Curb Barrier Protected Bike Lanes Coming to Chicago?
The Kinzie Street protected bike lane: the one that started them all. (Photo Credit: Josh Koonce)
DNAInfo points out a Chicago Department of Transportation report that mentions protected bike lines with a concrete curb being installed as a possible project. DNAInfo reports that the concrete curb, which would separate cars from bicyclists, "could be installed along a portion of Clybourn Avenue" and an almost four-mile stretch of State Street.
The Clybourn area includes the intersection where Bobby Cann was struck and killed by a drunk driver. Concrete curbs are used currently in cities ranging from Seattle to Vancouver to Copenhagen.
Concrete curb barriers, sometimes called cycle tracks, are considered the safest configuration for cyclists, though installing them is more expensive than using the plastic posts common in Chicago. According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, the risk of injury for cyclists drops by 90 percent when riding in a protected lane with a barrier such as a curb versus riding on an unmarked roadway.
The possibility of concrete curbs would be a major step in creating permanent bike-friendly roads in the city, according to Jim Merrell, a campaign manager with the Active Transportation Alliance. ...
Cycling safety advocates have been pushing lawmakers and Gov. Pat Quinn to lift a ban on installing protected bike lanes on state-controlled roads, Clybourn Avenue in particular.