Did You Know?

Chicago’s first protected bike lane on Kinzie St. increased ridership by 55 percent without increasing traffic congestion for cars.

Icy Roads and Sidewalks

As you are probably aware, the side roads and sidewalks are terror out there.  For the first time in years, the City is cutting down on its plowing and salting of streets due to the economic crisis.  While using less salt is good for the environment, it has had miserable consequences for bicyclists and pedestrians throughout the City.  The Active Transportation Alliance has asked for the City of Chicago's Department of Transportation to address this issue with Streets and Sanitation.  Many other cities in the region are experimenting with other treatments including reducing the salt by mixing in other ingredients such as sand or using beet extract juice instead.  While we understand the importance of fiscal conservancy in these days, the consequences for this action may mean the loss of lives and signficant injuries. 

 We've already heard many stories about cars spinning around in circles (saw one today) and transit riders lining up on sheets of ice trying to delicatley skate their way onto a bus.  Of course the sidewalk problem is not generally a city maintenance issue but one of enforcing the standards that require citizens and building owners to be responsible and shovel, plow and maintain their sidewalks.  I'd like to suggest two clear solutions for folks who are experiencing problems:

 1.  Call 311 and complain about any sidewalk that needs clearing. 

2.  Call 311 for problem streets.

3.  Let your alderman know that you're daily commute is unsafe.

 If you get reactions or traction on these, let us know by commenting thrugh the blog.  Thanks.