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Curb Barrier Protected Bike Lanes Coming to Chicago?

By Jon Graef in News on Dec 21, 2013 8:30PM

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.

DNAInfo explains concrete curb barriers in greater detail:

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.

Read more here, and be sure to check out CDOT's report here.