April 19th: Rain and thunder

Wednesday: not looking too good.

Edit, 2:20pm: Afternoon/evening rain and thunder now appear unlikely. Overall commute rating bumped up to 3 stars.

WEATHER INFOGRAPHIC:

Celestia_sun_original_2.jpg

Debuting a new infographic, now featuring much more graphical information.

To break it down:

In the morning: low 60s, big chance of scattered thunderstorms

In the evening: mid 40s, cloudy with a chance of rain, 12mph winds from NNE.

Rain gear suggestion of the week:

f4e8499e6b0e1cf45ce94d99841e5946.jpg:

DIVVY REPORT: All stations operational.

STREET CLOSURES:

Screen Shot 2017-04-18 at 8.02.21 PM.png

Same as yesterday.

OVERALL COMMUTE RATING:

Flag_of_Chicago__Illinois_svg.png

1.75/4. Beware of slippery streets and rogue bolts of lightning.

Enjoy your rides, and follow @BikeReportChi for bike condition updates.

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Map of the day: Potholes patched this past week

April 17th has been proclaimed the start of paving season. But even in the paving off-season, city crews have been hard at work filling potholes on the Chicago’s 3,800+ miles of streets (albeit with varying success).

If the weather cooperates, crews can fill several thousand potholes in one day.

Luckily, the city plots these filled potholes on maps, which you can sort through in a variety of ways.

Here’s what they’ve done in just the past week.

Check out the whole map here.

Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 11.22.14 PM.png

Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 11.30.02 PM.jpgHydepark.jpg

Hyde Park leading the way in South Side pothole clout.

And the most surprising bit of data from this map:Screen_Shot_2017-04-17_at_11_36_05_PM.png

209! What!

It doesn’t look so bad on Google street view…

pothole belmont.jpg

April 18th: Hot and Cold

An exciting Monday, what with the corner of East Lake Street and North Michigan Avenue closed down in the afternoon because of a scaffolding issue.

As for Tuesday: a dynamic forecast. Cold in the morning, hot in the afternoon–a 27 degree temperature fluctuation! Dress with versatility.

WEATHER INFOGRAPHIC:Celestia_sun_original_2.jpg

In the morning: high 40s, partly cloudy, light wind from the southeast.

In the afternoon: Low 70s, partly cloudy, 16mph winds from the south.

According to Tom Skilling, Tuesday should bring a break in chilly lake winds. But non-chilly winds are expected to persist.

Approximate visual representation:

:giphy-downsized.gif

Windy, but not too windy. (But cover up if you’re a longhaired cat.)

DIVVY REPORT: All stations operational.

STREET CLOSURES:

Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 8.32.21 PM.png

Nothin’ new.

Mayor Emanuel also declared today “the start of the paving season.” The following major bike-laned streets are set to be repaved:

W. Armitage Ave. from Kostner to Pulaski (.5 miles)

N. Clark St. from Chicago Avenue to the Chicago River Bridge (.6 miles)

Unclear when this will occur, though.

OVERALL COMMUTE RATING:Flag_of_Chicago__Illinois_svg.png

3/4. Pretty good.

In other news:

In light of the recent story on CPD targeting black neighborhoods for bike tickets, Damon Jones tweeted an interesting map. It shows stolen bike reports in 2012 and 2013:

map.jpg

Click to enlarge.

Bikes reported stolen in 2013:

18th district (mostly majority-white Lincoln Park): 449 reports. 15th district (mostly majority-black Austin): 41 reports.

If we’re to take those numbers as a rough proxy for the number of people riding bikes, or the amount of bike-related crime, then the following is really insane:

Bike tickets during 9 month period in 2016:

Lincoln Park: 5 bike tickets. Austin: 321 bike tickets

Enjoy your commutes, and tweet tips to @bikereportchi.

April 17th, 2017: Spring is in the air

If we go by the forecast (somewhat risky), we’re approaching peak bike commute conditions on Monday.

SUNRISE/SUNSET/SUN LEVEL:

Celestia_sun_original.jpg

Little cloud hat indicates mostly sunny.

WEATHER:

Morning: High 40s to high 50s. Negligible wind.

Evening: Anywhere from high 60s to high 40s. ~8mph wind from the northwest.

Note the large temperature fluctuation from high 40s to high 60s.

