New bike paths painted and posted on Logan East of Western – Chicago Streetsblog

ByDavid M. Conte

Oct 7, 2021

As the Chicago Department of Transportation completes the installation of the highway regime and new painted and posted bike lanes near the dangerous intersection of Logan Boulevard and Western Avenue, there are plenty of opinions about them.

The new layout on Logan.
The new layout on Logan.

People who cycle seem generally happy with the metamorphosis of the street, but the consensus seems to be that bike lanes could really benefit from strong physical protection that will keep drivers out of the lanes, rather than just poles. fragile plastic. A simple solution would be to place Jersey barriers, modular low wall segments, on the striped pad, between the posts. Or why not classify the hallway by installing heavy decorative planters, like this example from Toronto?

A cycle path protected by flower boxes in Toronto.  Photo: John Greenfield
A cycle path protected by flower boxes in Toronto. Photo: John Greenfield

In today’s Block Club Chicago project coverage, there was a good commentary on the lanes of Logan Square neighbor Corson Barnard, who said she didn’t ride a bike but enjoyed it. the calming effect of road traffic in a corridor where reckless driving was common. “I really see it as a way to show compassion for your neighbors and to remind yourself that everyone goes through the world a little differently,” she said.

On the flip side, longtime resident Frank Manzella told Block Club he yearns for the days when the Logan / Western intersection, an intricate junction of two busy streets and ramps to Kennedy Highway, was even more car-centric than it has been recently. years. At the time, the spaces near the intersection that currently house a skate park and a dog park were occupied by traffic lanes. He argued that returning to this dystopian road layout “would kind of improve safety”. As it happens, there’s a new Facebook discussion group that’s perfect for Logan Square residents with a similar perspective on the windshield.

Today, CDOT teams have installed plastic poles on the previously striped sections of the cycle path west of the viaduct. Note the rather sad looking sidewalk in this photo, looking east.

Posts have been installed in the cycle paths.  Photo credit: Rudy Faust
Posts have been installed in the Logan cycle paths west of Western. Photo credit: Rudy Faust

Worse yet, when these people arrived at the Logan / Western intersection, there was still no crosswalk at the southern section to allow them to continue east. Therefore, if they were heading towards, say, the target on the south side of Logan, they had to cross three streets instead of one. Despite the recommendation of a 2018 Active Transportation Alliance report on the junction that a new crosswalk be installed, the transportation department does not put one, claiming the volume and movement of automobile traffic prevent it.

ATA recommendation for a new crosswalk on the south side of Logan Western.  Image: ATA, port design
ATA recommendation for a new crosswalk on the southern portion of Logan Western. Image: ATA, port design

On the plus side, CDOT has scratched new paint and post lanes on Logan east of Western to Diversey Avenue by the river near the Diversey Rock and Bowl. In some cases, the lanes include parking protection – cyclists will ride between the sidewalk and parked cars, separated from moving traffic.

Screen capture 10/06/21 at 9:57 p.m.
Paint and post a bike path with no parking lane on Logan looking northeast towards Elston, next to Target.

As you can see, as is often the case when installing new protected parking lanes, things are a bit of a mess right now, with a lot of cars parked on the bike path. In some places, it looks like the cars may have been parked there when the team arrived, and the workers simply striped the tracks and bolted the poles around the vehicles.

Looking east on Diversey towards Elston before and after converting the CDOT buffered lanes to parking protected cycle lanes.  It will take some time for drivers to get used to the "floating" parking lane.  Top image: Google Maps
Looking southwest on Diversey towards Elston before and after CDOT converted the buffered lanes to parking protected cycle lanes. It will take some time for drivers to get used to the “floating” parking lane. Top image: Google Maps

Things should improve once more pavement markings, green paint and / or signs are installed and drivers get used to the new layout. But, again, the plastic bollards don’t really prevent drivers from entering cycle lanes, so sturdy barriers like walls or Jersey planters should be added.

Have you used the new cycle paths? Let us know what you think in the comments section.



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