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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 8
Bicycle Messengers

Bicycle messengers provide a valuable service, delivering material in a timely and an environmentally-friendly manner. Chicago’s bicycle messenger companies employ more than 300 bicyclists who make an estimated 1.1 million deliveries each year. This chapter identifies three objectives intended to encourage more use of bicycle messengers and encourage safe and responsible riding.

Using more bicycles for deliveries (Objective 1) will reduce Chicago’s traffic congestion and improve its air quality. Key strategies include streamlining the delivery process to make bicycle messenger services faster and therefore more attractive to use, and expanding services to new markets.

Establishing safer conditions for bicycle messengers (Objective 2) will help ensure a healthy working environment. There are recommendations throughout this plan that will create safer conditions for bicycle messengers. However, bicycle messengers sometimes engage in dangerous behaviors, including disobeying traffic signals and riding against the direction of traffic, endangering themselves, pedestrians, and motorists. Safety training and selective enforcement are recommended.

Promoting bicycle messenger use (Objective 3) involves listing the advantages of deliveries by bicycle and current licensed companies on the Bicycle Program’s Web site, and expanding the Bicycle Messenger Appreciation Day to a full day of events and promotions.

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Expand the use of bicycle messengers; improve their workplace safety and public image.

Performance Measure
Increase the number of deliveries by bicycle in Chicago by 25 percent by 2015.


  1. Increase the use of bicycle messenger and delivery services.
  2. Encourage a safe work environment for bicycle messengers.
  3. Promote the use of bicycle messengers.
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