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.

Here is Alderman Smith's announcement from her newsletter:

Lincoln Avenue to be Resurfaced

Many residents can attest to the poor condition of Lincoln Avenue for drivers and cyclists alike. Throughout the past several months, I've been working closely with Governor Quinn to lobby for funding to resurface Lincoln Avenue, which is a state road.  I'm pleased to report that, thanks to Governor Quinn and his team, state funding has been allocated to proceed with this much-needed project.  

The Illinois Department of Transportation will begin the first phase of resurfacing on October 6th, weather conditions permitting, and the second phase will begin on October 9th. 
  • Phase 1:  Lincoln Avenue, between Wells Street and Webster Street
  • Phase 2: Lincoln Avenue, between Fullerton Avenue and Diversey Parkway
This large-scale resurfacing will include sidewalk improvements, curb and gutter removals and concrete bus pad construction. 

All work is expected to be completed by December 5th, 2014 and, of course, I will keep you updated as this project progresses. 

October morning on Lincoln Avenue at Armitage. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
This much-needed resurfacing will create a smooth surface, which in itself will be helpful to bicyclists.  In addition, we have received word that the bike lane on the segment of Lincoln Avenue from Armitage to Dickens (which had the most atrocious potholes -- see below) will be upgraded from the current "standard" bike lane to a buffered bike lane. However, it appears that no other changes to the bike lane infrastructure will be made. Many parts of Lincoln only have "sharrows" to alert drivers to expect bicyclists, and the section from Fullerton to Diversey apparently will remain a "standard" bike lane.

Today's post is simply to document the current conditions on Lincoln and look forward to the improvements coming in the near future.
Between Armitage and Dickens, the Lincoln Avenue bike lanes will be upgraded
to buffered bike lanes. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
The asphalt between Armitage and Dickens was so torn up that bicyclists regularly rode outside the bike lane entirely to avoid crashing in the potholes. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
In spite of the poor conditions, Lincoln Avenue has remained a popular and busy bike north side bike route.  Under the L tracks near Wrightwood. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
I don't even know what was going on here, on the stretch south of Diversey. Yes, I moved the cone aside
after taking the picture. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
Unfortunately, resurfacing will not help make the narrow sections  of Lincoln that have only "sharrows" feel any less treacherous than they currently do. Maybe the sharrows that are added after resurfacing will be the giant size, in the middle of the street. That might help a little. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
Vehicles like this Pepsi delivery truck are often parked in standard bike lanes and buffered bike lanes. Only protected bike lanes have any chance of remaining clear for bicyclists. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
Looking forward to an improved Lincoln Avenue. (Photo from 2013, Bike Walk Lincoln Park)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing Lincoln Avenue bike lane improvements. This track is an easy an quick way to for bikers and you can easily reach on your destination on time.