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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 7
Law Enforcement
and Crash Analysis

More than 1000 bicycle accidents are reported to the Chicago Police Department every year,1 with thousands more unreported. Effective enforcement of traffic laws, based on an understanding of the circumstances of bicycle crashes, will reduce the frequency and severity of these injuries.

Monitoring the progress in implementing the enforcement strategies in this chapter (Objective 1) will help ensure that they are implemented in a timely manner. Training police officers on bicycling issues (Objective 2) will help ensure enforcement of laws protecting bicyclists.

Focusing enforcement efforts on behaviors that most frequently endanger bicyclists (Objective 3) will effectively use limited enforcement resources. Strategies include prior publicity, verbal warnings, and ticketing. The goal is not to simply issue citations but to encourage voluntary compliance with the law.

Local laws should address the rights and responsibilities of Chicago’s bicyclists (Objective 4). For example, the Chicago Municipal Code should be updated to be consistent with the Illinois Vehicle Code which permits bicyclists to use a full travel lane to avoid hazardous conditions (e.g., opening car doors, poor pavement, and narrow travel lanes).

Finally, improving the reporting and analysis of bicycle crashes (Objective 5), particularly studying the circumstances of serious injuries, will suggest engineering, enforcement, and education countermeasures to help prevent crashes from recurring.

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Increase bicyclist safety through effective law enforcement and detailed crash analysis.

Performance Measure
Reduce the number of serious and severe bicycle crashes by 50 percent by 2015.


  1. Monitor the progress of the Chicago Police Department’s bicyclist safety efforts.
  2. Train police officers on bicycling issues.
  3. Focus enforcement efforts on traffic violations that pose the greatest threats to bicyclist safety.
  4. Ensure that local laws address the rights and responsibilities of Chicago’s bicyclists.
  5. Improve the reporting and analysis of bicycle crashes.
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