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New Protected Bike Lanes Announced

By Chuck Sudo in News on Sep 16, 2011 8:20PM

The City Department of Transportation announced more protected bike lanes during its Wednesday meeting. The plan is to have protected bike lanes on Elston Avenue, from Division Street to North Avenue, and 18th Street, from Clinton to Clark Streets.

CDOT is moving forward with the PBL projects after providing an update on the Kinzie Street pilot program showed bike traffic along the corridor increased by 55 percent during the morning commute with no major change in travel times for motorists since the installation. [You can read the minutes from the meeting here. (PDF)]

The new location choices for installing the PBLs already has people debating whether they're better served elsewhere. We like the 18th Street location better than Elston, but can understand why CDOT chose that section of Elston, given the congestion of Division Street and North Avenue, both major arteries into downtown and the West Side with a fair share of cyclists sharing the street.

The section of 18th Street is also a prime location connecting the industrial no-man's land of Pilsen and Bridgeport with the gentrified and populous South Loop and Motor Row. A protected bike lane will make it easier to traverse the two neighborhoods while making it easier to access the expanding Ping Tom Park by bicycle.

CDOT said they plan on having the bike lanes installed by the end of the year.