The Chainlink

I drive down Damen from the Ike to 21st Street to visit my son in Pilsen. I have to go through a pair of extra long train-viaducts, and I am always surprised to see bikers make a go of it, on the street side instead of the walkway. If anyone down there wanted a new cause to get behind, it might be for a bermed bike egress for those viaducts, with better lighting. I'm sure the train companies own the bridges, so they'd be the ones to petition to. I'm just sayin'...

Tags: Avenue, Damen, access, bike, lane

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Damen is already a good bike route, and with BRT being considered on Ashland and Western with no bike infrastructure, Damen would be a good candidate for a bike lane given that it's sandwiched in-between the two.

I hate that tunnel and so do many others, but it is already slated for a "protected" lane.

I hope to god we can lay BRT on Western to rest as quickly as possible because I'm getting shafted on bike improvements as a result and BRT would make my transit use much harder.

Also, John, Wood street has an underpass btw 15th and 16th  and was recently paved. I think Paulina does too. Would those help?

h'

I've got no preference myself, I am a driver in that region.  But I guess there are a lot of people who bike from the hospital campus to the Pink Line that way, or to some cheap apartments southward, who I regularly see under the tracks.  Obviously Damen is more expedient than Wood or Paulina for these folks, for them to chance the run.  Heck, forget the designate, just get some good lighting down there!

P.S. "BRT"?

What is Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)?

BRT is a term applied to a variety of bus service designs in order to provide faster, more efficient, and more reliable service than an ordinary bus line. Often this is achieved by making improvements to existing street and traffic infrastructure (for instance, dedicated bus lanes and transit signal priority (TSP) systems). Typically high-capacity, uniquely-identified buses are used. Bus stops are usually improved to contain rail station-like amenities (for instance, digital customer information, additional seating and enhanced shelters).

http://www.transitchicago.com/westernashlandbrt/

 
John Farris said:

P.S. "BRT"?

This is an almost daily route for me - from (south of 21st) to (north of Belmont). It's a relatively safe ride, but that underpass can get pretty worrisome on a snowy night. It's hard to stay  to the right in bad weather under there - water tends to collect en masse right where a bike can safely go. I'm interested in learning how I can help ask for, at least, better lighting. I've had a few cars pass me a bit too closely under those bridges and I'd love to see improvements that could help keep me visible and safe. Thanks so much for posting this! 

If you are worried about motorists passing you too closely, then ride in the middle of the lane so they can't pass you. You're legally allowed to take the lane if it is not safe to ride on the right. Then, once it is safe to do so, move back to the right side. Also make sure to get a bright set of lights so motorists can see you.

Dovah Cat said:

This is an almost daily route for me - from (south of 21st) to (north of Belmont). It's a relatively safe ride, but that underpass can get pretty worrisome on a snowy night. It's hard to stay  to the right in bad weather under there - water tends to collect en masse right where a bike can safely go. I'm interested in learning how I can help ask for, at least, better lighting. I've had a few cars pass me a bit too closely under those bridges and I'd love to see improvements that could help keep me visible and safe. Thanks so much for posting this! 

I missed that you are a driver (wasn't expecting that...)-- so the question is effectively "why aren't the bicyclists riding on the sidewalk?"  

John Farris said:

h'

I've got no preference myself, I am a driver in that region.  But I guess there are a lot of people who bike from the hospital campus to the Pink Line that way, or to some cheap apartments southward, who I regularly see under the tracks.  Obviously Damen is more expedient than Wood or Paulina for these folks, for them to chance the run.  Heck, forget the designate, just get some good lighting down there!

P.S. "BRT"?

The problem with "just get some good lighting" is that it would have to be ridiculously bright to make a difference (it was already improved considerably sometime in the past few years.) As you know, in the daytime a driver is not going to see anything at all for a scary long while after entering the tunnel until their eyes adapt to the low light.  But a greater fear for me is that an impatient driver will swing out around another on the right (have seen this) and not see that there's a bike toward the right until too late.

A protected lane is the very minimum that this tunnel needs IMO.

John Farris said:

h'

I've got no preference myself, I am a driver in that region.  But I guess there are a lot of people who bike from the hospital campus to the Pink Line that way, or to some cheap apartments southward, who I regularly see under the tracks.  Obviously Damen is more expedient than Wood or Paulina for these folks, for them to chance the run.  Heck, forget the designate, just get some good lighting down there!

P.S. "BRT"?

Adam, be careful sitting behind your keyboard in the warmth of your home imploring others to take the lane. You don't know who you're dealing with on the other end in terms of skill and comfort level, ability to keep one's composure in tense situations, etc.  "Take the lane" works wonderfully, except for the times you get killed.

Adam Herstein said:

If you are worried about motorists passing you too closely, then ride in the middle of the lane so they can't pass you. You're legally allowed to take the lane if it is not safe to ride on the right. Then, once it is safe to do so, move back to the right side. Also make sure to get a bright set of lights so motorists can see you.

Dovah Cat said:

This is an almost daily route for me - from (south of 21st) to (north of Belmont). It's a relatively safe ride, but that underpass can get pretty worrisome on a snowy night. It's hard to stay  to the right in bad weather under there - water tends to collect en masse right where a bike can safely go. I'm interested in learning how I can help ask for, at least, better lighting. I've had a few cars pass me a bit too closely under those bridges and I'd love to see improvements that could help keep me visible and safe. Thanks so much for posting this! 

Wow, really? You don't even know me yet you are apparently judging my riding skill? Taking the lane is far safer than riding far to the right and having motorists come within inches of hitting you with their cars. Riding in the middle of the lane makes you more visible; collisions from behind are rare. I ride in the middle of the lane frequently when I deem it unsafe to ride to the right and typically don't have any problems. 

h' said:

Adam, be careful sitting behind your keyboard in the warmth of your home imploring others to take the lane. You don't know who you're dealing with on the other end in terms of skill and comfort level, ability to keep one's composure in tense situations, etc.  "Take the lane" works wonderfully, except for the times you get killed.

The reason cyclist don't take the sidewalk is that the sidewalk is full of glass & hasn't been cleaned since the 1st mayor Daley was in office.

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