A busy Chicago street now has a dedicated lane that will be shared by buses and bikes, but some riders, and bikers, have concerns about the safety of the arrangement.
The new lane, opened on Halsted Street between Division Street and Chicago Avenue, can only be used by those types of vehicles, and some riders feel that it’s inviting trouble.
“I think that’s a lot of hazards for bikes and buses because bikers don’t always pay a lot of attention to what’s going on, so I think it’s kind of dangerous,” bus rider Zikiya Ngubani said.
Chicago’s Department of Transportation launched this shared lane on Thursday. It is a part of a pilot program for the city aimed at keeping traffic flowing while the Chicago Avenue bridge is under construction.
Plastic barriers separate the shared lane from other traffic, and there’s a lot of it, as the corridor is the second-busiest bus route in the city.
“Everywhere I’m at, there is a lot of traffic, so I don’t think they should do this on Halsted because it is a lot of traffic,” bus rider Dede Henderson said.
The Chicago Transit Authority is instructing its bus drivers to keep an eye on bike riders, and to stay back from bicycles.
“I think it’s great that they are putting the markers in,” one pedestrian said. “But I just worry at night, especially if there are no reflectors on the bike.”
The bridge construction is expected to last at least three months, and if the shared lane concept proves to be successful, you may see more shared lanes coming to other parts of the city.”