This past April, Alderman Brendan Reilly suggested that the protected bike lanes on Kinzie Street in the River West neighborhood be temporarily removed to ease traffic congestion from the massive construction effort at Wolf Point, but CDOT has confirmed that it will leave the popular bike lanes in place. After floating the suggestion earlier this year, Alderman Reilly received pushback from bicycle commuters, urban planners and business owners in the area. The Active Transportation Alliance claims that it was able to mobilize over 1,400 people to contact City Council through email to request that the bike lanes remain in place. In addition, the organization says that a written appeal to Alderman Reilly received the endorsement of 50 business owners.
According to Streetsblog Chicago, CDOT has even filled in some potholes in recent weeks. The decision is a major win for the growing number of bicycle commuters who rely on the stretch of protected bicycle lanes for getting to and from work in the Loop. While Milwaukee Avenue takes the top spot for bicyclists, Streetsblog says that Kinzie is the city's second busiest street for cyclists. While urban planners and proponents of alternative transportation methods applaud the city's decision, some say that the protected bike lanes could use some big improvements. The Active Transportation Alliance is asking the city to repave the bike lanes and to provide more durable physical barriers that provide more protection over the plastic bollards that line the street.
·CDOT & Reilly Reach a Consensus on Kinzie: The Protected Lanes Will Remain [Streetsblog Chicago]
·Kinzie Street protected bike lane will stay! [Active Transportation Alliance]
·Fun with Urban Planning archives [Curbed Chicago]