A service of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference Transit and Parking Committee and the HPKCC website,
Help support our work: Join the Conference!

Join the Transit Task Force-contact chairman James Withrow.

Transit home. Accessibility Hot Topics. Walkable Communities/Complete Streets . Snow, Ice, streets, bikes- what can be done

December 2016. Thanks to a $12M gift from Ken Griffin arranged by mayor Emanuel, the remaining sections of the Lakefront Trail, including by Promontory, Jackson and South Shore Cultural Center, will be refurbished, with where possible separation of bike and pedestrian traffic. Standard widths for th e 18 miles of Lakefront trail will be 12" asphalt for bikes and for pedestrians 14' asphalt plus 6' soft-mix on each side. Note that it will not be easy or perhaps possible to meet these standards in all sectors from Jackson south.,, (Same as
Bike Chicago events calendar (city's site > Special Events- scroll down), 312 744-2964; (still valid address in 2004)
Federal Manual of Standards for trails, "facs", etc. go to
More links below announcements. Note: For CATS/Regional Planning Board either the old or can be used and Soles and Spokes.
Active Transportation Alliance. Rob Sadowsky Exec. Dir.

Boulevard Lakefront Tour bike ride is August 23, 2015.

2015- South Shore Drive will be allowing bikes.

Divvy as of July 2014 had 10 stations in Hyde Park and expected to 6 add more here as well as ramp-up in Washington Park, Woodlawn, and South Shore (there are non south of the last two communities). Hyde Park usage is respectable. Most destinations are within the neighborhood with the remainder to near/mid south or on the Lakefront Trail. Most used site 58th and Ellis, most common destination 55th and Woodlawn, comon ride length is 27 minutes, and half are subscribers. 5/6 of riders are men, as elsewhere, aged 28. Bike sales, repair, and rental groups say they notice no decline in business from Divvy.

Laura Wilkinson writes Dec. 17, 2012: CDOT formally released the Chicago Streets for Cycling Plan 2020! It calls for a 645-mile network of biking facilities to be in place by 2020 to provide a bicycle accommodation within half-mile of every Chicagoan. Thank you to everyone who submitted comments, came to a meeting, hosted a Community Advisory Meeting, or participated in any fashion. Your comments were invaluable. Check out the report!

July, 2013: Hyde Park's Divvy Bike Coral will be in front of Medici on 57th, 1372 E. 57th St. The 10-bike rack will take up approx. one parking space. They are going up all over.

Approved bike trail on Stony Island south of 56th is controversial.

Active Transportation Alliance Bike to Work/ bike commute program occurs in early/mid June. It includes a corporate challenge for who can get the most employees to bike to work. It's in conjunction with the Notebaert Museum's exhibit "Bikes!". The U of C had bike pit checkups in conjunction with its bike shop at 1520 E. (57th? 53rd?)

A big bike ride now has South Side looks allthe way to the far south. September 7 2014. Leaves from UIC.

The new Bike and shop is open under the 53rd viaduct at Lake Park. Rentals short and long term, parking short and long, tours, supplies.

Read the Walk and Roll 55th St. sidewalk and intersections survey final report.

The city installed in 2012 a set of bike racks under the 57th Metra viaduct.

53rd Street Bicycle Center has opened ne corner of Lake Park and 53rd.

Plans for new bike lanes (buffered and protected) esp. on 55th St. Was shared at a public meeting. Installation was about half done in mid July 2012. PLEASE, LET'S NOT HAVE A REPEAT OF THE EXPERIENCE ON KINZIE WITH BIKES SPEEDING AND BLOWING STOP SIGNS AND SIGNALS, apparently thinking the rules of road are not for them. Also, this writer has observed as many NOT using the new lanes and continuing to ride on the skinny, terrible sidewalks as using the new amenities.
What's finished so far has met with VERY MIXED TO NEGATIVE REVIEWS, ESPEC. AT THE 5TH WARD MEEING JULY 24.

A group is seeking a stop sign at 55th and Kenwood, a poor visibility intersection. Ald. Hairston introduced an ordinance for such June 27 2012. However, CDOT and Ald. Burns oppose, at least until there is time to assess the re-laning (including for bikes) on 55th. Noted is the potential for accidents and rear ending west-bound around the University Apartments and back-ups. Noted also is that stop signs increasingly give a false sense of security. Signs advising to stop for pedestrians crossing (a relatively new law) will be installed. No action on a stop sign is likely before fall 2012. Nothing is known of a possible compromise such as stop on the eastbound side.

Friends of the Lakefront Trail, a joint project of Active Transportation Alliance, Chicago Area Runners Association, and Friends of the Parks, held north and south side charettes. After an overview of the history of the trail and its ups and downs and changing conceptions and configurations and inconsistencies, people marked maps on problems and hopes with access and connectors, conflicts/crashes, conditions, and ideas for improvements. A report with recommendations is expected. Now underway is a survey of members of these organizations, perhaps to be extended to the public. Jackson Park Advisory Council sent a letter to the organizations and officials expressing hope that solid recommendations will result including for well designed safe trails and intersections/connections, and for a user safety and courtesy program.

Be responsible on or off road or trail. Some clubs are not and are destroying parks, playgrounds, and nature sanctuaries, and hitting or driving people off the trail, including by riding on the sidewalk.

