The Chainlink

Bike Lanes Painted on B'way Between Wilson and Lawrence - woo hoo!

The Good Lord has heard our pleas!  No  longer do I have to do take my life in my hands biking down Broadway in the early am as the drivers  zoom down Broadway.

I understand  there aren plans to go all the way up to Foster with the lane but as of yesterday it seemed they only did the Wilson/Lawrence stretch.

For those who aren't familiar with this little stretch,  heading south from Leland on B'way - and in the right lane -  you are actually biking between the El  support pillars with the tracks above. I actually used to think that this little sprint was for biking not driving as it feels like cars "should" stay to the left. But a few close calls with cars barreling down this stretch taught me otherwise.

So now I'm really glad that there are buffered (is this the right term?) lanes that are clearly marked so I won't have any concerns about slowing down the cars behind me  (historically I've biked tight to the right side to let the cars pass and avoid getting killed). 

I did notice  yesterday while taking the the photos that cars were avoiding the bike lanes on both sides and driving in the left lane. Probably all the white markings discourage drivers, which is a good thing until the paint fades. 

It seems to me that CDOT is getting a lot more aggressive in marking the lanes based on what I see here but I am sure there are others who are better judges.

Anyway, for those of us who live or transit through Uptown this should make our rides much safer.  

Facing North 100 feet south of Leland

Facing South  100 feet south of Leland

 

 

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I feel so much safer biking in those lanes.  It lets me ride outside the door zone but with the knowledge that that the drivers must (or should:) respect my presence.  Also my theory is that the bike lanes promote an overall reduction in driving speeds though I have no data to back that up.

It's especially nice how they ran this lane between the L supports like that. It always made me nervous to try to get through there when splitting the lane with a car.

Gr8 news... now the CTA bus won't be attacking me while speeding through that stretch (and then call police because i was delaying them...) absolutely fantastic!

Hopefully they're not done marking the lane.  As I was waiting to cross Broadway on Leland this morning I saw three cars driving in the lane.  Just south of Leland, before it goes under the tracks, the lane is marked as right-turn only (onto Clifton), and then it continues straight under the tracks as the bike lane.  The three cars all ignored those markings and drove in the bike lane up to Wilson.  Needs signage and bike symbols in the lane.  Maybe the green stuff too.

I was at the Mayor's Bicycle Adviser Committee (MBAC) meeting yesterday, CDOT said it has plans to finish marking the bike lanes on Broadway (From Montrose to Foster) before the end of the month.

+1.

Just move to Uptown 'bout a year and a half ago. That stretch on broadway needed that bad. Though I use Sheridan way more for commutes to and from downtown, Broadway gets a little sketchy around there. Almost as bad as Western (almost). 

Jeff Schneider said:

As an Uptown resident, I like this a lot...

Will this be maintained?  With all the emphasis on new bike lanes a lot of the older lanes are badly faded or very faintly marked. 

We'll need to come back to this discussion in a couple of year so see how well this is maintained....

I bike it every day and I find it much more bikable than Western (for what it's worth). The car volume is less and I feel like there is more space to work with. 

Adam Kitzmann said:

+1.

Just move to Uptown 'bout a year and a half ago. That stretch on broadway needed that bad. Though I use Sheridan way more for commutes to and from downtown, Broadway gets a little sketchy around there. Almost as bad as Western (almost). 

Jeff Schneider said:

As an Uptown resident, I like this a lot...


Can cars not drive in that lane at all? I assumed it was shared but I guess you are right given the markings.
JeffB (7+ miles) said:

Hopefully they're not done marking the lane.  As I was waiting to cross Broadway on Leland this morning I saw three cars driving in the lane.  Just south of Leland, before it goes under the tracks, the lane is marked as right-turn only (onto Clifton), and then it continues straight under the tracks as the bike lane.  The three cars all ignored those markings and drove in the bike lane up to Wilson.  Needs signage and bike symbols in the lane.  Maybe the green stuff too.

That's beautiful. It will make it much easier to get to the Target and other businesses near the Wilson red line.

It does looks like the entire lane under the L is for cyclists only. I like the markings, but I think it needs some signs too.

My experience is that these markings usually are on the right side  of the lane. For example on Clark between Belmont and Addison (or in fact in the photos above except under the pillars).  However underneath the pillars they implemented  the markings in the center of the lane, which is perhaps why you think it means no cars at all.  I'm sure one of the more knowledgeable folks here will clarify.

Jeff Schneider said:

I would assume that drivers can go into the lane in preparation for making a turn, as they are supposed to do.  For example, northbound on Broadway turning east on Leland would require this.

But if we on this forum are not sure, then I imagine the majority of drivers, who think very little about rules of the road in general, and about how to respect bike lanes, not at all, will be quite confused if they happen to notice the markings.

KL said:

That's beautiful. It will make it much easier to get to the Target and other businesses near the Wilson red line.

It does looks like the entire lane under the L is for cyclists only. I like the markings, but I think it needs some signs too.

You can find the plans here: http://chicagocompletestreets.org/your-streets/bikeways/proposed-pr...

At the "L"/Leland/Clifton, there will now be a right-turn only lane onto Clifton, with bikes only allowed to proceed in the right lane under the L. Northbound there's also a right-turn only lane, under the L, but that one's a "mixing zone" for bikes and cars. Overall, it's a huge change to the street, so will likely take people a few weeks to adjust, but after that this should significantly simplify traffic movements and help reduce the erratic lane changes and speeding that make Broadway scary.

And you have to remember that while something is still under construction, it is not complete -- it can take a week or so to install signs, bollards, etc., after first marking the street, so best to wait to see it done before judging it. Until it's done, we're likely to see more people still parking in the wrong spot and driving in the bike lane. Right now I'd suggest riding in it with extra caution like it's a construction zone, since you'll encounter more unpredictable behavior while it's incomplete.

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