CHICAGO — More bike lanes are coming to the city over the next two years, providing critical infrastructure at a time more Chicagoans are choosing biking as a mode of transit.
The Chicago Department of Transportation said Wednesday the city is leading the biggest bike lane expansion its history, helped by investments from Mayor Lori
Lightfoot’s Chicago Works capital plan. In total, $17 million will support installing and improving bike lanes all across the city, with 50 miles of lanes planned for 2021 and 2022.
About 9 miles of protected lanes have been installed or will be finished by the end of this year:
119th Street – Ashland to Halsted: New protected bike lanes on the Far South Side connecting to the Major Taylor Trail and Coleman Elementary Academy.
Clark Street – Edgewater to Devon: New protected bike lanes connecting Andersonville, Edgewater and Rogers Park neighborhoods.
Damen Avenue – Fullerton to Diversey: A protected bike lane providing more comfortable access over the Chicago River and connecting to the Elston Protected Bike Lane and Clybourn Buffered Bike Lane.
Roscoe/Campbell – Belmont to Western: Improving access to the 312 River Run, Clark Park, and DePaul College Prep with a curb-separated protected bike lane implemented with street resurfacing.
Taylor Street – Morgan to Canal: Filling a network gap between University of Illinois Chicago and Downtown, with connections to bikeways on Halsted, Desplaines, Clinton, and Canal.
Woodlawn Avenue – 111th to Olive Harvey College: New link to the Pullman neighborhood and Monument, Pullman Community Center, Pullman Omniplex Stadium, and Olive Harvey College.
CDOT will identify additional miles of protected bike lanes to be installed next year.
“Investing in bike infrastructure is not only a critical part of our plan to build stronger, more resilient neighborhoods, but also our efforts to protect the health and wellbeing of our residents,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement. “By building more bike lanes than ever, we will help to bring Chicago back from the disruptions caused by the pandemic as well as encourage more residents to ride bikes … .”
The upgraded lanes will be based on the Chicago Community Cycling Network, an approach that focuses on working with community stakeholders on building Neighborhood Bike Networks, and filling gaps within the city. You can download the document online.
This year’s bike infrastructure has focused on the South and West sides and is being coordinated with the ongoing citywide expansion of Divvy.
The number of people biking to work in the city has almost doubled in the last ten years, CDOT Commissioner Gia Biagi said. Divvy has broken monthly records with more than 800,000 rides in July and August, and it is on track to surpass its annual rides record of 3.8 million within days.
“Our goal at CDOT is to make every day cycling safe, affordable and convenient for people of all ages and abilities, by connecting people to meaningful destinations and connecting neighborhoods to each other,” Biagi said. “But there is no one-size fits all approach. … Every neighborhood has different opportunities, challenges, and perceptions of biking. This means different strategies are required for different neighborhoods.”
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