Here’s a sneak preview of where CDOT may be installing bikeways this year
6:41 PM CDT on April 28, 2021
On Monday Mayor Lightfoot launched the multi-billion-dollar, five-year Chicago Works infrastructure plan, which earmarks $49 million for "improvements to bike lanes, priority bus routes, pavement markings and Vision Zero pedestrian safety projects." However, the Active Transportation Alliance and the Metropolitan Planning Council have pointed out that it's not clear whether this investment will lead to, in ATA's words, an "easy-to-use and accessible network of [biking] options."
We do know that over the next two year, the Chicago Department of Transportation plans to repave 75 miles of main streets annually, nearly double the typical number of street miles repaved each year. Likewise, 500 more side street blocks will be repaved annually than usual, 1,240 blocks per year versus 740 blocks in past years. And CDOT often incorporates new or upgraded bikeways into street resurfacing projects.
Thanks to some data-combing by Paul Esling, a “web developer of decision-making data-rich web mapping tools” with the Center for Neighborhood Technology, we've got some info on where the department may be building new bikeways this year. Please note that CDOT did not immediately confirm these locations.
But Esling has updated his Chicago Bike Routes map with new layers showing where the city has indicated bike lanes will be striped and bike lane bollards will be installed. There are also new layers on the map showing where regular street repaving, as well as repaving funded by aldermanic discretionary "menu" money, is planned.
To get this info, Esling pulled scheduled street work data from ChiStreetWork, the city of Chicago’s infrastructure map portal. "Some protects are explicitly described as bike lane striping, but street resurfacing projects like the upcoming work on Diversey Avenue do not indicate whether or not a bike lane will be included," he said. (CDOT has previously stated that Diversey will be getting non-protected bike lanes this year between California and Central Park avenues in the 35th Ward.)
Esling said it appears that CDOT might be doing much of this bikeway construction work over the next three months. "My sense is that the city wants residents to know where they might run into street work in the next 90 days, so these all must be on the schedule. Everything I pull falls under Construction Projects –I just pull anything with 'bike' or 'street resurfacing' in the description. My understanding is that street resurfacing projects could include bike lanes, and the menu program items could as well."
Again, CDOT hasn't confirmed the locations yet. Spokesperson Mike Claffey said he would run the map by department staff, and I'll update this post if the department provides any additional info.
For what it's worth, below is a list of the potential new bikeways shown on Esling's map. Like last year, many of them appear to be slated on the Far South Side, where cycling advocates like Deloris Lucas, head of the Riverdale-based bike group We Keep You Rollin', have tirelessly pushed for them. There are also plenty of bikeways shown on the West Side, so together that's potentially good news for bike equity. And if you click on the layers for existing bikeways at the top of the map key, you'll see that the new bike facilities will fill in some gaps in existing bike routes to help create a cohesive cycling network. (My name's on the map key because Esling previously incorporated recommended routes from the Mellow Chicago Bike Map I created for the Chicago Reader.)
Bikeways with bollards
- 119th Street: Bishop Ford Expressway to State Street
- Doty and Woodlawn avenues: 111th to 101st streets (currently has conventional bike lanes)
- Ewing Avenue: 118th to 106th streets
- 112th Street: Avenue O to State Line Road
- 71st Street: Vincennes Avenue to State Street (currently has conventional bike lanes)
- Taylor Street: Morgan to Canal streets
- Kedzie Avenue: Jackson Boulevard to Cortez Street
- Halsted Street: Fulton Market to Grand Avenue (currently has buffered bike lanes)
- Division Street: Cicero to Central Park avenues
- Damen Avenue: Fullerton to Diversey avenues (currently has conventional bike lanes)
- Campbell Avenue and Roscoe Street: Belmont to Western avenues (currently has buffered bike lanes)
- Clark Street: Irving Park Road to Lawrence Avenue
- Clark Street: Hollywood to Devon avenues
Bikeways without bollards
- Longwood Avenue: 119th to 105th Street
- 103rd Street: Longwood Drive to Vincennes Avenue
- 83rd Street: Cicero to Columbus avenues (currently a signed bike route)
- 83rd street: Dan Ryan Expressway to Wabash Avenue
- 82nd Street: Ashland Avenue to Loomis Boulevard
- 81st Street: Damen to Racine avenues and Halsted Street to Vincennes Avenue
- 71st Street: South Chicago Avenue to Jeffery Boulevard
- Racine Avenue: Garfield Boulevard to 52nd Street
- 43rd Street: Halsted Street to Oakenwald Avenue
- Keeler Avenue: 31st Street to Lake Street
- North Avenue: Damen to Marshfield avenues
- Racine Avenue: Clybourn to Armitage avenues
- Armitage Avenue: Kostner to Western avenues
- Long Avenue: Grand Avenue to Addison Street
- Palmer Street: Central Park to Kedzie avenues and Sacramento to California avenues
- Shakespeare Avenue: Humboldt Boulevard to California Avenue
- Wrightwood Avenue: Narragansett Avenue to Pulaski Road
In addition to editing Streetsblog Chicago, John writes about transportation and other topics for additional local publications. A Chicagoan since 1989, he enjoys exploring the city on foot, bike, bus, and 'L' train.
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