3rd Ward Alderman Pat Dowell wasn’t always a bicycle-friendly politician. But she says a recent visit to bike-crazy northern Europe opened her eyes to the potential benefits of cycling for her South Side constituents.
Last June Bikes Belong sent Dowell to Denmark along with bike-friendly North Side aldermen Ameya Pawar and Harry Osterman. Dowell seems to have returned from the Scandinavian cycling Mecca with the zeal of a convert. With her help CDOT reached a compromise with the clergy: King Drive will get “buffered” bike lanes with extra dead space striped on either side of the lanes but no posts, and protected lanes will be built on nearby State Street.
What was the most interesting thing you experienced on a bike in Denmark?
The thing that really impressed me is the way you can use bicycling to create community and interaction between people who don’t know each other. For example, in Copenhagen I was on a bike waiting for a red light to change and the lady next to me was on her way to work and we had a small conversation. That’s a good thing.
read more: gridchicago, 04.09.12.