• vxla via Flickr

Steven Vance notes today on Grid Chicago that of the 100 miles of protected bike lanes Mayor Emanuel has promised to install in Chicago, he only has 99.5 to go (half a mile of Kinzie, between Desplaines and LaSalle, was recently outfitted with a protected lane—the first in the city). But Vance is also worried about the open-metal-grate bridges, which can be dangerous for cyclists, especially when wet or icy. Pointing out that adding metal plates to the Kinzie bridge ran about $30,000 plus installation costs, and the half mile of protected bike lane cost $140,000, Vance proposes that instead of installing 25 miles of protected bike lanes the city should add metal plates to 25 open-grate bridges. We’d end up with 75 miles of protected lanes, 25 more treated bridge surfaces, and it should cost less overall. He also notes that this isn’t likely to happen without some prodding from cyclists—the solution, of course, being to contact your alderman.

In other news, the city of Chicago is celebrating the installation of its first on-street bike parking corral today at 5 PM outside the Flatiron Building (Milwaukee just south of North avenue). It’ll provide parking for about 12 bicycles in a space that would otherwise be occupied by one or two cars.