New bike routes on 55th and complaints about safety

Construction started incl. removal of c 50 parking spaces late week of June 25 2012. New bike lanes are planned for 55th in HP, King, Ellsworth, and 31st. A combination of buffered and protected lanes would be used. The one has the bike lanes on the next outside the parking lane and with wide striping, the other has the bike lanes on the far outside with a parking lane between the bike lane and car traffic. 55th will be protected from Cottage to Dorchester (Univ. apartments) and buffered where it's narrower east to Lake Park. Several at a public meeting in February 2012 expressed concerns about accidents, especially during rush hour and about lack of enforcement and regard for the law and others, by all parties but especially bike riders. Later, a petition drive was started for a stop sign at Kenwood- this was a main focus of non-bikers at a May 2 public meeting in HP.

Concern has been expressed about buses and bike lanes merging at bus stops, rather than having concrete islands for bus passengers-- this will be evaluated after the new is installed and if funds are available. Same with the rubber bollards.

A group is seeking a stop sign at 55th and Kenwood, a poor visibility intersection. Ald. Hairston introduced an ordinance for such June 27 2012. However, CDOT and Ald. Burns oppose, at least until there is time to assess the re-laning (including for bikes) on 55th. Noted is the potential for accidents and rear ending west-bound around the University Apartments and back-ups. Noted also is that stop signs increasingly give a false sense of security. Signs advising to stop for pedestrians crossing (a relatively new law) will be installed. No action on a stop sign is likely before fall 2012. Nothing is known of a possible compromise such as stop on the eastbound side.

From the May 2 meeting on 55th St.

Drawn from report in Hyde Park Herald by Sam Cholke

55th will go on a "road diet" to one lane in each direction and a set of bike lanes in each, with some loss of parking.
Striping and in some places plastic bollards will separate vehicular and bike traffic. More permanent barriers may be placed later after testing. Work will be done in spring and summer 2012.
Traffic lights will be updated with turn signals at Woodlawn and at Ellis and signage will be updated. A main object is to slow drivers and thus enhance safety- between 2006 and 2010 the stretch Cottage Grove to Lake Park had 348 accidents of which 23 involved bicycles, making it one of the most dangerous in Hyde Park. Most of the audience, said by another to be largely bike riders, largely applauded the plan for bikes-- from Cottage to start of the curve between Kenwood and Dorchester the bike lane would be next to the curb with parking to bike rider's left, between bikes and cars. East of there the bike lane will transition to the traditional curb-parking-bike-cars configuration (which also prevails on parts to the east on 55th). One kind is called buffered and the other protected.
Some parking is lost between Cottage and Woodlawn- a new total of spaces Cottage to Lake Park 320 v current 350 spaces. Only non-metered spaces will be removed!
The Herald reported CDOT is seeking $17,000 from the 53rd TIF to cover part of the turn signal cost-- seems unlikely since the boundaries do not touch 55th at Ellis or Woodlawn, and aldermanic offices were not sure they had not been consulted and this has not come before the TIF- the article may be mistaken as an attendee said "TIF money" was just brought up as an option. Total cost is $170,00 less the turn signals at $25,000 each which were at present unfunded. The city's general fund is contributing $153,000. The city was quoted as later thinking TIF funding is in place.

A bike center opened May 2012 under the viaduct at 53rd St. It's sponsored by the University of Chicago (for alternative transportation and sustainability) and bicycle-sharing Bike and Roll. It would operate tours, offer rentals, repair bikes, and offer day-use parking spaces for bikes. Neighbors would pay a reduced rate. This is the group that has such facilities in Millennium Park and 4? other sites. Oddly, it is not on one of the new bike trails. This is different from the big contact recently signed for different kinds of rentals.

Having closed the UC main quad to automobiles and turned the Midway crossings into mode-separated light bridges, the next step by the university is to turn 58th St. from University to Woodlawn Ave. into a pedestrian mall-like extension of the main quad. Parking loss (29 spaces) and how to accommodate bikes and whether there should be full privatization of another street (and part of an alley) are some of the questions of residents at community meeting March 28, 2012. It's part of a 101 million dollar renovation of the former CTS.

November 2012- citywide Bike Share coming to Hyde Park. Hyde Park and the greater South Side will share in Chicago Bike Share, but very sparely, judging from preparations for the 5th and final public input meetings on the project. In spring 2013 (delayed), 400 stations with 4,000 bikes will be set up for one-day bike rental at $7 a day or annual $75 plus a per-half-hour fee. Since the meetings are over, visit This program is mainly for short trips (c20 minutes), not the long ones better priced by, for example, 53rd St. Bicycle Center.
The meeting is at Charles Hayes

E.M. Christian seconds needs for safety on Hyde Park Streets in March 7 2012 Herald letter

I am writing in support of the letter from Yael Hoffman, Kelly King-O'Brien, Anne Renna and Adi Rom dated 2/16/2016. Parents are not the only ones concerned with a lack of safety crossing the main streets in Hyde Park. Senior citizens, the disabled, folks with personal shopping carts. I would say that a majority of pedestrians have long been concerned, and have despaired of anyone with authority taking the situation seriously.

For decades, I have been frustrated by the fact that crossing 55th Street in Hyde Park is dangerous despite pedestrian cross walks, signs requesting slow driving, and publicly acknowledged blind turns on this road through a Hyde Park residential section leading to major shopping areas and community services. Vehicles race down the street and around the bends as if this were the Indy 500. Many pedestrians take inconvenient detours in order to cross where there is at least a stop sign. A stop sign, however is only an illusion of pedestrian safety along 55th street in Hyde Park.

