Navy Pier Area Flyover Status

Background Reading

Summary

Joggers, walkers and cyclists navigate a construction area on the lakefront trail along Ohio Street Beach on April 17, 2015. (Armando L. Sanchez, Chicago Tribune)

Joggers, walkers and cyclists navigate a construction area on the lakefront trail along Ohio Street Beach on April 17, 2015. (Armando L. Sanchez, Chicago Tribune)

The original section of the Great Wall of China went up in about 20 years. The 110-story Sears Tower was erected in only three years. So how long does it take to build a roughly 2,700-foot-long pedestrian bridge in Chicago?

In the heart of the city’s lakefront trail system, slow progress and plenty of hazards and inconveniences mark spring for bicyclists, runners and pedestrians as crews begin the second year of a four-year project to construct a half-mile bridge for recreational users.


TakeAways

Having visited the Chicago Lakefront Trail recently I can attest that the Flyover area around Navy Pier is a mess!

The Chicago ‘Whine and Jeez’ Club Cycling Forum flew into an outraged dither when it learned that ‘some things had changed‘. One poor soul had noted that the bike racks along the north side of the Pier Area had disappeared. That of course brought speculation that the Mayor of Chicago having nothing better or more pressing to occupy himself with had removed them on a malicious whim.

But then again that same group has gone into ‘outrage mode‘ over the prospect of having that rather nasty piece of Protected Bike Lane that runs along Kedzie relocated north to Grand Avenue. I fully expected that the Alderman who was waging the battle to move this ratty (but evidently beloved piece of embarrassing real estate disguised as a ‘safe haven’ for timid cyclists) would receive threats of one sort or another, but none have yet surfaced.

Why Is The Urban Cycling Movement Such A Drama Queen Festival?

Having spent the weekend snickering at some of the more outrageous videos on YouTube purporting to be documented evidence of malicious attempts on the persons of cyclists I am fresh out of sympathy for the overdramatic antics of this group.

This is a big city. Things take time. And believe it or not the comfort and convenience of each and every one of the 7K commuting cyclists (assuming that this figure is even close to reality) is important but has to be weighed against the hundreds of thousands of pedestrians and motorists who share the roadways, sidewalks and trails with one another.

Chill out, people! The job will get done eventually. It may take a few years and frankly the north end of the Chicago Lakefront Trail is far busier than is reasonable for someone on a bicycle soft-pedaling behind a leisurely strolling gaggle of visitors on foot. Use the southern end and enjoy a more peaceful and scenic ride.