Chicago's first protected bike lane scheduled to reach completion this week.

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Computer rendering of the completed lane.

Mayor Emanuel has made a lot of pledges for his first 100 days in office, one that effects bikers should be completed by the end of this week.

Emanuel pledged to build a total 100 miles of protected lanes over four years.  Step #1 on Kinzie St. between Milwaukee Ave and Wells St., it will be Chicago's first protected bike lane.

The Chicago Department of Transportation crews have been working day and night to bring this first stage for bikers to completion.
 
As the price of gas continues to rise, this is a positive step by the mayor and his staff to offer people a healthy, safe alternative for transportation.
 
We have an image gallery of the construction process below, you can follow the progress at CDOT's Flickr site

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  • I can only imagine what this is going to do to automobile traffic. Has anyone studied it? Government loves to impose costs on the majority for the benefit of special interests. Net/ net it's usually a loss for society in total.

  • In reply to Lucid Realty:

    Hopefully the thought is to get more people on their bikes in a safe environment and less cars on the road.

  • In reply to Lucid Realty:

    To Gary I'd say this, I don't know if there is a study but if the safer lane makes one or two drivers choose to bike instead of drive, those two bikers are two fewer cars in front of you. Wouldn't that be something that would in theory speed traffic. I wont get into the cost of maintaining the roads and the cost to the environment and all that blather because I gather that's not something you'll find compelling. For you its about getting Gary where Gary wants to go and if a few "special interest" people get run over, well so be it. They've got no business riding in the street anyway.

    Lighten Up Gar-o. We're all gonna get where we're going soon enough. Don't let it get under your skin so much.

  • In reply to friendtodawgs:

    My issue is that I suspect that the net benefit to society is going to be negative. Suppose every extra cyclist results in 20 cars going 10 MPH slower or more traffic jams. The net impact on MPG can easily be negative as more cars spend more time idling. Also, what percent of drivers are willing to bicycle? For what percent of drivers is it even advisable for them to bicycle given their health and age?

  • In reply to Lucid Realty:

    As someone who cycle-commuted in the loop for 8+ yrs I can tell you that the traffic is already idling and its not the bikes that cause the jam. Its the cars and the traffic lights. And while I don't know of any study that can quantify the effect, it seems counterintuitive to me that fewer cars would make for a slower trip. Nor do I see how moving cyclists to the curb, rather than pinned between parked cars and moving traffic, will slow the traffic at a 20/1 ratio as you theorize

    And as far as health and age being a factor to prevent drivers from cycling. Here in the midwest where the topography is flat as a pancake anyone can ride. You need only visit any bike trail on a summer day to see that every shape, size, age and physique are biking happily along. And perhaps if a few drivers got out of their cars, some of them might improve their fitness. Which would be a societal benefit as well.

    So by my count its two social positives to none.

  • In reply to friendtodawgs:

    Well, tell me how these lanes are going to work. Aren't they going to reduce the space available for traffic?

  • In reply to friendtodawgs:

    This is NOT a protected bike lane. This is paint! We should look to the Scandinavian countries where they make the streets wide enough so that they can put a curb between the bikes and the cars. This makes a real dedicated bike lane that is protected from cars drifting into bikes. Putting motorized and non-motorized vehicles together without a substantial physical barrier is a formula for serious injury.

  • In reply to friendtodawgs:

    Excellent. Let's hope the city keeps up the good work on bicycles.

  • In reply to friendtodawgs:

    Lively discussion on the Kinzie Bike Lanes on The Chainlink, an Chicago area bike website: http://www.thechainlink.org/forum/topics/kinzie-its-whats-next

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