However, if Mayor Emanuel wants to rake in the bucks, installing speed cameras along this route wil also increase ticketing for funning through stops as well. I think this is an excellent idea. I gave up complaining to local officials long ago. My alderman sent me an impersonal note suggesting that I speak with her staff. I did so, and was mocked for even suggesting that pedestrians had rights, and legitimate concerns about safety. Only the CTA took my concerns seriously, and claimed in writing they would remind their drivers to follow the speed limits and appropriate signage. I'm still waiting for those results.

At the south intersection of Dorchester Avenues an 55th Street, I can look west and see a string of traffic safety signs alerting drivers, and those signs, ironically, are almost always bent or broken due to being hit by vehicles driving unsafely. There have been trees, up on the lawns, damaged by reckless drivers. It is devastating to think that one of those signs, one of those trees, might have been a human being.

Ending on a more positive note, I was glad to read that Ald. Will Burns (4th) is being pro-active regarding this community safety issue now that it has been brought to is attention....

City of Chicago will offer 300 stations for bike rental, 1st 30 minutes free, by summer 2012 to promote bike riding to work et al.

Two new bike trails for Jackson Park will link Stony Island and the Lakefront trail: In progress Marquette Road, funded ? 59th corridor.
In addition, Stony Island from 67th to 75th (??) is being enhanced as a bike trail and made safer.

PACE and CTA: nearly all buses have racks. Bikes are welcome on METRA Burlington and UP Northwest only and only at certain times. More about bikes on METRA:

On Cargocycles:

The University has started a bike share and bike teaching program in conjunction with Blackstone Bicycle Works. See below.

At the HPKCC public discussion Oct. 2005, What's Right What's Wrong with HPK, specific mention was made of problems with bikes on sidewalks. And it keeps coming up, along with lack of warning, id and safety equipment, speeding, and going the wrong way....

Let's all remember that specific right-of-ways may have dedicated parts or lanes, but the global object is to successfully and respectfully share the public's mobility and the public right-of-way. Intermodalism and Complete Streets are the words.

Biking/running events, demos in the area or events that might effect your ride

Introduction of bike share Chicago

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) is organizing public meetings to introduce the city's new bike share program. Bike share offers people a fast, convenient, and fun way to get around. People pick up a bike at one location and drop it off at a station near their destination. Chicago will be launching one of the largest bike share programs in the United States in 2013, with 3000 bikes and 300 stations, and eventually 4000 bikes and 400 stations. This will give 1 million people living and/or working in Chicago's most congested areas a new way to travel.

A website has also been launched to provide information about bike share and allow people to suggest potential sites. The website can be found at

The outreach meetings will give the public an opportunity to suggest locations for bike share stations in the proposed service area, learn more about the system and ask questions about the bikes and their rollout. Renderings of the docking stations as well as a prototype bike will also be provided at the meetings. The dates and locations of the public meetings are listed below:

October 29
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Chicago Architecture Foundation
224 S. Michigan Avenue

3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Pop-up meeting at Union Station

6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Chicago Architecture Foundation
224 S. Michigan Avenue

October 30
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Lincoln Belmont Public Library
1659 W. Melrose Street

November 7
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Charles Hayes Center
4859 S. Wabash Avenue

If you have any questions about bike share, please feel free to contact CDOT's bicycle coordinator Ben Gomberg ( or the consultant project manager Mark de la Vergne (

Monday early evenings Washington Park Running Club holds 3 to 5 mile runs open and free to the public from 51st and King Dr. Corina at


Explore the newly opened Major Taylor Trail on Chicago's Southwest Side.
Join in the unity and fun. The 20-mile ride begins at 9 a.m. It starts
and finishes at Dan Ryan Woods at 83rd Street and Western Avenue. Cost
is $15. Sign up at
k&j=156491844&u=1527480> or contact Keith Holt at <> . We will ride rain
or shine. No day-of-event registration.

There are major races in the area: U of C Criterion, Boulevard Lakefront Tour, The Late Ride; TriMasters, Bike the Drive. Also, the University organizes history bike rides into Bronzeville, Woodlawn et al.

Friends of the Parks "The L.A.T.E. Ride" benefit Saturday night-Sunday morning July 10/11 2010. $40, $45- vols $20 an $25.

Conferences, meetings, demonstrations etc. Get on the listserves above.

Blackstone Bicycle Works of the Experimental Station teaches bicycle smarts and teaches how to use bikes in a sustainable lifestyle. Including for winter. At 6100 S. Blackstone. 773 241-5458.

Bicycling Ambassadors-- will visit community events, festivals, park, schools to teach bicycling safety. 313 744-8147, They also do street (the whole public way) surveys and make recommendations

New bike lanes announced. Feb. 27, 2012

55th Halsted to King will have buffered (BBL) in which from the edge there is a bike lane, then parked cars or median, then traffic with a turning lane in the middle.
55th Cottage to Dorchester will have BBL; Dorchester to Lake Park (which is too narrow) will have Protected (PBL) which means parking lane, then a bike lane widely stripped, then traffic.
King will have Protected with a turn lane. South of 55th bikers can use Ellsworth, which will have BBL. 31st will have PBLs.

Purpose also includes "road diet" to reduce speeding, recklessness, and have shorter crosswalks.


From the Older Women's League Summer Fest 2009

Principal speaker Maurine Schenburger of the City of Chicago pedestrian program described the many services and protections/rights of seeing impaired persons, including those (and other-impaired) with service animals.

She then dealt with the vexing problem of snow removal in sidewalks, crosswalks and curb and to-door access, and the responsibilities of both residents an business owners/operators. She read from printouts of the City ordinance on the same (available from the city) and a doorknob hanger that is also available including through the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce. (The latter, Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference, OWL, and likely the Disabilities Task Force are gearing up to distribute these, get out the word on calling 311 (which has a code on snow removal) to get snow and clearance where access is blocked on public way, and police removal. A community meeting is also being considered.)

Ms. Schenburger also gave information and led discussion on bicycle safety- for bicyclists and for those they encounter, including on approved safety and warning gear. This is also likely to be a major focus in conjunction with University orientation et al of the named organizations this fall. At the August HPKCC board meeting, all emphasized that the approach has to be comprehensive- safety and thoughtfulness for all using the public way.

Go from here to report of January 2010 OWL meeting update- Snow, Ice, Streets, and Bikes or Getting Around, Does It Have to Be This Hard?


Some questions from OWL's January 2010 meeting..

Is there a way to expand bike sharing beyond campus? (see next section)
Can Bike Ambassadors hold safety, rules, and manners sessions in the neighborhoods-- yes, they can be asked from their website.
What about people who insist on going the wrong way on streets and also on the sidewalk, often without notice or signal?

Is there any way to enforce or at least encourage bike registration, with visible numbers? (UCPC will do it for students)?
How many bike accidents are they, and how does this compare with auto, and are there any patterns? Ask Active Transp. Alliance (ATA)
Shouldn't festivals have bike racks?
A problem is people tying bikes to poles or old parking meters, but letting them be crossways over sidewalks or into streets.
Can a survey be done to see how much (more) bike parking is needed, esp. since most meters are now gone. ATA si looking into this.

University puts bike share, bike safety programs in motion

Chicago Maroon, October 9, 2009. By Stacey Kirkpatrick

In hopes of promoting environmentally conscious lifestyles, the University unveiled reCycle, a bicycle-sharing program that allows students, faculty, and staff to borrow bikes free of charge from one of four locations on campus. The program began O-Week with 20 bikes that were refurbished and donated by Blackstone Bicycle Works.

ReCycle, currently only a pilot program, allows students to check out bikes at the Regenstein Library, Ratner, teh Social Service Administration Building, and 6045 Kenwood between 8:30 a.m. an 5:00 p.m. weekdays, after registering online. The ideas came from Director of Sustainability Ilsa Flanagan and the University Architect Steve Wiesenthal, who rides his bike to work every day. Flanagan and Wiesenthal also partnered with fourth-year Jarrod Wolf, president of Student Government, to add bike racks on campus for about 1,500 more bikes.

Flanagan mentioned hat other universities already have these types of programs in place. Countries like France have what Flanagan calls "third- generation programs" where a rider can simply swipe a credit card and check out a bike. But from teh reCycles's early stages, "it was really important to me that it be a free program," she said

All bikes must be returned on the day they are checked out, and bikes can't be reserved. However, reservations may become a possibility depending on the success of the pilot program. Flanagan hopes to survey users at the end of teh quarter and find the "best way to expand and still manage successfully." Although users must sign a waver and are responsible for damage to bikes, they will not be held accountable for the normal wear and tear of riding.

the programs's organizers also took safety into account. All riders are provided with safety rules and tips and there are plans of safety workshops later this month that will be taught by Blackstone Bikes [and later by Bike Ambassadors of Alliance for Alternative Transportation]. Although helmets are not provided, they are strongly suggested.

There are currently 222 registered users, and more are joining every day. "Just this week was teh first time all the bikes were checked out at the Reg.," Flanagan said. Most people rent bikes for four or five hours. Although not currently open for weekends, Flanagan said, reCycle is loaning bikes for the Southside Bike Tour Saturday. [Students who don't ride often enough to make a bike purchase, say the program is ideal.[ The bikes were bought by the Office of Sustainability from Blackstone Bikes, which will also maintain them throughout the course of the program. This is the first partnership between a nonprofit group and a university to create a program like this, Flanagan said. "It sets a different tone," she said.

[Suggestions have included adding bikes to dorms and offering the service on weekends. One purpose is to see whether such programs really change behavior.] Top

Links and resources

Note: For CATS/Regional Planning Board either the old or can be used and Soles and Spokes.


bike enthusiasts

Chicago Dept. of Transportation Includes new maps and routes
CDOT bike plan,  
or, or,  
Chicagoland Bicycle Federation (312 42-PEDAL) Now Active Transportation Alliance Key organization. Rob Sadwosky Ex. Dir.
Chicago Clubs, chat rooms, ride/race schedules, resources
League of Illinois Bicyclists
Chicagoland Bicycle Map Maps--order/download
Selected Bicycling Links in Chicago An amazing set of links...  worth the visit
Bicycle Transportation Notes: Additional Resources Planning, laws, and more
Ride and Race Schedules, Shops
Model Laws
Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center Research organization
Cycling Advocacy Sites
Chicago Area Transportation Study-Soles and Spokes Research, resources, funding advocacy, planning and coordination. Works with Ch. Bicycle Fed.

