Thursday, September 9, 2010

Notes From Mayor Daley's Bicycle Advisory Counsel Meeting

Yesterday, I attended the Mayor's Bicycle Advisory Counsel meeting.   I was once again impressed with the intelligence and earnestness with which the folks from CDOT, IDOT, the mayor's office and the Active Transporation Alliance go about trying to address issues important to bicyclists in our city.  They don't always get it right, but they are trying.  These periodic meetings, which are open to the public, provide a forum for anyone to let our leaders know when they've screwed up.  One veteran Chicago fire fighter, bicyclist and Northwest Side resident, Eddie Cortes, showed up yesterday and forcefully let all present know he wasn't happy about a recent failure by the city to install missing sections of bike lanes along Milwaukee Avenue.  I strongly encourage members of the general public to attend these City Hall meetings whenever possible.

Bits and pieces from yesterday's meeting. . .
  • During a 24 hour period in the summer/fall of 2009 over 3100 bicycles rode along Milwaukee Avenue, near the Ohio feeder.  That is an incredible number of bicyclists using just one roadway feeding into the Loop.  We aren't just traffic, we're a hell of a lot of traffic!
  • CDOT, always on the hunt for money, has had unexpected success in wresting $345,000 from Chicago aldermen to build 6.5 miles of new bikeways and 5.5 miles of restriped bike lanes.  
  • CDOT is ready to begin repairing some city bike lanes in need of repair, but a supposed "world wide shortage of thermoplastic" has delayed that.  Who knew?  
  • To create additional bike parking, the city is preparing to move orphaned bike racks from places where they are underutilized to areas in need.

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