By Jon Hilkevitch
February 27, 2011
A new type of bike lane is being designed for Chicago to boost the confidence of cyclists that it’s safe to ride on streets without fear of being struck by vehicles.
The special lane is called a cycle track, and it’s unlike the regular marked bicycle lanes that run next to vehicle traffic lanes and are separated only by paint on pavement.
The key to a cycle track is a physical barricade, such as a construction Jersey barrier or a raised concrete planter box located to the left of the bikes-only lane. The curb or a sidewalk would exist to the right of the cycle track, and all motorized vehicles — whether moving or parked — would be on the left of the cycle track barricade.
The Chicago Department of Transportation recently received a $3.2 million federal grant to build and test a cycle track. A section of Stony Island Avenue, between 69th and 77th streets, was selected for the experiment.