What’s It Like to Bike to Work on Separated Lanes? “Awesome.”

Dottie at Network blog Let’s Go Ride a Bike has had an experience I think most of us would envy.

A new separated bike lane in Chicago makes one woman's commute a joy. Photo: ##http://letsgorideabike.com/blog/2012/08/a-separated-bike-lane-commute/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+lgrab+%28Let%27s+Go+Ride+a+Bike%29## Let's Go Ride a Bike##

Recently Dottie had a chance to bike to work on a route of fully and partially separated infrastructure, thanks to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s campaign to add 100 miles of buffered cycle lanes.

So, what’s that like?

I love it! Biking down this wide industrial road with fast traffic is now easy as pie. Bikes have their own area and cars seem to respect it.

Intersections and parking lot entrances are marked with green paint to remind drivers to watch for bicyclists. Some stretches of the lane have car parking to the left, providing real protection from moving traffic.

After a while, the separated lane ends and turns into a buffered lane, which is also new. Although this design forces bicyclists to watch out for opening car doors and cars pulling out of parking spaces, there is a lot of breathing room that helps bicyclists feel more comfortable.

Biking my entire commute on mostly separated bike lanes was awesome. I’m excited for the city to create more of these safer lanes.

By year’s end, Chicago will have added 22 miles of protected bike lanes in 2012, bringing the city’s overall total to 33, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. That would put Emanuel slightly ahead of schedule in his goal to add 100 miles of separated cycling infrastructure in his first term.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Transit Miami explains that 11 crashes over the last few years on a single road haven’t yet inspired the Florida Department of Transportation to act to improve safety. The FABB Blog shares a pretty great newspaper editorial from a woman who explains how cycling changed her life for the better. And The Political Environment analyzes dueling op-eds debating whether transit accommodations should be included in Wisconsin’s ongoing highway-building bonanza.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Critical Mass: Good for Cycling or Bad PR?

|
There’s been a lot of discussion in the blogosphere lately about the merits of Critical Mass, the long-running, monthly group ride that has taken hold in cities around the world since its debut in San Francisco nearly 20 years ago. In many cities, Critical Mass has been a powerful force for building a community of cyclists. […]

Look Out Portland, New York, Minneapolis: Here Comes Chicago

|
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is wasting no time making good on his campaign promise to make Chicago a world-class cycling city. Just 24 days after his swearing-in ceremony, Chicago has its first bike box. The new mayor and his department of transportation head, Gabe Klein, formerly of DC, held a press conference Tuesday at the site […]

Will Dallas Climb Out of the Bike-Friendly Cellar?

|
Bicycling Magazine recently delved into the question of what makes a bike-friendly city, and of all the places they rated, Dallas came out at the bottom. But maybe it won’t stay there for long. Network blog Bike Friendly Oak Cliff (reporting from suburban Dallas) took a closer look at how the Big D is faring. […]