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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.

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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.

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