Monday, May 14, 2012

Bike Lane Proposed for Wabash Between Roosevelt and Harrison

Wabash Avenue continues to get upgrades.  This time a bike lane has been proposed for Wabash between Roosevelt and Harrison.  This is great news as it will connect to the bike lane that was created on Wabash in 2011.

In addition to the Roscoe Street buffered bike lane installed last week, and a segment on Wabash Avenue installed in 2011, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) has proposed these locations for buffered bike lanes, a total of 4.50 miles:
  • Clark St from Walton to North 
  • Ellsworth Dr from Garfield (55th) to King (51st) 
  • Wabash Ave from Roosevelt to Harrison 
  • Wells St from Chicago to Van Buren (originally proposed in 2010)
Mayor Emanuel promised 25 miles of protected bike lanes per year of his term. His first year anniversary is May 16, seven days away. The City has currently installed 2 miles of protected bike lanes.
So what's a "Buffered Bike Lane"?  It's essentially what we have on Wabash South of Roosevelt.  It's a wide lane with clear markings identifying where bikes belong.

This is different than a "protected bike lane".  A protected bike lane is what was installed on 18th street between Clark and Clinton last year.  The protected bike lane's have plastic pylons that create a barrier between motorists and bikers.

"Buffered Bike Lane" on Wabash
From Grid Chicago
"Protected Bike Lane" on 18th street
Image from Let's Go Ride a Bike


Unknown said...

The bike lane on 18th is very dangerous. Once you get up on the bridge they never put anything over the grade to smooth it out. Tires get caught between the grades. Our Alderman and his office are to dumb or there nothing in it for them to address the problem

BRENDAN said...

never understood the need for bike lanes when there is so much more to be done around the city...

Anonymous said...

Agreed with Unknown, my road bike's tire profile would run right through over that bridge surface. I end up just using the sidewalk for those brief moments anyway. Even though I bike and use the new 18th street paths, I'd rather they had kept the 2 lanes over the bridge.

Broomy said...

Bike lanes keep additional cars off the road, and out of parking spaces. They are also much healthier, and non-polluting. I barely even use them, but I'm all for more bike lanes.

BRENDAN said...

true-- they help in thinning out traffic but to what degree? I say it is so minimal that that reasoning is almost irrelevent. I still experience traffic in the southloop to the point of madness and I can't help but think it couldnt get much worse.

To me encouraging bike traffic in the same roads we drive only increases the risk of accidents and god forbid severe injury/death. These arent wide suburban roads were talking about, they are extremely busy city streets with cabs/trucks/cop cars that are driving way too fast and wreckless to facilitate a safe environment for bike traffic. In most areas they simply do not belong.

Broomy said...

It's certainly dangerous, but I think we're way behind a lot of major cities when it comes to protected bike lanes. The more lanes you have, the more people will use them, the more drivers will be aware and used to their presence. Bike lanes are sort of patchwork right now, if there were more, and they were better connected, I bet you would see a lot more people choosing that over driving. Especially in good weather. I would.

Aaron said...


City streets are actually far safer than suburban streets when it comes to biking (and driving for that matter).

Yes, they're crowded, but cars are going much slower. That greatly reduces the risk of injury/death from an accident. Plus, city drivers tend to be much more aware of their surroundings, including bicyclists (IMO).

And I'd encourage you to try biking if you can. It's definitely a more relaxing (and better for you) way to travel vs. driving, in my experience.

BRENDAN said...

Oh I enjoy biking very much so, however I tend to lean towards bike trails and parks. I would feel safe on 18th street thats for sure....

Thats an interesting take on city streets v suburban....would you mind citing your source(s) for this as I would very much love to dig into this further.