.
People walking on the south sidewalk from points west toward the lake front trail will be routed onto a curved path down toward the lagoon, then northward under the under pass, then either up a set of stairs or around a looping path upward, then turned around to face east again, and over the bridge, under the Lake Shore Drive underpass, and then onto the lake front trail.
|On this drawing, north is to the right. It reflects the deletion of the south sidewalk, and the looping path onto which all east- and west-bound pedestrians and bicyclists will be routed. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)|
There is a planned increase in the width of sidewalk on the north side, to 20 feet. (It is currently about 13.5 feet by my measurement.)
2/ Fullerton Parkway will have an additional lane added for car traffic for the intended purpose of easing car traffic on Fullerton.
The south sidewalk for pedestrians is being removed in order to create a fifth lane for car traffic; specifically the asphalt portion of Fullerton Parkway over the bridge will be increased from four lanes to five lanes to create a second right turn lane for eastbound car traffic to enter the ramp onto southbound Lake Shore Drive.
Adding this right-turn lane is being described as an improvement of safety for pedestrians since there are “fewer points of conflict” with car traffic, but it is being done by simply eliminating the presence of pedestrians.
|"Fewer points of conflict with pedestrians" will be achieved by simply eliminating the presence of pedestrians on this side of Fullerton Parkway over the lagoon and under Lake Shore Drive. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)|
In any case and importantly, the addition of a second turn lane will do nothing to reduce car traffic back ups, since the two lanes must merge into one lane half way up the ramp before entering Lake Shore Drive.
In fact, one attendee pointed out that the design actually causes a traffic jam, since the current single right-turn lane on eastbound Fullerton will increase to two lanes for only a few yards, then the drivers will have to merge back together on the ramp. It’s just creating more space for cars to pile up, in effect.
3/ Lack of accommodation on the street for people riding a bicycle to and from the Lake Front Trail
Currently, there is no bike lane of any type on Fullerton Parkway on this stretch, currently or planned with this design. Fullerton car traffic is already too fast-moving for all but the most fearless bicycle rider to reach the Lake Front Trail. The proposed design, with its additional turn lane and synchronized traffic lights, will only make car traffic faster, more aggressive, and more treacherous for a person riding a bicycle on Fullerton.
|Four lanes of car traffic will be increased to five lanes of car traffic under the newly designed Fullerton Parkway bridge. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)|
Under this design, people bicycling on Fullerton to the lake front trail will now have to navigate three lanes of eastbound cars instead of two, including two turning lanes instead of one, increasing the number of potential points of conflict.
Since Fullerton is already scary to ride on, most people on bicycles currently ride on what I always considered a sidewalk, since it’s concrete, and it looks and feels like a sidewalk. When I brought up this issue at the meeting, CDOT staffer and former chief bridge engineer Dan Burke said that it’s actually a mixed use trail once you enter the park east of Lincoln Park West, and bicyclists can and should use the “sidewalk”. Apparently bicyclists are now expected to take the path with its up and down grading and loop de loops.
The crowded state of the sidewalk/mixed use trail on this part of Fullerton Parkway will only get worse when the current 27 feet of sidewalk/MUT (combined north and south) is reduced to 20 feet total under the new design.
The increased number of bicycles on an already busy and newly narrowed sidewalk/MUT, will be annoying and dangerous to people walking.
|The lake front trail just south of Fullerton is a very popular destination for recreation and transportation, even on a late winter day like this one. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)|
We’re very disappointed to see these three elements of the plan. Eliminating a natural and direct route for people walking, and reducing the territory given to pedestrians for the purpose of adding more capacity for car traffic is not consistent with our current city leaders’ goals of encouraging active transportation. Eliminating sidewalks and crosswalks in order to marginally (or doubtfully) benefit car traffic is a throwback to a bygone era.
Finally, the lack of design elements for people riding bicycles for transportation seems to violate the city of Chicago's Complete Streets policy, which require that all modes of transportation, including bicycle transportation, be accommodated in street redesign. All over the city, our forward-thinking city planners are reducing the number of car lanes to put streets on a "road diet", but this road is being fed steroids and goose fat instead. If there is a technical loophole that allows this design, we feel that it’s still a violation of the spirit of our Complete Streets policy.
