Kinzie Bike Lane Nears Completion; Reduction in Risk of Chicago Cycling Accidents the Goal

As we recently reported on our Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, Chicago has started a new project to help improve bicycle safety on our city’s roadways. The first phase of this project started on Kinzie. The city chose to construct bicycle lanes here because bicyclists account for more than 20 percent of the traffic on that roadway. It was also chosen because it’s a very congested area and very hazardous to bicycle riders.
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“I promised the people of Chicago that we would create 100 miles of shared bike lanes in the city to ensure our transportation network supports diverse and affordable ways of getting around,” said Mayor Emanuel. “These bike lanes will help ensure that all Chicagoans can get to work and travel in their neighborhoods in the safest and most efficient fashion possible. It’s about making sure that every dollar we spend is focused on building a city that works for all of its residents.”

Our Chicago personal injury attorneys are happy to announce that the City of Chicago has almost completed the project. The project kicked off Monday, June 6th and is expected to be completed shortly. Kinzie Street is now home to the city’s first protected bike lane. This is the first 1/2-mile lane of Mayor Emanuel’s plan for 100 miles of protected lanes citywide.

During the summer months, bicyclists of all types hit the open road to get some exercise, enjoy the beautiful weather and to practice some earth friendly traveling habits. Now, bicyclists can do all three on a new protected bike lane that provides cyclists with exclusive space in the roadway by separating bicycle and motor-vehicle traffic.

“This is a major milestone for Chicago in terms of transportation,” said CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein. “No matter how someone wants to move around our city, they should be able to do so, and we are committed to finding every solution to advance the transportation system of the city of Chicago.”

More than 60 percent of the trips that Chicago travelers take are three miles or less. Chicago has been constructing eight additional miles of standard bike lanes each year, but has still continue to fall short of production in other major cities. These bike lanes are a part of a comprehensive effort to redefine the city’s bike and transportation plans.

The newly constructed bike lane sits adjacent to the curb. It is equipped with a lane width that varies between 5-1/2 to 7 feet wide. For safety reasons, the bike lane is separated from moving traffic by a 4-foot-wide buffer zone. This zone includes flexible posts that help delineate the lane.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were nearly 650 bicyclist fatalities resulting from motor-vehicle traffic accidents in the United States in 2009. There were an additional 51,000 bicyclists injured in these incidents. Bicyclist fatalities accounted for 2 percent of all traffic accident deaths for the entire year. Approximately 70 percent of all bicyclist fatalities occurred in rural areas. Illinois experienced approximately 20 bicyclist deaths in 2009 alone.

If you have been injured in a bicycling accident in Chicago, our Illinois bike accident attorneys at Abels & Annes offer free case evaluations to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

More Blog Entries:

Windy City Rated Near Top by Cyclists; Advocates Work to Reduce Risk of Chicago Bicycle Accidents , Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, June 13, 2011

Protected bike lanes coming to Chicago, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, June 8, 2011

Riders remain at high-risk for Chicago bicycle accidents , Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, March 2, 2011