An effort eliminate protected bike lanes on Dodge Avenue in south Evanston failed Monday night when Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, was unable to garner any support from other aldermen for the idea.

Rainey, and several of her constituents, argued during the Administration and Public Works Committee meeting that the section of Dodge from roughly Kirk to Howard streets should be returned to the old bike lane configuration that had cars parking at the curb and cyclists riding next to the auto traffic lane.

But a larger contingent of bike riders — including some who live in the 8th Ward — said the protected bike lanes had substantially improved convenience, comfort and safety for cyclists — as well as reducing the overall count of accidents and injuries on Dodge.

Rainey said the bike lanes created safety hazards for many older residents of homes along Dodge and said the new roadway configuration has caused traffic on Dodge to become “an absolute disaster at rush hour.”

Although city staff had estimated that reconfiguring the bike lanes in the 8th Ward would cost about $150,000 and possibly require the city to return part or all of a grant that funded the project, Rainey claimed “it should cost very little to make the change.”

The bike lane discussion starts about 26 minutes into the A&PW meeting video.

Related story 

Dodge bike lanes under attack (4/20/18)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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