Bikeways 101

Many people would love to ride a bike in the city, but have concerns about safety. Lots of people who drive also feel nervous sharing a lane with people on bikes. We believe all Chicagoans should feel safe on our city’s streets – whether they drive, walk or bike.

Protected bikeways make our streets safer for everyone by reducing conflicts on the road and encouraging more predictable and responsible behavior for people who walk, bike or drive. This includes fewer speeding cars and bikes on sidewalks.

Protected bike lane on Kinzie St.

Learning on a buffered bike lane on Wabash Ave.

Family ride on a greenway (courtesy of Mia Burke)

Barrier Protected Bike Lanes

Barrier protected bike lanes use physical barriers between people riding bikes and motorized traffic to help people of all ages feel more comfortable on the street. They are usually located next to the curb, rather than between parked cars and moving cars.

Statistics show when barrier protected bike lanes are installed, more people ride bikes and safety improves for everyone who uses the street, whether they walk, ride a bike or drive a car.

 
Buffered Bike Lanes

Buffered bike lanes are similar to conventional bike lanes but with extra padding that helps keep people biking further from moving traffic and away from the danger of car doors in the parking lane.

They are highly visible and help to get people biking and driving out of each other's way. Buffered bike lanes are significantly more comfortable than conventional bike lanes.

 

Neighborhood Greenways

Neighborhood greenways are slow-speed, low-volume side streets that have been optimized for neighbors and people walking and biking.

Traffic calming strategies like bump outs and speed bumps discourage cars from using these streets to cut through neighborhoods, creating a calmer, quieter environment.

They are ideal routes for families, quick errands and safe routes to schools.

 

Why does Chicago need protected bike lanes?

Many people would love to ride a bike in the city, but have concerns about safety. Lots of people who drive also feel nervous sharing a lane with people on bikes. All Chicagoans should feel safe on our city’s streets – whether they drive, walk or bike. Chicago is also one of the most congested cities in the country. Combined with high gas prices, more people are looking to avoid driving.

We believe you should be able to ride a bike in Chicago without fearing for your safety.

Riding a bike should be a valid option for everyone getting to work or traveling around town. Protected bikeways help make riding a bike in the city a safe, smart option for everyone.

Copyright © 2014 Active Transportation Alliance | All Rights Reserved | Privacy policy