The Chainlink

They are building concrete protected bike lanes which are "supposed" to be open by the end of summer...do you think this is an improvement or no?

http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20150701/old-town/construction-under...

http://chicago.curbed.com/archives/2015/07/02/clybourn-protected-bi...

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The one thing that gives me pause about protected bike lanes in general is that most of the accidents involving car/bike happens in the intersection. When on a protected bike lane, how visible are the bikes? Do the cars see the bikes in time before the intersections? 

I hope studies are done to see how effective these are as well as campaigns to humanize cyclists more to motorists (more of a general comment). 

While accidents may happen in the intersection, I think many people don't like riding next to moving cars.  The hope is that providing separation between bikes and moving cars will encourage more people to get on a bicycle and ride, which will lead to safety in numbers.

Of course, an isolated protected lane still won't get much use if the streets to get there aren't perceived as safe.

If memory serves me, the fatal hit that happened right on that stretch of Clybourn took place not on the intersection.

Indeed, even a low curb is effective against a car that doesn't make a perpendicular hit.

I think the design of having cement curbs on both sides might not be the best idea because you have nowhere to go if you need to swerve to avoid a pedestrian or glass, or ?

I would take that a step further and say having bike lanes between parked cars and the sidewalk is inherently flawed, whether separated by curb or plastic bollards. Glass and other debris doesn't get swept to the curb by passing cars, ice in the winter can form more easily because you don't get the heat of cars melting it, and there is the added bonus of pedestrians needing to get between said parked cars and the sidewalk. That's not even mentioning the higher risk of getting a right hook since drivers can't see you nearly as well. 

I rarely have pedestrians suddenly step in front of me on traditional bike lanes. Happens once or twice a month on Kinzie. I stopped taking Des Plaines south of Kinzie because of the right hook risks. And then you have organizations like ATA supporting and encouraging these abominations. 

Ok I'm done.  :)  

Agreed on all counts. These things are a recipe for not only right hooks but for bike-on-pedestrian crashes, especially if they see any serious volume of bike traffic, as people try to get between their parked cars and the sidewalk.

Yeah what about the ice? 

and what about debri clean up? I dont think a street sweeper or a salt truck  is going to fit in that bike lane. It is going to be twice the work to maintain which then increases taxes. Business have to pissed off...no parking. Not the great way to make friends

http://www.johnstonsweepers.com/product-range/selected-product.php?...

There are smaller sized street sweepers available for use by municipalities in situations like this.
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Yes, an improvement. It is a huge step forward in that Clybourn is under IDOT jurisdiction. The fact that one of the first actually physically protected bike lanes is going in on that street should mean that getting at least painted lanes/road diets on other IDOT streets will be less of a struggle. 

After riding this a few times heading northbound on Clybourn Ive made the following observations:

1) There is a lot of broken glass

2) Ive seen both cars and bikes turn northbound onto Larabee and cross right in front of bikes heading northbound in the bike lane without so much as realizing there is oncoming traffic in the bike lane.

3) Its really hard to navigate around a slower rider with a huge bike 

4) There have been several times Ive had to give a heads up to groups of several walkers or joggers who are using the bike lane for non-biking activities

5) Cyclists using the bike lane that are re-merging with the main lane of traffic are not always looking southbound to see if another cyclist is approaching

All in all...Im not feeling too good about this right now.  Will reevaluate when its completely done.

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