More : (CBF events page)
Major Morgan Bike group (South Side rides, incl. late August): (state bicycle plan)
research info on bikeability conditions, curb ramps etc.:,
National Center fo Bicycling and Walking. Centerline newsletter.
More at the Soles and Spokes site.

See also the site of Mary Rose Shaughnessy,

Additional walkability sites:

Chicago Area Transportation Study

Walkable Communities, Inc.
Center for Livable Communities
Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center and
Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals
STPP's Mean Streets Reports
America Walks
Institute of Transportation Engineers
Walk to School Day http://www.walktoscThe SECC also has 20 copies of a "pithy and useful book", "City Comforts. How to Build An Urban Village." This book discusses basic urban design and planning principles. Contact Irene Sherr. Cost is $
Current Chicago city:
City Comforts
Sierra Club's Community Transportation Examples



Complete Street: The regional planning agency's Soles and Spokes division sent out notice of the following City of Chicago notification of policy on total accommodation on the public way:

The City of Chicago released a landmark Complete Streets Policy Oct. 10, mandating for the first time that all transportation users must be accommodated in all transportation projects. According to a multi-agency document issued by the city, the policy is expected to be implemented in a variety of ways advocated by Chicagoland Bicycle Federation and its Healthy Streets Campaign. The policy calls for pedestrian improvements like bulb-out curb extensions for crosswalks, countdown crossing signals, median refuges, and re-timing signals to minimize pedestrian delay and conflicts. To read more, visit

And visit the AARP website.

Note that while the Task Force plans to address problems of bikes on sidewalks, rushing turns or through at intersections and without safety and warning gear, bike groups seem more interested in their interactions with cars and seek more bike trails along streets. See in Bike and City Bike Plan page.

From the mayor's Pedestrian Advisory Council presentation April 23, 2009. (T.Y. Lin, CDOT)

What: Designed, operated, maintained so they are safe, comfortable and convenient for all users- pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users and motorists of all ages and abilities. Too many streets are built without the minimum accommodations, signing, or striping. Americans want to walk and bike more--55% prefer; 33% don't drive. 30% don't own a car; 21% are over 65; there are the children and Americans who cannot afford autos or choose not to have them. Yet many streets are not complete: sidewalks and crosswalks are nonexistent, out of code or in disrepair, streets uninviting to bicyclists, difficult to t cross on foot, or even inaccessible, have construction zones that don't take into account pedestrian challenges.

Policies. Design, operate and maintain the entire right of way to ensure safety and accessibility for all users.
"The safety and convenience of all users of the transportation system, including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, and motor vehicle drivers, shall be accommodated and balanced in all types of transportation and development projects and through all phases of a project, so that even the most vulnerable - children, elderly, and persons with disabilities - can travel safety within the public right-of-way."

Why a policy? To update practices, integrating the needs of all street users into all phases of a project. To ensure every project becomes an opportunity to help create a complete street; to bring an overarching vision and consistency to disparate departmental approaches; To improve departmental efficiency and streamlining. Scope of Work:
Input from a steering committee (CDOT divisions, OEMC Operations, Community Development, Zoning and Land Use).
Interviews with key stakeholders (CTA, MOPD, D of Envir, Mayor's Bicycle Advisory, CMAP, Police, IDOT bureaus).
Prepare Preliminary Report of practices and recommendations on improving city processes, design manuals, education and training:
Prepare Final Implementation Process Report (issue-obstacles-opportunities, incorporate feedback and project audits, a checklist to be use in all projects all phases, recommend changes to standards-policies-practices-education.
Conduct audits of recent projects-- were all user's needs accommodated?, review of preliminary planning documents, field visits, field reviews. Top


Local bicyclers ask more trails, but would they really improve safety?

The University of Chicago is introducing in summer 2009 a program of Shared Bikes and also expanding its progam to teach/train bicyclists and those who interface with them about rules and laws, best practices, best equipment and more. HPKCC and OWL encourage these and hope to see them available to more in the community.

Local bike enthusiasts such as Rev. Jorge Montes ask more streets have dedicated lanes and designated trails. But several of these such as 55th Street have already been considered--including by the Bicycle Federation, the city Transportation bike section, and regional planning Soles and Spokes--and ruled too dangerous given curves (University Condominiums) and tendency of cars to use them as a speedway. This writer and others specifically testified for alternatives to 55th and Lake Park as bike trails. However, east of Hyde Park Blvd. it has bike lanes. Some think that streets that are really too narrow for two lanes of traffic and really have a lane and a half would benefit from laning, if the parked cars opening doors could be managed. Most Hyde Park streets are in fact too narrow period, especially when they use buses (Woodlawn). Kenwood streets might be more suitable.

Members of the Disabilities Task Force see bicyclists, especially on walks and at viaducts, intersections and making turns and with no warning devices as posing the greater hazard, including along the Lakefront trail. See maps below to see where the trails currently go through our area.

Herald, November 8, 2006. Rev. Jorge Montes

Biking in Hyde Park has become very dangerous for m any bikers and some percentage of them have been hit or injured by careless drivers. Or drivers just don't see the bikers. As you know the university students and others are trying to use more environmentally-friendly vehicles and Hyde Park is a great place to ride. And since in some respects this is "Hyde No-Park," it is a good thing to support alternative options.

We suggest that bike paths be made available on streets such as Hyde Park Boulevard; 47th, 51st, and 53rd Streets; and Garfield Boulevard from Lake Shore Drive to Washington Park. These bike paths will give to Hyde Park a unique place for neighborhood families to enjoy our community and for other people who might otherwise drive automobiles around the neighborhood.