DIVVY: All stations operational.

STREET CLOSURES: Screen_Shot_2017-04-16_at_8_53_43_PM.pngAside from the crossed-out Easter parades and festivals, not much new.

OVERALL FORECAST RATING:

Flag_of_Chicago__Illinois_svg.png

3.8/4. Quite good.

Big temperature fluctuation throughout the day is the only thing keeping us from a perfect score.

In other news…

As John Greenfield writes, black bike advocates are fighting back against CPD’s practice of targeting black neighborhoods for bike tickets. Police have given out a hugely disproportionate amount of cycling tickets in black neighborhoods, as the Tribune reported last month. Example: 5 citations in Lincoln Park and 321 in Austin during the same 9-month period. Wow.

 

Enjoy the pleasant weather, try not to get a ticket, and tweet tips to @chibikereport.

 

Expanded LFT Renderings: a 36-foot wide trail

Today the Chicago Parks District unveiled its website for the expanded Lake Front Trail, a project paid for by (evil?) billionaire Ken Griffin.

The plan calls for segregated pedestrian and bike paths along the entirety of the 18-mile-long Lake Front Trail. Let’s look at some of the cool renderings:

First: North to Fullerton

LFT_Fullerton_to_North-1.jpg

Click here for a very large version.

The stretch near Fullerton is 36′ wide. Wow. For reference, the 606 Trail is only 14′ wide–a 10-foot main path with 2-foot running paths on either side.

LFT_Fullerton_to_North-1.jpg

Here’s a complicated section near the North Ave. underpass:

LFT_Fullerton_to_North-1.jpg

It’s like the bike/pedestrian version of Grand Crossing.

Preformed thermoplastic can be slippery for cyclists when wet, which would be a problem. But we aren’t thermoplastic engineers, so we’ll assume they have it figured out.

LFT_Fullerton_to_North-1.jpg

Next: Ohio to Oak

Mostly the same, but with the new connector trail south of the Ohio Street beach.

LFT_Oak_to_Ohio.jpg

Click here for a very large version.

How exciting. The first segment, from 41st to 35th, is scheduled to open this Spring. The next two segments, spanning collectively from Ohio to Fullerton, are supposed to open this summer. The fourth planned segment, from 56th to 41st, will apparently open in Fall 2017, but it’s still in the design phase.

April 14th, 2017: Rain & Rough Roads

In retrospect, Thursday was kinda nice. Unexpected clear skies in the afternoon created near-peak bike commuting conditions: sunny, little wind, and cool enough not to get too sweaty. CBR’s in-house meteorological staff apologizes for the inaccuracies.

For Friday, things don’t look so good.

PROJECTED FRIDAY COMMUTE RATING:Flag_of_Chicago__Illinois_svg.png 

2/4. Not great.

SUNRISE/SUNSET:

Celestia_sun_original.jpg

WEATHER:

In the morning: Mid to high 40s, possibility of rain

In the afternoon/evening: Mid to high 50s, thunderstorms likely after 4pm.

WINDINESS: Not your biggest problem tomorrow. Light, from the east.

DIVVY BIKE REPORT: All stations operational.

STREET CLOSURES:

Screen_Shot_2017-04-13_at_8_38_18_PM.png

Apparently the city won’t tell you which streets are closed tomorrow–just the ones that were closed today. This is annoying, and we’re working on solutions.

Also beware of especially rough roads on N. Damen Ave. north of West Montrose, where a water main is being replaced…. right where the bike lane should be. If you’re on skinny tires, perhaps consider another route.

IMG_6205.JPG

N. Damen and W. Ainslie.

IMG_6135.JPG

Ouch.

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Thanks to Yasmeen at thechainlink.org for the photos.

Stay dry, and enjoy your rides!

April 13th, 2017: Goodbye to a bike lane

Thursday: Like Wednesday, but not as good.

Celestia_sun_original.jpg

Crying sun indicates high likelihood of rain.

In the morning: Mid 40s, rain likely, cloudy

In the evening: High 40s, cloudy, small chance of rain

WIND: 7-10mph from the east

 

Recommended outfit:

Rockbros-Tour-De-France-Waterproof-Cycling-Jacket-Bike-Bicycle-Rain-Jacket-Running-Raincoat-Sport-Cycling-Clothing.jpg

Remember: to best deal with the rain, wear your sunglasses and leave your shoes at home. Otherwise you’ll look like a doofus.

