Construction of the Dearborn Street protected bike lane is now officially underway! While we've been anticipating some of the bikeway updates described below, we also had a couple exciting surprises this autumn.
Check out a map of Chicago's newest bikeways and follow our progress toward 100 miles of protected bike lanes on our Chicago Bikeways Tracker.
Dearborn bikeway construction begins!
More than 4,500 people signed Active Trans' petition in support of the first protected bike lane through the Loop. Needless to say, many people have been anxiously anticipating its installation. The city kicked off construction this past weekend, starting with new bicycle traffic signals (see photo of wrapped pole right), but we'll be waiting for the first sign of striping on the street before we add this to our official Chicago Bikeways Tracker tally.
The signals will not be operational until the bikeway is completed, but it's an exciting sign that this project is now becoming a reality, thanks to the support and leadership of Mayor Emanuel and 42nd Ward Ald. Brendan Reilly. When completed, this will be a 1.25-mile two-way protected bike lane between Kinzie Street and Polk Street.
Franklin and Desplaines autumn surprises
Earlier this month, the city announced a new buffered bike lane for Franklin Street from Harrison Street to Wacker Drive. This project is intended to fit with the timing of the Wacker Drive project as it comes to a close and as Franklin is returned to a northbound one-way street.
This past weekend, striping started on a new southbound protected bike lane on Desplaines Street, from Fulton Street to Harrison Street. The two-way segment of Desplaines between Fulton and Kinzie Street/Milwaukee Avenue will also be updated with improved bike lanes. Desplaines can provide a great alternative route south into the Loop for northwest side residents -- particularly important during the Wells Street bridge closure.
Clark and Halsted buffered bike lanes
New buffered bike lanes have been incorporated into street resurfacing projects on Clark and Halsted Streets. You now have more breathing room when biking on Halsted between Division Street and North Avenue. And the new and improved bike lanes on Clark Street will be completed within the next couple weeks, providing safer passage through Wrigleyville and Lakeview, from Addison Street to Diversey Parkway.
King Drive buffered bike lanes
Biking in Bronzeville will get safer when the city finishes upgrading the bike lanes on King Drive to provide some buffer space, for 3 miles between 26th and 51st Streets. Striping started earlier this month.
Grand Avenue and Kinzie Street
Because of the potential construction impact of the Wolf Point development project on the Kinzie Street protected bike lane, Ald. Reilly shared the news that the city is considering relocating the Kinzie protected bike lane to Grand Avenue. Learn more here.
Bikeways for School and Roscoe?
Ald. Tom Tunney is now exploring potential bikeways for School and Roscoe Streets through the 44th Ward. These streets would provide a missing east-west connection through Lakeview and would be great candidates for Neighborhood Greenways. If you live in the 44th Ward and support the idea, please be sure to contact Ald. Tunney to let him know!