actually, Eric, the Metropolitan West Side "L" Humboldt Park branch had nothing to do with Bloomingdale. it ran along my alley, just north of North Avenue, and I can point out numerous remnants of its prior existence. I can also assure you (as your friendly neighborhood zoning guru) that the average density right alongside Bloomingdale is largely two-story and single-family, quite unlike the higher densities you'll find along... North Avenue.
now, conjecture: Brickyard was an under-used industrial site, but someone thought it would be great as a suburban enclosed mall -- bringing the convenience of weather protected shopping to one of the city's edges. that was profitable for a while, but the mall eventually failed, and it got replaced with "more modern" retail, which means a strip mall.
Whoops, type-o! That's 1895...when all good things were built! :-)Payton: A case could be made for restoring the former Bloomingdale line As you know, it was the Humboldt Park branch originally built in 1985 as part of the Met West Side operations. I honestly think
While I'm all for what you propose, keep in mind that no parking meter spots can be removed, unless you can propose a new location of equal value for them. Or (I propose) the city can build a parking garage downtown so we can streetscape areas like Lakeview BUT this involves tax payers paying for the garage just to give Chicago Parking Meters, LLC revenue for the next 75 years. A costly approach to freeing up space.
Also, someone mentioned an issue with left turns for your proposed bike lanes by the curb, in this situation I do a "crosswalk cross" to turn left, which takes a little more time but is sometimes safer if I can't merge to make a left. I think this is how they make lefts in Copenhagen on certain roads (so I've seen in videos).
Good luck with your plan.
(I skimmed the other comments, so hopefully I'm not repeating too much.)
I'm on the board of the Lake View Citizens' Council (the umbrella neighborhood association) and we now organize a monthly neighborhood bike ride (http://www.thechainlink.org/group/bikelakeview). You should come out to a ride to chat with neighbors.
This sounds like a great endeavor, but if you want it to have an impact, I'd have some suggestions for approach. As payton implied, the neighborhood groups can be difficult. I'm encouraged that they're embracing these bike rides though and I have three other board members working with me to organize them. The Lakeview Chamber seems to be doing a master plan inspired by Wicker Park/Bucktown and the Lakeview East Chamber has expressed interest in a bike station and using street space more for people (they do an incredible job transforming street spaces for their art festival). So reason to believe people can be receptive.
People are generally positive about biking and transit, but nonetheless they are still very defensive about parking, and biking can still be controversial. If you throw too much at them at once, it's very possible it'll spark some backlash. That could hurt future efforts, when people then say, "We've already discussed that bike stuff and we didn't like it."
So my suggestion on approach is to start with the basics and separate the realistic from the idealistic if you're going to present it to the neighborhood. Show what could easily be done with minimal budget and effort within a year or so that wouldn't disrupt traffic status quo too much. You can also show how some of the more aggressive concepts might look on a street, with a timeline that would ease the neighborhood into it. But I'd avoid jumping straight to introducing a plan for totally transforming the neighborhood.
On the basics side, you could suggest bike lanes on Belmont, Addison and Diversey to connect the CTA station to East Lakeview. And payton's bike boulevards suggestion could go over well. I'd love to see one on School/Aldine, connecting three elementary schools and east side of the neighborhood from the lake west to Roscoe Village. A good beginner step toward bike boulevards could be contra-flow bike lanes on some of the one-way streets like School/Aldine. Particularly in East Lakeview, the one-way streets are all designed to spit traffic onto busy arterials, which is often what cyclists are trying to avoid. It's impossible to plan a ride route that goes east of Broadway. Belmont and Broadway could use some bike parking corrals since the sidewalks don't have much space. The Clark and Halsted intersection needs to be redesigned and the abutting building need to be redeveloped. The intersection and parking lots kill all foot traffic that could come from the Belmont L stop, and the result is businesses on the blocks south on Clark have trouble staying open. Lakeview East Chamber is concerned about how to enliven those blocks. Maybe show a design concept for a cycle track on Clark. I think the city has long-term plans for bus rapid transit on Halsted.