DIVVY BIKE REPORT:

All stations operational.

STREET CLOSURES:

Screen Shot 2017-04-12 at 8.50.08 PM.png

Nothin’ new.

In other news: A sad report from Twitter: RIP, bike lane on South Marshall Boulevard in Little Village/Marshall Square, which has been ripped out and converted to parking. Though never surprising, anti-bike, car-centric thinking always disappoints Chicago Bike Report. Horace Cleveland planned the city’s boulevards over 150 years ago as scenic parklike drives, and were he alive today–and aware of the existence of cars and bicycles–he’d probably be upset about this.

If you’re a constituent, do a good deed and send an angry message to 12th Ward Alderman George Cardenas.

Stay dry and enjoy your rides. And send tips to @bikereportchi.

 

 

Wednesday, April 12: Pretty good

Wednesday: like Tuesday, but better.

SUNRISE/SUNSET: Celestia_sun_original.jpg

Yellow eyelashes indicate sunniness.

In the morning: mid-high 40s, sunny

In the evening: high 40s, low 50s, partly cloudy. If you’re working late, beware of a small chance of rain around 8pm.

WIND: Very little in the morning, up to 10mph from the east in the afternoon.

Approximate visual representation:PlantaRodadora.jpg

Note: this is a stationary tumbleweed, signifying a lack of wind.

DIVVY BIKE STATIONS:

Fully operational.

STREET CLOSURES:Screen_Shot_2017-04-11_at_8_34_33_PM.png

In other news, Wrigleyville got a little less awful today:

Enjoy your sunny commutes, and tweet your tips to @bikereportchi.

Tuesday, April 11: A regular day

Did the excitement of thunder, and 23mph winds, and a 30 degree temperature fluctuation today overwhelm you? Boy will you appreciate this unremarkable Tuesday.

SUNRISE/SUNSET:

Celestia_sun.jpg

TEMPERATURE: 

Morning: Mid 40s, overcast, slight chance of rain

Evening: Low 50s, overcast, even slighter chance of rain

A return to seasonally appropriate temperatures.

WIND: 10mph from the west. North Side, South Side, West Side–we’re united: wind from the west is generally okay, at least in the morning. Unless you commute somewhere out west.

Approximate visual representation: 

c119e24a2ba0e85fa2e93c3f0c3d9c66.jpg

(Sorry.)

STREET CLOSURES:

Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 7.55.25 PM.png

Yep–the 11500 block of S. Marshfield has a 15-day long street festival.  Perhaps a carnival, according to internet sleuthing.

In other bike commute related news, you may have heard the following shocking headline from Chicagoist or elsewhere:

Yes, It’s Official: according to a shocking new study by the noted statisticians at autoaccessoriesgarage.com, Chicago has the longest commute time in the country at 32 minutes. Of course if the eggheads at autoaccessoriesgarage.com would get down from their ivory tower, they might realize that we don’t have the worst commute, just the longest. Experience the cardiovascular benefits of riding a bike 32 minutes each way,  foureyeses.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE DAY:

That’s all for this edition. A pretty unremarkable commuting day overall: fine temperature, little risk of sunburn, and a light breeze to cool your sweaty appendages.

And as ever, tweet tips to @bikereportchi.

Monday, 4/10/2017: Inauspicious beginnings?

Welcome. This is the first Daily Bike Report Chicago, your Daily Report of conditions for your Bike commute in Chicago. Yes, we’re a shameless ripoff of BikeSnobNYC’s daily bike forecast. Thanks to him for pioneering the genre and not suing us. (Please don’t sue us.)

SUNRISE/SUNSET:

Celestia_sun_original.jpg

TEMPERATURE: High 72, Low 49

In the morning: Mid 60s

In the afternoon/evening: Mid 60s with RAIN and THUNDER possible!

Outfit yourself appropriately:

WIND: 15-19MPH from the south/southwest. Approximate visual representation.
TODAY’S STREET CLOSURES, ACCORDING TO THE CITY:

Does the 3700 block of N. Broadway re-open tomorrow? Plan accordingly, but skeptically.

Got a report or tip? Tweet it to @BikeReportChi.

Stay safe, adhere to the law (see sidebar), and enjoy your ride!