Eyes on the street: Roads become a little sweeter each day for people who want to bicycle


Photo by Adam Herstein. 

The City of Chicago is running full steam ahead in this wacky period of warm weather to meet its goal of installing 30 miles of protected and buffered bike lanes before the end of the year.

The photo above shows a little more sanity has been added to the Desplaines/Milwaukee/Kinzie intersection: a green-painted left-turn lane for bicyclists has been added for the left turn from northbound Desplaines Street to northwest-bound Milwaukee Avenue.

However, and this is very important: CTA buses have a different path than most people who are making a left turn. They are aiming for the bus stop in front of the restaurant The Point and cyclists on the outside (right side) of this left turn could cross paths with the bus on the inside (left side) of the turn. See the map below.

Read more about the bikeway additions to Desplaines Street. We hear on #bikeCHI that the flexible posts have been installed, but we’ve also heard of problems in front of Old St. Patrick’s church and school, between Monroe and Adams Streets.

View CTA and bike left-turn path from Desplaines to Milwaukee in a larger map

9 thoughts on “Eyes on the street: Roads become a little sweeter each day for people who want to bicycle”

  1. Now they just need to add a sign to soutbound traffic on Desplaines informing them that northbound traffic has a longer green. Nice to have a turn lane for bikes though. Good warning on the bus stop

    1. That sign is only used, as much as I’ve seen, when the greens start at the same time but end at different times. At this intersection, north and south Desplaines start at different times (it’s traditional this way).
      I think that sign is meaningless because it doesn’t actually tell people what to do.

  2. Glad to see the bollards going in. I will be using Des Plaines until the Dearborn cycle track opens. I wonder how much use this new protected bike lane will get.

  3. I took Desplaines southbound this morning and was pleased to see that the cars were parked to my left as they should be. Also pleased that the timing seems to be improved since one week ago when I had to stop at every block for a red light. I think I went from Milwaukee to Jackson with only one stop this morning.
    There was a painted green square with a bicycle that I couldn’t figure out. Anybody know what that is?

    1. I don’t know exactly to which green square with a bicycle you refer, but these are typically “two-stage left-turn queue boxes” (not sure if that’s the “official” name). They are there to help bicyclists make box turns (“Copenhagen left”).

    2. That’s a left turn box.

      I counted at least four cars illegally parked in the bike lane this morning. What time did you ride it?

  4. I loved taking Desplaines this morning from Washington to Harrison. I commute between 9am-10am so it’s an oasis compared to Clinton. I’m hoping I can make the same comparison with Dearborn and Canal soon. Since I leave work later than most I was taking Dearborn before the planned PBL b/c Canal scares the bejeezus out of me. No easy way north out of the South Loop until Dearborn is rideable again. A little lost this week.

  5. I wonder if this could be solved with a curb side bike lane on this stretch, along with a bus stop island in front of the Point, as part of the proposed cycling improvements on Milwaukee from Kinzie to Elston. The photo depicts this set up in Montreal with a two way bike lane, so, a bit different.

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