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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
Marketing and Health Promotion

Bicycling is a healthy, fun activity and a convenient, inexpensive way to travel. Nonetheless, many people are not receptive to the idea of bicycling, or to bicycling more frequently. Marketing can influence people’s attitudes and behaviors, particularly by promoting the health benefits of bicycling. Marketing is also a relatively inexpensive way to encourage bicycling and can help increase the use of existing infrastructure. The five objectives in this chapter identify how to market and promote bicycling.

Promoting the health benefits of bicycling (Objective 1) will encourage people to bicycle more. Research shows that many people are attracted to bicycling because they want to stay in shape or lose weight.1 The primary reason given in the Chicago Bicycling Survey (2005) for increased levels of bicycling was people’s greater concern for their health and fitness. Key strategies include establishing a Health and Transportation Task Force, staging a Bike to Health campaign, and closing a network of streets on a regular basis to motorized traffic for Sunday Parkway rides.

Staging cost-effective events and programs (Objective 2) involves expanding the annual Bike Chicago festival, supporting community efforts to encourage bicycling, and piloting a car-free day. Bicycling should also be promoted as an alternative to driving automobiles (Objective 3). Target groups most receptive to bicycling: young adults, people living near bike lanes and/or the Lakefront Trail, transit users, and residents of congested neighborhoods with limited automobile parking. Different marketing campaigns are appropriate, given different needs and interests.

Marketing the benefits of bicycling to specific destinations (Objective 4) would focus on increasing the number of trips people are most receptive to make. Bike to Campus, Bike to the Park, and Shop by Bike campaigns are proposed. Finally, promoting Chicago as a destination for bicycle tourism (Objective 5) would attract more visitors and encourage visitors to extend their trips to explore the city by bicycle. Organized rides, including the annual Bike the Drive, could attract thousands of people to Chicago, contributing to the economic vitality of the city.

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Increase bicycle use through targeted marketing and health promotion.

Performance Measure
Encourage 150,000 people per year to make additional bicycle trips because of targeted marketing and health promotion.


  1. Promote the health benefits of bicycling.
  2. Stage cost-effective events and programs to encourage bicycling.
  3. Market bicycling as an alternative to automobile trips to target groups.
  4. Market the benefits of bicycling to specific destinations.
  5. Promote Chicago as a destination for bicycle tourism.
  6. Determine the effectiveness of the education and marketing initiatives in this plan. (Refer to Chapter 5: Education; Objective 7.)
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