South Loop bike lane upgrades begin with parking concerns met
July 5, 2019

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) has announced and begun changes to South Loop bicycle lanes.

Workers are constructing concrete curbs between bicycle and vehicle lanes on Harrison Street from Desplaines Street to Wabash Avenue. The curbs will not remove any lanes of traffic on Harrison.

The City also will add a bicycle lane on Polk Street between Dearborn Street and Plymouth Court, with a concrete curb like that on Harrison. The Polk Street lane will jog down to 9th Street to allow bicyclists to access the lakefront.

CDOT created the plans in 2017 but delayed construction until addressing 4th Ward Alderman Sophia King’s concern over the lanes’ effect on parking. King held a public meeting May 7 during which CDOT presented its latest plans.

“The bike lane work is underway now on Harrison and on the Polk/Plymouth project; we expect it will be complete by the middle of June,” said Mike Claffey, director of public affairs for CDOT. “The overall goal is to improve safety for bike riders and also connectivity between the West Loop and the University of Illinois at Chicago campus via the Harrison Street bike lane to the South Loop and on to the lakefront. The Polk project also extends the Dearborn bike lane further south and east to the lakefront and Museum Campus, via 9th Street.”

King could not be reached for comment.

For more information, contact CDOT at https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/cdot.html

—Dan Kolen