Updated: It Should Never Have Come To This…

Summary

Background Reading

When Things Have Gone Too Far…

Photo documentation of poor condition of new bike lanes from unexpected source…
Posted by Team h’ 1.0 on February 11, 2013 at 8:06am
Courtesy of Second City Cop:
http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/
(courtesy of Joe F on BCHI list)

You never want your “friends” to lose faith.

Reply by JM 6.5 4 hours ago
h’ beat me to it. Direct link to the post-in-interest:
http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2013/02/bike-lane-money.html

Now the “technicality squad” arrives.

Reply by notoriousDUG 3 hours ago
To take those pictures they had to be driving in the bike lane as well.

That's a rough looking ride.

That’s a rough looking ride.

Complaining about where the cop SUV was sitting is pointless. I always find that ChainLinkers who cannot be bothered with whether or not running red lights or stop signs is a big deal suddenly focus on the legality of the actions of motorists.

I frankly would rather he be blocking the lane than having someone trying to ride down this horrid piece of real estate. Now I ask you would this have been allowed to look like this (a brand new lane) if it were in the Lincoln Park neighborhood?

Reply by Team h’ 1.0 3 hours ago
The lane is literally unrideable so no great loss.

Amen. From the sublime…

Reply by JM 6.5 3 hours ago
As a rider, I’m all for bike lanes. But with the exception of the few protected bike lanes, the city has just wasted the money (well, it IS Chicago, so I shouldn’t have expected more). These pictures of pot-holed bike lanes are more the rule than the exception.

Reply by Team h’ 1.0 3 hours ago
Botched with a capitol B.

Reply by James BlackHeron 3 hours ago
This is Sparta Chicago.

Reply by Adam Herstein (5.5 mi) 3 hours ago
Even the Dearborn lane was built on shoddy pavement. Most of the buffered lanes were as well – the Roscoe St lane has a huge gash running down the middle for its entire four-block length.

Reply by JM 6.5 3 hours ago
It’s frustrating and maddening. The money was finally earmarked for bike lanes after the hard work of so many bike advocates, only to be flushed away in the abyss that is Chicago politics/cronyism.

Reply by Anne Alt 2-10 3 hours ago
It doesn’t get much more ironic than this. *sigh*

Reply by Juan Primo 47 minutes ago
As a consumer, I buy quality. I don’t have a lot of things, but the things I have work like they are supposed to because I paid for quality. Rahm’s promises of hundreds of bike lane miles is great but they don’t work. It’s like buying a flashlight at the dollar store and it doesn’t work when you need it. Rahm cheaped out for quantity instead of quality – what a leader.

Hundreds of miles of bike lanes is a quantifiable brag. Hundreds of miles of crappy bike lanes is more the truth. You wasted my money but you’re so green and reelectable.

Reply by Adam Herstein (5.5 mi) 44 minutes ago
I agree 100%. I’d much rather have 20 miles of quality protected bike lanes that actually go somewhere than the shoddy, discontinuous mess we have currently. Not saying I am not grateful for what we have – I am – but I think a proper plan and quality lanes would have an even greater benefit to the city.

To the ridiculous…

Reply by bk (aka: Dr. Mambohead) 18 minutes ago
The other day?…
Past friendly neighbors and socialist utopian housing, I rode the Jackson bike lane…
It was really quite enjoyable!
ooooh!
optimism!
look at me!
where is john kass?
i have a hug to give away to the needy

A few more comments worth reading…

Reply by Tricolor 2 hours ago
I wouldn’t be on such a tear against Rahm as much as the local aldermen. That said the people running street maintenance could probably stand a good kicking, too, and the Mayor can do something about them.

I beg to differ here with this interpretation of the facts. I rode this stretch of protected bike lane and it was this bad from the outset. The fact that the residents in the area stood up and complained about the placement of the lanes is in fact a “good thing“. What is deplorable is the fact that Ben Fried of Streetsblog is as paternalistic as his words seems to indicate.

Reply by globalguy 45 minutes ago
Actually, I recently spoke with a long-time, senior city employee who pointed out that Rahm

  1. demanded a specific amount of lanes by the New Year, come what may, and
  2. he’s pretty much encouraging various commissioners to fight over turf at the detriment of co-ordinated public polic y such as bike lane installation and maintenance.

Being a member-in-good-standing of the Cynics Club, I would offer the following explanation. But first some background on another bit of sleight-of-hand.

We are witnessing some Kabuki Theater in the reactions of Senator Lindsey Graham to President Obama on the Benghazi Raid that resulted in the deaths of four Americans including the Ambassador. What is instructive is the backstory to this stance:

The essence of the story is:

The South Carolina senator’s crusade against fellow Republican Chuck Hagel may seem inexplicable, but it’s about defending himself from a 2014 primary challenge, reports Patricia Murphy.

Now I think there is a bit of cover being attempted by City Hall in this instance as well. We were promised the Moon and are now being told that the Governor is the “bad guy” (of course before that it was the contention of the StreetsBlog article that it was IDOT’s fault).

Unfortunately the Chicago Urban Cycling Community has decided that asking for proof that these kinds of lanes are efficacious is somehow being obstructive. I say “bully for the Governor and for IDOT”.

Even if such lanes are safer the installation of the ones we have here to date is arguably making things worse. If I were Rahm Emanuel and found myself running out of money and time I would ask the Governor to give me cover. He would agree to put a halt on the promised bike lane installations in exchange for my backing come his re-election bid. That way I get to look as if my hands were tied and he gets to have my backing when the time comes. It’s a win-win situation.

TakeAways

It is at moments like these that you get to see what the ChainLink Crowd is really made of. They show up en masse whenever there is a photo opportunity. They complain ad nauseum when John Kass questions what is being done with city monies that are seemingly wasted on bike lanes. They have rallies and vigils when a rider dies because there is a perceived unsafe motorist practice that causes door-ing.

But when it comes to folks riding around the city at breakneck speeds on a Sunday afternoon enjoying an Alley Cat Race or having the underbelly of their precious bike lane mileage exposed for all to see, the best they can muster area few complaints online.

  • Where is the rally against wasteful spending?
  • Where is the Critical Mass Ride in opposition to unsafe lanes?
  • Where are the committees like Look Chicago who are forming to craft stickers to post on the windows and doorways of everyone in City Hall?
  • Where are the techie types who are forming groups to photograph bad lane construction rather than just automobiles parked in the lane?
  • Where are all the folks who are going to get in touch with their favorite journalists to write about this problem? They can must all sorts of help for other issues, but this one (which directly affects cyclists) will go unmentioned.

The Urban Church of Cycling is full of hypocrites. Their high priests are busy looking the other way. What no letters of outrage from Active Transportation Alliance? Surely Ron Burke has as much to say about this travesty as he did about angry articles from John Kass, right?

Heck, the Cycling Activist Community is nothing more than Kabuki Theatre. The Cycling Community is both lame and toothless and full of fraudulent hacks looking to raise money but lacking the balls to take on their own ineptitude.