The Lakefront Bike Trail

In 2012, Friends of the Parks, Active Transportation Alliance, and Chicago Area Runners Association began a study of the Lakefront Bike Trail. A preliminary survey was done, series of public meetings which reported and sought input were hosted by the conveners, including in Jackson Park fieldhouse, and an online survey conducted. At the meetings, people not only submitted comments but paced dots and comments on large maps setting forth problem locations and types, opportunities for improvements, and principles for the trail, its use, and interactions with other modes. The survey had 1,569 responses according to a preliminary report in Friends of the Parks Advocate. The trail is used weekly by over 75,000, including cyclists, runners walkers, and skateboarders, rollerbladers, dog walkers, and bird watchers. Bikers were the largest users, followed by running, and walking.

User's issues/solutions:
1. Separate spaces for walking, biking, running incl. soft surfaces, boardwalks
2. Reduce congestion and conflicts
3. Educate on safety and etiquette
4. Maintain including surface materials
5 & 6. Make bathroom and fountains etc. accessible including year round
7. Improve lighting and personal safety
8. Fill the gaps
9. Improve safety along the feeder streets

10. Reduce street/trail crossings.

Focus was on eliminating congestion, safety-etiquette, especially along conflict/crunch points
Friends has launched a "Share the Shore" etiquette campaign with GolinHarris, according to the Advocate.

There was strong support for widening the path and separating different uses; completing the Last Four Miles; introducing "adopt a path;"move concessions away from the Trail; enforce rules and ordinance including with police and bike ambassadors;, more signage, lighting, and police presence.

People form come park councils and organizations walked the trail and reported specific points of deterioration, hazard, or conflicts. The final report should be out at the end of 2012. GMO.

[There is concern about difficulty of access at various points such as obsolete overpasses on south Lakeshore Drive and Metra-- scheduled to be replaced, in parks, and at the new 31st harbor.]


[Note: in association, a study commissioned by CDOT has been done about the needs of lakefront access from the South Loop to the Indiana border. Mile-signs are in place on the Lakefront Trail. CDOT received permission for a new sign system with route names and destinations matching existing, install begun in 2005 in Phase IV Streets for Cycling. Also, CP District has contracted for detailed design for kiosks along entire lakefront that were or were supposed to be installed 2004-05. Also done, 47th Overpass, Funded: 35th, 41st, 47th, 57th Drive, Cornell/Plaisance underpass and Lakefront Connector (part funding), temp. corrections 67th/71st, various improvements 71st to 104th; wayfinding.
Details see South Lakefront Access Page.

Chicago Tribune/RedEye May 24, 2004

When work is completed, Chicago will have an 18-mile path along the lakefront that bicyclists and inline skaters can better share with pedestrians. But there are still a few detours on the way to such recreational harmony.

Twenty [?] percent of the Lakefront Trail work is scheduled to be completed by Memorial day, and there will continue to be temporary portions along the northern end until work is done.

Thanks to a city project to rebuild South Lake Shore Drive, there are four new underpasses linking the lakefront to Jackson Park.

The Chicago Park District is rebuilding the path, which runs from Foster Avenue to the South Shore cultural Center, 7058 South Shore Drive. The upgrade work on the path, parts of which date to the 1920s, began five years ago.

It is making the path a consistent 14-feet wide [21' where soft-surface jogging lanes run on either side] for its full length, rather than a patchwork of asphalt trails, with space dedicated to pedestrians. All asphalt, the path will be painted with yellow and white divider lines separating north- and southbound traffic like a street. Three-foot rubber surfaces on each side will accommodate pedestrians and joggers.

Park District spokeswoman Lisa Arrizi says the path--new and old--is open during reconstruction. "In some cases, the trail will actually be closer to the lake," Arrizi said. And that's the best news because there's no firm date for completion. "It's been a tough budget year, but we are dedicated to finishing it," Arrizi says.

The park district doesn't say what the upgrades will cost, with funds for the project coming out of its capital budget, which also covers things such as skate parks and lagoon improvements, she says.

"They have consulted and continue to consult with us on most things involving the lakefront trail, such as design, routing and detours," says Randy Warren, program director for the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, a local non-profit bicycle advocacy organization with which the park district [and CDOT and CATS] in developing the new trail. "Things can always get better, but we are very pleased with the direction our relationship is heading."

Unfortunately, Warren says, "the Lakefront Trail has become a victim of its own success. During warm weather the trail becomes so crowded it becomes potentially unsafe to use."

Five new underpasses near the Museum of Science and Industry campus will open beginning Memorial Day weekend: at 57th, 59th and 63rd Streets and Marquette Road. (The opening of the additional underpass at 57th Street is scheduled for 2005.

The underpasses lead into [the main body of] Jackson Park, which was the site of the 1892 [sic] World's Columbian Exposition, and each underpass is decorated in a style reminiscent of that.


Coverage: New pedestrian underpasses open to the public (and there is concern about Oakland overpasses)

Hyde Park Herald, June 9, 2994. By Mike Stevens

Jackson Park's four new pedestrian underpasses opened last week dramatically improving lakefront access for the neighborhood.

The widely-arched concrete tunnels at 57th, 59th and 63rd Streets and Marquette Drive are among the final elements of the 4-year, $162 million reconstruction of South Lake Shore Drive.

