I received an email from Alderman Smith about a community meeting regarding a bike greenway on Dickens. The meeting will be run by CDOT.
Thursday May 30
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
St James Lutheran Church
2101 N Fremont
Below is a link to a Google Maps view of Dickens.
What, if anything, would be done to address the fact that Dickens has a stop sign at almost every corner from Halsted to Clybourn . . . particularly since it's a popular route en route to Oscar Mayer, St. Clements (I think), St. Josephat, and other schools with lots of pedestrians during the morning commute?
I'm not totally sure what you're asking, but the stop signs aren't really an issue for installing a two-way bike greenway on an otherwise one-way street. They typically just install smaller stop signs for the contraflow cyclists that face the opposite direction, and add some pavement markings like a stop bar. Ardmore Ave in Edgewater is a good example of this.
Right, no I get that. Sorry not clear. I meant more from the perspective of - "is a street with constant stop signs the best place for a major east/west thoroughfare," especially when it can be such a pedestrian-heavy area from about 8-9 am and 330-5 pm. I foresee some high-speed dodge-em with rugrats of all ages.
Got it - and thanks.
Hopefully someone at the meeting pointed out that motorists using Dickens as a cut-thru between Halsted and Clybourn (and blowing stop signs in the process) are the primary safety concern in the neighborhood, and that cyclists seeking a lower stress, lower speed alternate to Armitage are not likely to mow their kids down.
It's probably good that I didn't attend.
Does that happen? We bike and walk with our kids to Oscar Mayer and I don't recall cars blowing stop signs being a problem. Perhaps at the times I go, it's not.
I don't know about Dickens specifically, but, in other parts of Lincoln Park, I see plenty of drivers not stopping at stop signs, not stopping at crosswalks, blocking crosswalks/sidewalks while parked, or turning right when there are No Turn On Red signs (that is dangerous because the driver is looking to the left for oncoming cars, and not looking to the right to see potential pedestrians who have a walk signal).
I haven't seen any motorists "blowing" stop signs, but rather rolling or speeding from one to the next, including box trucks and filled-to-the brim junkers.
For context, I don't consider a cyclist who rolls a stop when its clear or with a car moving in the same direction as "blowing" as stop sign either.
Obviously my post was anecdotal, so here's what the Chicago crash data shows:
There have been 35 motor vehicle crashes reported on Dickens (Stockton to Lakewood) since 2015. This number doesn't include crashes that happened on side-streets intersecting with Dickens. Of those 35 reported crashes, 29 occurred during clear weather, and 28 occurred during daylight hours. 13 involved cars hitting parked cars, the other 22 are listed as angle, fixed object, turning, sideswipe or rear end crashes. 2 pedestrians have been hit, one with injuries.
While most of the causes are listed as unknown, here are a few that were listed:
(1) Operating vehicle in erratic, reckless, careless, negligent or aggressive manner.
(2) Driving skills/knowledge/experience
(2) Failing to yield right of way
(3) Improper backing
(1) Improper turning / no signal
(2) Improper overtaking/passing
(1) Driving the wrong way
(2) Following too closely
(1) Physical condition of driver
(1) Failing to reduce speed to avoid crash
I stand by my original comment that motorists, not cyclists, are the primary concern in the neighborhood.
I have not gone a single day anywhere in Chicago without seeing drivers roll through stop signs many, many, many times a day. I often see people go through neighborhood 4-ways at about 15mph.
CDOT really screwed up by presenting this as a great amenity for cyclists and not as a traffic calming issue. Dickens appears (I haven't actually measured) to be wider than parts of Clark Street. Today I watched someone drive a moving truck around a double parked car without even slowing down. There was no traffic count data, no average vehicle speed data, and no comparisons to nearby streets. Because Dickens is so wide, but only one way in parts, average vehicle speed is probably faster than neighboring streets. It would have been nice to actually have that data.
One of the anti-greenway residents brought up a good point: "how has traffic changed on the other streets where greenways have been installed?" The CDOT rep in charge just said, "we have heard people are happy." That just shows they aren't out collecting data.
It is ridiculous that people feel cyclists pose a greater threat to their children than drivers, but people are comfortable with what they know and averse to change. CDOT needs to be better prepared with data, both pre- and post- project, to show people why the current situation is bad and how the changes will solve the problems.
Well said. They also didn't really address the issue of sharing the Oz Park path well, which was friction point.
Ideally, they widen the south path or add parallel bike through the park. However, that was not in the plan because it's Park District turf and either they don't have their buy in or they didn't get the PD involved. I immediately knew that was going to be an issue right off the bat.