Sunday, January 1, 2012

Bike Fancy- Year in review

So I put my camera away for the week, and I have been locked away at Bike Fancy headquarters analyzing a years worth of data from my interviews with Chicago cyclists.  I focused on the question "How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly?  
Below are the results.  Thanks to Steve Vance from The Grid for his statistician's guidance.
22% said– More courtesy/awareness from both drivers and cyclists
19% said– Build more bike lanes
14% said– Fix potholes and resurface the roads
13% said– Build divided bike lanes, car-free streets, and other cycling infrastructure
12% said– More education for drivers and cyclists
5% said–  Harsher penalties for drivers that break the law
5% said– "Other" responses like more bike cops, criteriums, Bloomingdale trail completion
4% said– Greater bicycle ridership
3% said– More bike parking
3% said– A more bike friendly CTA 

These comments are from 73  people I interviewed, and have been divided into 10 topics. There were 94 total comments made.

The Detailed results
More courtesy and awareness by both drivers and cyclists
"Well, I really think that we could be a more bike friendly city when we (drivers, pedestrians, and other bikers) learn to be respectful and considerate of everyone around us.  that would be a good start...." Erica, 1700 Block of N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL.

Build more bike lanes
"Chicago streets need clearly defined bike lanes so bikers can feel safe and drivers can watch where they're going."  Ruby, 2500 Block of North Kedzie, Chicago, IL

Fix Pot Holes and resurface roads

Build divided bike lanes and car-free streets
"I think that separated bike lanes are nice (and would catch us up with several more bikeable European cities), but I'm a fan of less infrastructure and more restriction. I think we can do better with a network of bicycle priority or even completely car-free streets through the neighborhoods sometimes known as "bike boulevards." Another thing I fantasized about when I bike-commuted to the Loop every day is a $5 per private car tax to drive into the Loop during week day business hours. It could be earmarked for transit or bike funding, and would make downtown a lot more bike and pedestrian friendly."  Lisa and Elsa, N Oakley Ave & W Palmer St, Chicago, IL

More education
"Teach children in school biking etiquette."  Maria, S State St & E Madison St, Chicago, IL

Harsher penalities 
"I think a few HARSH examples need to be made of people who "door" bikers.  There are so many people that don’t understand how dangerous it is to not pay attention while parking and will not pay attention until there is something being threatened."  Terry, N Milwaukee Ave & W North Ave, Chicago, IL

"More cycling police officers. I really appreciate seeing cops on bikes in Chicago; not only does it make the cops more sympathetic to the plight of city cyclists, but I think it also makes drivers more cautious and aware (because no one wants to side-swipe or door a cop)."  Cara, 1800 Block of N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL

Greater bicycle ridership
"Personally, I think that Chicago has a pretty good biking system.  There is the lakefront path that travels the entire north/south axis of the city and a lot of streets have that bike lane.  I think it is a matter of helping people realize how fun it is to bike!  I just finished a book called "The 90 Day Solution:  How to Save the World in 90 Days"  where I offer suggestions (such as biking) that encourage people to engage in activities that are not only healthy, but good for the earth as well.  Hopefully, it will help to get more bikers on the road!Tanya, S State & Madison St, Chicago, IL

More Bike Parking

"More bike parking.  Get drivers to respect bike lanes, no matter how many."  Kathy with Suzy Schnauzer, Webester and Racine, Chicago, IL

More bike-friendly CTA

"I tried to take it on the L the other day - not pleasant.  So, making it easier to fit bikes on public transit for when you just can't bike it (but hope to a little later in the day)."  Kallie, N State St & E Illinois St, Chicago, IL


  1. Clark in WrightwoodJanuary 3, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    I liked Lisa and Elsa's comment: a per-car fee to drive into the Loop! But I was disappointed that no one called for HIGHER GAS TAXES, in Chicago, Illinois, and throughout the midwest. Seems like a no-brainer: (1)reduce the number of cars, (2)reduce pollution and Global Warming, and (3) provide new revenue to nearly-bankrupt state and local governments

  2. I think that this must be my favorite Bike Fancy post ever. Well done! I love the way you linked each statement about improving bicycling with the portrait of an ordinary person. It's what you always do, but in a mini-essay form that feels like a call to action. Beautiful.