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Protected Bike Lanes and Bike Safety

The Chicago Department of Transportation reports that bicyclists represent as much as 38 percent of traffic during the morning rush hour. The city has undertaken several measures designed to help traffic, including bike traffic move quickly and safety. Last week the city unveiled the “green wave,” a plan to help bicyclists and motorists move in a more continuous flow on Wells Street between Huron and Wacker Drive. This week, construction is set to begin on protected bicycle lanes on Clybourn Avenue. The protected lane will, when completed, stretch from North Avenue to Division Street on Clybourn and on Division Street from Clybourn to Orleans Street, according to Illinois Department of Transportation plans.

The new bike lanes will offer bikers a lane separated from motor vehicles by a raised concrete median. Such a barrier was what many bicyclists expected when the Emmanuel administration announced its goal of creating 100 miles of barrier-protected bike lanes by the end of 2015. A later announcement made it clear that buffer-protected lanes would be included in the 100 mile figure as well. The concrete barrier is preferred by bicyclists because it offers a clear delineation for motorists and cyclists and provides a strong deterrent for motorists who might mistakenly park in a bike lane. 

CDOT reports that more than 90 miles of protected or buffered bike lanes have already been opened around the city. Once completed, the city expects a reduction in the high rate of collisions between motor vehicles and bicycles.

Source: The Chicago Tribune, “Clybourn Avenue protected bike lanes coming as construction begins Monday,” by Jon Hilkevitch, 21 June 2015 

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