The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) will take advantage of favorable weather this weekend to begin the installation of the Dearborn Street two-way barrier-protected bike lanes, beginning late Friday night, November 30th. It will be the first two-way bike route with dedicated bicycle traffic signals in Chicago.
“We are committed to improving the safety for all roadway users throughout Chicago,” said CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein. “The Dearborn Street barrier-protected bike lanes will provide bicyclists with a safe and comfortable route, making a key connection for people who commute via bicycle through the heart of the Loop.”
CDOT will begin work at Polk Street and continue north with the goal of completing the roadway striping this weekend and officially opening the new bike lanes by mid-December, weather permitting. The estimated construction schedule is as follows:
This stretch of Dearborn Street will continue to be one-way northbound for vehicle traffic. With this project, which Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced this summer, Dearborn will function as a two-way street for bicyclists, with southbound bicyclists located adjacent to the west curb and northbound bicyclists located between southbound bicyclists and parked cars. To install the protected bike lanes, one motor vehicle travel lane will be removed between Polk Street and Wacker Drive.
Every intersection will have bicycle traffic signals to provide guidance for southbound bicyclists, and to separate northbound bicyclists from motorists turning left off Dearborn Street onto westbound cross streets. The bike traffic signals were installed in mid-November, and will be activated when the bike lanes are complete.
“The Dearborn Street two-way protected bike lane project will balance roadway space to ensure pedestrians, transit users, bicyclists and motorists can travel along and across the street safely,” Klein said.
For motorists, new left turn lanes and dedicated left turn arrows at westbound cross streets will allow for more efficient turns off Dearborn. Loading zones will also be clearly marked to ensure their proper use.
CDOT has been working to notify the neighborhood about the Dearborn project through meetings with the surrounding businesses, neighborhood organizations and local elected officials.
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