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Mayor Announces More Protected Bike Lanes Ahead Of Ambitious Cycling Plan

By Chuck Sudo in News on Aug 6, 2012 2:00PM

The Kinzie Street protected bike lane: the one that started them all. (Photo Credit: Josh Koonce)

Mayor Emanuel's office and the Chicago Department of Transportation announced Sunday that 34 miles of new protected bike lanes will be installed in Chicago before the end of the year. That should go a long way toward helping fulfill Emanuel's promise of installing 25 miles of protected bike lanes every year of his four-year term.

So far CDOT has completed installation of three miles of protected bike lanes on Kinzie Street between Milwaukee and Wells; 18th Street between Clark and Canal Streets; Jackson Boulevard between Western and Ogden Avenues; and Elston Avenue between Milwaukee and North Avenues. Several more miles of buffered bike lanes have been redefined across the city.

The prospective new protected bike lanes include:

  • A two-way north-south protected bike route through the Loop on Dearborn Street from Polk Street to Kinzie Street, including bicycle signals to separate bicycle and motor vehicle conflicts.
  • An extension of the Kinzie Street protected bike lane to connect to the Dearborn lane.
  • A “spoke route” on Milwaukee Avenue connecting the Elston and Kinzie protected bike lanes.
  • Buffered bike lanes on South Chicago Avenue, a street regularly named one of the city’s highest crash corridors. (I saw the beginnings of the buffered bike lanes last week biking South Chicago Avenue back home from Pierogi Fest.)
  • Construction later this summer on the city’s first “neighborhood greenway” on Berteau connecting the Clark Street and Lincoln Avenue bike lanes.
  • Protected and buffered bike lanes along King Drive, 31st Street, Wabash, Wells, Halsted, 55th Street, Clark Street and West Side Boulevards.

These lanes are part of the Streets for Cycling Plan 2020; an ambitious plan to build 645 miles of new bike lanes in Chicago that will be released later this month.