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CDOT is installing a lot more bikeways in 2024. Here’s an interactive map of the locations.

The Ward Wise civic tech group at Chi Hack Night put together the map, and graciously allowed Streetsblog to publish it.

Detail from Ward Wise’s Planned 2024 [CDOT] Bikeways map. See interactive version below, where you can zoom in for street names.

This post is sponsored by Keating Law Offices.

According to the Chicago Department of Transportation, in 2023 the City installed over 50 miles of bikeways, more than any previous year, as foreshadowed by the agency's Chicago Cycling Strategy plan that spring. That number included 27 miles of new protected bike lanes and existing PBLs upgraded with concrete; as well as 18 miles of new Neighborhood Greenway side street bike routes. I completed my exploration of all these new bikeways during Streetsblog Chicago's Bike Lane Week last December.

Happily, it looks like I'll have a lot of test-riding of new bikeways to do this year as well. Earlier this week, CDOT released its 2024 Planned Bikeways Installations Tracker, showing that so far this year, dozens of new bikeway projects are "planned", "underway", or – best of all – "installed". You can view the interactive spreadsheet here, or just peruse the screenshots below.

The types of facilities listed include below:

• "Bike Lane": a non-protected, paint-only bikeway striped to the left of parked cars, in the so-called "door zone"

• "Buffered Bike Lane": same as above, but with additional dead space striped on one or both sides of the bikeway

• "Protected Bike Lane": installed curbside and delineated with paint, flexible plastic posts, and/or protected with concrete curbs, often to the right of parked cars – and nowadays many Chicago PBLs have short raised sections

• "Concrete Upgrade": concrete protection added to existing PBLs

• "Neighborhood [Greenway]": side street bike route, often including contraflow ("wrong-way") bike lanes, so that a one-way street for motorists can legally, and more safely, be ridden in both directions by people on bikes

• "Off-Street Trail": a (hopefully) totally car-free path

(Scroll past this long list to see more of this post.)

In the wake of this bikeway drop, the Ward Wise group at Chi Hack Night did me a huge favor. According to member Sean MacMullan, "Ward Wise is a volunteer-run civic tech group under Chi Hack Night. [We] are working to make Chicago infrastructure data more accessible to the general public."

A bar graf of the planned mileage of different types of bikeways scheduled for installation in 2024. Image: Ward Wise group at Chi Hack Night

Anyway, relative Luddite that I am, I put together Streetsblog's map of 2023 CDOT Bikeway Installations by hand, which was time-consuming. (But I must not have done too bad a job, since it's gotten 25,000+ page views.)

However, for their 2024 [CDOT] Planned Bikeways map, the tech-savvy Ward Wise folks simply ran the above list from the transportation department through the Ward Wise geocoder. Behold the nifty results, below.

Use two fingers on your phone or computer touchpad to zoom in and out. Again, for a description of the types of facilities mentioned in their color-coded Legend, consult my list of definitions above. Zoom in closely to read street names.

Ward Wise's 2024 [CDOT] Planned Bikeways map (click here for full-screen)

But wait, there's more! Ward Wise's MacMullan also tells us, "There are also some upcoming bike lanes in the aldermanic menu program report for this year that aren't in CDOT's list." (Menu money is the $1.5 million each ward currently gets annually to spend on infrastructure, at the local City Council member's discretion, with some of them holding Participatory Budgeting elections to let constituents weigh in.)

Here's how the underway Clark Street protected bike lane on the Near North Side looks on Ward Wise's map based on CDOT's list, and a photo of a crew installing a new pedestrian island that will double as protection for the Clark bikeway, earlier this month at the northeast corner of Clark and Erie streets, looking south. Images: Ward Wise, John Greenfield

Some of these bikeways on the menu report aren't included on the CDOT list or the Ward Wise map, but it appears that they're also something to look forward to. Here's the list of bikeways from that report:

Alders Daniel La Spata (1st), Rossana Rodriguez (33rd), Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th), Samantha Nugent (39th), Matt Martin (47th), and Maria Hadden (49th) deserve credit for investing menu money to install safe bike infrastructure.

To plan my own bike explorations in the near future, I spent a little time creating the following map of 2024 bikeways that the CDOT lists says are already completed as of today, 6/14/24. I did it "caveman-style", by hand via Google My Maps, and if time permits, I may update it as CDOT's reported 2024 installations progress. Click here for the citywide, interactive version.

Detail from my Google Map of Installed CDOT 2024 Bikeways as of 6/14/24. Click here for the citywide, interactive version.

One obvious takeaway from the from Ward Wise's map of planned 2024 bikeways is that, similar to in 2023, most of the new facilities will be on the North and West sides. That's because, due to Chicago's frustrating aldermanic prerogative system, which generally allows alders to veto infrastructure in their wards, CDOT typically only installs bikeways in areas where the local rep supports them.

However, thanks to last year's CDOT Neighborhood Bike Network outreach, focusing on underserved communities, a few new bikeways are coming to the Near Southwest Side, including the Brighton Park and Gage Park neighborhoods. The department still isn't planning to install many bike lanes south of Marquette Road / 67th Street this year. But more outreach has also been underway on the Far South Side recently, so hopefully that will change in 2025.

Neighborhood Bike Network outreach last year on the Near Southwest Side. Photo: CDOT

In the meantime, kudos to CDOT for once again having a fairly ambitious bikeway plan this year. And thanks again to Ward Wise for putting together and letting us run their 2024 Planned Bikeways map.

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