Online Petition Pushes For Dedicated Bike Line In Wicker Park Neighborhood

Milwaukee Avenue, between Armitage and Division Streets, in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago, is one of the busiest in the city. Adding to the congestion is the number of bicyclists who attempt to navigate next cars and CTA buses. A new online petition, posted by the Active Transportation Alliance, is pushing a dedicated bike lane on this stretch of road.

According to data provided by the Chicago Department of Transportation showed more than 5,000 cyclists — and 13,000 vehicles — travel the Milwaukee Avenue corridor daily. Specifically, more than 800 cyclists ride through the triple intersection of Milwaukee, Damen and North avenues during the morning peak times to commute, according to the city.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the city is looking into the feasibility of installing a dedicated bike lane. By removing metered parking spaces to create a bike lane would mean the city would have to reimburse the parking meter company for spaces taken out of service. On-street parking would become an even greater obstacle for residents, shoppers, and restaurant and bar patrons. Another issue could be where loading zones would be located for businesses on Milwaukee.

City officials are planning a community meeting this summer to discuss proposed “near term” improvements based off the neighborhood master plan that could be implemented later this year to improve safety, slow car traffic and increase space for people biking and walking. The Milwaukee corridor is also heavily used by pedestrians, Claffey said. Such recommendations for Milwaukee Avenue could range from adding bike boxes and new crosswalks, closing the slip lanes that allow vehicles to turn right, installing curb “bump-outs” to shorten the distance for a pedestrian crossing a street and reducing the posted speed limit.

There are no easy answers here regarding a dedicated bicycle lane. I believe it would make traffic safer for everyone who travels on this stretch of road. Especially during rush hour. But the city will have to come up with the money to make it feasible. Where does that money come from? Additional metered parking in the neighborhood? If a bike lane would make the street safer and decrease traffic accidents, then  I think it should be a priority for the city counsel. Hopefully this online campaign will increase the awareness and force the city to act.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in Chicago bicycle accident or Chicago car crash, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Chicago Continues To Install New Curb Protected Bike Lanes

The Chicago Tribune reported recently that the city of Chicago unveiled another new curb protected bicycle lanes. The lanes have a raised concrete median that protects bicyclists from motorists in the adjacent lane. The newest bike lane was constructed at 31st Street from LaSalle to Michigan Avenue. Previous curb protected bike lanes were installed last May on Sacramento Drive in Douglas Park, followed by one in November on Clybourn Avenue in Old Town There are plans in the works another similar lane in the downtown loop on Randolph from Michigan Avenue heading to Clinton Street in the West Loop.

“Curb-protected bike lanes provide better separation between people riding their bikes and people driving, provide better guidance for motorists as to where to park and or drive, prevent illegal parking in or near bike lanes, and are more aesthetically pleasing,” said Mike Claffey, spokesman for the Chicago Department of Transportation.

Chicago’s Mayor and the City Council catch a lot of flak for their handling of different issues like traffic cameras and the ride-sharing companies like Uber.  Regardless, I have to take my hat off to city officials for following through on their promise to make Chicago a world class bicycling city and to improve safety. These curb protected bicycle lanes are another step in that direction. Especially with amount of traffic congestion we see. It can obviously be dangerous at time for bicyclists to struggle for room on the roads. These curb protected lanes make life safer for everyone on the road.

If you or someone you love has been seriously been injured in a Chicago bicycle accident or Chicago traffic accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation.

Jaguar’s New Technology Aimed At Protecting Bicyclists published an article last month discussing Jaguar’s new “bike sense” technology, which is aimed at protecting bicyclists and Jaguar drivers from being involved in traffic accidents.

Bike Sense system uses sensors on the car to detect approaching bicycles and motorcycles, and alert the driver with sights and sounds that the driver instinctively associates with those two types of vehicles. So if a bicycle is approaching from the rear right side of the car, the audio system in the car will generate a bicycle bell sound from one of the speakers inside the cabin, in same direction as the approaching bicycle. The system will also be able to monitor the speed of approaching bicycles and motorcycles, and the top of the driver’s seat will extend to tap the driver on the right or left shoulder.

In addition to warning the driver by sound and by touch, Bike Sense will also use a matrix of LED light built into the window sills, the dash, and windscreen pillars, with lights glowing amber and switching to red as a bicycle approaches.  Bike Sense will also be able to detect pedestrians crossing the road in front of a moving car who are obscured by other objects.

This technology is still in testing stages but could be installed in Jaguar vehicles by the end of the decade. This is incredible technology in my mind. It is especially relevant in big cities such as Chicago that are bicycle friendly. There are always safety concerns for pedestrians and bicyclists in Chicago and Mayor Emanuel has done a solid job of promoting safety initiatives such has safer crosswalks with stop signs and designated bike lanes. Technology like “Bike Sense,” if developed by other car makers, could make a huge difference in the safety for both pedestrians and bicyclists in big cities like Chicago.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago bicycle accident or Chicago auto pedestrian accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation.