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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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Executive Summary

The Bike 2015 Plan is the City of Chicago’s vision to make bicycling an integral part of daily life in Chicago. The plan recommends projects, programs and policies for the next ten years to encourage use of this practical, non-polluting and affordable mode of transportation.

Plan Goals

The Bike 2015 Plan has two overall goals:

  • To increase bicycle use, so that 5 percent of all trips less than five miles are by bicycle.
  • To reduce the number of bicycle injuries by 50 percent from current levels.

The plan has eight chapters, each with a specific goal:

  • Bikeway Network – Establish a bikeway network that serves all Chicago residents and neighborhoods.
  • Bicycle-friendly Streets – Make all of Chicago’s streets safe and convenient for
  • Bike Parking – Provide convenient and secure short-term and long-term bike parking throughout Chicago.
  • Transit – Provide convenient connections between bicycling and public transit.
  • Education – Educate bicyclists, motorists, and the general public about bicycle safety and the benefits of bicycling.
  • Marketing and Health Promotion – Increase bicycle use through targeted marketing and health promotion.
  • Law Enforcement and Crash Analysis – Increase bicyclist safety through effective law enforcement and detailed crash analysis.
  • Bicycle Messengers – Expand the use of bicycle messengers; improve their workplace safety and public image.

Chapter Organization

Each chapter of the Bike 2015 Plan identifies specific objectives to accomplish the chapter’s overall goal. One hundred fifty strategies detail how to implement these objectives in realistic, meaningful and cost-effective ways.

Each strategy has one to three performance measures, defining the results expected and the timetable for completion. Strategies are listed in chronological order to indicate the schedule of completion. Most strategies identify “Best Practices” to benchmark with excellent projects. (The Web version of the plan provides hyper-text links to many of these best practices.) Finally, each objective lists possible funding sources, to help ensure the plan can be implemented and at less cost to the City of Chicago. Many of the recommended strategies are eligible for federal funding, particularly through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ), Transportation Enhancement, and highway traffic safety programs.

Plan Outline

Streets for Cycling (Chapters 1 and 2)
Encouraging bicycling begins with convenient and safe places to ride. The plan proposes a 500-mile bikeway network, establishing a bikeway within a half-mile of every Chicago resident. Bikeways to priority destinations, including schools, universities and transit stations, are proposed. Bicyclists’ needs should be considered in the planning, design, construction and maintenance of all streets. Special attention should be given to bicycling whenever bridges, underpasses and expressways are constructed or improved so these facilities do not become significant barriers to bicycling. Road hazards such as potholes, broken glass and sewer grates that trap bicycle wheels should be identified on a regular basis and repaired quickly.

Parking (Chapter 3)
A key advantage to bicycling is free, convenient parking. Key strategies to emphasizing this advantage include installing an additional 5,000 bike racks and 1,000 long-term bike parking spaces, encouraging bike parking inside commercial and office buildings, and ensuring that the bike parking requirements of Chicago’s new zoning ordinance are met.

Transit Connections (Chapter 4)
Access to public transit significantly increases the range and flexibility of bicycle trips. Strategies to improve bike-transit connections include considering bicyclists’ needs in the planning, design and operation of trains and stations; establishing bikeways to popular train stations; and providing bike parking inside and outside stations. The goal is to increase the number of bike-transit trips by 10 percent per year.

Education and Marketing/Health Promotion (Chapters 5 and 6)
Developing safe bicycling skills in adults and children, and teaching motorists to share the road with bicyclists are key education efforts. Education is also the most effective way to prevent bicycle theft. Marketing bicycling as a healthy, fun and convenient way to travel will encourage use. Partnerships with the Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Park District, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, not-for-profit groups, health agencies, media outlets and the private sector would increase the number of people reached and reduce costs.

Law Enforcement and Crash Analysis (Chapter 7)
Enforcement of traffic laws helps reduce the number of injuries suffered by cyclists and establishes a more inviting environment for bicycling. Key strategies include training police officers to enforce laws that support a safe bicycling environment, designating a person at the Chicago Police Department to coordinate bicycle enforcement efforts, and analyzing the circumstances of serious bicycle crashes to help prevent them from recurring.

Messengers (Chapter 8)
Bicycle messengers deliver material quickly and inexpensively, providing an important service to Chicago’s business community. Key strategies include reducing significant barriers to their use, identifying and promoting opportunities for broadening bicycle messenger service, and streamlining the delivery process to make them more efficient. Several strategies identify how to establish a safer work environment.

Brought to you by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Bicycle Program. This website is designed to be accessible to all users. We welcome suggestions and comments from Bike 2015 Plan site visitors.