Ambitious cycling plan would put Chicago in forefront of active transportation

December 14, 2012

Flickr/Chicago Bicycle Program
Rendering of Jackson Boulevard Protected Bike Lane from the Chicago Bicycle Program.

Shortly after taking office, Mayor Rahm Emanuel pledged to create 100 miles of protected bike paths within his first term. The first such lanes were installed on Kinzie within his first 100 days in office.

On Friday, City Hall released their comprehensive plan for cycling while celebrating the opening of around 30 miles of protected lanes.

A stretch of Dearbon Street in the Loop opened the city's first two-way protected bike lane Friday. It's also the first protected lane in the downtown business district.

Even more significant, the Mayor's office and the Chicago Department of Transportation released their comprehensive Streets for Cycling Plan 2020. The entire plan is embedded below, but here are the main points of the plan:

  • The goal is 645 mile network of on-street bikeways.
  • "Everyone should have the opportunity to ride and feel safe on our City’s streets, from an eight year old just learning to ride their bike to an eighty year old who rides to the store."
  • System built on Neighborhood Bike Routes, Crosstown Bike Routes and Spoke Routes.
  • All Chicagoans will be within 1/2 mile of a bicycle facility.
  • Spoke Routes intended for commuting will be installed on Clark Street, Milwaukee Avenue, Lake Street/Randolph Street, Archer Avenue, Vincennes Avenue, South Chicago Avenue, State Street/Wabash Avenue.
  • "The majority of the implementation through the year 2015 will befunded through a $32 million grant that was provided through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program, matched by $8 million in local funds."

The plan is attracting plenty of attention, both positive and negative. How do you feel about the city's efforts?

Chicago Streets for Cycling 2020

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