Champaign gets 'bronze' bike-friendly status

Champaign gets 'bronze' bike-friendly status

CHAMPAIGN — The city can now boast its "bicycle friendly community" status after it was one of 17 new cities listed by the League of American Bicyclists on Monday.

Champaign entered the ranking as a bronze-level bicycle-friendly community. Five other Illinois cities are ranked — including Urbana, which achieved its bronze level status in 2010.

Assistant Planning Director Rob Kowalski said he believes it was Champaign's nearly 8 miles of bicycle lanes and its educational efforts that attracted the league's praise.

The League of American Bicyclists has named 259 cities in 47 states as "bicycle friendly communities" since launching the program in 1996. It ranks those cities as bronze, silver, gold, platinum or diamond based on increasingly stringent criteria including physical infrastructure, education, encouragement and ongoing efforts of each city to revise its bicycling plans.

Champaign will have about 10 miles of bike lanes by this time next year, Kowalski said. Projects this summer include extending lanes on State Street from where they currently end to Fox Drive. City officials also plan to stripe bike lanes on segments of John Street and North Market Street — the latter project is part of an overall rehabilitation of that road.

Sections (2):News, Local
Topics (1):Transportation

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EL YATIRI wrote on May 14, 2013 at 7:05 am
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Bicycle friendly?  Whenever I'm crossing a bridge over I-57 at least one motorist gets angry at my slower speed and zooms around me cursing and giving me a one finger salute.  Same on busy city streets.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on May 14, 2013 at 9:05 pm
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Speaking as a fellow cyclist, riding on busy city streets when there are much slower side roads you can take instead is patently unsafe for yourself and for motorists, as well as astoundingly inconsiderate towards motorists.  IMHO.

EL YATIRI wrote on May 15, 2013 at 7:05 am
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Good point, I'm actually afraid to ride heavy traffic streets unless there is a bike lane.

It is safer and more pleasant to use the less busy streets.  

Geonz wrote on July 11, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Of course, getting over the interestate sort of requires being on a fairly busy road.   The new construction on the Windsor bridge is *supposed* to be done with bicyclists and pedestrians in mind, and hopefully it will.   (However, I'm thinking of the rumble strips that sort of just appeared on Staley... )

RAM wrote on May 14, 2013 at 7:05 am

The bar must be pretty low.

Joe American wrote on May 14, 2013 at 8:05 am

The feel of this article is that this is a GOOD thing.

Why don't we next try to achieve a silver level of "Jay-walker friendly" community, or perhaps a gold level "Scofflaw friendly" community?

alabaster jones 71 wrote on May 14, 2013 at 9:05 pm
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Are you serious or just trolling?  Nobody is forcing you to make the cheaper and more responsible choice to bike instead of drive when it is possible and convenient.  Why does it bother you that other people make that choice?  How are cyclists possibly on the same page as jaywalkers and "scofflaws"?

Orbiter wrote on May 14, 2013 at 10:05 am

JoeAmerican, your attitude could use some readjustment.  Being biker-friendly is not only in line with the rights of bicyclists to use the public thoroughfares, but also helps reduce traffic congestion so that those who need to drive can do so more effiiently.  You implicitly equate bicyclists with scofflaws and jaywalkers. Why? Bicyclists are your friends!  (And neighbors, relatives, coworkers, & serviceworkers.)

Feltrino wrote on May 14, 2013 at 11:05 am

By rights do you mean the right to ride in packs of 10 or more?  The right to ignore traffic signals and signs while riding through intersections?  The right to pull along the right side of cars when they are stopped at an intersection?  The right to choose to interchangably ride on the road or sidewalk as suits your needs?  The right to demand that drivers follow the same traffic laws that riders can ignore?  The right to the right of way at all times?

I am all for the rights of bicyclists to use the public thoroughfares.  However, until they use them consistently in accordance with the laws regulating the use of those thoroughfares, they frequently create traffic congestion and reduce efficiency for drivers. 

Joe American wrote on May 14, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Thank you, Feltrino.  The answer is obvious to some, not so obvious to others.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on May 14, 2013 at 9:05 pm
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Maybe I'm in the wrong part of town, but I almost never see bicyclists riding in packs of more than two or three.

