Chicago to Add Concrete Barriers to All Protected Bike Lanes by 2023

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Chicago's protected bike lanes will soon have concrete curbs to separate riders from vehicles on the road, the city's department of transportation announced Wednesday.

In the biggest expansion of bike routes in Chicago, CDOT will begin installing the concrete barriers along Kinzie Street between Milwaukee and Wells.

By the end of the year, Chicago officials expect to add 25 miles of concrete-protected bike lanes, which is approximately four times the current total, according to CDOT.

All existing delineator-protected lanes should also be upgraded to concrete by the end of 2023, officials noted.

"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 Chicago Mayor Lori 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."

CDOT's goal is for 70% of all protected bike lanes citywide to include curb separation, the department said. Officials are expected to utilize a combination of traditional concrete curbs and pre-cast curbs for more efficient implementation.

“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.

Here are some bike lanes that will receive concrete barrier curbs this year:  

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 

By the end of 2022, CDOT is expected to have added more than 125 miles of new bikeways to the city system since 2020, which means Chicago should soon have more than 400 miles of on-street bikeways and off-street paths.

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