The Chainlink

Hey Chicago Bicycle friends!

Would you like to be a part of making Chicago a safer place to bike? I need your insights on what it's like biking in Chicago.  

Instead of simply being mad about the issue, I'm interested in doing something about it.  One way to work on this issue is through creating a way to identify where these issues are taking place, tracking these violations, identifying problem locations and hopefully create an automated/fast/easy way to file a report with the city.  
The first step to creating a solution (potentially an app) is to learn from other people in the community (this is where you come in) and gain insights into the issue and uncover areas of opportunity.  I reached out via the Chainlink to reach a large diverse sample of bikers (like you), so that everyone's voice is heard.
Here are some questions I have:

+ Do you bike? (i'm guessing you do if you're reading this on the Chainlink.)

+ How often do you ride?

What are challenges do you have riding?

What do you do when you see cars parked in bike lanes?

Do you report?

Are there challenges with reporting?

Have you noticed progress with reporting?

How could the process be made easier?

Happy cycling!

-Christina

 

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How will this app be different from the existing way to file a report with the city?

Hi Jennifer,

In short, the process should much more user friendly than the 311 site.  The 311 isn't all that user friendly nor is it fast.  By making it faster and easier for bikers to report bike lane violations, we can increase the amount of reports to reflect just how often cars park in the bike lanes.  

Also, right now, there isn't a way to view where all the violations are taking place.  The city claims they are doing this, but judging from the poor quality of their site, I wouldn't be surprised if that isn't actually happening.  By democratizing the data of bike lane violations, we would be able to hold them accountable.

I'd love to learn about your experience with cars parked in bike lanes.  Have you used the 311 site or call in number to report?  What was the process like for you?

-Christina

I've submitted over 120 311 reports for vehicles illegally parked in a bike lane since they added the code in April. No, I have not seen any changes in enforcement. The city said it was going to use the data to identify hotspots. Well, I've been submitting data for over 4 months. I can tell you with certainty that Franklin St in the Loop is a hotspot. Why hasn't the city done anything?

I agree that the 311 site is poorly designed. Why can't it use a cookie to recall my contact information? I submit multiple reports most days, and it's a pain to re-enter my contact information on each report. At times it refuses to recognize valid addresses.

Yes, the data should be made public. A Google map with the data points would be a start. Of course, I have a feeling they don't want us to know that they're sitting on this data and doing nothing.

Argonne69

I was hoping you would reach out!  I've enjoyed your posts on here.  Would you be interested in connecting?  I'd love to tap into your experiences and insights.  

Keep an eye on your inbox.  I'm going to send you a direct message.  

-Christina

No problem. I Divvy 5 days a week to and from work, and probably experience the full range of dangers/annoyances that most riders experience.

Did you get my message?

Yes, but I got no reply to my reply. :-)

Hmmm. I haven't received anything.  The only messages I see in my inbox are from cheryl.  

I commute by bike 5 days a week and also bike on weekends for fun and/or errands. 

My biggest (i.e. most life-endangering) challenge is drivers who do not know and/or do not follow the law. This includes drivers passing within 3 feet of me, right-hooking me, and parking or standing in bike lanes. I do report vehicles in bike lanes - if they look like they aren't moving anytime soon and I have time, I'll report at the moment; if not, later on 311.

As noted, the 311 site is terrible to use, for starters. The process is not great, either. If you report taxi violations, you get sent a paper form to mail in with the same information you complete online. For other bike lane reports, there is absolutely no follow up. I haven't filed as many reports as Argonne69, but I've filled out quite a few on the car washes and restaurant supply on Elston around Montrose, as well as the cars parked in the bike lane just as Elston approaches Damen, and I've seen no change or progress from doing so. For all I know, the data gets erased immediately after entry. As is, it's worthless.

Hi Cheryl,

Thank you for responding!  I've enjoyed your posts in the treads.  I'm sending you a private message now.  Let me know if you have any issues receiving it.

-Christina

Great meeting you today, Christina! 

Great meeting you as well!!

Looking forward to following up on this with you!

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