Are we the only ones disheartened about this development? Comments below, please, or to firstname.lastname@example.org
This sucks, if only there were a way to stop this and redesign within the Complete Streets PolicyReplyDelete
If the projects whose planning and design began after the Complete Street policy was adopted by the Chicago City Council is any indication, Chicago's planners and designers are not aware of the Complete Streets policy.ReplyDelete
"Eliminating a natural and direct route for people walking, and reducing the territory given to pedestrians for the purpose of adding more capacity for car traffic is not consistent with our current city leaders’ goals of encouraging active transportation."
It is not consistent with the previous administration's goals to make Chicago the most bicycle friendly city in the United States.
It seems that pedestrians are the real losers here, particularly those pushing baby carriages, those using walkers or crutches, or those in unmotorized wheelchairs, as they will now be forced to go down and then back up a series of ramps, rather than proceedng in a straight line across the sidewalk to be removed. Of course, there is the option to cross to the sidewalk/path on the north side of the street, if a signalized crossing is provided somehwere nearby.ReplyDelete
As a cyclist, I think the best route for me would be to take the farthest left lane, the one which northbound LSD drivers will use, and avoid the right turning mess of the two right lanes. If a lot of cyclists take that left lane, this road will experience a de facto road diet. The left lane, if 20 or 30 bicycles are in it at most times, will slow to a safe speed, while the right two lanes will hopefully jam up to keep speeds under 5 mph. Car congestion and traffic jams are generally good things for safety. There may be an increase in annoying little fender bender accidents there, but since cars will likely be moving at very slow speeds, little injury will result. If drivers get frustrated with that entrance to LSD, they may even avoid it altogether. The best addition to this plan would be to add a series of speed bumps approaching the turnoffs to LSD, to keep car speeds way down at times other than rush hour.
Thank you for all the comments so far. @TomH, I believe people walking eastward can "plan ahead" and cross Fullerton at Cannon at grade level to avoid the ups and downs. However, many visitors to the Lincoln Park Zoo, Conservatory and Alfred Caldwell Lily Pond won't be able to plan ahead if they're not familiar with the configuration. I'm sure there will be signs directing them, but really, people don't want to read signs to figure out how to get to a sparkling blue lake that they can see in the near distance, and they shouldn't have to. -- Michelle StenzelReplyDelete
Looks like a boondoggle to me: spending a lot of money to make it easier for people to drive to work in the Loop. Do we want to make it easier for people in the most densely populated neighborhood in Chicago, the neighborhood with the highest transit ridership in the city, to drive into downtown? If your analysis is correct, Michelle, this "investment" doesn't actually make it easier to drive, but it does make it harder for people to walk and bike to the lakefront. If you're wrong and this does succeed in bringing cars more efficiently onto LSD and into downtown, is that what we want? Do we want to be a city that encourages people to drive everywhere, even short distances to work, or a city that encourages them to walk and bike to the lake?ReplyDelete
Imagine what we could with this money to make it truly easier to get downtown--a better alternative for the majority of us that commute on buses stuck in car traffic.
I think this violates the First Rule of Getting Out of Holes: when you find yourself in one, stop digging.
Well said! The last thing we need is to encourage MORE cars to take Fullerton to Lake Shore Drive, especially in a way that wastes a lot of money to create what is a marginal improvement that benefits only one class of users in this heavily used public space.Delete
Since when is Lincoln Park the densest neighborhood in Chicago? lake View and Rogers Park are at 30,000 people per sq mi compared to Lincoln Park's 20,000.Delete
This is no possible way you can justify this as improving pedestrian safety. Traffic certainly did not need to be sped up in this area, and it's already difficult enough to get to the LFP from the other side of LSD. Definitely a move in the wrong direction, and in a very visible, highly-traffic place.ReplyDelete
One needs to start by acknowledging that this is a tough one. This complex set of intersections currently does not work well for anyone, cars, bikes or peds. Something should be done, the status quo is not acceptable. While the proposed design does intend to fix the congestion problem, it is not fair to characterize it as accommodating cars at any cost. There is a legitimate attempt here to remedy a serious pedestrian safety problem. There are some trade-offs as there are on any complete streets design. I expect that the proposed design will create a much safer pedestrian context.ReplyDelete
I don’t know the crash numbers but I assume the analysis is available. Currently there are four conflict points; basically the two entrance and the two exit ramps for LSD. Getting rid of a sidewalk on one side eliminates two of those conflict points. Probably the worst conflict is where east bound Fullerton enters the southbound entrance ramp. This probably has the highest volume and is not signal controlled. See the picture from Streetview below. This is where you have the greatest chance of a higher speed vehicle hitting a pedestrian. With southside sidewalk removal this is eliminated and the two remaining conflict points are signal controlled. (I hope the southbound LSD exit onto Fullerton will be no turn on red.) The cost of this is a longer more inconvenient route for peds to the lakefront, particularly for anybody unable to climb stairs including strollers and wheelchairs. Remember, the mobility impaired are also more vulnerable with longer crossing times at the conflict points so this convenience versus safety trade-off is very real. I think more people of all abilities will live to see the beach with the proposed design.
