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.
John Greenfield has provided a nice summary of the meeting on Streetsblog Chicago.
Phillip that is important data that tallies to 1 motor vehicle pedestrian injury since 2015 as we read that bolded text, which is too many. To acknowledge the Dickens' residents point of view which is worthy of consideration, there have been more than that in terms of cycle-on-pedestrian injuries, hence their expressed desire for cycle stop sign enforcement, and, to cure the under-reporting of cycling incidents. At issue here is reconciling the point of view of the people who live in this area, who are eager to have a project done for them rather than to them, and is in the interests of safety for everyone. Without acknowledging and planning to address their concerns, it is proving difficult to gain their agreement and move toward safety improvements.
I live in this neighborhood too. I have a young daughter who will attend Oscar Mayer. I use the local parks, schools, transit, etc. I cross Dickens daily and have never observed any concerns about cyclists there. I'm not dismissing anyone's point of view, I'm simply stating my own, which is also that of a local resident with kids, and should be seen as equally valid as someone who is opposed to the project. I want this project done to my neighborhood, for me and my neighbors and anyone else who wants to safely walk or bike in my neighborhood (which includes many students at Oscar Mayer and Lincoln Park HS who come from outside the neighborhood).
I frequently observe careless and dangerous behavior by motorists on residential streets in my neighborhood, and I am far more concerned about that (especially at 4-way stops) than I am the behavior of cyclists at those same intersections.
Looking further at the crash data I provided, the number of motorist crashes on Dickens has been going up.
2019: 5 (so far, the last reported crash was 4/27/2019)
These 35 motor vehicle crashes in the last 4.5 years seem notable and relevant to the conversation, given that the objection to the project was that it would make the roadway less safe for pedestrians. A major component of a bike greenway is installing traffic calming measures aimed at slowing down motorists and making pedestrian crossings safer. You mention that there have been "more than that in terms of cycle-on-pedestrian injuries". What info are you basing this comment on? If those crashes are happening, would those same traffic-calming/pedestrian visibility improvements to Dickens also reduce them?
The data and experiences seem quite varied. Info is based on what the residents relay with respect to bike/pedestrian incidents, and who have complained that the related data is not being gathered. After one such incident, a police officer apparently explained "there's nothing we can do...." I'm not sure if that related to forms, formats, databases, procedures, or other limitations, and it is hard to say what the more complete data would demonstrate. Surely people don't like the car crashes either, but that doesn't come across as the dominant concern.
Some residents don't see that the traffic calming measures will cause cyclists to stop at the intersections, which as opposed to cars, is largely the complaint in that forum. They went so far as to ask for cyclist traffic enforcement. While others find this ironic, it remains an unreconciled and "at-odds" perspective.
To the extent people imagine more cyclists would be drawn to the area, it is presumed these incidents would increase. That may be incorrect, but trust is down and some residents appear to feel this is being done to them, not for them, and if it goes ahead they seem to fear they have little recourse to reverse it if things go poorly.
A Streetblog article recounting the meeting from one point of view had touched on some of the incongruity between certain data and the contrasting perspectives of residents. These differing viewpoints catch some people off guard. I think the link is elsewhere it this thread but if I try to search for it now I'll lose this draft.
I live just off the Glenwood Greenway in Andersonville. When the Greenways were first rolled out, I was a skeptic who felt they were a needless accommodation to "salmon" who were too lazy to ride a block over to ride in the direction of traffic. But after riding the Glenwood Greenway, I am now a believer. The addition of the contra-flow lane and 20 mph speed limit make it clear that bikes have priority on this street. Now I'd like to see Leavitt get the treatment as an alternative to Damen.