CDOT promises to get cracking on the crumbling concrete bike lane curb problem
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.
This is the bike lane on Kinzie. It turns out that those pre-fab concrete barriers are easily destroyed by motor vehicles. @ChicagoDOT please consider a hardier option. These don’t do the job. #safestreetsforall pic.twitter.com/bODqFiyLdB
— Brendan Kevenides | FK Law (@bkevenides) September 16, 2022
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.
@ChicagoDOT can you source your concrete curbs from Toronto Pls pic.twitter.com/ekDNC0W1Ft
— Rony is an activist, not just an advocate (@ronythebikeczar) September 28, 2022
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.