The Chainlink

Its probably not fair and a bit too early to judge, but the Berteau Greenway looks to be a disaster in the making for Bicycles.    They have decided to keep it "open" end to end for cars rather than putting in a series of cul de sac's open for bicycles.  To "calm" the traffic, they have narrowed the intersections.  Will it slow down cars, if two cars are coming in opposite directions, yes, certainly.   But with bicycles involved, it may well simply result in cars crowding bicycles to the side of the road.    Add to this the fact that at one way portions of Berteau, they are going to allow two way bicycling....  which, in addition to being a bad idea due to the narrowness of the street, sends the message to at least a portion of the community that Salmoning is not a bad idea.    Maybe I will love it.... but my current plan is to find another street to come across... perhaps Lincoln to Grace..

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Being an occasional user of Berteau in that stretch of proposed greenway, it will be nice to legally salmon the one-ways, but otherwise, who cares?  I never felt the need for "calming" or whatnot while riding it.  The advantage of Berteau is that its a sidestreet with a light at Ashland.

+1

envane (69 furlongs) said:

Being an occasional user of Berteau in that stretch of proposed greenway, it will be nice to legally salmon the one-ways, but otherwise, who cares?  I never felt the need for "calming" or whatnot while riding it.  The advantage of Berteau is that its a sidestreet with a light at Ashland.

If I want to cut over from Lincoln to Clark I'll take something farther south.  Berteau ends at a cemetery wall which is just never a destination for me.

My concern is two fold.  The first is that the "calming" really won't calm anything and make it more hazardous.  And the second is that Salmoning is a bad practice and anything which encourages it should be discouraged.  They should have had the "guts" to really Greenway Berteau.    No parking, Cul de sac's every few blocks with Bicycle cut throughs and two way the whole street.  The problem is that when you try (for the first time) a half-assed approach and it doesn't work, it won't be tried again.   Greenway's do work.   Other Cities have shown it.  But this neither fish nor fowl approach might not work.   I feel the same way about the BRT on Ashland.  BRT may well be a good alternative and should be supported... but the specific BRT devised for Ashland is a disaster waiting to happen and will set back alternate transportation many years.



envane (69 furlongs) said:

Being an occasional user of Berteau in that stretch of proposed greenway, it will be nice to legally salmon the one-ways, but otherwise, who cares?  I never felt the need for "calming" or whatnot while riding it.  The advantage of Berteau is that its a sidestreet with a light at Ashland.

Really hard to visualize what it is you're talking about here. Maybe one of our helmet-cam geeks can ride it and get us a visual?

Most of it is currently torn up for a water main project.

h' 1.0 said:

Really hard to visualize what it is you're talking about here. Maybe one of our helmet-cam geeks can ride it and get us a visual?

Cul de sacs, by which I assume you mean traffic diverters, are all over Beverly, where I ride frequently.  They do NOT calm traffic.  Instead, drivers speed from stop sign to stop sign, careen around corners, and in the few spots where safety concerns led to leaving the purported diverter with room enough for a car to go against a Do Not Enter sign, cars do so.  Cul de sacs and diverters split the grid.  We need to keep the grid connected, and to make it safer for cyclists and pedestrians there are a lot of options; but this design, you are right, is bad.  Like Elmdale from Clark/AShland to Greenview, it's a serpentine deathtrap.  To be avoided.

North Beverly, to be specific. And most of the worst offenders (in terms of speeding and movements declared illegal by posted signs) are people from the neighborhood who are tired of dealing with the rat maze created by the traffic diverters.  Dead-end blocks with true cul de sacs are really quiet.  Blocks where traffic goes through to a main street bear a disproportionately heavy burden of traffic and bad driver behavior.  The one real benefit I see is significantly lower traffic volume, because most folks who aren't from the neighborhood get lost and annoyed at driving around in circles. 

FYI - this rat maze treatment was imposed on North Beverly by the former alderman on her part of the neighborhood - handled somewhat like Daley having Meigs Field bulldozed, from what I've heard.  When she proposed similar treatments for the rest of the ward, most people said "NO WAY!!!"

Seems like this kind of treatment is difficult to execute well - without creating a lot of unintended negative side effects.  I've had good experiences with the example Bill mentions on Elmdale.  I will reserve judgment on Berteau until I've had a chance to ride it a few times.

Bill Savage said:

Cul de sacs, by which I assume you mean traffic diverters, are all over Beverly, where I ride frequently.  They do NOT calm traffic.  Instead, drivers speed from stop sign to stop sign, careen around corners, and in the few spots where safety concerns led to leaving the purported diverter with room enough for a car to go against a Do Not Enter sign, cars do so.  Cul de sacs and diverters split the grid.  We need to keep the grid connected, and to make it safer for cyclists and pedestrians there are a lot of options; but this design, you are right, is bad.  Like Elmdale from Clark/AShland to Greenview, it's a serpentine deathtrap.  To be avoided.

I ride that section of Elmdale daily, and it can go either way. Some drivers slow down. Other drivers freak out about being stuck behind a bike (the areas with chicanes and bumpouts are generally too narrow to pass) and rush to pass in the short stretches in between these features--which they end up doing at unsafe speeds (and sometimes on the right if I have taken the lane) in order to complete the pass before the next chicane. The speed bumps east of Greenview on Elmdale are much more effective at slowing traffic.

I was involved in the discussions about the Berteau Greenway (I live/lived on it), and frankly, it's SUPER watered down (nearly unrecognizable) from the original plan. The car-dependent somewhat NIMBY homeowners in the area made such a prolonged fuss that the bike program had to go back to the drawing board more than once. It's a shame, because the original plan would have made it a good choice for cutting from Lincoln to Clark. 

Grid Chicago did a great job following/reporting on the plans at the time.

hahahaha

Jared said:

If I want to cut over from Lincoln to Clark I'll take something farther south.  Berteau ends at a cemetery wall which is just never a destination for me.

Yes.  I live near it as well and I understand.  My problem is that I think that this is going to be bad for everyone.   Unusable for the cars and unsafe (or at least unhelpful) for the Bicycles.   A few eggs have to be broken to make an omlet.  And the NIMBY's on Berteau should have been ignored and traffic diverters put in.  I hope I am wrong and this is a massive success... but from what I am seeing.. not so much....

Sarah D. 1-3.3 said:

I was involved in the discussions about the Berteau Greenway (I live/lived on it), and frankly, it's SUPER watered down (nearly unrecognizable) from the original plan. The car-dependent somewhat NIMBY homeowners in the area made such a prolonged fuss that the bike program had to go back to the drawing board more than once. It's a shame, because the original plan would have made it a good choice for cutting from Lincoln to Clark. 

Grid Chicago did a great job following/reporting on the plans at the time.

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