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Divvy in Rogers Park? Get Ready to Pedal in 2014, City Says

By Benjamin Woodard | November 8, 2013 6:29am
 Rogers Park will see as many as 15 Divvy bike-sharing stations in 2014, a city Transportation Department official said.
Rogers Park will see as many as 15 Divvy bike-sharing stations in 2014, a city Transportation Department official said.
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DNAinfo/Patty Wetli

ROGERS PARK — Don't worry bike lovers. The city's already beloved bike-sharing program didn't forget about Rogers Park.

In 2014, Divvy is coming to your neighborhood.

"We are planning right now. We've got another 175 stations" to install, said Sean Wiedel, assistant commissioner at the Chicago Department of Transportation.

With the help of a $3 million federal grant, Divvy will be able to add another 75 stations in addition to the 100 already slated for installation next year, bringing the city's total number of stations to 475.

Wiedel said the stations will help "fill in" service gaps in neighborhoods already blanketed with the light-blue bicycles, and will also allow Divvy to expand to the city's fringes, like Rogers Park and Edgewater.

Although the city has not decided on the locations of the new stations, he said, residents on the Far North Side can expect "many more than a couple" — and as many as 15 — new stations by the end of 2014.

And they couldn't come fast enough for eager riders.

"Oh, yeah, I'd use it," said Loyola University student Ford Appleton, 19. "I could see a lot of people wanting to use these. I'd definitely go for it."

Appleton, like many students, doesn't own a car.

But what about for the majority of Rogers Park residents living north of Loyola?

Before the $3 million grant was awarded, Divvy had planned to only bring two stations in 2014 to Rogers Park — one at the Loyola "L" station and another just around the corner on West Sheridan Road.

"If you're only going to put two or three per neighborhood, then what's the point?" said Karin Nangreave, 31, who lives at Howard Street and Damen Avenue and works in Ravenswood.

In Rogers Park, which is bisected by the Red Line, Divvy would be most useful for traveling east and west, she said.

"You don't have many options going west to West Ridge in terms of public transportation," she said.

Kelly Fedolfi, who has lived in both Rogers Park and West Ridge, also said "it's horrible" to travel any other direction than north and south.

"You have to depend on one bus that runs every half hour," she said. "[Divvy] would be such a huge help."

The 28-year-old said she works at Northwestern Memorial Hospital on the Near North Side, where plentiful Divvy stations make for convenient trips.

But Wiedel said not to worry about Divvy's growth. The program also got picked up by suburban Oak Park, which will get a dozen stations, and Evanston, which will get eight stations.

"We're growing from the city into these suburbs," he said, and Evanston should help Chicago connect the dots.

He said economic and business data used by the city to determine where to place stations has proven promising for the Far North Side.

"Rogers Park and Edgewater really pop," he said. "They show up as really strong communities for expansion."