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Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today that the City of Chicago has surpassed its goal of installing 100 miles of protected bike lanes, completing 103 miles to date, and is committed to building a network of over 50 miles of more lanes over the next four years.
“Investing in bike lanes is essential to growing Chicago’s economy and improving our quality of life,” said Mayor Emanuel. “We have made tremendous progress toward expanding our bicycle network for all Chicagoans, and we will continue to work towards making Chicago the most bike-friendly city in America.”
Since 2011, Chicago has installed 103 miles of protected bicycle lanes – more than any other city in America -- and now has 292 miles of designated bike lanes. This achievement, along with other major investments in bicycling – such as the expansion of Divvy Bike Share, sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield, to 475 stations, the opening of the 606/Bloomingdale Trail, and the start of construction on the Navy Pier Flyover – now has Chicago recognized as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the United States. Bicycling Magazine named Chicago the #2 Bike-Friendly City in their latest rankings (fall 2014) and the number of Chicagoans riding their bikes to work is at an all-time high and growing faster than any other mode of transportation in the city.
“Protected bike lane projects are making streets safer and more comfortable to ride on, walk on, and drive on,” said Rebekah Scheinfeld, CDOT Commissioner. “Where protected lanes have been installed, we have seen a reduction in traffic crashes for all modes of transportation.”
For example, since the 55th Street barrier protected bike lane was installed in 2012, overall crashes have been reduced by 32%, and CDOT is finding similar safety improvements on other streets with protected bike lanes. These projects are an important way that CDOT is working to reach its “Zero in Ten” goal of eliminating all traffic fatalities in Chicago by 2022.
CDOT will continue to strengthen and improve connectivity of Chicago’s existing bike network so that bicycling continues to grow and serve as a safe and enjoyable way to travel around our city. Over the next four years, CDOT will focus on building a network of over 50 miles of “better bike lanes” – or low-stress bikeways that any Chicagoan – regardless of age or ability – can ride on and feel safe doing so. Better bike lanes will include new off-street connections, upgrading existing protected bike lanes, building new neighborhood greenways and protected bike lanes, and making safety improvements at key intersections.
Chicago now has a 292-mile bikeway network in all 50 wards, consisting of the following:
94 miles of bike lanes
83.5 miles of buffer protected bike lanes
46 miles of off-street trails
48.75 miles of marked shared lanes
19.5 miles of barrier protected bike lanes
1.5 miles of neighborhood greenways