Bicycling will play a critical role in Chicago’s economic future. It will help current and future residents traverse the City and attract new employers. Making bicycling safer and more convenient will increase bicycling activity which will have positive impacts on the quality of life for the people of Chicago including:
– Improved physical health
– Reduced transportation costs
– Increased economic development
Chicago’s Streets for Cycling Plan 2020, published in December 2012, sets forth a bold blueprint to implement Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s vision of a world-class bike network in Chicago: the best bid city for bicycling in the United States. The Plan identifies a 645-mile bike network of innovative bikeways that will allow all Chicagoans, from eight years old to eighty and beyond, to feel safe and comfortable bicycling on city streets.
The Plan’s network was developed using three guiding principles:
– Provide a bicycle accommodation within 1/2 mile of every Chicago resident
– Provide a greater number of bikeways where more people live
– Increase the amount of infrastructure where ridership is high, while establishing a strong backbone of infrastructure where ridership is currently lower, but has the potential to grow
A robust public outreach process was conducted, including citywide public meetings and community advisory groups. The recommended network builds on Chicago’s existing on-street bikeways, which are discussed in the Plan.