DOWNTOWN — Just because Downtown is home to some of the city's first, and best, bike lanes doesn't mean people won't block them with their cars.
A DNAinfo Chicago analysis shows police have issued 107 tickets to motorists for parking in the buffered bike lanes along the 1100 block of South Wabash Avenue, the most ticketed of any Downtown block since 2010. Police wrote 64 such tickets in the 150 to 400 blocks of West Kinzie Street, and 51 in the 300 to 500 blocks of North Dearborn Street.
Data across the city shows police have been issuing more tickets for parking in bike lanes in recent years as dedicated lanes for bicyclists continue to materialize.
The city's first protected bike lane was built on Kinzie Street in 2011, with Dearborn's arriving a year later. The less-protected, buffered bike lane on Wabash stretches from Harrison Street to Cermak Road and was built in 2012. The city has added 106 miles of buffered or protected bike lanes since Mayor Rahm Emanuel took office in 2011, bringing the total up to 292 miles, city officials said.
Though tickets are going up, some bicyclist advocates say enough isn't being done. The city issued more than 12.2 million parking tickets between December 2010 and December 2015, and only about 1 in every 1,250 are for parking in bike lanes.
"These aren't huge numbers if you think about how big the city of Chicago is," said Yasmeen Schuller, president and owner of The Chainlink, a Chicago-based bike group.
The most ticketed area in the city historically was the 200 block of South Canal Street next to Union Station, where nearly 200 bike lane parking tickets have been issued since 2010. But such tickets have evaporated since construction began on the Loop Link project early last year, and the city's Department of Transportation replaced in-street bike lanes with protected ones.
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