What a Left-side Cycletrack Might Look Like

Posted by Steve in Infrastructure, News on February 22nd, 2012 – 1 Comment

Option 1 for Williams Ave presents the most ambitious proposal for Williams Ave to date, with a cycletrack-ish bikeway running on the left side of the street

One of the challenges with either left or right-aligned cycletracks is how to make turns across traffic.  In PBOT’s proposal, there would be right-turn turn boxes, but only at 1/3rd of the intersections. I was curious about how this would work, so Nick Falbo sent over this video from Steve Vance which demonstrates Chicago’s latest left-side protected bike lane.  It sure is helpful to see this sort of implementation in another American city.


  1. Ted says:

    Very nice.

    I see that “right turn waiting refuges” are located to the left of the cycletrack. Versus the current PBOT/Alta proposal for the N Williams Cycletrack, where they are to the right of the cycletrack.

    It’s an interesting choice.

    To the left is a little more conventional. You’re waiting the edge of the intersection, waiting to cross the entire street. Its a standard place to wait, you’re out of harms way of cars, you can back up and be on the sidewalk if things get sketchy. But, you need to cross an entire roadway — 40 feet wide. (8′ buffered bike lane, 8′ parking lane, 2 12′ driving lanes). You need to wait for a simultaneous gap in bike traffic and car traffic, which will incur longer delays.

    Too the right is less conventional, more exposed, but more expedient. You only need to wait for a gap in cars, and you only need to cross a 24′ roadway. But you’re also in a spot where vehicles (bikes or otherwise) are unexpected — with the front end of the vehicle 16′ out from the curb, inches away from passing cross traffic.

    I think I prefer the “Chicago” style to the proposed Williams style, just based on “safety before convenience”.

    But its an interesting question.

    Thanks for posting,
    Ted Buehler

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