There are many intersections in Chicago that are so long that, while cycling, I can enter it (by passing the stop bar) on a green light, be in it during the entire 3-second yellow phase, and exit the intersection after it’s been red for several seconds.
I don’t like this. I think it puts me at risk. We could make our intersections shorter or we could increase the length of the yellow and all-red phases. One of these intersections is Elston Avenue at Ashland Avenue. Going southbound on Elston Avenue, the distance from the west side to the east side is about 200 feet. Traveling at 14 MPH (because you didn’t have to stop, it was green when you arrived), that will take you 9.75 seconds to cross. Some people will be traveling faster but at this point you’re also riding uphill because of the railroad viaduct you just crossed under.
Traveling at 17 MPH, it will take you 8 seconds to cross – you’ll still be in the intersection when it’s red!
About Steven Can Plan
I started this blog in 2007 as the writing assignment for an introductory urban planning class at UIC. It's about cities (mainly Chicago), GIS oftentimes, and transportation (mainly bicycling). Learn more about me, Steven Vance. I also write for Streetsblog Chicago.
Steven Can Plan is hosted on Dreamhost.
Chicago Bike Map App
The Chicago Bike Map app is a bike and street map stored entirely in your iOS device – no data connection required. The map is designed to look much like the City of Chicago's official printed and online bike map. The app works on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
Highly Recommended Bike Products
The best value taillight. It has three red LEDs that alternate and provide extreme brightness. I have two of these.
These folding locks are lighter weight and more versatile than an equally strong u-lock.
I've used this pannier to carry groceries, books, my laptop, clothing, anything. I like it because it's stylish (but also "normal" looking at the same time), stands up on its own, is extremely durable, and has the most universal attachment system: two hooks.
The Death and Life of Great American Cities (50th Anniversary Edition) (Modern Library) by Jane Jacobs
The Practice of Local Government Planning (Municipal Management Series) by
You could basically design and administer a new town kind of effectively after reading this huge and boring textbook.
Making Maps: A Visual Guide to Map Design for GIS by John Krygier PhD, Denis Wood PhD
If you are going to make a map, whether it be hand drawn or digital, you should really give this book a read. Then read it every time you make a map. It will help make sure your maps are laid out sensibly, in a way that others can easily read, and that it doesn't include fluff or unnecessary data.
Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us) by Tom Vanderbilt
As someone who doesn't like driving, but believes that cars can be efficient in moving groups of people and goods, this is my favorite book.