Nothing is going to fix car congestion at this intersection at the worst times. The design will function better for cars at congested times. It does help traffic flow to provide additional car storage prior to a stop light even if traffic has to merge into a single lane beyond the signal. Complete Streets also takes auto flow seriously.
The bike access is currently poor and the design only marginally improves it. The conditions on the north side sidewalk access will be very similar to the lakefront path conditions near Fullerton. Is there a way we can separate the bikes and other wheeled access on this 20 feet wide section? Maybe we can still widen it. We now have smarter ideas about bike separation than when this project was designed. Street access will be very similar to the current bad conditions.
I’m hoping someone is looking at the problems with the auto access to Theater on the Lake. We need to eliminate motor vehicle infringement on the Lakefront Trail here. Some sort of drop-off, loading zone, ADA parking needs to be created off of the northbound LSD access ramp and path access eliminated for all but maintenance and emergency vehicles.
I think CDOT has demonstrated that they want the best design for every user. It is hard and expensive to rethink projects that are in the pipeline and have already jumped through all the community, funding and process hoops in previous years. I think it is worth working on some possible tweaks to this project, but there are enough real benefits that we should not stall it. I’m happy to discuss further strategy with anyone. Active Trans and all our biking, walking and transit allies need to work hard at a very cool-headed, thoughtful, productive working relationship with CDOT and elected officials on this and many other projects. There’s a lot of exciting change that is scheduled this year.
Randy Neufeld , email@example.com
Thank you all again for the additional comments. Randy, your insights are especially valued, given your long history of advocacy in Chicago, and we have taken note. I do believe there are many favorable aspects of this project, and agree it's perhaps worthwhile looking into redesign of the more troublesome elements, applying new knowledge to make improvements. My goal is absolutely to continue good relations with all stakeholders in the process. -- Michelle StenzelReplyDelete
From the plan there seems to be a new traffic light at the intersection between Fullerton and the exit/entrance ramps on LSD. The goal of that would be to convince the people exiting southbound LSD and turning right on westbound Fullerton to actually stop. Because what they do now is to ignore the white stripe on the ground (which means stop here, there is currently no traffic light regulating the cars exiting southbound LSD and turning onto Fullerton) and instead they do a rolling stop a couple (or three) yards beyond that. For me the northside sidewalk is more dangerous than the southside one because of this (cars exiting from LSD drive much faster than cars entering LSD). Only one in three cars does respect the current stop sign. I know, that sidewalk is how I get to/from the bike path whenever I use the bycicle.ReplyDelete
Does anybody believe that a traffic light controlling a right turn will change the behavior of car drivers ? What about a real speed bump on the southbound exit ramp from LSD toward Fullerton ? Plus a squad car there permanently there on Saturdays/Sundays. How long is that traffic light going to be for pedestrians ? I guess it is going to be short, because otherwise there will be a backup on LSD....
The next real question is: is the total amount of space on the sidewalks on the Fullerton Bridge going to increase ? Because right now it is at most 2 times 5 feet (and I don't think there are 2 times 13.5 ft below the underpass). And that is already too little on weekends with sufficient pedestrian plus bicyclists traffic. Summer weekends ? Does anybody realize that Fullerton is the lakefront access closer to the EL ?
