I recently biked along the city’s first protected bike lane. It happened to be the most direct route to get from work to the bar where I was meeting Ash for drinks. And it was amazing – all I hoped for and more.
These pictures really don’t do the lane justice. Most of the lane is next to the curb and separated from moving car traffic by flexible bollards and parked cars. It is wide and comfortable and felt totally safe. Not having to worry about how close drivers were passing on my left or watch out for opening car doors on my right was… I’m at a loss for words, I don’t know, it was pretty much the best thing ever. I biked this street a couple of times before the lane and the experience was extremely stressful and unpleasant. The difference the protected lane made is like night and day.
Here are two ladies who want more protected bike lanes:
This particular stretch is only .5 miles, but the city plans to install 25 miles of protected bike lanes by May 2012 and 100 miles by the end of the mayor’s first term. Cheers to Chicago’s new and growing bike infrastructure!
I plan to record a video next time I ride the lane, if I can tape my little digicam to my basket. You all gotta see this awesomeness in action.