When Bike Lanes Get Snowed In
Around this time of year, protected bike lanes have the unfortunate tendency to become repositories for plowed and shoveled snow. An article in Streetsblog Chicago explains the scope of the problem.
According to author John Greenfield, "Even when the Chicago Department of Transportation does a good job of plowing the protected lanes, there's often a problem with snow later being pushed off sidewalks in front of businesses, into the curbside bike lanes. Last fall the city passed an ordinance that makes it clear it's illegal to do this, as well as raises fines for property owners who don't shovel their sidewalks, but CDOT officials said there were no plans to increase enforcement."
Better outreach around the issue might convince local residents to change their ways. "By mailing fliers or going door-to-door, [CDOT and bike advocates] could inform business owners that people really do use the bike lanes all year, and that merchants can theoretically be ticketed for blocking them with shoveled snow."