Chicago doesn’t need to ban bicyclists to keep the Riverwalk safe
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The downtown Riverwalk is a beautiful example of urban placemaking, but its popularity has led to congestion issues. During the summer, it can be so crowded with foot traffic that there is little room for people on bikes.
A proposal to ban bicycling on the Riverwalk would divert more bikes to the streets and lead other cyclists to not bike at all. A ban would also jeopardize the city’s popular plan to complete a continuous, multi-modal river trail spanning the north and south branches of the Chicago River, with connections to the lakefront.
Two things are clear at this point: First, outside of peak summer hours, people walking and biking can safely share the Riverwalk.
Second, nearby streets are increasingly chaotic, with more cars due to Uber and Lyft, along with more delivery vehicles, bikes, and in 2019, potentially hundreds or thousands of electric scooters.
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Cities can manage these changes and create more order on the streets by giving different travel modes their own spaces, such as the Loop Link bus lanes and Chicago’s protected bike lanes. Next up should be protected bike/scooter lanes on Upper Wacker Drive that will function as a portion of the Chicago River Trail and an alternative to the Riverwalk. Wacker parallels the river and is wider than needed. Adding a protected bike lane would improve safety for everyone using the streets and sidewalks.
In downtown Chicago, cars carry about 25% of the people but occupy roughly 75% of the space, while also causing most of the traffic injuries. In the face of a rapidly changing transportation ecosystem, cities need to reduce traffic chaos and promote safety, sustainability and equity with a “fair share” allocation of street space to automobile alternatives.
Ron Burke, Active Transportation Alliance
Most of the industrialized world is repulsed by our draconian new sanctions imposed Nov. 4 on Iran. Intended to devastate the Iranian economy and cause regime change there. The new sanctions have nothing to do with Iran’s adherence to the 2015 5+1 nuclear agreement. They have everything to do with destroying Iran as a rival to our biggest buyer of weapons of civilian destruction (WCD) and Yemen war crime ally, Saudi Arabia.
Let’s see … the Saudis chop up a pesky journalist at the Saudi consulate in Turkey while dropping thousands of U.S. bombs from U.S.-made warplanes on the hapless Yemenis, causing death, disease and starvation to millions. What does Trump do?
He says the hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs the Saudis create buying our death stuff is worth it. Then, he pivots to our “real” bete noir, Iran, ratcheting up new self-destructive sanctions the rest of the world will ignore or work around to keep Iranian oil flowing. One tactic will be to move away from the U.S. dollar as the major currency of world commerce.
While Trump is busy imposing sanctions on all of his imaginary enemies round he world, we need to impose our sanctions against the madness of his administration
Walt Zlotow, Glen Ellyn