"This was not a patch and repair job. this as a complete rebuilding of the roads [and] the infrastructure as well as pedestrian access," 5th Ward Ald. Leslie Hairston said.

In the 90s, community leaders, including Hairston, proposed the underpasses to replace the run-down pedestrian bridges at 57th and 63rd Streets using North Side underpasses as a model, Hairston said. "You don't know what you're missing unless you know what's out there," said Hairston, who continues to scout other neighborhoods for potential improvements.

Work continues on the 57th Drive underpass which connects the Museum of Science and Industry's (MSI) campus and nearby parking lots to the lakefront. The 57th Drive underpass opening has been delayed by construction of the MSI's new underground exhibit space for the U-505 submarine.

While crowds celebrated the underpass openings last weekend with bands and activities, others complained that Oakland's aging pedestrian bridges at 34th and 45rd streets appear in worse shape than Jackson Park's long-demolished bridges, which the underpasses replace. "It's a shame that he city would neglect that area," Oakland resident James Fitzhugh said.

While it might be years off, the city plans to replace Oakland's two bridges as well as build a new bridge at 41st Street, Chicago Department of Transportation spokesman Brian Steele said. Steele expects to announce finalists for a design concept competition later this summer. After finalists are chosen CDOT will look to secure funding for the project, Steele said.



Don't forget to look for the Migratory Bird Trail signs, signifying a good place along the lakefront to spot birds, especially during the spring and fall migration.

Other sections

A connector to other sections to the city bike trail, along the north side of Marquette Drive from Coast Guard (Lake Shore Drive) underpass to Stony Island, nears completion.

Major upgrades are built into revetment-and-park-reconstruction/expansion in Burnham Park especially between 29th and 51st over the next few years.

In the 39th/Oakwood Dr. area 15 acres have been set aside as park space with benches for passersby. Expected completion in August.

The section between Fullerton an Diversey is a bumpy detour. Scheduled completion end of summer.

Trail has been finished in the Belmont Harbor area- it goes closer to the harbor.

What's the progress south of 71st to the Indiana line?


CDOT's Chicago Bike 2010 Plan

The fold-up poster map is being distributed. Automatically to those on the CATS mailing list. If you are not on the list or don't receive in (this is March 16, 2004) e-mail

From CDOT News Bike 2010 Edition, Spring, 2003 [This issue deals with bike network, street comparability, and promotion. Next: bike parking, transit access, couriers, safety education, enforcement., Chicago Department of Transportation, Bureau of Traffic, 30 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 400, Chicago, IL 60602, 312 427-3325 X 35.

Comment on the Plan to CDOT . To view the plan, navigate from

Make Chicago "The City That Bikes"

We are in the middle of developing Chicago's Bike 2010 Plan. There are two goals:

1) Boost trips made by bike-Especially short trips like errands and children riding to school.
2) Reduce bicycle crashes- Combat the most common causes of bicyclist injury and endangerment.

[We gathered public suggestions,] asked the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation to research the "best practices"; we need more input from you:

  1. What questions do you want answered or what specific additional information do you need about any of the proposals?
  2. Which proposals are your most important priorities?
  3. What other ideas do you have that aren't mentioned?

Draft Recommendations

Bike Network: Proposals to expand the network of on-and-off street bikeways to support a safe and convenient bicycling environment.

Bike Lanes

Current Streets for Cycling Plan of lanes as a citywide net, identify another 100-200 miles of lanes and innovative bikeways including boulevards. Every citizen within 4-6 blocks of the network by 2010.

Pilot bike-and-bus lanes.

Enhance quality maintenance of bikeways.

Bike Routes

Complete signage stressing connections, destinations, safest and most direct routes.

Retrofit open grate bridges.

Upgrade markings and signs on streets too narrow for lanes.

Install signs "bikes allowed use of full lane".

Bike information kiosks at critical junctures.

Bike Trails

Implement Chicago Trail Plan and South Lakefront Access Plan on a priority basis.

"Share the Trail" Lakefront partnered safety campaign

Trails as part of developments to meet city standards.

Complete priority missing network links including North Branch, Des Plaines River, Centennial, Burnham Greenway.

Innovative Bikeway Designs

Pilot raised lanes with curb separation

Test colored pavement at problem intersections.

Pilot three bicycle boulevards.

Pilot advanced stop bars (bike boxes) at 5 high volume intersections .

Pilot bike traffic light phases.

Marketing and Promotion: persuade more to try bicycling more often

Broad-based marketing (Bike Chicago, frequent Bike to Work, Commuter Challenges, cycling group rides and events, "Share the Road" ads, Mayor Daley's Bicycling Ambassadors.

Targeting special populations , neighborhoods (target three)

Targeting specific trips (Recreation-3, Shop by Bike, Safe Routes to School instruction, Safe Routes to High School...Colleges and Universities, Bike to Work incentives, Bikes on the Job--esp. by city departments, Useful Bikes and trailers.

Health Promotion including a controlled study. Start closing streets regularly on Sundays, including long destination routes tied to festivals/events in parks and a "Sunday Cycling" program. Tie the effort also to health institutions, parks kids programming, Chicago Works Out.

Tourism including having rental bikes and bike touring info available. A velodrome? Bike Chicago, Bike the Drive.

