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Clark, Morse Among Far North Side Hotspots for Bike Lane Parking Tickets

By Linze Rice | January 15, 2016 6:28am
 Several hot spots reveal where cars were cited for blocking designated bike lanes, like one pictured here in the 6100 block of North Winthrop Avenue in Edgewater.
Several hot spots reveal where cars were cited for blocking designated bike lanes, like one pictured here in the 6100 block of North Winthrop Avenue in Edgewater.
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EDGEWATER — Over the past five years, the city has steadily doled out an increasing number of tickets to motorists who are hogging space in protected bike lanes, according to data obtained by DNAinfo Chicago through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Though the number of tickets given out across the Far North Side pales in comparison to come chaotic spots in the Loop, Gold Coast and River North, there are a few noteworthy hotspots.

In Edgewater, the parallel and densely populated residential stretches of Kenmore and Winthrop avenues between Ardmore and Granville saw at least 44 vehicles get tickets, costing $150 each, for obstructing the bikeway.

Around the corner on North Broadway, only a handful of tickets were issued between Dec. 1, 2010 and Dec. 10, 2015 — but just south of Foster Avenue in the 5000-5200 blocks of North Broadway, another 16 tickets were passed out.

Between the 5200-5800 block of North Clark Street in Andersonville/Edgewater, 59 tickets were written, and on Morse Avenue in Rogers Park, another 29.

Rogers Park residents are currently in the process of trying to plan a designated bike path that would run from Evanston through Rogers Park to Edgewater.

Check out the interactive map below

Source: Chicago Department of Finance [DNAinfo/Tanveer Ali]

In 2015, the city issued 2,473 tickets for the violation through the middle of December. That's slightly higher than in 2014, when 2,331 tickets were issued and more than double than in 2011, when 1,115 tickets were issued, according to the data. 

"Is it just organic, logical growth, or is it because [the city] is truly enforcing more?" said Yasmeen Schuller, president and owner of The Chainlink, which recently called on cyclists to submit photos and videos of vehicles parked in bike lanes. "These aren't huge numbers if you think about how big the city of Chicago is."

About 1 in every 1,250 parking tickets in Chicago is for parking in bike lanes. The city issued more than 12.2 million parking tickets between December 2010 and December 2015.

Since Mayor Rahm Emanuel took office in 2011, the city has added 106 miles of buffered or protected bike lanes, which brings the city's total up to 292 miles, according to Mike Claffey, a spokesman for the Chicago Department of Transportation.

According to Claffey, the increase in the number of tickets is due to the city "stepp[ing] up efforts to keep [bike lanes] free of parked and stopped vehicles, both through education and enforcement."

While Schuller said she's glad to see "some sort of enforcement," she thinks roughly 200 tickets a month across nearly 300 miles of bike lanes is not enough.

"That doesn't sound like full coverage," she said. "I keep hearing that there are so many more cars out there, and I've physically seen them. What's the plan for when they more than double the miles of bike lanes in the next four years?"

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