Yesterday Chicago Metropolis Council’s Pedestrian & Visitors Security Committee unanimously handed a proposal to permit low-speed electrical cargo supply bikes to function within the metropolis’s bike lanes. The total Council is anticipated to approve the measure subsequent Wednesday.
Underneath the proposal firms like DHL, UPS, and FedEx can be allowed to ship packages by way of electric-assist cargo bikes utilizing bike lanes. Corporations can be prohibited from working and parking the bikes on sidewalks. The cargo bikes would even be banned from utilizing the town’s on-street bike corrals and would as a substitute have to make use of a delegated vehicular parking spot. Corporations utilizing cargo supply bikes might want to apply for a license from the Division of Enterprise Affairs and Client Safety, and the cargo supply cyclists would wish to get a motorcycle messenger allow. Common violations may end in fines starting from $100 to $500, whereas those that function a cargo bicycle with out a license might be fined at the least $100 and not more than $1,000.
In keeping with a report by WTTW’s Heather Cherone, Chicago Division of Transportation assistant commissioner Sean Wiedel mentioned he hopes this system will result in fewer supply vehicles downtown, the place truckers steadily block intersections and bike lanes, and the automobiles emit air pollution.
Whereas the brand new program focuses on the Central Enterprise District, it could even be nice to see supply cargo bikes used to scale back congestion, air pollution, and critical crashes within the neighborhoods. Time will inform if we are going to see extra electrical cargo bikes in Hyde Park, Lakeview, or Belmont-Cragin, however it could definitely be an enchancment over massive, gas-guzzling supply automobiles. I’ve come throughout my justifiable share of Amazon vans parked on neighborhood streets in such a means that put the protection of individuals on foot or on bikes in danger. These conditions, in my view, level to a necessity for designated loading zones on residential streets, given the ever present nature of on-line bundle deliveries.
Aldermen Daniel La Spata (1st) and Maria Hadden (forty ninth) voiced issues in regards to the width of the cargo bicycles (bikes as much as 4ft large can be allowed) and whether or not or not they might crowd out different cyclists within the bike lanes. I share these issues. If such issues materialize, I’d hope this may lead the town to noticeably take into account growing the width of our bike lanes. Even when we hadn’t give the inexperienced mild to bundle supply by way of cargo bike, our bike lanes needs to be expanded to permit for protected and cozy side-by-side biking.
All in all, permitting company supply firms to ship by bike is a step in the suitable path for right-sizing the automobiles on our streets for the duties at hand. Maybe these firms will be a part of sustainable transportation advocates in help of extra protected bike lanes all through the town.