The CDOT should have just taken the option of reducing the number of lanes on Fullerton and on southbound Cannon Drive from 2 to 1. That would increase the traffic flow. The real slowdown for traffic on eastbound Fullerton is due to people who are in the left lane (because they want to bypass people queuing on the right lane) and want to take southbound LSD. I cannot see how adding one lane is going to improve the traffic flow. The only thing this change it is going to achieve is a reduction in the number of cars queuing on Fullerton west of Lakeview Ave...
And honestly I wonder how somebody can say that this went through "community hoops". I live in the neighborhood, I do use Fullerton (most often the north sidewalk) as my cycling route to the bike path, and I do unfortunately drive on Cannon to Fullerton to LSD on my way to work on a daily basis. I saw a sign on LSD announcing that on March 19 work would start on the bridge. And I saw the post on the Chainlink this morning. I don't think it qualifies for community involvement. Whenever there has been something in Lincoln Park which would affect the real interests (like what to do with the old Grant Hospital), I've seen flyers in my mail.... I guess that this really means that sidewalks and access to the lake do not qualify as passing the bar for community interest (thanks to Michelle, not too many thanks to the alderwoman....)
I've posted the crash data on Grid Chicago.ReplyDelete
The intersection of Fullerton Parkway and the southbound Lake Shore Drive ramps have seen one injurious pedestrian-automobile crash from 2005-2010. And two injurious bicycle-automobile crashes. That is all!
If there's a pedestrian safety problem, I'd like to know more about it.
(And here's a map: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamesbondsv/6983992303/ )
Thanks, Marco. Re: the width of the sidewalks on the bridge over the lagoon: I believe they are 13.5 feet but agree they feel a lot narrower, especially on busy summer weekends. Re: the community input, I know that the Lincoln Park Advisory Council has been very involved during the process, especially for matters involving minimizing impact on the existing trees and replacement of those removed for the project. The runners group CARA was also sought out for input. I think other groups participated as well but I'm not remembering exactly. I believe the community meetings were a few years ago. I know well that it's often hard to rally interest and active participation from the general population, unless or until the proposal seems to be something that will impact the community member personally, for good or for bad. Honestly, if I got a flier in the mail saying a bridge 3/4 mile from me was going to be rebuilt and they were seeking input, I'm not sure I would have realized that I needed to get involved because a sidewalk might be removed! Lesson learned. Get involved. Everyone!ReplyDelete
Michelle - Thank you for the article, and thank you for attending the meeting on behalf of concerned citizens. I do however need to take exception with several of your points.ReplyDelete
The vast majority of pedestrians and cyclists will see very little change in the overall trip to get to Lake Shore Trail. Those coming from the north will see no change; the majority those coming from the south will travel under the bridge and take the looping path; and those coming from the west will learn to cross to the north side at Canon. Taking this looping path is not nearly the hassle you make it out to be. It will have to be constructed at ADA standards which means 8% inclines for intervals no longer than 50ft.
"In fact, one attendee pointed out that the design actually causes a traffic jam, since the current single right-turn lane on eastbound Fullerton will increase to two lanes for only a few yards, then the drivers will have to merge back together on the ramp. It’s just creating more space for cars to pile up, in effect" - This is not true, given that once traffic enters the LSD ramp it is in a free flow condition. The additional right turn lane will move more traffic through the intersection during each cycle more effectively, and traffic will merge to one lane as the enter LSD. If LSD was a signalized roadway, and the ramp was the primary roadway, then your argument would hold, but it is an on ramp, providing additional traffic to a much larger roadway, so backups will not occur as you describe.
"The proposed design, with its additional turn lane and synchronized traffic lights, will only make car traffic faster, more aggressive, and more treacherous for a person riding a bicycle on Fullerton." - The proposed design made make the design more friendly for on street parking but treacherous is a bit of a stretch. Given the location and the amount of traffic that moves through this intersection, the goal is to move traffic more efficiently through the intersection, not increase vehicular speed (they are very different concepts).
It appears you believe that all concrete pedestrian facilities are sidewalks and all asphalt facilities are mix-use paths (given your used of quotations). Sidewalks and mix-use paths are differentiated by their width, not material. Normally anything more than about 8' wide would probably be considered a mix-use path (there are obvious exceptions to this general rule, like many of the wide sidewalks downtown where bicycles are not permitted). I believe both the north and south existing pedestrian ways on the bridge were considered mix-use when constructed.
