Published on December 6th, 2012 | by Nicholas Brown


Two-Way Protected Bike Lane Coming To The Heart Of Downtown Chicago

December 6th, 2012 by  

A two-way bike lane in Chicago has been planned, which is probably part of the city’s promise to provide 100 miles of protected bike lanes to improve rider safety and become more bicycle friendly.

The protected lane is in Downtown Chicago.

The benefits of bicycles and bicycle lanes are not just convenience and respect, they are a necessity. They enable cyclists to ride separately from cars so that they can avoid deadly collisions.

Biking is often the cheapest and the fastest way to travel in a city. It’s also been declared the most efficient mode of transportation.

Unfortunately, it is not taken very seriously as a solution to climate change by most people, even though it is the most economical, space-efficient, and greenest mode of transportation. Beyond the obvious issue of climate change, this also helps to address congestion, which causes traffic in large cities such as London and New York City to slow to a crawl (at great economic consequence) and create a lot of air pollution.

Formerly slower modes of transportation such as cycling are now faster than cars in such cities. In all seriousness, what good is the high speed of cars if you have to crawl all the time?

Bikes take up far less space than automobiles, even less parking space. In cities where each square foot of pavement is worth a fortune, this really adds up.

Bicycles, as well as trains and buses, are all part of the solution to reducing congestion, pollutants, and CO2 emissions, as well as transportation spending. All economies can benefit from saving money, especially if it is tens of thousands of dollars per person. It’s good to see Chicago taking this mode of transport seriously and creating its first two-way bike lane.

Source: Streetsblog
Photo Credit: Grid Chicago

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About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is:

  • Will

    Two way bike lanes worry me, and from personal experience. Drivers turning right look left. But if there is a two way bike lane there, there is bicycle traffic coming from the right. They had these in the part of London I used to work in (Bloomsbury), and after a few close calls I stopped using them and kept to the main road. I was not alone.

  • Bob_Wallace

    I wonder if some cities could create bike expressways?

    Take a street a block or so off the main drag and make it essentially bike-only.

    Make all cross streets stop streets.

    Allow cars only driving one way and at a very reduced speed, say ten MPH. That way people could turn on to their block and get home or park along the street but they wouldn’t drive it at any appreciable speed.

    I would imagine bike riders wouldn’t object to riding a block or two off the main drag if they could then ride as fast as they wanted and free of traffic and opening car doors.

    • jonesey jonesey

      These streets exist. They are typically called “neighborhood greenways” or “bike boulevards”. Neighborhood streets are modified to have no stop signs, narrow roadways, and bump-outs for pedestrian crossings. The street design makes biking easy and driving slow.

    • Netherlands has done this in many cities. Best quality of life I’ve witnessed over there.

  • Yes, in heavy traffic, cars come to a standstill, while Bicycles continue to move. Therefore, we can’t put all Bike Lanes in the same category. City Bike Lanes allow Bicycles to move safely past a traffic jam, or “Gridlock”. While Rural Bike Lanes allow faster moving cars to pass safely.

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