Plans for creating a protected bike lane of Davis Street to match the one built last year on Church Street are part of a street improvement project up for review by the Evanston City Council tonight.

The project calls for water main replacement from Benston to Hinman Avenues, sewer replacement from Orrington Avenue to Hinman, a streetscape upgrade and street resurfacing from Ridge to Hinman, and the protected bike path from Asbury Avenue to Hinman.

A presentation by Public Works Director Suzette Robinson prepared for tonight’s meeting indicates that the plan will eliminate diagonal parking on the south side of Davis Street between Chicago Avenue and Hinman, replacing it with parallel parking and a wider sidewalk

That will lead to the elimination of 10 metered parking spaces on the block.

But the plan also calls for adding  three more parking spaces on the south side of Davis in the block between Ridge and Oak avenues.

The plan also calls for replacing the brick sidewalks with concrete walks edged in brick and adding covered bike shelters on Davis at Orrington and Hinman avenues.

In addition to the bike features, the project also calls for other “green” elements — including using porous concrete in the sidewalks and parking lanes, adding rain gardens around street trees and installing LED-powered pedestrian lighting.

The water and sewer work is scheduled to be bid this month with the street resurfacing and streetscape work bid in May.

Robinson says the work is scheduled to start in June and be completed by October.

The council meetgs this evening immediately following the annual township meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center.

Top: A rendering of a planned covered bike shelter.

Related document

City Council packet (.pdf)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Davis bike lane

    I am all for this; I think it is a great idea and the right complement to the Church Street lane.  But, please, please, please study the traffic conflicts at Davis and Ridge.  This is a troublesome intersection.  Pace Bus stop on the west side of Ridge, south of Davis is too close to the intersection.  School buses serving Roycemore; parents dropping off Roycemore students; students walking to Dewey; cars turning left to southbound Ridge from Davis, trying to beat the light; speeding cars northbound and southbound on Ridge.  I would hate to add more traffic conflicts without analyzing the signalization of the intersection.  There have been too many traffic incidents in this area in recent months.

  2. Great Plan–This will help make downtown more desirable

    Every transportation planning document produced by or for the city shows that there is A ton of wasted parking capacity downtown in the garages.  These things cost millions of dollars and are sitting at 60% of capacity, so eliminating on-street parking makes sense–particularly while you are making the streets more safe and appealing for bikers and pedestrians.

    This is a great, economically prudent, and sound project.

  3. Great idea

    This is a great idea.  In lieu of economic development money being spent on individual businesses, why does the city not beautify more streets like this?  Make Evanston a biking destination spot.

    And while digging up the streets, why not put the power cables underground too to save loss of revenue to local business from power outages?

  4. Even the lane on Church is ignored

    Note the number of trucks and cars that park on the bike lane southside of Church between Orrington and Chicago Ave..  I don't see the police giving tickets or even chase the trucks/cars off the lane.

    Davis esp. from Benson to past the Metra tracks has always been ignored by cars and trucks and even CTA buses—both in driving in the lane and parking.

    Unless posts are put-up like on Church from Sherman to Orrington, drivers won't obey or do it consistently enough tha bikers can really feel safe.

    I have to wonder if bike lanes make bikers falsely feel safe like the 'Cross Walk' lanes make pedestrians feel safe—most cars pay no attention and pedestrians are probably more at danger—esp. NU students who cross Elgin without even looking but then again they are so glued to their phones/IPods that they walk through stop LIGHTS without even looking, heads buried in their electronics.

    1. trucks in bike lane

      I have to agree Anony. I travel that route daily, on bike and in car. I now avoid traveling on Church and take Dempster or Lake Street. By car, Church Streets lanes are way too narrow. By bike, it's too much hassle avoiding the pedestrians who are not for one reason or another, not watching for bikes next to the curb (with their ear buds on). Lake street or Greeleaf are the best bike routes. Please don't screw them up.

  5. bike parking

    I'm excited to see a bike lane on Davis! There's a lot of traffic, and a bike lane would make it safer to navigate.

    Bike parking is also important – much of the new bike parking on Church and Maple was removed shortly after it was put in, which means that cyclists have to lock their bikes to signs or trees. Having adequate and (this part is important!) adequately spaced bike parking is crucial. Car parking lines every street. Having to walk a block or two just to find a bike rack, past dozens of car parking spots, is frustrating and feels like a giant middle finger from a city that says it's all about being bike friendly.

  6. Bike lanes not done well

    Church Street has been an ugly mess since the installation of the bike lane.  Not only that I haven't seen more than a handful, at best, of bikes use that bike lane since it was installed.  Ridiculous. 

    Now that those poles stick up in the street along with the way too numerous "pedestrian" lights, installed where they are not needed, omitted where they were needed, the butt ugly yellow street paint job, Church st. has become an unsightly mess that looks and feels cramped and overcrowded. 

    Bad design, bad implementation, not cohesive, very poorly done.   

    1. Not done well?

      Dear Anon,

      I have to disagree with you on this… The protected bike lane on Church St was designed and implemented following National standards and guidelines within the framework of what the City, designers and construction crews had to work with.

      The Church Street project began in August 2012 and was completed just before (or when) the snow / ice and salt started flying at the end of last year.  Spring weather is just beginning to bring out the bikers in larger numbers… I think the sucess and design / implementation has yet to be seen and the prospect of a second protected bike lane in the oppsite direction compliments and will certainly add to the success of the first.

      The goal is fewer cars plying our streets and less carbon in our community.  If the price we pay for healthy, carbon free transportation is a fewer parking spaces… methinks that is a small price to pay!

      Respectfully submitted, Brian G. Becharas – Member, Citizens' Greener Evanston, Chairman – Transportation Task Force (CGE)

      1. National standards, golly gee!

        Oh golly gee, the national cubicle employees in federal office building number X have issued their standards and guildelines template and we met that on some level, whatever. 

        The street looks terrible now, it feels crowded and cluttered for both autos and pedistrians, the overall vibe is bad and very uninviting.  Apparently I'm not the only one because after I posted Bill puts on the story how alderman also think the area feels cluttered.  It's not just the sidewalk, it's the whole project from street to sidewalk. 

        Bad planning, bad choice of materials, just poorly done, period, national standards or no standards.

        While riding bikes is good, safety is good, the idea that the lanes will dramatically increase overall bike use is a fantasy, the reality of peoples day to day lives means there will be minimal increase in bike ridership and virtually no decrease in auto use, simple fact.  

        But now the street looks and feels like **** !



      2. Rain water pooling on bike lane on Church

        The contractor that worked on the Church Street bike lane should be held accountable for poor draining — east of the corner of Orrington and Church, water accumulates and completely covers the bike lane.

        I think bike lanes in the downtown area of Evanston are very symbolic of priorities and I am partial to having bike lanes. Personally, I only use the bike lane on Davis between Sherman and Ridge.

        Someone said Church Street looks cluttered and I would say that is the case due to the choice of lights. Driving, the car lanes are wide enough. I wish the bike lane was protected between Orrington and Chicago, so cars and trucks do not park on the bike lane. Why isn't there some enforcement?


    2. Bike Lanes are well done

      Dear Anon,

      I too have to disagree with you.  I use the Church St (and the Davis and the Dodge) bike lane on a weekly basis.  Riding the protected lane feels and is a lot safer than mixing it up with cars in the core business district.

      The standard the lanes are built to is founded on years of national and international experience.  By conforming to the design standard interactions between drivers and cyclist become more predictable, safer and serves to attract more people into downtown.  Now Church looks like a street were the community has given some thought to all users.

  7. Bike plan

    Saying the Church St. bike lane doesn't get used much is like standing on Mount Trashmore in July and saying no one goes sledding anymore.  The lane was just opened in the Fall and we haven't quite entered biking season yet.

    I would like to know what the master plan for bike transit is for Evanston.  Commuters heading South to commute on Chicago's Lake Front Path face miles of disorganized bike lanes that are challenging to navigate.  Recreational cyclists heading North to the Green Bay Trail or Sheridan Rd must snake through town to access these popular bike highways.  The Sculpture Path dead ends onto hazardous Green Bay Rd.  The path along Evanston's lake front leaves one scrambling on either end.  Is there a plan to extend these popular routes for commuters, recreational cyclists and tourists?  Evanston is pretending to be bike friendly as it hammers out small plans instead of a master plan designed to make this city the biking hub of the North Shore.

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