No one should die because they ride a bike to get around

The hazardous biking conditions on Milwaukee Avenue illustrate a much larger problem: the lack of an overall safe bike network. Ten years ago, the city created a plan to remedy this, but many of the goals have not been realized.

19 comments

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tothedogsforme
tothedogsforme
316 · 8 days ago · Reddit

What about a raised CENTER median for bikers?

As an evil car user, I am not a fan of bike lanes as they currently exist in Chicago. When driving, I try to be fully aware of my surroundings, and give bikers as much space on the road as possible. Still, making a right turn through a bike lane always has me worried a biker will pop-out from nowhere and end up under my wheels.

I'm a huge fan of bikes for thee, just not for me, but we need it to be safer for bikers. If I'm scared to hit a biker in my car, I can only imagine the horror bikers feel at the very real possibility of being hit.

nugzbuny
nugzbuny
261 · 8 days ago · Reddit

I'd love some larger infrastructural investments.. but the very least - keep the existing lanes paved (should be not a huge cost and its quick!).

Biking on several roads I'm swerving through potholes, cracks, and general uneven ground. Its like an obstacle course out there. Adding in the variable of cars, its a mess.

vrcity777
vrcity777
62 · 8 days ago · Reddit

It's time for elevated bike lanes. I don't mean raised bike lines, I mean truly elevated ones, that exist above roadways.

Other cities have done it, we can, too.

"Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood and probably will not themselves be realized. Make big plans, aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever growing insistency." ---- D. Burnham

1BannedAgain
1BannedAgain
59 · 8 days ago · Reddit

Honestly, not wanting to die or be temporarily disabled is the only reason why I don’t own a bike in Chicago

dubrunna
dubrunna
48 · 8 days ago · Reddit

These transportation issues are vital to safety and quality of life. Same goes for issues on the L. Looking to see if any candidates actually address these in the next mayoral election. I'm an avid cyclist myself but don't ride as often as I'd like because it's not that safe even getting over to the lakeshore trail and back home.

jrbattin
jrbattin
32 · 8 days ago · Reddit

One thing that would benefit everyone - not just cyclists - would be if Chicago actually put in place traffic calming measures. Part of why there are so many fatalities - not just of cyclists, but also pedestrians and other drivers - is our desire to have traffic move as quickly as possible through the city. The problem is drivers aren't perfect; even a sober driver will make a mistake. If you keep traffic speeds at or under 30mph you greatly reduce the chances of fatalities. Technically that's the speed limit on many Chicago streets but it gets ignored.

Material-Turn-5419
Material-Turn-5419
25 · 8 days ago · Reddit

I have both a car and am also a casual bike commuter, not a pro cyclist in any way.

  • Nothing stresses me out more than bike lanes next to parked cars like in the picture above. I veer on the traffic side of the bike lane when next to parked cars because I don’t want to get hit by a car door opening. My biggest fear is getting “doored” by a parked car: https://m.youtube.com/​watch?v=dO8XqqZK-XQ
  • People park in the bike lane all the time which is dangerous for bikers and inconvenient for traffic…bikers have to veer into a traffic lane and avoid getting doored. If we can fine cars for street cleaning or neighborhood event parking restrictions, we should fine drivers for parking in bike lanes or designate more parking as 15 minute/​delivery driver parking as I’ve seen in other cities.
  • Bollards are a quick fix that should be replaced with elevated barriers or bike lanes should be elevated. Makes it safer for both cars and bikes.
  • Bikes and cars shouldn’t blow red lights, duh.
  • Bikes reduce car traffic, making driving a better experience. Part of the reason Chicago is great is the train system which then allows the urban core to be more dense rather than spread out like Dallas or Houston.
  • Bikes save people money, promote good health, and make our city a more attractive and quiet place to live.

Everyone should be kind and gentle with others. It goes a long way :)

Az_Bruin
Az_Bruin
19 · 8 days ago · Reddit

Absolutely agree. Drivers need to pay more attention and the city needs to do more to protect cyclists. Cyclists also need to do better at obeying traffic laws, especially stop signs (as so drivers).

TychaBrahe
TychaBrahe
18 · 8 days ago · Reddit

What I don’t understand is why the city doesn’t issue more tickets for bike lane violations.

