The Chainlink

Last spring, I got a Bicycling magazine that mentioned that Chicago had built raised bike lanes.  Here in Milwaukee, our bike planners are considering the idea and I'd like to find out from anybody that's used these lanes as to their benefits and drawbacks.  I'd like to know whether the City of Chicago has had any difficulty with street sweeping or snow clearance.  Because Milwaukee has a similar climate to Chicago, such information would be reliable in our decisions to build such a lane.

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No, I was referring to elevated bike lanes on the city streets. If the idea works in Chicago, other cities like Milwaukee would be prone to giving it a try.

Eduardo Acosta said:
Do you mean the elevated bike path, Bloomingdale Trail? Here's an article from May 2009.

http://www.re-nest.com/re-nest/travel/chicago-rail-to-be-transforme...
I feel like I remember riding on some lanes like that in Madison. At the very least Madison had seperated bike lanes around the university. Madison also has lights in the downtown area just for bikes, plus exceptions on one way streets for cyclists...not to mention a ton of off street bike trails. I think that would be a better inspiration than Chicago.
These lanes aren't separated by a barrier, but they're raised a few inches higher than the car lanes.

Samantha said:
I haven't seen any separated bike lanes O.o....
I believe the only raised bike lanes installed in the U.S. are in Bend, OR and Eugene, OR. For a little more info, see the case study on the Eugene installation.
David said:
If I'm not mistaken, they were part of the Bike 2010 plan also.
In the Bike 2015 plan, the measure for raised lanes includes "Identify 3-5 potential locations by 2006". Does anyone know if this was done, and if so, what were the locations?

The Bike 2010 Plan became the 2015 plan -- and could become the 2020 plan at the rate that goals like that are being missed.

I've seen a few cyclepaths at sidewalk or almost-sidewalk level in Vancouver and Montreal, but nothing in the in-between not-yet-curb-height that you're talking about. I'd imagine that they would require a second pass by the snowplows. That's exactly what Copenhagen does, and does quite well, but it should go without saying that Denmark's taxes are almost twice as high as America's as a % of GDP.
For a few blocks on the one-way Westbound section of University Avenue as it goes through the heart of the University of Wisconsin there is an Eastbound bike-only lane to the far North.


Here we are seeing the lane coming towards the camera (Eastbound) and the cars heading away (Westbound).

Further to the right is another Bus/Bike lane heading Westbound. The city wanted to run bikes both ways on the road but cars just Westbound so they put in the barrier.

A little bit of trivia: Back in the 70's they used to run buses down the other side before there was any bike lanes and drove them on the wrong side of the road due to the way the roads were laid out it was more convenient that way. A lot of pedestrians got hit by buses as they didn't look right before stepping off the curb to see the bus running down the wrong side of the road.

jamimaria said:
I feel like I remember riding on some lanes like that in Madison. At the very least Madison had seperated bike lanes around the university. Madison also has lights in the downtown area just for bikes, plus exceptions on one way streets for cyclists...not to mention a ton of off street bike trails. I think that would be a better inspiration than Chicago.
My Dad says they had separated bike lanes in Champaign at U of I since the seventies... So why does it take will 2010...15...20 here?

We'll have to see if the next mayor even bothers with the lip service to the bike community like Daley does. The next one may just flat out say bike 2015 is now bike never. Of course that is not all that different from daley anyway...
All it takes is for Daley to pay lip service and all the bicyclists I know start slobbering over how pro-bike he is...

Whatever.

Jason W said:
My Dad says they had separated bike lanes in Champaign at U of I since the seventies... So why does it take will 2010...15...20 here?

We'll have to see if the next mayor even bothers with the lip service to the bike community like Daley does. The next one may just flat out say bike 2015 is now bike never. Of course that is not all that different from daley anyway...

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