Okay, so all you bikers out there who insist on biking to your office, weaving through an already busy city, hear me out. I have lived in the city for over thirty years all within two miles of downtown Chicago. It has become busier over the years as the West, East and South Loop areas have brought in more people who now surround the heart of this great city.
With this population growth comes more density which causes more congestion. The number of luxury rentals buildings built over the last five years is staggering, even with a stagnant real estate market over the past few years, the over building is taking a toll on the quality of life in Chicago.
Being able to bike to work is becoming more popular with the recently added bike paths along Dearborn, Wells, Ohio and Kinzie Streets, to name a few. There seems to be new bike paths being added every day and if our Mayor Rahm Emanuel has his way there will be over 100 miles of new bike paths added in the City of Chicago.
The problem I have with this is that the bike paths are being built on major streets, which transport cars down to the city and around town. It is already a mess with the buses, tourists and local pedestrians. Add in the bikers and you have a recipe for disaster! It is becoming a war zone on the Chicago streets and the war this time is not the gangs, but rather a war between the drivers and the bikers, which is escalating at a rapid pace.
It seems silly in some ways, yet there is real danger for people who get struck by a car or a car hitting a pedestrian or another car as they attempt to navigate around the bikers. Add in the tourists who have not a clue where they are and will not pull over and you will see an up tick in car accidents and deaths created by this congestion.
I was fine when Wells Street was the access street to downtown Chicago. I knew it was a biking street and mostly avoided it. But now with bike paths all over the place, I can’t avoid sharing a street with them. And, I tell you that they are a hostile bunch who feels they are entitled now to use the same street as I do in car. Most just drive in the middle of the street which slows traffic.
What’s the answer to this ever increasing issue? Move the bike paths to designated streets, which are not heavily used by motor vehicles and limit the number of them. When I saw a biker get hit by a car door on Ohio Street, I felt bad for everyone involved. It just shouldn’t be this difficult to get around. Don’t we all already have enough stress in our lives?
I am truly not against bikers; I just wish they would stay out of my way and bike somewhere else!
What are your thoughts on this issue? Please don’t run over me on your bike!