Chicago loves bikes. It’s official.
My morning commute yesterday felt like a group ride! For more than half of the way, I was in a line of 9 cyclists going down the bike lane. Our spontaneous conga line caused stares, double-takes and smiles. How could people not consider cycling as a valid form of transportation after seeing so many bikes all around them? Snowball effect – more riders beget more riders.
On the way home, I spotted my friend Elizabeth. She had pulled over to chat with the owner of De Fietsfabriek, so I pulled over and joined them, and then we rode home together. On the way, we saw three bike cops ticketing a van for being parked in the bike lane. Overhead in a stern voice as we passed, “See, all these bicyclists have to go in the lane around you.” Today on Streetsblog I saw this video to train Chicago bus drivers how to interact with bicyclists.
I feel that everything is coming together to create a real place for cyclists in Chicago. The cyclists themselves: out in droves. The drivers: expecting cyclists and behaving respectfully. The infrastructure: far from perfect but following the 2015 Bike Plan and better than almost all other North American cities. Law enforcement, city government, and Da Mayor: working for us. The sun: shining down approvingly on all of it.
My giddy optimism is so bright this week!
Do other Chicagoan have thoughts on this? Bicyclists in other cities – how do you feel about your place on the road and in the community? Any other optimists out there?