Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Video: Morning commute on Clark Street

by Michelle Stenzel

Recently, we filmed a morning bike commute down Clark Street through Lincoln Park, from Diversey to North Avenue.
Clark Street looking north from Wrightwood. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
One mile of that route is designated as a Bus/Bike Only lane. Surprised? Even if you're a Lincoln Park regular, you may not even be aware that Clark Street from Diversey to Dickens is a designated Bus/Bike Only lane every weekday morning, from 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM. These rush-hour lanes are designed to help the flow of people down a busy corridor.  (more -->)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Intersection of North Avenue and Sedgwick needs improvements

by Michelle Stenzel

Bike Walk Lincoln Park undertook our fourth and final “Intersection Evaluation” recently, this time at the junction of North Avenue and Sedgwick Street, on the southern border of Lincoln Park and the 43rd ward. During these evaluations, co-leader Michael Reynolds and I (and anyone else who join us!) observe the current conditions and make recommendations to improve the intersection for people walking, riding bikes, and taking public transit.
The intersection of North Avenue and Sedgwick Street is a busy with people using many modes of transportation. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)

North and Sedgwick is a busy and important intersection for many people living, working or studying in the area.  (more -->)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Clybourn Avenue bike commute video

by Michelle Stenzel

In follow up to my post reviewing the new buffered bike lanes on Clybourn, Michael Reynolds and I rode the entire stretch during a Tuesday evening rush hour and filmed it using Michael's GoPro camera. It took us 17.5 minutes to traverse the 2.8-mile route from North Avenue to Belmont, but I edited it into a 5:54-minute video. 

Our impressions remain the same as my original review: It's a nice upgrade for experienced bicyclists, in that the lane is wide and clearly marked. The long stretches in between intersections are smooth and calm: Notably, on this evening, there was not a single driver exiting or entering their car, pulling in or out of a parking spot, nor a single taxi, truck or other vehicle blocking the lane. The weakness is that the lanes disappear before, during and after intersections. So Clybourn could certainly be improved, but it's a solid diagonal street for now.

Enjoy the video!

Clybourn Avenue bike commute from Michelle Stenzel on Vimeo.

We're on Twitter @BikeWalkLP

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Show up and speak up for better bicycling on local IDOT streets

by Michelle Stenzel

This Thursday afternoon, Illinois Department of Transportation representatives will be at the Thompson Center in the Loop to gather input for the state's very first bicycle plan, and it's important that you make an effort to drop by. I know what you're thinking: 1/ Irrelevant: I never ride my bike outside the city and therefore don't have any stake in what goes on in the suburbs and downstate in terms of bike lanes and 2/ Useless and boring! 

On the first point: This does affect every person who rides a bike in the city. Perhaps you don't know that many of our streets are under the jurisdiction of IDOT. The agency's decisions about their design and management indeed have direct impact on whether Chicago's streets become more livable and people-oriented, or whether they remain just for the sole purpose of moving motor vehicles through at high volumes and high speeds. (For example, read background on how IDOT is currently not allowing protected bike lanes, even on streets with plenty of room for them.)
Six lanes for motor vehicles and nothing for bicyclists on the IDOT-jurisdiction North Avenue, at Larrabee.
(Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Join us for the "Beyond the Lakefront Trail" social bike ride

by Michelle Stenzel

Do you know someone who loves to ride their bike, but really only on the Lakefront Trail? They're not alone. I spent many years riding only on the side streets to and from the LFT, which served as 95% of my commuting and recreational purposes. 

Many people are anxious at the thought of sharing a street with moving motor vehicles. However, Chicago streets have benefitted from the addition of miles of bike lanes of various types, which are a great help to keep vehicles separated as much as possible, and to raise the comfort level of people new to urban bicycling.
Waiting for a red light on the Dearborn protected bike lane in the Loop. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
To help encourage people to go "Beyond the Lakefront Trail", we're hosting a social ride next Saturday that will give people a chance to practice riding on Chicago's streets.