A post about posts: why CDOT took out bollards along the Kinzie lanes


Messenger John “Blunt” Robbins rides in a section of Kinzie without parking, where every-other post has been removed.

It was a little mysterious when the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) recently removed more than half of the flexible posts (AKA bollards) that separate the Kinzie protected bike lanes from parked cars and moving traffic. So I called CDOT bikeways planner Mike Amsden, to get the skinny. He explained the motivations for taking out the posts, and also pointed out a few recent upgrades to the street I hadn’t noticed before.

Continue reading A post about posts: why CDOT took out bollards along the Kinzie lanes

Bike lanes update: Franklin Boulevard under construction, Wells Street soon


Bikeway construction in 2012 continues at a breakneck pace. Crews were installing a buffered bike lane on Franklin Boulevard on Wednesday, between Central Park Avenue/Conservatory Drive and Sacramento Boulevard (0.75 miles) in East Garfield Park. The safety project eliminates a travel lane in each direction, creates a center left turn lane, and refreshes crosswalk markings. Adding a concrete barrier or parked cars could make it a protected bike lane. Read John’s earlier article about bikeways in this neighborhood, Are the upcoming Streets for Cycling projects in good locations?.

The abysmal pavement condition in the bike lane should have been repaired before bike lane markings were striped. The Franklin Boulevard buffered bike lane connects to a conventional bike lane on Central Park Avenue/Conservatory Drive (which connects to a bikeway on Lake Street coming soon). Sacramento Boulevard doesn’t have a bikeway.



CDOT should address this unsettling missing sewer cover and other deep potholes and pavement cracks in the bike lane. See all 18 photos. Continue reading Bike lanes update: Franklin Boulevard under construction, Wells Street soon

It’s official: Kinzie is ready to ride


Silversmith and fur trader John Kinzie was one of Chicago’s first settlers, so it’s appropriate that a pioneering bicycle facility was built on his namesake street. Yesterday was the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Kinzie Street protected bike lane, the city’s first, which runs a half mile between Milwaukee Avenue and Wells Street.

Staffers from the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), downtown alderman Brendan Reilly’s office, the Active Transportation Alliance and SRAM, a local bike parts company, were there to celebrate. There were only a handful of civilian cyclists present, partly due to the 11 am start time. The city’s Bicycling Ambassadors and Junior Ambassadors were out in force and the freaky marching band Environmental Encroachment provided a spirited soundtrack.

With the fragrant Blommer Chocolate factory as a backdrop, CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein, nattily dressed in a white suit, gave opening remarks. He stressed the importance of the new bike lane, which protects cyclists from moving traffic via flexible bollards and a line of parked cars, in encouraging more people to try urban cycling. “If you want to change people’s behavior and make if feel like it’s safe to walk and bike, you’ve got to make it safer,” he said.

Continue reading It’s official: Kinzie is ready to ride

The case of the disappearing bike lane

Updated June 22, 2011: Added “Note” section about Vincennes and Roosevelt bike lane removals.

Have you been riding on a Chicago street in the bike lane and noticed how part of the bike lane striping disappears in certain stretches or doesn’t seem to exist at all? The bike map shows it, as do the BIKE LANE signs on the sidewalk.


This is a photo of the Elston Avenue bike lane, at North Avenue. Or is it? Can you see the bike lane striping or bike symbol on the pavement?

What happened to them?

Continue reading The case of the disappearing bike lane

A brand new Klein

Transportation commissioner Gabe Klein meets Chicago’s bicycle community

[flickr]photo:5843410576[/flickr] CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein and 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly at the Bike to Work Week Rally.

[This article also appears on Gapers Block.]

Today’s Bike to Work Week Rally in Daley Plaza was inspiring, a far cry from last year’s lackluster event, thanks to big plans for bicycling from new mayor Rahm Emanuel and forward-thinking transportation commissioner Gabe Klein.

Continue reading A brand new Klein