Bike-specific stoplight, © 2013 Celia Her City

The 2-way bike lane

Last winter, South Dearborn in the Loop was reconfigured to make way for the first two-way bike lane in Chicago.

Dearborn bike lane, © 2013 Celia Her City

One of the parking lanes was moved away from the curb to create a protected space for the two-way passage of bikes.  To control the bike traffic, special stoplights for bicyclists were installed.  Except for one lane of cyclists traveling south (at the far right in this picture), the rest of the traffic, whether cars or bicycles, is traveling north.

The system is now ending its first busy season.  As far as I can tell it’s gone okay, though I have seldom seen many bikers using the route.

The abundance of signals can be confusing.  Lights for bikers may be green when those for cars are red, so everyone has to look carefully at the lights to be sure of following the right ones.

6 thoughts on “The 2-way bike lane

  1. Tons of cyclists use this bike lane–it’s one of the favorites (and even has it’s own twitter handle!)! I constantly hear people saying how much they love it, and want more across the city! I’ve only used it once since I live so far away, but it was pretty nice!

  2. I find that bike lane just totally confusing ! The few times I have driven through that area I try to use extra, extra caution.

    • It definitely takes some getting used to, especially if you are a motorist or pedestrian. In the northbound direction of travel, it’s not unusual for the stoplights on the left and right sides of the street to be different colors, as they govern the different types of thru-traffic and left-turners.

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