Monday, June 6, 2011

Thrilled About Seeing the New Protected Lane Cycletrack

Bad cellphone picture looking west, up the hill, at the new eastbound lane.
The playground is on the left.  The supermarket is at the top
of the hill. There will be a painted lane on the other side.

Same view with blurry workmen putting in the lane. 
After the school drop this morning I headed out for breakfast with our friend Ash and then off to ride the area by the new cycletrack from Kinzie and Milwaukee to Wells with my small guy. I'm amazed at how fast it's going in.  The CDOT guys were joking that they have been working overtime and the workmen joked they would have it done tomorrow.  They kindly answered my million and one questions about the lane.

Importantly, the lane skirts both the playground and the Jewel supermarket at the top of the hill, so it covers some of what we constantly whine about. There seems to be plenty of mixed density around it and it will hopefully attract both neighborhood riders and the traffic from Milwaukee moving into the Loop. We rode back and forth, mostly along the eastgoing side. It will be a two way lane going East on protected cycle track (downhill) and the West will be a typical bike lane since Blommers Chocolate needs their loading area on the north side of Kinzie.

As Steven Vance mentions -- and others commenting on Steven Can Plan -- they could improve the bridge considerably by cementing the lane across the bridge. The protected lane ends and merges into a regular painted bike lane on Wells going south.  We rode south on Wells and looped back on our ride to Kinzie. There are plenty of beautiful bridges on the ride. Steve has great pictures from earlier this morning and my little camera phone ones are up above.

The lucky families around the lane will be able to take kids on their own bikes over to the Donut Vault, though the trip home might be tricky in the westbound lane. If ridership on this new lane will lead someone to build more fast tracked protected city lanes, we'll be on that thing every day! !  It's .53 miles down and 1.47 more to go to reach the mayor's first goal of 2 miles. He's got a running start after all.

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