"The right to ignore traffic signals and signs?"  Yep, because it's not as if motorists do that all the time as well.

"The right to choose to interchangably ride on the road or sidewalk as suits your needs?"

You do know that there sometimes aren't sidewalks, right?  And that sidewalks and roads can sometimes be obstructed and/or less safe to ride on than the other for a multitude of reasons?  How does it inconvenience a motorist if a cyclist switches from the road to the sidewalk or vise versa, as long as they aren't cutting in front of a motorist while doing so?

I personally ride on the sidewalks whenever possible, out of consideration to motorists.  I am breaking the law by doing so, since the law says I am to stay in the street.  Would you and Joe prefer I start obeying that law and sharing the street with you and your vehicle instead?


As both a motorist and a cyclist, I find other motorists to be much more aggravating, inconsiderate, and threatening to my safety when I am driving than cyclists are.

ajbuckle wrote on May 14, 2013 at 11:05 pm

That's funny, I drive my motorcycle on thre sidewalk for the same reason!

Feltrino wrote on May 15, 2013 at 12:05 am

"As both a motorist and a cyclist, I find other motorists to be much more aggravating, inconsiderate, and threatening to my safety when I am driving than cyclists are."

All the more reason to follow the rules of the road, for drivers and cyclists.  The rules make traveling predictable.  Whenever a vehicle, car or bicycle, runs a stop sign, the only predictable behavior is that the vehicle with the green light is going through the intersection.  I would think that it would be much safer for the bicyclist to stop if a car has the green light.

""The right to ignore traffic signals and signs?"  Yep, because it's not as if motorists do that all the time as well."

Anarchy in the streets!

I will gladly share the roads with any vehicle that abides by the rules.  However, as you readily admit, as a bicyclist you willingly ignore traffic signals and signs.  As a motorist are you one who ignores them all the time as well?

i suspect that many of the bicyclists on this thread do not exhibit the same behavior when they are driving in a car.  Somehow, there is a sense of entitlement when on two wheels that is not demonstrated when on four. 

alabaster jones 71 wrote on May 15, 2013 at 3:05 am
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Well then, hats off to you for your complete submission to and obedience of the rules and regulations at all times!  You have convinced me with your wisdom and changed my outlaw ways.  Rules were made to be OBEYED, even if obeying them endangers you and/or others.  That's why, the next time I drive to Chicago, I'm obeying the speed limit on the Ryan.  I will probably be the only one on the entire expressway doing so (well, except for you if you're also driving on it), and I will increase the risk of myself or someone else getting hurt or killed by doing so, but rules are rules!

"However, as you readily admit, as a bicyclist you willingly ignore traffic signals and signs."  

When and where, buddy?  I have actually not admitted to that in any of my previous posts.  I admitted to riding on sidewalks....that's all.  I don't think I've ever seen a "no bicycling on sidewalks" traffic signal or sign in C-U, but if you know of one (and I'm sure you do if there are any, given your clear infatuation with all things traffic signal and sign related), feel free to share a picture of one with us.

But alas, since you are so fascinated with my level of obedience regarding traffic signals and signs, I will indulge you.  I always stop at red lights and stop signs, whether I'm driving, biking or walking.  But yeah, if I'm biking or walking, I'll probably cross at a red light if there are no cars in sight and I have a clear sightline.  I might even occasionally do the same thing when I'm driving late at night and I'm positive there are no cops that can see me.  ANARCHY!!!!!!!!!

Feltrino wrote on May 15, 2013 at 7:05 am

I am glad you have changed your outlaw (scofflaw) ways.

"Nobody is forcing you to make the cheaper and more responsible choice to bike instead of drive when it is possible and convenient."

The heart of the issue is that many (not all) cyclists feel they are being "more responsible" than drivers.  As such, they believe they are entitled to a different set of laws and the less responsible on the road (drivers by your definition) should yield to them. I'm not sure how riding in packs of ten or more (south Duncan, Sunday mornings, spiffy bicycling jerseys required) is being more responsible but if you say so.  When on a bicycle, you are entitled to ignore the rules but in a car you are worried about getting caught.  