"The crowded state of the sidewalk/mixed use trail on this part of Fullerton Parkway will only get worse when the current 27 feet of sidewalk/MUT (combined north and south) is reduced to 20 feet total under the new design." - It is a stretch, at best, to characterize the change in facilities in this way, especially without noting that the new facility is at least 6' wider than either of the existing facilities. A single, wider, facility will be more effective at moving pedestrians and cyclist than two narrower facilities.ReplyDelete
"the lack of design elements for people riding bicycles for transportation seems to violate the city of Chicago's Complete Streets policy, which require that all modes of transportation, including bicycle transportation, be accommodated in street redesign." - It is imported to understand the Complete Streets federal law, and Chicago policy completely before alleging a project violates them (the federal law requires that all aspects of travel are considered in design, but accommodation is not required). In this specific project, how are all aspects of travel not accommodated? The proposed design probably provides more accommodation than the existing conditions, given existing conditions are probably not to ADA standards. It is important to note that the mix-use paths must be a certain width to accommodate the anticipated traffic. If they were to add a second proposed mix-use facility on the south side of the bridge, I would anticipate that each of the proposed facilities would probably be 15' (if it was decreased at all). This would be an additional 10' of proposed bridge width. This can be a significant increase in cost to the project, that is difficult (at best) to justify over the proposed design they have provided.
All that being said, I am not saying the design is without its faults; and the public should have been involved AGAIN when the project was dusted off (not just the first time, if it was done then). Your concerns are warranted, but you haven't offered any (and there really aren't any) viable alternatives.
@Ryan: probably you never drive at 8am on the southbound ramp from Fullerton to LSD. Despite all the attempts from drivers, there is not enough space for 2 cars. And even if there was, how are they supposed to merge both at the same time on LSD (unless the drivers think they are in a 60s song and actually taken LSD, in which case peace and love will result in a nice crash).ReplyDelete
Another problem with this nice design which nobody people seem to forget. The foot/cycle traffic
crossing Cannon Drive will increase. If you cycle on that sidewalk, path you know that you have to stop when going west (from the lake toward Lakeview Ave) because if the light is green for pedestrians, it is also green for the cars which are on Fullerton and are turning right onto Cannon. Those cars even give less **** about the people on the zebra crossing. So another speed bump on the right lane on westbound Fullerton just after the stop sign, please.....
The pictures above from the meeting appear to indicate that the southbound on ramp will probably be reconstructed, meaning that two cars will be able to fit side by side. They will likely have about 100-150' to merge together on the ramp, before then then merge to onto LSD.
There are far too many people mentioning "speed bumps" as options. The suggestion of these features indicates lack of understanding regarding traffic engineering and urban planning. "Speed bumps" are only really intended to be used in parking lots. "Speed bumps" in general are losing favor to "speed humps".
Ryan, thanks for the comments and insight.ReplyDelete
Re: whether a second lane will actually help car traffic flow on the southbound on ramp, I realize that I'm always picturing LSD being back up with cars while this is going on, so I can see that when LSD is not backed up, that the additional turn lane might help.
Re: sidewalks v. mixed use trails: As a lay person, I associate asphalt or crushed gravel with mixed use trails, like all the MUTs throughout Lincoln Park. If it's made of concrete, I assume it's a sidewalk and I'm not supposed to ride a bicycle on it, like the concrete along Fullerton, the concrete all along Stockton Drive near the Farm in the Zoo, etc. The CDOT rep said that when a path is within a park, it's a mixed use trail, and he didn't mention widths. Perhaps this should be marked or signed better to clarify.
Re: whether bicyclists are accommodated: I was considering it from the viewpoint of whether bicyclists are given any improved conditions on the street, and no on-street facilities are planned under the design. Yes, bicyclists are allowed on the path that will be created, and apparently expected to be there, a la the model seen on LaSalle Drive between LSD and Clark.
