The City of Chicago’s Bicycle Safety Initiative and I, together with the 24th District Police, are launching a“Bikes on the Road, Not on the Sidewalk” program at the northeast corner of Sheridan Road and Rosemont tomorrow, Tuesday, September 14th, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The 49th Ward is home to a huge number of bicyclists, some of whom use bikes for recreation and others who use bikes as their primary mode of transportation. Most bicyclists are responsible and obey the rules of the road, but a few bicyclists need to be reminded of some important safety rules. One of the most important safety rules for adults is to bike only on the road, not on the sidewalks.
Every year, scores of pedestrians are injured by bicyclists who ride on the sidewalks. The problem is particularly acute on the sidewalks along Sheridan Road, especially south of Devon, because of the good condition of the sidewalks and their close proximity to the lake. The problem is compounded by the fact that many senior citizens live in the area and are particularly susceptible to serious injuries as a result of collisions with bicycles.
In order to educate bicyclists about their responsibilities, I have arranged for representatives from the City of Chicago’s Bicycle Program and the 24th District Police to conduct an awareness program tomorrow, Tuesday, September 14th, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Bicyclists who are riding on the sidewalk will be stopped and informed of the prohibition on sidewalk biking. They will also be informed of the bike routes in the area that they can use as a safe and legal alternative. None of the bicyclists will be ticketed, but they will be warned they face ticketing in the future if they continue ride on sidewalks.
Kenmore and Winthrop Avenues are just one and two blocks west of Sheridan Road respectively, and both have are bike routes with painted road markings and bike routes signs that enable bicyclists to travel north and south through Edgewater safely. Furthermore, funds have been allocated through my 49th Ward Participatory Budgeting Project to create new striped bike lanes on Ashland, Touhy, and Rogers. Together with the bike lanes already in place on Howard Street, these new bike lanes promise to make bicycling in Rogers Park easier and safer.
If you have time, stop by tomorrow afternoon from 3 to 6 p.m. and thank the officers and bike ambassadors for making our sidewalks safer.