Five weeks until spring: Get ready for more than 16 miles of new bikeways!

Spring officially begins on March 20 this year, just five weeks away. As Chicagoans know, construction crews return to the streets when spring arrives. We're excited about that because it means the city will get back to work installing new bikeways, making our streets safer for everyone.

What can we look forward to this spring? The city's Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 (PDF) calls for more than 16 miles of new bikeways by May 2013!

The plan is a roadmap to guide the development of a citywide network of bikeways, but the inclusion of a street in the plan does not mean that a bikeway project has been approved by the alderman or necessary government agencies.

Making the plan a reality will still require advocacy and outreach to keep bikeway projects moving forward -- and we're depending on supporters like you to speak up with us. With the state putting down roadblocks for projects like these, you can help right now by telling Gov. Quinn to end the state's obstruction of safer streets for biking.

We've updated our Chicago Bikeways Tracker map so you can see what projects from the plan have been completed and what's proposed for installation by May. Here are a few highlights.

  • Spoke Routes on Milwaukee and Vincennes -- The Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 calls for a network of bikeways connecting neighborhoods to downtown, called Spoke Routes. The design of Spoke Routes could include barrier protected bike lanes, buffered bike lanes or conventional bike lanes, depending on street limitations and approval from the alderman and other agencies. Expect to see segments of the Spoke Route network installed this spring on Milwaukee, between Elston and Kinzie, and on Vincennes, between 103rd and 84th. Active Trans would like to see barrier protected bike lanes installed on these streets to provide the greatest level of safety for everyone on the street.
  • Crosstown Bike Routes on Halsted and Broadway -- Crosstown Bike Routes will provide connections across the city and between neighborhoods on long stretches of major streets. Just like with Spoke Routes, the kind of bikeways and the level of safety we'll see on these streets may vary. New bikeways are planned this spring for Halsted between Harrison and 26th, Halsted between Garfield and Pershing, and Broadway between Montrose and Foster.
  • Buffered bike lanes on Wells and Clybourn -- Last year, buffered bike lanes were installed on Wells from Wacker to Chicago. We expect to see those buffered lanes extend further north this spring, up to North Avenue. Also, following the resurfacing of Clybourn last year, we're anticipating buffered bike lanes this spring on the entire length of the street, from Belmont to Division.

To learn more about ways you can help support these projects this spring, make sure to sign up as a Neighborhood Bikeways Campaign supporter here.

The buffered bike lanes leave

The buffered bike lanes leave so much to be desired. They are often used as free parking / loading zones by vehicles. It's not that I don't appreciate the city's efforts, but the buffered lanes still just do not feel safe to ride on. I would rather see fewer miles of protected lanes than more miles of buffered lanes.

I second Scott's complaint.

I second Scott's complaint. Buffered lanes are useless without traffic enforcement.

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