Chicago announces expansion of curb-protected bike lanes, following series of fatal accidents

ghost bike
The memorial to bicyclist Nick Parlangayan, who was fatally struck in May in Old Irving. Photo credit WBBM Newsradio

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Chicago officials say the city will add five times the current amount of concrete-protected bike lanes by the end of the year.

Bicyclists have been pushing for bike lanes to be better protected, especially in the wake of recent fatal traffic accidents. At least four bicyclists have been killed this year in Chicago.

And as it stands now, most streets have no protected bike lanes.

What the city has referred to as “protected bike lanes” are lanes separated from cars by a line of plastic stanchions.

Now, the Chicago Department of Transportation says it will begin upgrading some lanes with raised concrete curbs that divide bike lanes from cars.

CDOT says before the end of the year it will upgrade 15 miles of those plastic delineator lanes to concrete curb dividers and will add 10 miles of concrete curb-protected lanes.

That’s on top of what the city already has: about 6 miles of concrete-protected bike lanes.

One of the bike lanes that will get concrete curb protection is the stretch of Milwaukee Avenue from Addison to Irving Park where cyclist Nick Parlangayan was killed in May.

bike lanes
This northbound stretch of Milwaukee Avenue near Irving Park Road has a painted bike lane and plastic stanchions -- not nearly enough to keep bikers safe, safety advocates say. Photo credit WBBM Newsradio

Other roadways to get the special bike curbs include:

-Kinzie Street, from Milwaukee to Wells
-Lake Street, from Pulaski to Damen
-Logan Boulevard, from Rockwell to Diversey
-Milwaukee Avenue, from Chicago to Division and Kinzie to Ohio
-Independence Boulevard, from Douglas to Harrison
-Douglas Boulevard, from Independence to Sacramento
-119th Street, from Ashland to Halsted and Major Taylor Trail

“Barrier protected lanes are the best way to make biking a safer and more comfortable transportation option for everyone, and this year we’re adding more than ever,” CDOT Commissioner Gia Biagi said in a news release.

Listen to WBBM Newsradio now on Audacy!
Sign up and follow WBBM Newsradio
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram