There’s never been a better time for cycling in and around town. Just ask the folks at Bicycling magazine, which named Chicago the second-best biking city in the country. Or the national advocacy group People for Bikes, which included parts of Clybourn Avenue and Clinton Street on its list of America’s 10 best new bike lanes of 2015.
Mayor Emanuel’s administration deserves credit for introducing more than 20 miles of protected bike lanes (that is, those separated from traffic by a barrier or parked cars) and nearly 87 miles of buffered bike lanes (which put more pavement between riders and cars) and opening the 606’s Bloomingdale Trail. Last year, with federal and aldermanic support, the city expanded Divvy, its bike-sharing system, from 300 to 476 stations, making it the largest such program in North America in terms of neighborhood reach.
Could the city do even more? Yup. It could better connect bike lanes into true networks, as New York City has done. It could reduce crashes by extending those routes through intersections instead of ending them in turn lanes. And it could beef up bike lanes in predominantly black, Hispanic, and low-income neighborhoods. Emanuel has also promised another 50 miles of “low-stress” bikeways by the end of his second term, including better-marked, safer routes on side streets called “neighborhood greenways.”
Whether you’re a high-octane commuter, or a leisurely lakefront rider, it’s the perfect time of year to pedal. All week we’ll be rolling out stories about how to make the most of Chicago, so check back here for the newest stories or sign up below to get them all emailed to you this weekend.
Bike Week 2016:
- Lessons From a Bike Messenger
- How to Go from Riding the Couch to Riding a Century
- Here’s Your 2016 Biking Event Calendar
- How Should Women Cyclists Dress? A Turn-of-the-Century Debate
- The Insider's Guide to Biking Chicago
- Bicycles Bring People Together at Chicago's Community Bike Shops
- The Making of a $13,000 Bike
- Function and Style for the Spring Cyclist
- How to Survive the Chicago Lakefront Trail
- A Nervous Cyclist's Guide to Biking More
Previous Chicago bike coverage you might like: