CDOT Has Been Busy Installing Bikeways This Spring

New buffered lane on Jackson from Halsted to Jefferson. Photo: CDOT
New buffered lane on Jackson from Halsted to Jefferson. Photo: CDOT

The sun is shining, the weather is reliably over 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and conditions are ideal for bicycling. It’s also prime time for laying thermoplastic pavement markings, so the Chicago Department of Transportation has been hustling to install new bike lanes and Neighborhood Greenways (residential street routes with contraflow bike lanes and traffic calming) in recent weeks. According to spokesman Mike Claffey, the department is working on a more comprehensive list of upcoming projects, but here’s a what’s been done so far.

Baltimore Avenue (red line on map)

Buffered bike lanes were striped from Brainard to 130th as part of a street resurfacing project. Connects with existing non-buffered bike lanes on 130th from Baltimore (Hegewisch’s main retail street) to Saginaw.

Root Street (green line on map)

Non-buffered bike lanes were installed from Emerald to Wentworth as part of a resurfacing job. Located a block east of Halsted buffered lanes. Root is a handy street for crossing the Dan Ryan Expressway to the east.

Harrison Street (orange line on map)

Buffered lanes were put in between Loomis and Halsted as part of a resurfacing project, which also involved a road diet, reducing the number of travel lanes from four to two, which calms traffic. Connects with existing protected and buffered lanes on Harrison from Halsted to Wabash; buffered lanes on Halsted; and a short stretch of buffered lanes on Morgan from Harrison to Van Buren.

Jackson Boulevard (purple line on map)

A buffered lane was installed from Halsted to Jefferson, presumably as part of a resurfacing project. Extends buffered and protected lanes on Jackson east towards Loop and connects with a protected lane on Des Plaines.

Milwaukee Avenue (blue line on map)

Buffered lanes were striped on Milwaukee from Addison to Irving Park, which involved stripping 92 parking spaces from one side of the street. (Meanwhile Metra is spending $1.2 million, mostly from federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement funds, ironically enough, to build 68 parking spots at the adjacent Grayland stop.) Shared-lane markings were marked from Irving Park to Lawrence. The bikeway is funded by 45th Ward menu money; the project was elected as part of the ward’s participatory budgeting election.

Glenwood Greenway (yellow line on map)

A southbound contraflow bike lane was painted from Ridge to Foster, along with shared-lane markings on Glenwood from Ridge to Carmen, and on Carmen from Glenwood to Broadway. This legalizes an already-popular southbound route and connects with buffered bike lanes on Broadway. The project was paid for with 48th Ward menu funds.

Interestingly, it appears that none of these new bikeways were funded by federal CMAQ grants, which are a common source of Chicago bike lane funding. This suggests that CDOT may be waiting for approval of grants for other bike lanes. If that’s the case, we should be hearing about some more planned bike lanes after the funding is approved.

Screen Shot 2017-06-01 at 1.50.15 PM
The city is reportedly planning to install an eastbound bike lane on School/Aldine (red) and a westbound lane on Roscoe (green), which would create a nice route to and from the Lakefront Trail. Image: Google Maps

In addition, Streetsblog reader Elliot Friedman tells us that last month at the Central Lakeview Neighbors meeting, 44th Ward alderman Tom Tunney announced that an eastbound bike lane, including green road markings, will be installed on School/Aldine (3300 North) from Ashland to Lake Shore Drive, near the Roscoe underpass to the Lakefront Trail. The alderman added that a westbound lane will be put in on Roscoe, a block north, from LSD to Ashland, and the project should be done by the end of the year, according to Friedman.

Neither the ward nor CDOT has confirmed this yet, but this couplet of one-way streets is already a great low-stress route to and from the lakefront. (Note to self: Add this to the Mellow Chicago Bike Map.) But marking these streets with bike lanes and adding them to the city’s official bike map would help get the word out about the route, as well as calming traffic on these streets. The bike lanes would connect to existing north-south bike lanes on Southport, Lincoln, and Halsted, as well as the Lakefront Trail.

If you take a spin on some of the newly striped bikeways outlined above, let us know what you think in the comments section.

  • David Gebhart

    I’ve been loving the Glenwood Greenway. I’d been using it Northbound for a few years, but now I can go Southbound in the mornings as well. It’s lovely when infrastructure follows where we already want to ride!

  • Bobo Chimpan

    So when are we going to get bike lanes on Milwaukee between Logan Blvd. and Addison!?

  • Carter O’Brien

    Always glad to see bike lanes being added, but it doesn’t excuse allowing existing ones to fall into disrepair. The state of Kedzie Ave in Logan Square and Avondale is nothing short of atrocious.

  • Add to that Halsted (Division to Fullerton), Damen (most of it), Elston south of Western (including the “new stretch” that inundates, and where markings have already faded), the sunken manhole covers on Dearborn, etc. etc.

  • Jacob Wilson

    Try California or Kimball instead. It is shameful though the condition they’ve left Kedzie in for so long.

  • Carter O’Brien

    Unfortunately for me it is not an improvement to take Belmont to California. And more importantly, Rev Brew is *on* Kedzie.

  • what_eva

    Are the Roscoe/School markings going to be sharrows or lanes? It seems like at least a some of the blocks along those are too tight for lanes. It’s probably overall a good idea as those two get a lot of cut-through traffic from drivers avoiding traffic on Belmont.

  • Elliot10

    The alderman said lanes (green lanes), and said that they want to slow the cut through traffic on those streets, especially with the Hawthorne​ and Nettlehorst schools on Aldine /School. I truly hope this will come to fruition.

    The topic came up when I asked about the sharrows on Belmont/ Orchard, which he said he was not aware of. Maybe it was Cdot or maybe it was a vigilante sharrow installer who put them there. They are in no other places in that stretch of Belmont, which is what made me ask in the first place. Kudos to the alderman for approving TODs in the neighborhood, so I hope that sentiment carries through to these new lanes.

  • JacobEPeters

    Even the section of Kedzie south of the boulevard portion is in a bad state (both w/ a faded buffered lane & a moonscape of potholes). I am hoping we can get that portion turned into a protected lane when it is resurfaced again since the current layout has extra room on the left side of the car lanes adjacent to the median.
    Having the bike lane to the left of the parked cars in this section encourages some dangerous passing & near collisions where the boulevard ends. This is partially because the number of lanes drops from 2 with a turn lane to one instead of using the turn lanes to filter traffic into appropriate lanes before the intersection.


CDOT Has a Full Plate of New and Upgraded Bike Lane Infrastructure

During last week’s Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Council meeting Chicago Department of Transportation staffers shared a number of updates on the city’s bike network. At the event, CDOT planner Mike Amsden, who manages the department’s bikeways program, explained how funds from Blue Cross Blue Shield’s $12 million sponsorship of the Divvy bike-share system are helping to pay for bike […]

Eyes on the Street: New Buffered Bike Lanes on Madison Street

Well-designed protected bike lanes are generally far superior to buffered lanes, because it provides actual physical protection from moving cars, not just paint on the road, which encourage more risk-averse people to ride. On the other hand, if protected lanes are off the table, well-executed buffered lanes are nothing to sneeze at. The Chicago Department […]

CDOT Tries Out a New Kind of Bikeway on Lincoln Avenue: “Barrows”

The Chicago Department of Transportation has a toolbox of different bikeway treatments: neighborhood greenways, protected bike lanes, buffered bike lanes, and shared lane markings, also known as “sharrows.” Now they’re experimenting with a new kind of treatment that consists of sharrows — bike symbols with chevrons — with a striped buffer painted on the right. […]