Chicago To Upgrade All Protected Bike Lanes to Concrete by End of 2023
Work to begin this week on largest expansion of concrete protected bike lanes in City history
Erica Schroeder 312.744.0707 | Erica.Schroeder@cityofchicago.org
CHICAGO – The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) today announced the installation of a new series of concrete curb-protected bike lanes, kicking off the biggest expansion and upgrade of low stress bike routes in City history. Funded by targeted investments from Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot’s Chicago Works capital plan, this week CDOT will begin installing new pre-cast concrete curbs along Kinzie Street between Milwaukee and Wells – Chicago’s first protected bike lane. By the end of this year, Chicago expects to add 25 miles of concrete-protected bike lanes – approximately four times the current total – and plans to upgrade all existing delineator-protected lanes to concrete by the end of 2023, providing significant safety and comfort improvements for all road users.
"Public safety is not only about our emergency response departments, it's also about creating infrastructure that makes the public way safer for all," said Mayor Lightfoot. "By leveraging funds from the Chicago Works Capital Plan, we are excited to kick off the largest bike lane upgrade the city has ever undertaken. I look forward to working with the Chicago Department of Transportation and Commissioner Biagi on this project and the many more to come."
“Barrier protected lanes are the best way to make biking a safer and more comfortable transportation option for everyone, and this year we’re adding more than ever,” said CDOT Commissioner Gia Biagi. “Thanks to dedicated funding from Mayor Lightfoot’s Chicago Works program, we’re making unprecedented safety upgrades to our bikeways network and will continue working with community stakeholders on building neighborhood bike networks to ensure that Chicago is a city where everyone has the option to ride a bike.”
In 2022, CDOT plans to upgrade 15 miles of existing protected bike lanes and add 10 miles of new protected bike lanes with concrete barrier curbs, vastly outpacing previous years. Incorporating concrete curb will be the standard for new protected bike lanes in Chicago and by the end of this year, CDOT’s target is for 70 percent of all protected bike lanes to include curb separation. Remaining protected bike lanes will be upgraded in 2023. CDOT will utilize a combination of traditional concrete curbs as well as pre-cast curbs to allow for a quicker and more efficient implementation. The pre-cast curbs will be constructed in various sizes to allow for concrete curb separation on narrower protected bike lanes. Along with adding more concrete-protected bike lanes than ever, Chicago will continue expanding its bike network into more neighborhoods, providing more people with safe, connected bikeways to get to all the places they want and need to travel.
Among the bike lanes that will receive concrete barrier curbs this year include:
Kinzie Street – Milwaukee to Wells
Lake Street – Pulaski to Damen
Logan Boulevard – Rockwell to Diversey
Milwaukee Avenue – Addison to Irving Park, Chicago to Division, and Kinzie to Ohio.
Independence Boulevard – Douglas to Harrison
Douglas Boulevard – Independence to Sacramento
119th Street – Ashland to Halsted and Major Taylor Trail
Chicago will soon have more than 400 miles of on-street bikeways and off-street paths. By the end of this year, CDOT will have added more than 125 miles of new bikeways to the system since 2020, surpassing Mayor Lightfoot’s goal of 100 new miles in her first term.