Fall bike lane construction update


A Marking Specialists work truck in the Marshall Boulevard bike lane it just helped create (they work on weekends, too!). 

Chicago Department of Transportation staff and its contractor Marking Specialists have been busy this summer and fall, striping miles of conventional, buffered, and separated bike lanes in Chicago. This post documents all of the new bike lanes we haven’t yet featured prominently, some of which are likely still under construction as the photos were taken between 1 and 4 weeks ago.

Sacramento Boulevard, 24th Boulevard, Marshall Boulevard

Still to come on this project through Little Village, Lawndale, North Lawndale: Douglas, Independence, and Hamlin Boulevards. It connects with a short, separated bike lane on Jackson Boulevard between Independence Boulevard and Central Park Avenue. The Central Park Avenue bike lane then connects north to separated bike lanes on Lake Street and Franklin Boulevard. Collectively these bike lanes are called “West Side Boulevards”. I like how this new separated bike lane “goes places”: through and to residential neighborhoods, past schools and parks.

People parked their cars in the bike lane, which we’ve found to be typical for under-construction separated bike lanes. The pavement quality issues that Franklin Boulevard suffers from are present on this project as well, in multiple locations (there’s a small bush growing in the bike lane a few feet before your reach a large pothole). I look forward to seeing the ultimate design created at the intersections and high-speed curves in Douglas Park and the pavement issues corrected. This project is likely still under construction.


A separated bike lane on Marshall Boulevard, looking south at a Pink Line viaduct. It’s parking-protected in some locations. In this photo, new parking spaces are created where none previously existed.  Continue reading Fall bike lane construction update

Elston Avenue bike lane returns in upgraded form


Riding in the cycle track southbound towards the Magnolia Avenue “Y”. 


Riding in the cycle track southbound next to Elston Materials’s property. The parking space and wide area in this photo are for a tanker truck as seen in this photo

After seven months without them because of neighbor and weather delays, pavement markings make their return today to Elston Avenue between North Avenue and Magnolia Avenue. The difference now is that buffered bike lanes and a cycle track replace last year’s conventional bike lane. The full project limits are North Avenue to Milwaukee Avenue, a distance of 1 mile. The enhanced bikeway should definitely bring cyclists back to Elston Avenue, after what I perceived was a period of avoidance. A cycle track at the “Y” intersection of Elston and Magnolia Avenues should reduce the incidence of high-speed, northbound passes.

At 12:42 PM today, only sections between North Avenue and Magnolia Avenue had been striped.  Continue reading Elston Avenue bike lane returns in upgraded form

Construction has begun on the Jackson protected bike lane (photo gallery)

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.


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”. Continue reading Construction has begun on the Jackson protected bike lane (photo gallery)