Read the story below and the final paragraph to fully understand this drawing.
If you, like Alderman Roberto Maldonado (26th Ward), received complaints about speeding traffic and difficulty crossing Humboldt Drive, how would you respond?
The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) responded by temporarily changing “the four-lane street into two travel lanes with a center lane used as a combination left-turn lane and pedestrian refuge area, using orange traffic barrels to keep moving cars out of the center lane.” (All quotes fromÂ Vote With Your Feet / Time Out Chicago, by John Greenfield.)
Narrowing the lane could reduce automobile speed and the refuge island should make it easier to cross the street, even if it has to be done in two movements. “After CDOT analyzes the effects on traffic speed and behavior, [CDOT spokesperson Brian] Steele says, the changes may become permanent next year.”
But bicyclists are not considered in this installation. That seems to be by design.
â€œHe [Alderman Maldonado] told me that he has no intention of adding a bicycle lane or any other accouterments on that stretch because â€˜the road is too dangerous for pedestrians,â€™â€ she says. Lottes recently posted on the local bike website thechainlink.org, asking members to lobby Maldonado for bike lanes on Humboldt. â€œTo me the road seems too dangerous for pedestriansÂ becauseÂ there are no sidewalks, crosswalks or bike lanes.â€
A local resident, Gin, asked me if I could draw up something for Humboldt Drive and I drew what you saw above. I based it on a bike lane design I saw in New York City: two-way, barrier protected (see photo below). The intersections between the bike lane and the other lanes will need special care – I don’t have any expertise there, but I know some people in Portland and New York City who do.
What else might you propose? Here’s a map of the park (centered on where I drew the bike lane), and a street view of the location.