Crews from Marking Specialists started installing pavement markings on Wednesday, October 5, 2011, continuing on Thursday and Friday. The project’s western extent was pushed to Western Avenue, making it 0.5 miles longer – now at 2 miles long. There are many aspects of this facility that differ from the Kinzie Street protected bike lane, Chicago’s first. John will have a more in-depth article about this project on Tuesday or Wednesday – this is just a photo gallery.

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West of Damen, the eastbound protected bike lane is on the south side of the street. At Damen, it switches to the left side. It’s unclear how bicyclists are expected to make this “crossover”.

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Crossing Damen to the north side eastbound protected bike lane. 

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Passing by Malcolm X College, the protected bike lane is pretty typical, with a floating parking lane like much of Kinzie Street. 

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A future “mixing zone” at Ogden for drivers who want to turn left and bicyclists who want to turn left or continue straight. 

View Dan Ciskey’s video.

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  • Aaron Brown

    Just rode it today. It’s great to see, but I’ve definitely got some questions. 

    First, it switches back and forth between being a regular, buffered lane to the left of parked cars and being a protected lane to the right. Next, there’s the right-side to left-side of the street switch you pointed out. Both of these require a lot of moving around, and could be very confusing to bicyclists and drivers. Finally, they don’t seem to have done anything east of Ogden – hopefully this is still in the works.I know it’s early, and CDOT might make this work, but it definitely seems like there are issues to be figured out.

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

      Some of the switching between buffered and protected lane west of Damen probably has to do with bus stops. 

      The switch from south side to north side divided by Damen IS because of bus stops. 

      There will be stuff east of Ogden. That’s just where they stopped for the day. I’ll probably go back out there on Wednesday to check on the progress. 

      I’m disappointed that the section between Ashland and Laflin will not be protected but instead will be a shared lane. 

      • Aaron Brown

        Thanks. Yeah – I knew the reason west of Damen, so that makes sense east of Damen as well. Still think it’s weird to switch back and forth, and a strict buffered lane might be better. But I’ll wait to see it in action – might be ok.

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

          I love and hate at the same time how we must speculate about the design and operations of this facility. I’d like a little information upfront from the makers of this facility.

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

          I love and hate at the same time how we must speculate about the design and operations of this facility. I’d like a little information upfront from the makers of this facility.

      • Aaron Brown

        Thanks. Yeah – I knew the reason west of Damen, so that makes sense east of Damen as well. Still think it’s weird to switch back and forth, and a strict buffered lane might be better. But I’ll wait to see it in action – might be ok.

      • untitledreality

        With how narrow the Jackson Blvd historic district is I feel a protected bike lane would be overkill. Maybe you could argue for the sake of continuity, but spend some time on that block and you will most likely agree that it is not needed.

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

          I’m concerned about the speed of traffic and the darkness of the tree shade cover. 

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

          I rode Jackson today with a friend (to make a video) from Western to Desplaines. We rode through the historic district in 9 AM sunlight and it was plenty bright. Also the road had lots of leaves. Traffic moves fast. I think with proper lane markings and more bicyclists, the speed will decrease. 

  • http://www.bikewalklincolnpark.com Michelle Stenzel

    Yikes. I’ll reserve my final opinion for after I’ve test ridden it when it’s done, but from that first photo where the bike lane changes over, it’s looking kind of scary. My test for whether something is a protected bike lane is whether I’d be comfortable riding it with my tween-aged daughter on her own bike. From that picture, I’d be very nervous about that.

    In a somewhat similar set up, the Madison bike lane at State Street veers to the left a lot (while maintaining all lanes) just because Madison veers to the left, and the bike lane is clearly marked; yet, I’ve had many uncomfortable moments on my bike as cars drift into the bike lane because they’re not following the lane markings. And that’s not even where there’s a true mixing zone. So, I’m wary. I do appreciate the fact that a buffered bike lane is being installed.

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

      Write this down in a letter to CDOT and copy me on it. 

      Jennifer of Chicargo Bike brought this up at the last MBAC meeting, saying, and I paraphrase:

      “Jennifer James – I feel deeply that the Loop is a place that needs to be rideable. I think we’re drifting away from young riders. I wish you would choose some really great places (more than schools; parks, libraries) and create the infrastructure for younger and older riders. Where do families and older riders fit into the plan?”

      and “I don’t think we’re going to have a critical number of people riding on the road until we make it good for families”.

      There may be some add-ons: painting the lane green like CDOT did for Kinzie Street, or putting in large arrows for the drivers to follow.