Street Compatibility

Traffic Calming (specifically for cycling and ensuring other calming fully accommodates bicyclists)

Pilot 3-5 "home zones" (play streets) on local streets with lots of families.

Make bikeways a routine consideration component required in planning projects. To include lanes, bike parking , bike sensitive traffic calming, bike-sensing signal tripping, friendly calming/cul de sacs.


Other steps in progress or done:

The 100th mile of bike lands was supposedly in use by early 2004.
Adding 750 bike racks for a total 8,400

Identifying future off-street paths including multi-trail loops
South Lakefront Accesses Study--50 priority projects.

Navy Pier Flyover
Millennium Park Bike Station (parking, showers, lockers, rental and repair, cafe)
North Shore Channel under bridge, Damen North Branch bridge
Bike parking in 3 CTA rail stations in addition to 21 current
Maps--Kids on Bikes booklet, Website

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CATS (Chicago Area Transportation Study)- now CMAP)

monitors and prepares Regional Transportation Plan proposals for bike and pedestrian projects and networks under the program names

Soles and Spokes and Congestion and Mitigation of Air Quality (CMAQ)

Regional Planning Board, the official regional planning recommending body, has recently released preliminary CMAQ proposal rankings. (Link may be changed.) These are projects to be built next year and are in a public comment period. Questions 312 793-3477. Metra upgrade/Grayline has received high marks for reducing congestion and pollution. Note, such funding is in trouble in Congress.

The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center has recently updated its "frequently asked questions" and has posted a report, "Growing Demand for safe Walking and Bicycling" (in pdf).

2. WEB RESOURCES. The following resources are available to provide
more information for those interested in further involvement in project,
corridor, and strategic studies and implementation.

a. Context Sensitive Solutions (IDOT).

b. Soles and Spokes Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan for Chicago Area
Transportation (CATS):

c. Brown Line Capacity Expansion Project (Chicago Transit Authority):

d. Kingery Expressway Reconstruction Project (I-80/94):

e. Cook-DuPage Multimodal Corridor Study (RTA):

f. Wikaduke SRA Study:

g. Caton Farm – Bruce Road SRA Study:

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Chicago Bike Map Streets for Cycling, Summer, 2004

Following is the 2003 map, which is much more readable. Difference: Trail is now designated north of the Midway from the Dorchester trail, jogging east to Blackstone thence northbound on Blackstone to 56th thence east to Lake Park/Stony Island and southbound from 57th on Dorchester to link up to the trail south of the Midway.
Included is the Lakefront Trail from just south of the Stevenson to South Shore.

See a street traffic directional flow map and a map more clear in street location and labeling in Neighborhood Maps.

Existing lane: orange enclosed in heavier blue. Proposed (currently route only) encl. in lighter blue
Recommended bike routes: orange

Existing off-street trails: solid blue. Proposed: dashed blue.

Hyde Park Cycle shops: In Harper Court north of 53rd, (not shown on the map!) Art's Cycle on 55th east of Cornell, Blackstone Bicycle Works in trailer? at 61st.

2004 Chicago Bike Map-part

2003 Chicago Bike Map-part

Are you bike street smart?

Bike-ped-auto interface danger and issues. To get on listserve, info etc.

General tips

  1. Wear a helmet
  2. Yield to pedestrians, stay off sidewalks
  3. Look out for car doors
  4. Dress appropriately
  5. Be aware of what's going on around you
  6. Check your brakes
  7. Pump up your tires
  8. Adjust the seat
  9. Use light at night
  10. Lock your bike when you're not using it

Be seen and communicate, avoid injury

Theft prevention:

Sharing the road

The door zone (3-4 feet along left side of a parked car)

Sharing the off-street trail

Bikes on Transit

Welcome except rush hour (7-9 am, 4-6 pm). cal 1-800-YOUR-CTA or visit
PACE and CTA have racks on all buses (2 fit). Metra: only BN an UP North.

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More on Bikes v Cars--folks, this is not demolition derby! And there's plenty of blame to go around

Chicagoland Bicycle Federation is preparing a campaign for all to drive and ride with care.

Complaints? Drivers go first--cars are a lot bigger! (Cyclists claim they cause far fewer accidents or deaths.) But drivers point to the unexpected speeding, red-light dissing, unstopping, weaving cyclist--sometimes even going the wrong direction. And say that bicyclists are far less likely to be stopped or get a ticket.

5 cyclists were killed in 2005 but far more were injured--and if they don't go to the hospital, it's not reported.

Top 5 complaints from drivers(informal lists)

Top 5 from cyclists

The bicycle fed says the biggest problem is speeding in residential areas. When auto speed gets above 30 the chances of fatality become overwhelming. It wants speed humps, red-light cameras.

Drivers say too many cyclists get too close or in their blind spots--really dangerous if a car starts to turn.

Robert Wernis says bikers deserve some blame,too. He points to weaving in and out of traffic, not following the rules of the road and safety, especially at night.

The city is cracking down on drivers that park, drive or stand in bike lanes, just as they targeted bikes in Lakeview last summer.


Bikes are green!

From the League of American Bicyclists website: Bikes:

Going green bike collection for working bikes. Learn about next year's collection at Chase bank.

Or bring it to Blackstone Bicycle Works, 6100 S. Blackstone. Donated bikes help fund educational programming including the earn-a-bike program, mechanical skill training and entrepreneurial training for area youth .Tuesday through Friday 2-5 pm Saturday 12-5 pm. 773 241-5458.