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'Contra-Flow' Bike Lane On Glenwood Is Officially Coming Next Year

By Linze Rice | October 28, 2016 5:47am
 A new bikeway project will soon pop up along Glenwood Avenue in Edgewater, and will connect to Ridge and Foster Avenues.
A new bikeway project will soon pop up along Glenwood Avenue in Edgewater, and will connect to Ridge and Foster Avenues.
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DNAinfo/48th Ward

EDGEWATER — More than a year after first being proposed to the community, Ald. Harry Osterman's (48th) office confirmed Thursday the southbound 'contra-flow' bike lane on Glenwood Avenue would be coming next year. 

At a recent town hall meeting, Osterman said he and transportation department officials "went back to the drawing board" to come up with a more "fine-tuned" plan, particularly to ensure a minimum loss of parking spaces. 

Between Hollywood and Foster, no spaces will be lost, while between Hollywood and Ridge, two parking spots will be eliminated in areas that require a longer sight line for travelers.

Ally Brisbin, a spokeswoman for Osterman's office, said the project will be funded with ward funds set aside for infrastructure improvements, and came in about $10,000 under budget at $65,000. 

Installation of the green paint and more signs will likely begin in the Spring, Brisbin said.

Last summer, Osterman and Chicago Department of Transportation officials first pitched the idea to the community, saying many people, mostly families and kids, already used Glenwood going in the opposite direction of traffic because they felt safer than on main roadways like Clark or Broadway. 

"The goal is to make what is existing safer, not increase bike traffic," Osterman said at the recent town hall.

By September 2015, the project was put on hold as Osterman's office and transportation officials continued to develop the plans and amid funding issues with the city's budget. 

The stretch of Glenwood Avenue between Carmen and Ridge avenues where the path is proposed is now a one-way street going north. 

The street already has some speed bumps, slowing traffic down, and because it's one-way there are less cars to worry about, cyclists say.

Osterman said in the past most people who bike Glenwood are less experienced riders, like seniors, kids and families. The lane would not be for "people who are flying down Clark Street or those that want to go down Broadway or use the lakefront path," according to the alderman.

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