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Plan Contents

Executive Summary


Chapter 1
Bikeway Network

Chapter 2
Bicycle-friendly Streets

Chapter 3
Bike Parking

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6
Marketing and
Health Promotion

Chapter 7
Law Enforcement
and Crash Analysis

Chapter 8
Bicycle Messengers





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Chapter 6

Objective One
Promote the health benefits of bicycling.


1.1 Establish a Health and Transportation Task Force. More than 1.2 million Chicago residents have sedentary or irregular activity lifestyles.2 Bicycling provides moderate physical activity on a regular basis. Increasing activity levels contributes to the prevention and management of over 20 conditions and diseases including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, weight management, and positive mental health.3 While there is an emerging consensus that our transportation system contributes to this health crisis, specific interventions and measures have not been well defined. The Health and Transportation Task Force will be charged with reviewing the objectives, developing health performance measures for this plan, identifying funding opportunities, and spearheading action. Joint sponsors: the Department of Public Health, Chicago Department of Transportation, and the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Council.
1.1.1 Performance Measures: Establish a Health and Transportation Task Force in 2006. Develop health performance measures and determine the requirements of the Bike to Health campaign by 2007.
1.1.2 Best Practice: State of Washington, Active Transportation Coalition (Washington State Department of Health, Washington State Department of Transportation, Bicycle Alliance of Washington)
1.2 Stage a Bike to Health campaign to promote bicycling. Promote the health benefits of bicycling in local health marketing, education initiatives, and employee wellness programs. Integrate bicycling information and resources into such programs as the Mayor’s Fitness Council, the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC), and Transportation that is Active and Safe for Kids (TASK), to reach more people and reduce costs. Encourage youth to bicycle, to establish a healthy activity that can be sustained throughout their lives. Involve hospitals and the health care industry, targeting health care clients and professionals.
1.2.1 Performance Measures: Stage 2 – 3 joint Department of Public Health and Chicago Department of Transportation press events on bicycling and health per year, beginning in 2006. Stage an annual Bike to Health campaign, beginning in 2008. Incorporate bicycling into 3 – 5 health initiatives per year, beginning in 2008.
1.2.2 Best Practices: British Medical Association, Ride for Health campaign; Glasgow, Scotland, Healthy Transport Makes Sense campaign; Western Australia, Department of Health, Find 30 campaign
1.3 Establish a free “Sunday Parkway” bicycle ride along a network of streets closed to motorized traffic. Hold on Sunday mornings and early afternoons to encourage families to engage in physical activity. A ride linking Chicago parks along the boulevards is recommended as an introductory route. Closures of cross streets are unnecessary since participants, with the help of volunteer marshals, will stop at signalized intersections. Augment street closures with fitness and health events in parks and other locations along the route. If successful, expand to other Sundays and other streets.
1.3.1 Performance Measures: Prepare a feasibility study, promotional plan, and financial analysis in 2006. Stage a pilot ride in 2006. Survey the riders and participating city agencies, to determine how to make the event more successful.
1.3.2 Best Practices: Bogotá, Colombia, Sunday Ciclovia; Guadalajara, Mexico, Via RecreActiva
1.4 Partner with community health programs to promote bicycling to Chicago’s minority youth. African-American and Latino children in Chicago are disproportionately burdened by obesity. Partner with organizations to promote bicycling in public health programs for minority youth (e.g., the YMCA’s Healthy Kids Camp).
1.4.1 Performance Measure: Promote bicycling in 3 community health programs targeting minority youth by 2008.
1.4.2 Best Practice: San Francisco, CA, Presidio Community YMCA

Possible Funding

Federal and state transportation programs including the Surface Transportation Program; Department of Public Health; Chicago Department of Transportation; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; local foundations; public and private health agencies; health insurance providers; Chicagoland Bicycle Federation; Bikes Belong Coalition; event sponsors; YMCA.

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