Protected bike lane rolling on Roscoe

May 08, 2012|By Tracy Swartz, RedEye

Cyclists, get ready for life in the fast lane in Roscoe Village.

The Chicago Department of Transportation is working on installing a buffered bike lane on Roscoe Street between Western and Damen Avenues.

Buffered bike lanes offer more room between cyclists and parked cars than a typical bike lane. They use a striped buffer on one or both sides of a bike lane. Protected bike lanes, such as the one on Kinzie Street between Milwaukee Avenue and Wells Street, use posts to separate bikes from cars.

"[The buffer] is an important safety feature," said Lee Crandell, director of campaigns for the Active Transportation Alliance, a cycling, walking and transit riding advocacy group. Dooring (when drivers hit cyclists with their car door) is "a common type of crash."

Buffered bike lanes were installed on sections of Jackson Boulevard and Wabash Avenue in 2011.

CDOT completed 2 miles of protected bike lanes last year and has plans for 21 miles this year. A CDOT spokesman did not return RedEye phone calls.

When Mayor Emanuel took office nearly a year ago, he said his goal was to build 25 miles of protected bike lanes each year for a total of 100 miles by the end of his term.

"The city can and should complete 25 miles of protected bikeways this spring and summer, which is on track to meet the mayor's commitment to 100 miles in four years," Active Transportation Alliance executive director Ron Burke said in a statement to RedEye. | @tracyswartz

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