There are four new signal heads in this photo. The worker I talked to said that one is for left-turning drivers, one is for northbound bicyclists, one is for northbound drivers, and one is for southbound bicyclists.
Chicago Department of Transportation Bureau of Electrical Operations workers were out in force on Saturday and Sunday installing new traffic signal poles and signals. The Dearborn Street cycle track project, a two-way bike lane on the left side of the one-way road, includes bicycle signal heads pointing north and south. Also new are signal heads for northbound Dearborn Street traffic that will turn left across the cycle track.
CDOT is using 12-inches diameter bicycle lenses, the same size as non-bicycle lenses. Amsterdam and Copenhagen use much smaller bicycle signal heads.
I talked to one worker and asked about the construction timeline. He said, “Rumorville says ASAP. First the striping needs to be done, and that has to wait for several 50 degree days”. He also explained that the signal programming is still be designed.
This being fall, there aren’t many of those days left before the end of the year, before which Mayor Emanuel said the cycle track would be complete. The 5-day forecast shows all 50+ degree days, including a high of 61 on Friday.
One of the features of the project that the worker pointed out to me were sensors embedded in the roadway that communicate wirelessly to the signal operations. The three black dots detect the presence of automobiles positioned to turn left onto westbound roads.
Embedded sensors at Dearborn Street and Wacker Drive.
By 12:35 PM Sunday, crews had completed or made good progress on a majority of intersections in the project extents, Kinzie Street to Polk Street, where Dearborn Street ends (just under 1.2 miles long).
(The number one new referral search, bringing people to this site, has been “dearborn bike lane status”.)
When the lights are off it’s hard to see the bicycle symbol.