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City Introduces New Curb-Protected Bike Lanes

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The city of Chicago has introduced raised curbs to separate cars and bicycles.

The new curbs are now on Sacramento between Douglas Boulevard and Ogden Avenue in Douglas Park.

CBS 2's Jim Williams reports the curb-protected bike lane is a half-foot high, two feet wide, offering more protection for bicyclists. But not everyone thinks it is a good idea.

Every day, Remi Adeleye says he is on his bike using the marked lanes is for bikes only.

He says he has had close calls with cars "almost every day."

Cars, trucks and buses do occasionally move into bike lanes, sometimes running over safety poles.

"There are some aggressive drivers around here," said Adeleye.

The city's latest effort to keep bicyclists safe is curb-protected bike lanes. The first stretch is along Sacramento in Douglas Park between Ogden and Roosevelt.

Jim Merrell of the Active Transportation Alliance applauds the effort.

"Just like sidewalks for people who are walking, protected bike lanes are great because they provide a dedicated space for people riding bikes," Merrell said.

Drivers, though, like Ned Englehart believe fewer lanes for cars tie up traffic.

"It's really tough to get around and so people take big chances driving," he said. "They'll drive in the bike lanes to get around the flow of traffic and I don't think it works to tell you the truth."

Bike advocates insist bike lanes create more order for everyone.

"It can actually make it less stressful for drivers and improve the traffic flow," Merrell said.

We showed the curbed lane to bicyclist Remi Adeleye, who says he would welcome it.

Not every bike lane in Chicago will be protected by the curbs. The only other one planned now is for Clybourn Avenue between Division and North Avenue. Two years ago, a drunk driver a killed bicyclist there.

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