Electric cargo delivery bikes could be coming to a bike lane near you – Streetsblog Chicago

Electrical cargo supply bikes could possibly be coming to a motorcycle lane close to you – Streetsblog Chicago

Yesterday Chicago Metropolis Council’s Pedestrian & Site visitors Security Committee unanimously handed a proposal to permit low-speed electrical cargo supply bikes to function within the metropolis’s bike lanes. The complete Council is predicted to approve the measure subsequent Wednesday.

Beneath the proposal firms like DHL, UPS, and FedEx could be allowed to ship packages by way of electric-assist cargo bikes utilizing bike lanes. Corporations could 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 Shopper Safety, and the cargo supply cyclists would want to get a motorcycle messenger allow. Normal violations might end in fines starting from $100 to $500, whereas those that function a cargo bicycle with no license could possibly be fined at the least $100 and not more than $1,000.

In response to a report by WTTW’s Heather Cherone, Chicago Division of Transportation assistant commissioner Sean Wiedel stated he hopes this system will result in fewer supply vehicles downtown, the place truckers often block intersections and bike lanes, and the automobiles emit air pollution.

Whereas the brand new program focuses on the Central Enterprise District, it might even be nice to see supply cargo bikes used to cut back congestion, air pollution, and critical crashes within the neighborhoods. Time will inform if we’ll see extra electrical cargo bikes in Hyde Park, Lakeview, or Belmont-Cragin, however it might definitely be an enchancment over giant, gas-guzzling supply automobiles. I’ve come throughout my fair proportion of Amazon vans parked on neighborhood streets in such a means that put the security of individuals on foot or on bikes in danger. These conditions, for my part, level to a necessity for designated loading zones on residential streets, given the ever present nature of on-line bundle deliveries. 

DHL field supervisor Jose Polanco (left) and Streetsblog New York editor Gersh Kuntzman demo cargo bikes. Photo: NYC DOT
DHL area supervisor Jose Polanco (left) and Streetsblog New York editor Gersh Kuntzman demo cargo bikes. Picture: NYC DOT

Aldermen Daniel La Spata (1st) and Maria Hadden (forty ninth) voiced considerations concerning the width of the cargo bicycles (bikes as much as 4ft large could be allowed) and whether or not or not they’d crowd out different cyclists within the bike lanes. I share these considerations. If such issues materialize, I’d hope this may lead the town to noticeably think about growing the width of our bike lanes. Even when we hadn’t give the inexperienced gentle to bundle supply by way of cargo bike, our bike lanes needs to be expanded to permit for secure and cozy side-by-side biking.

All in all, permitting company supply firms to ship by bike is a step in the correct route for right-sizing the automobiles on our streets for the duties at hand. Maybe these firms will be part of sustainable transportation advocates in assist of extra protected bike lanes all through the town.