I agree that in Chicago, especially closer to the park, it can be difficult to distinguished between sidewalks and MUTs. I regret mentioning the widths as that general rule of thumb really doesn't apply in Chicago at all. If I had my way none of the paved trails in the park would be asphalt but rather previous concrete (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPxPgLgdWws). It seems like a no-brainer me.Delete
A conflict I haven't seen discussed is what happens with the existing south sidewalk under LSD? How do they plan to close this path under the LSD viaduct and its connection to the lakefront? Safety issues abound since too many bicyclists and pedestrians will attempt dangerous crossings if they think they will save a few seconds.ReplyDelete
Great point here, they need to be sure that pedestrians/bicyclist don't believe they can still use the south side under the proposed design, they could be stuck in no man's land, where cars will not be expecting to look for them.Delete
Just for fun. I went out riding today. On my way back when it was time to cross the exit ramp from southbound LSD to westbound Fullerton I had my own mental bet. Is this car going to stop at the stop line? Naahhhhh. Went straight through it and stopped at the intersection. Several yards past the stop line. Next I have to cross Cannon Drive. Guess what do pedestrians do ? Yield to cars even if the traffic light says "walk". Because pedestrians know that cars driving west on Fullerton and turning north on Cannon Drive do not bother to stop or yield..... Funny, the CDOT proposal does not address these two points of conflict. Yes there will be a light at the first one. Yes there is a light alreadty at the 2nd one. The 2nd one is routinely ignored. And the first one will be ignored too..... And the pedestrian traffic on the sidewalk on the north side of Fullerton will increase (just because all the traffic will move there).ReplyDelete
I think CDOT and the Police Department need to work together on educating drivers and pedestrians near LSD. Hopefully the car not stopping at the southbound off ramp is rectified by the new signal, but the drivers not stopping for (or even yielding to) pedestrians is a clear violation of Illinois law (remember the law now says that cars have to STOP, not yeild, to pedestrians even if they are illegally crossing on a red.)
Near me at Belmont/Sheridan, there is a problem with the mass amount of pedestrians unloading from buses crossing the street before the signal indicates they should. In 99% of cases the signal indicates the vehicles have right-of-way, but the pedestrians go anyways. This causes a confusing situation for drivers (and potential danger for the pedestrians). They either need to reconfigure the signal (and add proper signage), or educate the pedestrians (with warnings of future tickets) if they are crossing the street improperly.
i agree with everything Marco said;Delete
one thing that was always needed at the Fullerton SB entrance to LSD was clarity on the lane usage; before there was none so people from the north would illegally turn right onto LSD. That will soon be legal, but driver education is still lacking with regards to LSD merging... people tend to merge too soon (right as soon as they can) instead of using the full LSD entrance/exit ramp to merge like they should.... when people merge right away it then causes traffic to back up into the intersection and/or people to sit through 3-4 light cycles. If people went side by side as long as they could on the exit/entrance ramps a lot of traffic problems would be eased.
Also agree on Belmont/Sheffield... the lack of pedestrians actually following the walk sign actually causes LSD to back up, which in turn is ironically causing their bus commute to take longer. It's worse there as a cyclist because the right lane is primarily right turn only but it's not officially right turn only--during rush hour there are two WB lanes on Belmont and the normally right-turn-mostly lane is also a straight lane... this kind of leaves bikers stuck in a rut of what to do and without any real clear signage it seems that the vast majority of bikers actually sit in the crosswalk, adding to the confusion
Anonymous, I'm not sure how they'll close that path. I have to check out the Belmont/LSD configuration to compare, since I've been told this seems like it will be similar.ReplyDelete
Marco, I know what you mean about the cars and pedestrians. Those types of issues I think we still have time to work on, to make sure that the experience for pedestrians improves overall and doesn't worsen, i.e. making the remaining crosswalks very visible, maybe decreasing the turn radius onto Cannon from Fullerton. Can I add you to our BikeWalkLincolnPark e-mail list to help join in to make this happen? The invitation goes to anyone reading this as well: firstname.lastname@example.org -- Michelle Stenzel
But as someone pointed out, another huge problem is the right turn of the southbound ramp from the north. It's already dangerous, moving the sidewalk to the edge may help, but unless they put a camera there and a "no turn on red" sign for certain hours, like at the Belmont southbound exit, then it will just result in cars blocking the path and hitting pedestrians as they cruise through without even looking.ReplyDelete
I think what's ultimately needed is a separate underpass for the path. That won't solve the problem of less width to cross unless you have one ped pass under and one over like at North ave. Really I'm not sure why they didn't consider that, unless they did and the cost was just too much or there's not enough space between the "river" and LSD. However, it's so busy with all sorts of traffic, I believe separate ped/bike path crossing is the only viable long term solution.