Bicyclists, like any other loosely defined "community" of individuals, like to complain about stuff. And I have already heard concerns among bicyclists over the new cycle track. Some worry -- not unreasonably -- that funneling riders into a insulated space will make getting around by bike slower, less enjoyable. The cycle track, some fear, will get clogged with slower riders, and that it will be difficult for quicker riders to pass due to the presence of the segregating barriers. Some of those concerned about being forced to "go Dutch" have declared an intent to simply ignore the cycle track, to ride Kinzie in the regular lane of traffic. Well, not so fast. Once the Kinzie cycle track is complete, riding in it will be required for bicyclists, not an option. Section 9-52-020 of Chicago's Municipal Code states,
(d) Whenever a usable path for bicycles has been provided adjacent to a roadway, bicycle riders shall use such path and shall not use the roadway.The only time when a bicyclist may arguably avoid the cycle track will be if its use is not feasible, i.e. due to the collection of snow or debris. Otherwise, it must be utilized when traveling that stretch of Kinzie.
I like going fast. I am guessing there are going to be times during my commute when I am frustrated because I am behind a slow poke in flip flops on a cruiser carrying 25 plastic bags of junk. But I am hoping that will happen rarely, and in any event is a fair trade-off for not constantly fearing for my life while trying to get to work in the morning.