August Neighbors’ Night Out summary – Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians ALL need to open their eyes

August’s Neighbors’ Night Out at Spoke & Bird focused on pedestrian and cycling issues. It was a beautiful evening and we appreciated everyone taking the time to gather on Spoke & Bird’s great outdoor patio. A special thanks to Alderman Dowell and Brian Freedman from the 3rd Ward for being part of the conversation and also fielding general questions about updates in the South Loop.

Below is the summary from our survey about resident feedback regarding cycling in the neighborhood. Top take-aways include residents’ concerns about cyclists on sidewalks and the overall lack of awareness and etiquette on behalf of drivers, pedestrians and cyclists pertaining to bike lane/pedestrian crossing/traffic laws.

Additionally, on Tuesday, August 23, representatives from CDOT presented their proposed bike and pedestrian improvements for the Dearborn/Plymouth corridor during a community meeting in the South Loop. Slides from that presentation are available here. GSLA is currently reviewing the proposal and we also wanted to share this information with you as it is timely to our recent bike/ped discussion.

Survey summary:

Top challenges or safety issues pertaining to cycling in the South Loop:

  • #1 concern: adult cyclist on sidewalks
  • lack of car driver awareness, driving/double parking in bike lanes (particularly Uber drivers)
  • lack of pedestrian awareness, standing in bike lanes
  • lack of cyclist awareness, not obeying traffic laws
  • not many cycling lanes overall in the area; finding a good route without going too far out of the way
  • is a challenge

Major cycling issues from pedestrian’s perspective:

  • lack of awareness of cyclists when standing/hailing cabs by Trader Joes/Wabash bike lane
  • tourists aren’t aware of bike lanes

Major cycling issues from cyclists’ perspective:

  • Roosevelt road sharing path in street to Lakeshore Drive
  • other cyclists going wrong direction or biking on sidewalks
  • safe access to bike path and trails
  • pedestrians using bike paths

Overall positive improvements already happening in the area:

  • #1 improvement: blue walkways and green painted bike lanes
  • curb cut at 18th Street bridge
  • Dearborn cycling lane at Polk
  • the City is committed to increasing bike lanes across the city

Areas where future improvements/investments are desired

  • focus attention at Roosevelt Road/Indiana & Columbus to Michigan Ave – heavy traffic
  • ticket drivers double parking
  • tickets to pedestrians not obeying laws
  • focus attention for bike protection along Roosevelt Road between Canal to State street
  • bike lanes on State street
  • crosswalk at 13th & State needs to be marked better; cars block intersection and do not stop for
  • pedestrians or bikes crossing
  • dividers in most congested areas; more concrete barrier bike lanes; protected bike lanes
  • more signage concerning bike lanes for motorists and cyclists
  • mark all bike lanes green and no parking
  • 18th street bike land over the river seems to be seldom used and traffic jams seem common
  • more bike “trails” like the 606


Our next Neighbors’ Night Out is Wednesday, September 14, 5:30pm to 7:00 pm at Motor Row Brewing (2337 S. Michigan Ave). Our topic of conversation will be real estate development, and also the South Loop’on “shop local” discount program that GSLA is relaunching in partnership with the South Loop Business Exchange. Pick up your South Loop’on card for free to start enjoying the discounts offered by participating businesses in the South Loop.

RSVP for GSLA September NNO: