WBEZ | bicycle lanes http://www.wbez.org/tags/bicycle-lanes Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Ambitious cycling plan would put Chicago in forefront of active transportation http://www.wbez.org/news/ambitious-cycling-plan-would-put-chicago-forefront-active-transportation-104393 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/bikeplan.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Shortly after taking office, Mayor Rahm Emanuel pledged to create 100 miles of protected bike paths within his first term. The first such lanes were <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuel-checks-bike-paths-list-90943">installed on Kinzie within his first 100 days in office</a>.</p><p>On Friday, City Hall released their comprehensive plan for cycling while celebrating the opening of around 30 miles of protected lanes.</p><p>A stretch of Dearbon Street in the Loop opened the city&#39;s first two-way protected bike lane Friday. It&#39;s also the first protected lane in the downtown business district.</p><p>Even more significant, the Mayor&#39;s office and the Chicago Department of Transportation released their comprehensive Streets for Cycling Plan 2020. The entire plan is embedded below, but here are the main points of the plan:</p><ul><li>The goal is 645 mile network of on-street bikeways.</li><li>&quot;Everyone should have the opportunity to ride and feel safe on our City&rsquo;s streets, from an eight year old just learning to ride their bike to an eighty year old who rides to the store.&quot;</li><li>System built on Neighborhood Bike Routes, Crosstown Bike Routes and Spoke Routes.</li><li>All Chicagoans will be within 1/2 mile of a bicycle facility.</li><li>Spoke Routes intended for commuting will be installed on Clark Street, Milwaukee Avenue, Lake Street/Randolph Street, Archer Avenue, Vincennes Avenue, South Chicago Avenue, State Street/Wabash Avenue.</li><li>&quot;The majority of the implementation through the year 2015 will befunded through a $32 million grant that was provided through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program, matched by $8 million in local funds.&quot;</li></ul><p>The plan is attracting plenty of attention, both <a href="http://grist.org/cities/chicago-like-bikes-and-its-about-to-prove-it-in-a-big-way/" target="_blank">positive</a> and <a href="http://chicagoist.com/2012/12/14/john_kass_pens_another_bullshit_bic.php" target="_blank">negative</a>. How do you feel about the city&#39;s efforts?</p><p><a href="http://www.scribd.com/doc/116865054/Chicago-Streets-for-Cycling-2020" style="margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block; text-decoration: underline;" title="View Chicago Streets for Cycling 2020 on Scribd">Chicago Streets for Cycling 2020</a><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" data-aspect-ratio="1.2938689217759" data-auto-height="false" frameborder="0" height="500" id="doc_28722" scrolling="no" src="http://www.scribd.com/embeds/116865054/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=slideshow&amp;access_key=key-2b4d4z1z8yjgjs5nxh5r" width="620"></iframe></p></p> Fri, 14 Dec 2012 14:13:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/ambitious-cycling-plan-would-put-chicago-forefront-active-transportation-104393 Chicago's first protected bike lane completed http://www.wbez.org/story/chicagos-first-protected-bike-lane-completed-89605 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-25/AP080516028307.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>It's a milestone for Chicago bike enthusiasts.</p><p>Chicago's Department of Transportation says the city's first protected bike lane has been completed on the city's near northwest side, not far from downtown. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Monday.</p><p>The lane is one that separates bike riders from vehicles. It's called a cycle track and is being tested on a half-mile stretch.</p><p>Flexible posts are being used to separate bikers from traffic.</p><p>Transportation department spokesman Brian Steele tells The Chicago Tribune that the cost of the project is about $140,000.</p><p>Plans are in the works for another test site on the city's South Side.</p></p> Mon, 25 Jul 2011 17:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicagos-first-protected-bike-lane-completed-89605 Getouttamyway! (Thoughts on city traffic) http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-14/getouttamyway-thoughts-city-traffic-87827 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//npr_story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-14/380379732_8d3a32beab.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>I've been to Rome, so I've seen the <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPpihEKJk5Y&feature=player_embedded" target="_blank">dark side</a>: a traffic intersection where everybody decides to get where they're going at the same time, so no one gets anywhere. Cairo might be even worse. This isn't a parking lot, <em>it's a street...<br /></em></p><p>City people are always pushing; if you think you won't get caught, you keep moving. The rules don't matter. The signs don't matter.</p><p>But the amazing thing is, in most towns, even though people are constantly pushing their luck, taking crazy chances in traffic, they don't die, they don't get hurt. They get where they're going. And that's a miracle.</p><p>Just take a look at this video, created by New York designer (and School of Visual Arts grad student) Ron Gabriel, who went to a Manhattan intersection, 28th Street and Park Avenue, and watched cars, trucks, bicyclists and pedestrians skirting inches from each other with matter-of-fact ease.</p><p>The near misses (or the exquisite ballet between people and machines) is both maddening and thrilling, especially when Gabriel adds spatial graphics, sound effects and the theme from TV's "Peter Gun" by Art of Noise. This video will make you hate bikers.</p><p></p><p>And so it has always been. Traffic scholar Tom Vanderbilt <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/10/books/chapters/traffic-chap.html?pagewanted=3">wondered</a> how pedestrians, chariots and carts negotiated the very narrow streets of ancient Pompeii.</p><p><blockquote></p><p>The tourist wonders: Was it a one-way street? Did a lowly commoner have to reverse himself out of the way when a member of the imperial legions came trotting along in the other direction? If two chariots arrived at an intersection simultaneously, who went first?</p><p></blockquote></p><p>The answer, says traffic archaeologist <a href="http://www.pompeiana.org/Research/Streets_Research/Streets_Research.htm">Eric Poehler</a>, is Pompeians improvised. There weren't road signs. There were one-way streets. But, studying the "wear patterns at corners as well as the stepping stones set up for pedestrians," Poelher says people just learned to get out of each others way. Just like today.</p><p><hr /></p><p><em>The newest book that explores the history of traffic in old New York, London and ancient Rome comes from Tom Vanderbilt. It's called</em> "Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (And What It Says About Us<em>)" from Knopf 2008. And probably the most dramatic (brand new) essay on at traffic safety comes from Casey Neistat, a New York City filmmaker who purposefully ran into Manhattan potholes, construction sites, moving vans, even a police car to protest a $50 ticket he got for riding outside the bicycle lane. His point: riding in bicycle lanes is dangerous for bicyclists, so unsafe that bicycle lanes aren't worth it. My point: Casey has to mightily (you won't believe what he does) exaggerate to make his case, which makes me wonder if he's got a case, but, if you don't mind the occasional swear word and someone doing stunts without a helmet, Casey's video, </em>"What Happens When You Ride in a Bike Lane<em>" is, in its inane way, delightful. </em> <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. </p> Tue, 14 Jun 2011 09:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-14/getouttamyway-thoughts-city-traffic-87827