Chicago celebrates first half mile of protected bike lanes, announces next 1.5 miles

There was a great deal of excitement at Monday’s ribbon-cutting for the completion of the city’s first protected bike lane on Kinzie Street.

CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein appeared at a press conference with Ald. Brendan Reilly, Active Trans’ Executive Director Ron Burke and SRAM CEO Stan Day—all of whom were instrumental in the project.

The message from each was clear—Kinzie Street represents a huge win for the entire city and is a critical first step in reaching the incredible goal of a 100-mile network of protected bike lanes.

Commissioner Klein also used the event to announce the location of the next protected bike lane: Jackson between Damen and Halsted, a 1.5-mile stretch that will begin in early August!

If you're as excited about this next step as we are, please be sure to thank Alderman Fioretti for his leadership in bringing protected bike lanes to the 2nd Ward.

Check out some of the great coverage of the event. And check out photos of the event here.

Sign on to the Neighborhood Bikeways Campaign to keep these projects moving forward!

Also, it's not paint. Its

Also, it's not paint. Its thermoplastic. Paint washes away after about 1 winter, thermoplastic lasts 5 or so years. Paint is slippery when wet (bad for cyclists), thermoplastic is about as sticky as asphalt. Paint is not reflective, thermoplastic is.

For $150,000 there isn't much else you can do to a street. That amount won't even buy you one stop light. To add an entire lane of traffic for that amount is a bargain.

The bike symbols and arrows

The bike symbols and arrows are thermoplastic. Everything else out there is paint. It will be interesting to see how it holds up. Probably will do better than normal without cars driving over the lines.

How Can This Project Be So Expensive?

At ~$150,000, the project works out to about $56 per foot of bike lane. For what? Paint and cones?

That number seems absurd.

I would guess mostly the

I would guess mostly the labor and the steel plates to cover the bridge just east of Canal.
Keep in mind though, the Chicago Department of Transportation received over $3 million in federal grants for these.

Kinzie was not paid for by

Kinzie was not paid for by federal grants.

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