CDOT promises to get cracking on the crumbling concrete bike lane curb problem

A crumbling bike lane curb on Kinzie Street by the Merchandise Mart. Photo by a reader.
A crumbling bike lane curb on Kinzie Street by the Merchandise Mart. Photo by a reader.

In June of this year the Chicago Department of Transportation announced plans to upgrade all existing protected bike lanes with concrete barriers by the end of the year. CDOT said concrete protection would become the standard for protected bike lanes moving forward.

Blue: Existing “protected” bike lanes consisting of paint and posts, in some case parking protection
Purple: Existing bike lanes protected with concrete or plastic curbs and/or end caps
Red: New or upgraded bike lanes with concrete curbs and/or end caps to be built in

The work was delayed due to a strike by Chicagoland quarry workers who produce materials for concrete and asphalt. But in August the department began installing precast concrete curbs on key bikeways like Logan Boulevard in Logan Square and Kinzie Street in River North.

Unfortunately, shortly after the first set of curbs went in, some bike riders began to notice some of the curbs were crumbling after being struck or run over by drivers. 

We reached out to CDOT spokesperson Erica Schroeder about the matter. She told us us that the crumbling curbs would be replaced and that the department is working with their contractor to ensure future curbs are as durable as possible. 

Hopefully CDOT will get on top of this problem ASAP. After all, a protected bike lane doesn’t give you much protection from drivers if the precast concrete curbs crumble like a Kit Kat bar when a motorist drives over them.


Milwaukee Bike Lane Overhaul Includes Some Concrete Protection

Note: Keating Law Offices, P.C. has generously agreed to sponsor two Streetsblog Chicago posts about bicycle safety topics per month. The firm’s support will help make Streetsblog Chicago a sustainable project. Chicago’s busiest cycling street is receiving some safety improvements, including a segment of bike lanes with concrete protection. Milwaukee Avenue, nicknamed “The Hipster Highway” […]