Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Go to the new Streets for Cycling meetings!

What destinations do you and other people in your neighborhood want to reach by bike? Where do you like to ride? Where would you want to go by bike if a safe lane were there? Do you ride to school, or would you like to? How about the supermarket?   If you don't ride your bike much, what infrastructure would help you change your mind?  The Chicago Department of Transportation, CDOT, is building new bike lanes all around the city. They are planning to put in safe new protected lanes for bicycles, away from pedestrians and cars, so an 8 year old or a grandma or a parent with a bunch of kids (or YOU!) can ride where she needs to go and still feel safe. This will encourage more widespread use of bikes for most city trips. The lanes should be similar to the ones used in northern Europe and Asia, with some kind of cement or tree barrier between bikes and cars, and with some special bicycle traffic lights, overpasses, or other shortcuts.                                                                            One of these meetings is NOW!, December 15th at 6:30 PM at Rapid Transit. Click the picture to read about two upcoming meetings in our area. There are many other meetings around the city. We'll try to put a calendar here for you to find them soon.

At upcoming meetings around the city you can learn about the options they are considering and put in your own ideas about where these lanes should be and how they should be designed. You get to suggest what is needed! It is still early enough to make a big difference.

A system of safe bike routes gets people out in the air exercising, cuts down on the number of cars since drivers will be on bikes, cuts car parking and gas or maintenance costs, and can make a stressful commute more relaxing and fun.

This is a great chance for families all around the city to share where they ride or wish they felt confident to ride.  Sounds kind of dry but this is really good fun! Find more information about the Streets for Cycling program here:

You can find your particular region in there, though most cyclists ride all over the city, so anywhere you wish to share input will be welcomed heartily. We are working with the Mid Southwest Side Community Advisory Group in our neighborhood to gather information for CDOT 's planners.  Here is the planning map of our particular section, the "Mid-Southwest Side" (it is a 2MB pdf)

Bring your friends. See you there!

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