On state roads in Chicago, IDOT wants to properly collect evidence about bike lanes

Chicago may be interested in building 100 miles of bike lanes but the state of Illinois wants to slow down the process on state roads in the city in order to collect more data:

But in many of the selected locations, sections of the roadways fall under state jurisdiction. The Illinois Department of Transportation won’t allow protected bicycle lanes to go on state-designated routes until it is satisfied they are safe, officials said.

IDOT will collect at least three years’ worth of traffic accident data and then make a determination based on the analysis, officials said, adding that the existing information is inadequate because protected bike lanes are new here…

Claffey said IDOT has safety concerns that include the visibility of cyclists at intersections and operational issues like maintenance and snow-removal around protected bike lanes. Approving protected bike lanes for Chicago would open the floodgates to allowing all other local governments in the state to do the same, he said.

“We are also concerned about losing traffic lanes,” Claffey said, noting that protected bike lanes require more space than traditional bike lanes.

In Illinois, it seems safe to ask if there is something else going on behind the scenes. But, if IDOT is claiming in part that they need more data about safety, isn’t this typically a persuasive argument when it comes to roads?

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