Monday, June 6, 2011

Chicago Cycle Track; A Separate Lane for Bicycles

Chicago has announced it is in the process of installing the first "cycle track" or separate bicycle lane. The Cycle track is currently being installed on Kinzie between Wells Street and Milwaukee Avenue. Bicycling advocates are largely excited about this experiment becuase it may signal a new direction for future bicycle infrastructure completely separate from driving lanes.

I like the design of the cycle track in theory. Mostly I like that it provides bicycles with space to operate away from the dangers posed by moving traffic. I also like that the cycle track appears to have been designed to leave space to protect bicycles from doorings. My understanding is that the picture above depicts a car not in a driving lane, but parked in a parking spot. The cycle track is intended to be separated from the moving traffic lanes by a line of parked cars.

I'll watch this experiment with great interest.

Photo courtesy of M. Burton.