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2 Illinois Bike Lanes Made The List Of 2016's Best New Bike Lanes

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Dec 20, 2016 9:00PM

2016RandolphStreet.jpgRandolph protected bike lane, via CDOT

Two bike lanes from Illinois are on an annual list of the best new bike lanes in the U.S., and one of them is in Chicago.

The advocacy group People for Bikes reviews bike infrastructure in cities around the year, and publishes an annual list of the best newly built bike lanes and how they help commuters get around. The westbound Randolph Street protected bike lane, which just opened this fall at the tail-end of a major transportation revamp for the Loop, ranked #2 on the list, while Aurora, Illinois' new River Street bike lane fills a much-needed one-mile gap in the popular 60-mile Fox River Trail. A lakefront Seattle bike lane topped this year's list.

Chicago "continues to deliver first-in-the-nation designs," Michael Andersen writes. Randolph Street caught his eye for its two protected intersections at Canal and Dearborn Streets, which are meant to protect pedestrians and cyclists when making their way through the intersection. Both Canal and Dearborn also feature protected bike lanes—which, probably more than coincidentally, were honored on the People for Bikes' list of top lanes in 2015 and 2013, respectively.

"Randolph will get even better this spring when an extended buffered lane on Washington, one block south, creates an east-west couplet," Andersen writes.

As for Aurora's River Street: "a new one-mile curb-protected bike lane [brings] everything together, complete with green paint and bike-only signals," for an extensive riverfront cycling trail that runs through several western counties.