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Construction on Church Street Protected Bike Lane Begins in August

Downtown businesses are gearing up for construction of Evanston’s very first protected bike lane this summer.

On August 1, the city crews will begin work on the new bike lane, to be located on Church Street between Chicago and Ridge avenues. Parking spots will be shifted away from the curb to make room for the lane, which will be demarcated by a line of white posts and paint on the pavement, according to city officials.   

“This is the first of its kind in the city,” notes city planner Craig Sklennar. 

Construction on the project will last into the fall, with street resurfacing last on the list.

“Grinding and paving won’t be conducive to outdoor dining,” director of public works Suzette Robinson acknowledged at a meeting of the business group Thursday. To minimize the impact on businesses, she said, that part of the project will not begin until mid September. And one lane of traffic will remain open on Church Street at all times.

The final touches on the bike lane will wrap up in early October, when workers paint the pavement “jade,” a muted green. Residents voted for the color using a polling system on the city’s website, according to Robinson, and green—the traditional color for bike lanes—was the clear winner.  

In the future, Robinson said the city plans to complete the protected bike path so that it connects all the way from the lakefront to the McCormick bike trail. Next year, the city will add a protected bike lane on Davis Street so that bikers can travel through downtown in both directions.

Construction of the protected bike lane is part of a $1.8 million capital improvement plan the city council approved for the downtown area this March.

Crews will also replace sidewalks, update benches and install a new bike shelter in front of , among other projects.

“Hopefully we can eliminate the need to park your bikes on trees and parking meters,” said Robinson.

The city will also install 3-foot LED lights and a rain garden at the plaza area on Orrington Avenue.

 

san Dee May 19, 2012 at 08:46 PM
the more folks that leave their gas-guzzlers at home and bicycle around town, the healthier our planet AND our neighbors will be. a third of the nation is overweight, people! let's get out of our cars and use those legs and lungs!
mij May 20, 2012 at 02:18 AM
Like the Rich and auto drivers. Let the BIKERS PAY THERE FAIR SHARE and and follow the rules of road. Any that don't use protected lanes when available $250.00 fine
lucas May 20, 2012 at 09:02 PM
You wouldn't have the streets aand TraderJoes if it wern't for cars.
Jim Osburn May 22, 2012 at 04:35 AM
With the high cost for city stickers, taxes on gasoline and parking fees, motorists are paying more than their "fair share." Time to have the bikers bear some of the burden on their healthy shoulders. Let's see, $1.8 million divided by how many bicycles?
victoria smith May 22, 2012 at 12:04 PM
I don't have any problem with people commuting to work or just for fun on their bikes, I do however have a huge complaint that they do NOT follow the rules of the road! There have been way to many times that I have either wittnessed bikes going through red lights and or stop signs with close misses of being hit. Then they turn around and look at you like your at fault. They DO NOT have the right away. I believe that they have to obey signs as well as cars am I wrong? It is very scarry to drive with bikers next to you on the road. How about the packs of racers that you see on Saturdays and Sundays that also feel it is there right because they are going at a set pace, to obey the lights and signs as well. Don't get me wrong, I ride a bike too, but I'd rather stop than put myself and someone else in harms way. Don't think the police want to take the time to ticket a biker, but then again if they did, maybe some of them would think twice.

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