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Plan Contents

Executive Summary

Introduction

Chapter 1
Bikeway Network

Chapter 2
Bicycle-friendly Streets

Chapter 3
Bike Parking

Chapter 4
Transit

Chapter 5
Education

Chapter 6
Marketing and
Health Promotion

Chapter 7
Law Enforcement
and Crash Analysis

Chapter 8
Bicycle Messengers

Conclusion

Credits

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MBAC

Introduction

Previous Planning – The Bike 2000 Plan

In 2001, Bicycling Magazine selected Chicago as the best “big” city (over one million people) for bicycling in North America.1 This recognition was due in large part to the success of the Bike 2000 Plan. Prepared in 1992 by the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Council, the plan has 31 recommendations to encourage bicycling in Chicago. There has been significant progress on every recommendation, including:

  • Establishing a network of 100 miles of on-street bike lanes and 50 miles of off-street trails
  • Installing 10,000 bike racks, more than any city in the United States
  • Permitting bicycles on Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) trains and equipping their fleet of 2,000 buses with racks that carry bikes
  • Producing award-winning educational publications, including the Chicago Bike Map, Safe Bicycling in Chicago, and Student Cycling in Chicago
  • Staging innovative outreach programs, such as Safe Routes to School, the Bicycling Ambassadors and the annual Bike Chicago festival, which have encouraged 500,000 Chicagoans to bicycle

These successes are due in large part to the:

Challenges and Opportunities

Despite these successes, many challenges remain. Chicago’s roads are clogged with traffic. Motorists spend hours stuck in traffic. Tailpipe emissions from automobiles and trucks account for almost half of Chicago’s air pollution,3 contributing to asthma and other respiratory problems suffered by more than 650,000 children and adults in Metropolitan Chicago.4 Inactive lifestyles may be contributing to an "obesity epidemic" in Chicago, with more than 20 percent of the city’s children and 60 percent of the adults overweight or clinically obese.5,6 Finally, dependence on the private automobile is expensive. Households in the Chicago region spend an average of 17 percent of their budgets, or $7,500 per year, on transportation.7

These transportation and public health issues create challenges and opportunities that bicycling programs can address. Bicycling is a viable means of transportation in Chicago. The city is flat and compact, with destinations often nearby. Almost 60 percent of all trips made by Chicago residents are three miles or less, distances well suited for bicycling.8 Making these trips by bicycle would:

  • Reduce traffic congestion and tailpipe emissions
  • Conserve limited energy resources
  • Integrate healthy, physical activity into everyday travel, fostering active lifestyles
  • Lower transportation costs

The Bike 2015 Plan –
Development and Implementation

Preparation of the Bike 2015 Plan began in 2002 when the Chicago Department of Transportation retained the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation to help develop the plan. Public, city staff, and other stakeholder involvement were essential to the plan’s development. Key activities included three public meetings with 235 people in attendance, 50 meetings with senior staff of agencies responsible for implementing the plan, and 10 meetings with the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Council. The Bike 2015 Plan was approved by the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Council on September 21, 2005.

Implementation of the Bike 2015 Plan depends on four factors: a commitment by key city agencies to implement the recommended strategies; significant and sustained funding, particularly by prioritizing bicycle projects in federal transportation grant programs; continued political support; and a strong partnership with Chicago’s bicycling community.

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Implementation of the Bike 2015 Plan depends on four factors:

  1. a commitment by key city agencies to implement the recommended strategies
  2. significant and sustained funding, particularly by prioritizing bicycle projects in federal transportation grant programs
  3. continued political support
  4. a strong partnership with Chicago’s bicycling community
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.