For Immediate Release:
Friday, October 25, 2013

Contact:
Max Muller, Active Transportation Alliance, max@activetrans.org 312-869-2629

Active Trans applauds announcement of first protected bike lane on a state-controlled road

Chicago, IL—The Active Transportation Alliance applauded today’s announcement by Chicago 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett that the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Chicago DOT will install the first protected bike lane on a state-controlled road.  The bike lane will be a pilot project on Clybourn Avenue, which is in Burnett’s ward.  IDOT had previously prohibited protected bike lanes on state routes during a review stage.

Alderman Burnett made the announcement at an event this afternoon to unveil a new memorial roadway sign in honor of bicycling advocate Bobby Cann. Cann was hit and killed by a car while riding his bike on Clybourn Avenue where the protected bike lane will be installed.  The driver is alleged to have been driving under the influence.

“Protected bike lanes have a long track record of making streets safer for everyone—pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists alike,” said Ron Burke, Executive Director of the Active Transportation Alliance.  “It’s fitting that the lane be installed on Clybourn where Bobby was killed and where cars too often drive fast.”

Protected Bike Lanes use physical barriers to separate people riding bikes from motorized traffic. In doing so, they address the number one concern many people have about cycling: proximity to motorized traffic. In addition, protected bike lanes make streets safer for motorists, people on foot and people on bikes alike by creating more order on the street.

“State routes in Chicago are some of the best streets for Protected Bike Lanes because they are popular cycling routes and wide enough to accommodate the bike lanes,“ said Burke. “Protected bike lanes on state routes will help reduce all types of traffic crashes.”

Active Trans advocates for protected bike lanes because they are safer and allow people of all ages to feel more comfortable biking on city streets. By giving people on bikes and in cars their own defined spaces, protected bike lanes reduce conflicts, decrease sidewalk riding, increase driver adherence to speed limits, and result in more predictable and responsible behavior by all road users.

They also reduce traffic congestion. Chicago’s first protected bike lane on Kinzie Street—which conveys more people on bikes than in cars during the morning rush hour—increased bicycle ridership by 55 percent with no impact on car travel times.

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