If you’ve ridden on or near Illinois St. or Grand Ave. between Orleans St. and the Lakefront Trail, you might have seen construction crews hard at work installing new bike lanes. The lanes are scheduled to be ready for use by Friday, October 29th, weather permitting. The new bike lanes will be a great connection for cyclists traveling to and from the Lakefront Trail. This is really the first—and best—east/west connector between downtown Chicago and Lakefront Trail. Grand Ave. will have west-bound bike lanes while Illinois St. will have east-bound lanes.
We are excited about the leadership from Alderman Reilly in getting these bike lanes installed. Unlike most of the bike lanes in the city, these bike lanes are being funded through Alderman Reilly's discretionary “menu fund.” We are happy to see that both the alderman and his constituents recognize the benefits of adding more transportation options in the 42nd Ward and worked with the Chicago Department of Transportation to make it a reality.
If you live in the 42nd Ward, please consider sending Alderman Reilly a letter, note or email thanking him for his efforts. If you don’t live in the 42nd Ward, talk to your alderman about how to make your neighborhood more bicycle friendly. A recent article in ModeShift explains how to work with your alderman on using menu money for bike and pedestrian projects.
Let’s hope the weather holds and that the bike lanes are ready to ride this Friday. Go for a ride and tell us what you think.