Chicago catches up to NYC in one 3-day project

What were Mayor Daley and the previous Transportation commissioners waiting for when it came installing modern and then-innovative bikeway facilities?

Why have Rahm Emanuel, Gabe Klein, and the Chicago Bicycle Program installed every modern and previously-innovative bikeway treatment under the sun in just three days? The project’s not over, but a lot has happened since Monday.

On Day 3 of construction of the Kinzie Street protected bike lane, CDOT builds (photos from the Bicycle Program’s Flickr photostream):

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Bike-only left turn on southbound Milwaukee to Kinzie (perfect)

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Through-intersection bike lane using European-style “yield squares” (okay, they’re actually called elephant’s feet)*

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Same yield squares (elephant’s feet) at driveways.

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Very wide!

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New signage telling turning drivers to stop for people walking across the street and riding their bikes.

*I always forget that Chicago created its first through-intersection bike lane at Sheridan and Ardmore, at the north terminus of the Lakefront Trail, to get bicyclists onto the on-street bike lane network.

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About Steven Vance

Enthusiast for urbanism, bicycling as transportation, and open data. Building a bicycle culture in Chicago.
  • Traviskluska

    Happy to see that Chicago is making gains in bicycle infrastructure, but there is a long way to go if we want to see 15-20% of trips being make by bikes. More painted and protected lanes are good but the City has to do more traditionally uncomfortable things like remove parking from some streets to make them more friendly. 

    • http://www.stevevance.net/planning Steven Vance

      The goal for Chicago is 5% of all trips under 5 miles should be by bicycle by 2015. It won’t happen, by the way. Unless we built 100 miles of protected bike lanes tomorrow. 

  • Anonymous

    Steven,
    First off, thanks for following this development in detail. I visit this site daily to get updates. Thanks!

    Riding this morning in the light rain reinforced the fact that the Kinzie street bridge can get really slippery when wet. It would be nice if the city can improve the surface somehow as part of this project.

    Also, now that they are working near the Clinton intersection, it will be interesting to see how a bicyclist will make a left turn from westbound Kinzie onto Clinton. Until now, I would take the left lane, take my place in line and make a left turn from there. If the bike lane is entirely on the right hand, you will have to cross the westbound lane to make a left turn onto Clinton.

    • http://www.stevevance.net/planning Steven Vance

      You’re welcome, Duppie.

      It’s possible the city may install something like this “bike left-turn pocket” to make the left-turn maneuver you describe. 

      Right now I’m curious about the eastbound bike lane at Canal. If you keep going straight out of the bike lane, you will run into a railroad viaduct column. I wonder what kind of pavement marking directions they’ll install. 

      Thursday is day 4! I may have photos from day 4, but I doubt any work will be done today.

      • Anonymous

        Steven,
        This morning, I did notice that yesterday they did work on the stretch between Franklin and Wells. They marked where the new striping goes and some other work as well. Look at the Flickr photostream you linked to earlier for some new pictures of the work.

        • http://www.stevevance.net/planning Steven Vance

          Thanks for the tip. It’s looking good. 

    • Andy Collings

      I agree duppie. That Kinzie St bridge in the rain is one of the slipperiest and I dismount and walk my bike on the pedestrian section of the bridge. Too scary!

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