As more and more people adopt bicycles in urban areas to avoid terrible car traffic, give the environment a break, and get a workout during their commute, bicycle commuting is also becoming more dangerous. Heavy traffic on the roads combined with poor separation and safety measures for bikers can turn some roads into extreme hazard zones, making cyclists think twice about what should be routine trips.
That's why eyes in a growing number of cities are turning to protected bike lanes, which shelter cyclists from traffic with the use of dividers like curbs, posts, bollards, or lanes of parked traffic, along with using special lights just for bikers. In Chicago, the Dearborn Street bike lane was just named Number One in the US for 2013, a remarkable achievement -- although some cyclists say the city can still do better.
Since this experiment with a protected lane has worked so well, it's safe to bet that Chicago concrete contractors will be hearing from the city as it works on more bicycle safety projects to make the city more pleasant for its two-wheelers.