The Chainlink

Red Lights for Bikes: Sure Thing or Stupid Nuisance? Tawlk amongst yourselves!

ON WBEZ's 848 this morning, Tony Sarabia chatted with Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein about Chicago’s newest protected bike lane that will run along Dearborn Street in the Loop and will include red lights for bikes.  More details here!

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Another traffic signal for some cyclists to ignore...

Assuming that the red lights will be placed where there are already red lights....it seems like a bit of a waste. Cyclist who ignore them, will probably continue to ignore them and cyclist who heed them, will probably continue to heed them.

"The new protected lane on Dearborn will have bicycle signals. Bikes also will have to halt when motorized traffic when gets a right turn arrow, which prevents turning cars from hitting cyclists."

 

 

I've always thought that turning arrows should be used more around the city, especially in the loop.  It would greatly reduce pedestrian conflict and gridlock.  

 

It seems to me common sense to yield to traffic with a light, especially in the loop.  When I run a red its only when there is no approaching traffic.  A red light never physically stopped anybody, and unfortunately people who don't think safety is important will continue to ignore signals. 

If nothing else, will provide an interesting experiment.

 

The Dearborn PBL will definitely be two-way for bikes, while Dearborn is of course, one way for cars. I'm pretty sure the PBL will be on the left side of Dearborn, given that there are about 7 bus routes that run on the right side of the street. So there will have to be a red signal for all bikes while Dearborn drivers are given a green left turn arrow. During that green left for drivers, bicyclists will basically be expected to act like pedestrians, and allow the car traffic to turn until the arrow is red again. Of course, some bicyclists might try to ignore that, just as some pedestrians do currently when drivers are given a green right turn arrow (i.e on State St turning onto Washington), but I think it will be the exception.

 

Also, why is everyone calling these "Red Lights for Bikes"? They will have yellow and green phases, too, and their purpose is to help lessen confusion for all street users, and encourage bicycling. I suggest we refer to them as "Green Lights for Bikes".

After the bike lane lights this is the plan for the Lakefront Trail.

Tanks on The Beach

How about we call them bicyclist traffic light, just there are pedestrian traffic lights?

Michelle Stenzel said:

The Dearborn PBL will definitely be two-way for bikes, while Dearborn is of course, one way for cars. I'm pretty sure the PBL will be on the left side of Dearborn, given that there are about 7 bus routes that run on the right side of the street. So there will have to be a red signal for all bikes while Dearborn drivers are given a green left turn arrow. During that green left for drivers, bicyclists will basically be expected to act like pedestrians, and allow the car traffic to turn until the arrow is red again. Of course, some bicyclists might try to ignore that, just as some pedestrians do currently when drivers are given a green right turn arrow (i.e on State St turning onto Washington), but I think it will be the exception.

 

Also, why is everyone calling these "Red Lights for Bikes"? They will have yellow and green phases, too, and their purpose is to help lessen confusion for all street users, and encourage bicycling. I suggest we refer to them as "Green Lights for Bikes".

All of these new initiatives - bike stop lights, protected bike lanes - will take a while for drivers and cyclists to get used to, but you have to start somewhere. Over 10 years ago Mayor Daley added the first painted bike lanes and drivers (and cyclists) didn't seem to know how to treat them. Now, after years of experience, I think the bike lanes and cyclists are an accepted part of the street. If only the city would keep the lanes painted and cyclists would stay in them.

Registering  your bike with a license plate will be next.   A small fee to cover "costs" -just like for car licenses...

Yes, because motor vehicle licensing and registration already works so well to keep scofflaws off the street.

:-D  Exactly!

Jennifer said:

Yes, because motor vehicle licensing and registration already works so well to keep scofflaws off the street.

I know I'll catch shit for this, especially from Doug :), but I've supported licensing and feeing/taxing for a long time because once they do that they have to at least start listening to us!

James BlackHeron said:

Registering  your bike with a license plate will be next.   A small fee to cover "costs" -just like for car licenses...

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