Take a ride on the Dearborn Street cycle track


In case you haven’t been able to bike in the Dearborn Street two-way protected bike lane in the 48 hours it’s been open, here’s a 5 minute ride-through video, in the northbound lane from Madison Street to Kinzie Street. View on Vimeo. The song is “Tokyo Street” by airtone.

In this video you’ll get a feel for how the new intersection signals work, see the turn boxes at some intersections, and notice a lot of pedestrians! The video has been sped up by 40%.

See all articles about this groundbreaking project. See more articles with videos.


Alessandro Panella, a local student, joins the inaugural ride on Friday, December 14.

12 thoughts on “Take a ride on the Dearborn Street cycle track”

    1. I did arrive at every yellow/red.

      No. At MBAC, CDOT said they tried signal timing to improve bus traffic on Dearborn years ago and it wasn’t possible without doing something to the entire Loop grid. They said the “grid is too tight”. However, they’re installing networked signals slowly that can be programmed from the office instead of on-site.

      I think that after using the street a few times, one will learn to count the signals and be able to adjust their speed to make more greens. The light at Harrison Street, though, is terribly long! This intersection seems to have fixed phase durations, even when traffic doesn’t warrant the lengthy interval. I was riding very slowly, hand-holding the camera.

  1. Northbound, be aware of the parked cars. It’s still possible to get “doored” – I almost was last Friday at the grand opening.

    We’re all looking forward to the “Kathy-Plates” on the bridge too.

    1. You are, at least, very unlikely to be killed by a door flinging you into traffic in a cycle track, and the buffer there seems almost wide enough to work, given drivers actually parking within the lines.

  2. The video shows the biggest flaw with having bikes with their own signal…thats the shortest possible amount of green.

    If an intersection is 50/50 with green in each direction….adding another phase makes it 25/25/50, so 75% of the time, you have red.

    1. I don’t think it’s that simple. The green bicycle signal will be happening at the same time as the through green travel lane signal. Then the bicycle signal will turn red, allowing left turns from the travel lane. The bicycle signal is not its own phase but shares the phase with the through green travel lane signal. I guess I’ll have to count it.

      The signals have different phasing at some intersections, especially Harrison (where the bike red is VERY long).

      1. The point is that every time you add a phasing, everyone else gets less time.

        Previously, bikes had green 50% of the time (for example, assuming both cross streets divided equally….and actually 49% due to all red). Now theyll have something like 25% of the time because of the added turn phase which previously didnt exist

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