The Chainlink

Alderman Sophia King is having a meeting to specifically address the needs of bike lanes in the 4th ward. 

The 4th ward includes Hyde Park, Grand Boulevard, Douglas, The Gap, Bronzeville, South Loop, Printer’s Row, Oakland, Kenwood, and North Kenwood, is one of the most diverse and dynamic in Chicago (a map of the ward is here).

Alderman King is, historically, not an advocate for bike lanes so the motives are unclear. Further, the earliest publication of this meeting is Friday, May 3rd at Noon which makes one wonder if Alderman Kings office did not want much publicity. It is also not listed on her website.

The meeting is taking place:

Tuesday, May 7th


Grace Place

637 S Dearborn

For questions, call: 773.536.8103

BikeLaneMeeting.jpeg <-- Flier for meeting

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Great news!

Changes and additions are coming to South Loop bike lanes as soon as this month, and drivers, bikers and pedestrians discussed them at a community meeting Tuesday evening.

Among the additions to be made by the Chicago Department of Transportation are concrete curbs between bike lanes and vehicle traffic on Harrison Street from Desplaines Street to Wabash Avenue, CDOT senior transportation planner David Smith said at the meeting.

The added curb would not take away any lanes of traffic on Harrison and would simply add a layer of protection for the existing two-way bike lanes, Smith said. The current bike lanes on Harrison included a narrow painted buffer between cyclists and drivers with bollards placed in spots.

Over on Polk Street, a new bike lane will be added in the short stretch from Dearborn Street to Plymouth Court to lead bikers south to 9th Street, Smith said. Concrete curbs would also be added for protection for those lanes.

Construction on the two projects is expected to start this week.

Awesome. We knew that curbs were coming to the horrid Harrison St lanes, but unaware of the specific date for installation.

Curious about the addition of a bike lane on Polk between Dearborn and Plymouth Ct. The stretch is only 100 ft.

After I left the meeting, I noticed last night that they have already spray painted markings on the pavement for where the actual bike lane pain will go.

The main purpose of that change is eliminating the left turn hazard for northbound riders going from Plymouth to Polk. Sometimes it's okay now, and sometimes it's quite hazardous.  The change will be a new curb-protected 2-way lane along the SOUTH side of Polk from Plymouth to the stoplight at Dearborn.

Unfortunately the Harrison curb does not seem to include the WB portion just East of Clark, where daycare/preschool parents frequently park cars in the bike lane during rush hour to pick up kids.  

I guess that makes sense. Northbound riders on Plymouth have to cross Polk, which can be quite congested. Allowing them to ride westbound on the south side of Polk will be much easier. 

Hopefully the concrete curb will be high. 


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