Are used to live at La Salle and Oak. LaSalle has rush-hour parking bans on each side of the street. Every day, twice a day, tow trucks would go down the street and tow cars parked on the banned side. Besides keeping the lane open for the increased traffic, each of those tickets represents revenue for the city.

Now I live on Irving Park, a state highway. Between Broadway and the lake, the local and two express buses use Irving Park to reach Lake Shore Drive/​Marine. With all of the cars getting onto or leaving the drive, traffic is insane. Yet every day there are cars parked during the parking ban. And why the city doesn’t send tow trucks to clear the lane is beyond me.

The same is true of bike lanes. If the city would send a couple of cops and a couple of tow trucks down Milwaukee a few times over a period of a month or six weeks, it would probably generate five figures in revenue and change some people’s selfish behavior.

GeckoLogic
GeckoLogic
16 · 8 days ago · Reddit

🚲 If you live in the 47th Ward (Ald. Martin), please come to the 'Green Council' night out tomorrow and voice your support for protected bike lanes. Its at Burning Bush Brewery at 7pm, Thursday May 12

https://www.eventbrite.com/​e/ward-night-out-with-ald-martin-and-the-47th-ward-green-council-tickets-319263454587

mimomomimi
mimomomimi
15 · 8 days ago · Reddit

When I used to ride in my younger years, I just about never road a major street, mainly residential side streets. Being that a driver against a rider will lead to pretty much a dead rider (never the other way), I had taken the risk averse route rather than then entitled route. I’ve taken that same mindset to riding motorcycles as well.

weather_watchman
weather_watchman
15 · 8 days ago · Reddit

Perhaps an unpopular opinion, but as a cyclist I dislike a lot of the specialized infrastructure versus a simple painted bike lane. Once the median goes up, there's one more obstacle that you can hit as a cyclist (that a car can get over in an extreme enough crash anyway), and once the lane is partitioned away from the street it becomes a gutter for debris and glass. Basically street cleaning never gets to it. Also, pedestrians walk into it without checking constantly.

That's all small potatoes until you consider intersections, where often the lanes have poorly considered crossing, with a separate green and weird turn timing for drivers... I've had drivers cut me off turning in front of me while I had the bicycle green, because they got impatient waiting for cyclists that weren't there until I got there... I'm ranting a little, but I feel safer and get where I'm going better when I have a lane where I can be while still being able to get in and out of traffic by necessity

SexualUnicorn
SexualUnicorn
9 · 8 days ago · Reddit

For everyone blaming cyclists for not following the rules of the road, cars dont either. Especially in Chicago. Most cars speed above the limit, don't signal, and perform rolling stops. This is not a bike issue but a human issue

galwegian
galwegian
8 · 8 days ago · Reddit

cars and bikes don't mix in Chicago. the drivers simply are't awake enough. or they're texting at the stop sign.

DanceSensitive
DanceSensitive
7 · 8 days ago · Reddit

Unfortunately, this is one of those situations where humans need to be treated as more valuable than property in order for change to occur.

tomkrish
tomkrish
7 · 8 days ago · Reddit

I'd ride a bike, but I'm afraid of being sweaty all day. Especially going to work, or meeting up with friends or whatever. How do other people deal with this?

therealfriskyfisky
therealfriskyfisky
6 · 8 days ago · Reddit

Everyone here saying “cyclists are the problem” is part of the problem.

Trinitur199
Trinitur199
6 · 8 days ago · Reddit

Why not have a lane with safe guards around it, maybe openings here and there so if cars drift, they hit the guards and bikers can’t just recklessly ride between traffic

ryken
ryken
6 · 8 days ago · Reddit

There is no physical solution that will create 100% safe biking by itself. Bikers need to start riding more defensively and following the rules better. Cars need to start watching for bikers more carefully and stop looking ahead 100% of the time. Both sides need to stop with the whataboutism when it comes to discussing the issue.

Bikes and cars are both controlled by people, and people are imperfect, full stop. If you are talking about how bikers always blow through stop signs or drivers always open their car doors without looking, then you're just perpetuating the blame game and you're probably one of the worst parts of the problem.