So, your only concern about running a red light in your car is the cops.  What about the bicyclist who doesn't have a light that thinks they can go through that intersection because they have the green light?

alabaster jones 71 wrote on May 16, 2013 at 11:05 pm
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I believe outlaw and scofflaw have the same definition, but if you really prefer the term scofflaw I suppose I can use it instead.

I already told you, I don't cross at a red (driving, biking, or walking) unless I have a clear sightline.

If I'm at a red while driving and there are cars or any other obstacle blocking my sightline and my view of anyone who might walk or bike out in front of me, I don't go.

 

EL YATIRI wrote on May 15, 2013 at 7:05 am
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I would like to point out that riding on the sidewalk is legal except downtown and certain other areas.

I am also a motorist and cyclist and in my experience motorists misbehave more often than cyclists.

There are motorists who don't want cyclists on the road at all.  I have yet to know a single cyclist that doesn't recognize and accept a motorists right to use the road.

sweet caroline wrote on May 18, 2013 at 6:05 pm

Right on, Feltrino.  While there are plenty of rules-conscious cyclists, there are just as many who seem to have no courtesy toward motorists.  Routinely on my way to work in the morning, no matter which route I take I will encounter a cyclist riding right in the middle of the lane, causing a back-log of vehicles having to drive at snail's pace.  If there is no oncoming traffic, we can pass the cyclist, but this isn't always the case. 

By the way, the local police department told me that when a motorist needs to turn right, the motorist not only SHOULD, but MUST pull into the bike path (checking first to make sure there is no cyclist in the path, of course!) and then make the turn.  They said the reason for this is that a cyclist won't then be able to ride up beside your vehicle unexpectedly when you're turning.

On this video produced by the City of Champaign, look at marker 6:26 and you'll see what I'm talking about: 

http://ci.champaign.il.us/departments/planning/long-range-planning/bike-...

ScottC wrote on May 14, 2013 at 3:05 pm

I agree.  Road users should obey the laws or get off the streets.  That's why I'm in favor of banning cars from the streets of our city.  They speed, they use cell phones in school zones and most of the drivers around here don't know how to use a turn signal or make a turn into two lanes of traffic.  This seems reason enough to paint all car drives with the same brush and keep them all off the streets I pay for until they learn the rules.

Sid Saltfork wrote on May 14, 2013 at 7:05 pm

You live in Urbana; don't you?  Do what you want in C-U; but follow the rules in the county.  Do it for your well being.  Farmers are busy on the roads.  They do not drive down Green Street with their farm equipment; but they need to get into their fields in their areas.  Don't cover the roads four, or five abreast.

ScottC wrote on May 14, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Wrong.  On all counts.  You shouldn't assume so much sid.  

Orbiter wrote on May 14, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Yeah, Sid, I think you went off the deep end on this one.  I've yet to see farmers driving their tractors being slowed down by bicyclists, no matter how many are on the road.  

ScottC wrote on May 14, 2013 at 11:05 pm

Just as a minor aside, since sid brougt it up:  I bike both in town and around the county.  The best people to share the road with are the farmers.  They are used to being the "slow traffic" on the road and clearly undstand that while you have a right to be in a public space (the road) you do not have a right to dirve at top speed all the time.  Occassionally you might have to do 20 mph for, let's say, 1/2 mile instead of 60 mph.  This makes a difference of 60 seconds in your trip.  Yep, Sid and his ilk are totally bent about now and then taking an extra minute to get somewhere.  Sorta puts they ridiculous narcisism  of the car driving public in perspective, eh?  You can't spare a minute to share the road with somebody moving under their own power?  I'd welcome every farmer from the county to roll through town at a nice 10-20 mph for whatever reason they'd like.   I'm always happy to share the road with them, even when I have to slow up for a combine or, as I did today, a tractor pulling a set of discs.  

 

As for the guy doing 60 6 inches off my elbow, I'd prefer you'd stay home.  

Feltrino wrote on May 15, 2013 at 1:05 am

"Yep, Sid and his ilk are totally bent about now and then taking an extra minute to get somewhere.  Sorta puts they ridiculous narcisism  of the car driving public in perspective, eh?  You can't spare a minute to share the road with somebody moving under their own power?"

A surprisingly insightful observation. You have readily admitted on another thread that you do not follow regulations as a cyclist and ignore stop signs and traffic lights.  You have also professed to speak on behalf of the cycling community.  Yep, you and your ilk are totally bent about now and then taking an extra minute to get somewhere.  Sorta puts the ridiculous narcissism of your ilk in perspective, eh?  You can't spare a minute to share the road with a vehicle that has the capacity to kill due to your negligence?

ScottC wrote on May 15, 2013 at 9:05 am

You have me confused with someone else.  I obey the laws and share the road.  Sharing the road goes both ways.  You might occasionally need to slow down for a minute and wait for a safe place to pass.  That seems to be too much to ask of some of the commenters here who seem to think they have a monopoly on the road.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on May 15, 2013 at 3:05 am
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"I'd welcome every farmer from the county to roll through town at a nice 10-20 mph for whatever reason they'd like."

If you are driving or moving much slower than the speed limit out of necessity, because there are no other safe and efficient routes to take and there are no faster modes of transportation available to you, then everyone should understand that.  

If that's not the case, however, you're being selfish towards people who are capable of driving the speed limit.  Time is money for many folks...truck drivers or delivery drivers, for example.  Maybe you would have no problem following a farmer joy riding a tractor down Prospect at 15 MPH after you just got off of a long day at work, but speak for yourself.

ScottC wrote on May 15, 2013 at 8:05 am

Thanks for confirming my point.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on May 16, 2013 at 11:05 pm
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And thanks to you for confirming that you scold one set of people for selfish mindsets while encouraging them for another set of people.

Orbiter wrote on May 14, 2013 at 8:05 pm

See, when ScottC writes his comments, it's clearly good use of the ironic voice. Sadly, when Feltrino writes, it's clearly just ignorant sarcasm.

By the way, in many states (I don't know about IL) it is perfectly legal and acceptable for bicyclists to interchangeably use sidewalks or bike lanes or the general traffic lanes of the streets. 

I am not excusing those bicyclists who travel the wrong way on one-way streets, or who put their lives at risk by not using reflectors and a headlamp at night.  Nor those pedestrians who step in front of moving traffic while absorbed by the action on their cell phones.  Nor the seeming 90% of automobile drivers who exceed the speed limit on city streets and highways alike.  

Yes, I stay at 65mph on the interstate in IL. You hate me already, so what I think about bikes doesn't change matters.  I'm just a law an' order kinda person.

Feltrino wrote on May 15, 2013 at 1:05 am

When Orbiter writes, it's pointless.

mankind wrote on May 15, 2013 at 8:05 am

As for ongoing bike lane projects, don't forget the ones they're adding to the Windsor Road bridge over I-57. Those are going to save a life.

Sid Saltfork wrote on May 15, 2013 at 1:05 pm

The two lane highways, and county roads are the transportation routes for those living in the county.  TWO LANES with sometimes bad shoulders on each side.  The concept that "I can ride my bicycle anywhere that I please" is politically correct.  However, it is the driver of the auto vehicle that bears the responsibility for fools following that concept.  It is not uncommon to pass four, or five bicylists riding two by two during rush hour going to, or coming home from work.  No driver wants an accident that places them as the primary culprit.  My point is to use some common sense rather than pout about "l can ride my bicycle anywhere that I please".  That includes sidewalks on campus also.  If you want to ride your Schwinn on I-30, the Monticello Road, Rt. 45, Rt. 150, or thru the country; pick better times than the rush hours of working people.

mankind wrote on May 16, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Sid, I have to wonder if you mistakenly replied to my comment instead of someone else's, because I don't see how it pertains to anything I wrote in my brief statement. With the recent addition of the YMCA and numerous apartment buildings on the west side of I-57, the Windsor Road bridge as previously constructed was a tragedy waiting to happen, rush hour or not.

Sid Saltfork wrote on May 16, 2013 at 1:05 pm

I was not referring to your comment.  I really do not regard the near west side of I-57, the YMCA area, or Windsor Road as rural.  That would include Savoy also.  I was referring to the rural areas outside of the urban sprawl.  The county is not just populated by the twin municipalities.  Other people actually live outside of C-U; and it's expanding suburbs.

EL YATIRI wrote on May 16, 2013 at 7:05 am
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For sure, that bridge was an accident waiting to happen.