Did You Know?

The Chicago region’s current hub-and-spoke transit system leaves nearly half a million Cook County residents stranded in transit deserts.

Enjoying my commute from Oak Park with protected bike lanes

Bike to Work Week gets an upgrade this year with the installation of more buffered/protected bike lanes around Chicago that will help people ages 8 to 80 get around town by bike.

Of course, these innovative bike lanes are a huge benefit for commuters.

On my recent commute from Oak Park to Active Trans’ downtown office, I took Washington Avenue westbound. A traditional bike lane starts at Central Avenue and I took that to another bike lane on Central Park Avenue — in Garfield Park — north to Lake Street where new buffered/protected lanes have been added between Central Park Avenue and Damen Avenue.

The Lake Street lanes are nearly completed, and while there were a few cars parked in the lanes (see below), most cars were parked in their new spots away from the curb and bike lane.

The new lanes are a huge improvement! The city is eyeing the Lake Street corridor as a Bike Superhighway from downtown to the border with Oak Park.

See where new innovative lanes are planned for this year, and the city's draft 2020 plan.

At Damen Avenue, I rode north and took Hubbard Street east until I could pick up the Kinzie Street protected bike lane at Milwaukee Avenue and on to the Active Trans office in River North.

A great ride, with protected lanes covering 2.5 miles — and more planned for the future!

If you would like to commute with others between the West Side or Western Suburbs and downtown, join the Westside Commuters Group by emailing

While she was getting on the Green Line in East Garfield Park at the Central Park station, Active Trans staffer Cynthia Bell snapped the accompanying photo of a car parked in the protected bike lane on Lake Street.

We’re hoping drivers will soon get the hang of the new parking arrangements near protected bike lanes. If you see a car parked in a protected bike lane, call 311 to report it.