As part of Active Trans' Neighborhood Bikeways Campaign, staff from the organization recently visited the Friends of the Major Taylor Trail group to talk about changes that would make Vincennes Avenue a safer street for everyone.
Since Vincennes between 85th and 103rd Streets is currently being resurfaced by the Chicago Department of Transportation, we told group members that it's a good time to ask for bike and pedestrian improvements to the street.
When asked their top three safety issues for Vincennes, group members listed
1. People driving dangerously fast on the length of the street
2. Unsafe crossings at churches, schools and Metra stations
3. A few key intersections that are dangerous for people on foot, on bikes and in cars
Recognizing that the street would be a great bike route if it wasn’t so scary, group members asked that the city consider adding a protected bike lane to the plans.
Several members of the group agreed that a strong, permanent barrier between bikes and cars would be an important addition.
A bike lane separated from car traffic with concrete barriers would have several benefits, the group noted. It would make it safer to bike and it would narrow the street to slow down traffic, making the street easier to cross at the many churches and schools along the route.
Some street crossings on Vincennes provide access to Metra stations, but due to the speed of the street traffic, the timing of the lights and the complicated intersections, accessing transit is difficult and sometimes unsafe.
Finally, the group agreed unanimously that it would like to expand the project a bit to include two more troubling intersections: 83rd Street on the north and 105th Street on the south.
Not all important stakeholders along Vincennes could make it to the meeting. Active Trans will continue working with the Major Taylor Trail group and others as the project moves forward.
Photo above shows members of the Friends of the Major Taylor Trail discussing how to make Vincennes safer and more inviting.