Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Future Of Sheridan Road?

There already is a stretch of Sheridan road in Wilmette with three lanes instead of four. A middle lane for turning, a north and southbound car lane, and bike lanes on the perimeters. Much of Sheridan Road that travels through Evanston is two lanes. But the stretch of Sheridan from Chicago Ave to Central is still four lanes wide.

The new road layout set for Broadway from Wilson to Montrose sticks to this same concept except that its better. Parked cars serve as extra protection for the north and southbound bike lanes. From Montrose to Foster the layout will consist of the same layout except the parked cars won't serve as a buffer (which is too bad). Chistreetblog has the renderings.

Please continue reading for more pictures and words

This is one intersection that would greatly benefit from a three lane format. Then there would be an official left turn lane. This writer has personally witnessed traffic backed up beyond the busy intersection of Sheridan, Broadway and Devon because someone was waiting to make a left turn at Arthur. The only dedicated left turn lane on Sheridan Rd in Rogers Park is if you are traveling northbound and want to make a left at Pratt Boulevard.

Correction - There is also a left turn lane for Loyola Ave north of the "L" stop.

Currently the signage should be more clear regarding the no left turn. No left turn where? Most people wouldn't even consider making a left to the diagonal street.Loyola Ave. So does it mean no left turn at Arthur? The consensus at Everyblock last year was no. And its true that there is a break in the double yellow line that would otherwise prohibit a left turn.

The over all weakness of the three lane road layout is that buses will stop in the bicycle lane. So called mixing zones? That doesn't sound that a good mix. Other new terminology in this brave new world of traffic engineering is "sharrows". A shared lane marking is usually put in the middle of the street to indicate that bicycles have full use of the lane/street normally reserved for cars. This is traffic calming. Is it coming to Rogers Park? Almost certainly.

A Sheridan Road pedestrian safety engineering study won third place in last years Ward 49 Partcipatory Budgeting election. Here is a link to the pdf. It will cost thirty thousand dollars to complete the study. "Finance and engineering study to explore measure to enhance pedestrian safety along Sheridan Road, including bump-outs and alterations to traffic signal and pedestrian crosswalk timings." Well you have to start somewhere.

Readers of Edgeville Buzz are hoping that this "road diet" extend north to their neck of the woods. Seems just a matter of time before something like this hits the RP.

1 comment:

j said...

Surprised nobody touched this, I think they could make Sheridan Road a far more comfortable environment by having a road diet. Three lanes while the center lane is typically a median until opening up for a left turn lane. Pushed out parking lanes and PBLs along the curb.

It won't be necessary for buses to stop in the bike lane either, they could construct pedestrian islands for the stop while retaining a cut out for the bike lane to continue.

The possibilities are there, but does the ward have the political will to support this? My personal feeling is no, since the ward office's perception is Sheridan is a highway.