The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) installed and restriped a total of 39 miles of on-street bike facilities throughout Chicago in 2012, and has kept pace with Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to install 100 miles of protected bike lanes by 2015, according to a report released today.
CDOT installed 39 miles of new or restriped facilities, including 27 miles of barrier and buffer protected bike lanes, bringing the number of protected bike lanes installed in Chicago since Mayor Emanuel came into office in May 2011 to 30 miles. Chicago’s bikeways now total more than 204 miles, according to CDOT’s report, 2012 Bikeways – Year In Review.
“When Mayor Emanuel took office there were no protected bike lanes in Chicago. Now, we are setting a new standard for cycling facilities for other cities to follow, and are a national leader in that effort,” said CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein. “We are looking forward to building on our accomplishments and making 2013 another banner year for new bikeways in Chicago.”
Achievements in 2012 include:
- First protected bike lanes in the Loop
- First two-way protected bike lane in Chicago
-Numerous bicycle-friendly bridge treatments
-First priority bike lane Expansion of bike corral parking
-Release of Chicago Streets for Cycling Plan 2020
In addition to installing new lanes, maintenance of existing facilities continued as well. A total of 10 miles of existing bike facilities were restriped in 2012. Ensuring the existing bikeway network is in good condition is just as important as installing new facilities.
The 39 miles of bike facilities new and restriped on-street in 2012 included:
- 9.4 miles of new barrier protected bike lanes
- 17.65 miles of new buffer protected bike lanes
- 1.2 miles of new standard bike lanes
- .85 miles of new shared or priority lanes
- 10.2 miles of restriped bike lanes
As part of Chicago’s national leadership role in developing bikeways, CDOT released the Chicago Streets for Cycling Plan 2020, which calls for a 645-mile network of biking facilities to be in place by 2020 to provide a bicycle accommodation within half-mile of every Chicagoan.
The plan sets forth a comprehensive strategy to achieve Mayor Emanuel’s goal of making Chicago the best big city for bicycling in America. A driving principle of the plan is the concept of balancing roadway space to ensure that all users – pedestrians, transit users, bicyclists and motorists – can travel along and across the street safely.
The opening of the Dearborn Street two-way protected bike lane was a landmark moment for CDOT. Dearborn Street marked the first protected bike lane in the Loop, the first two-way protected bike lane in Chicago, and the first bicycle traffic signals in Chicago. One motor vehicle travel lane was removed to install the protected bike lanes, but by installing a two-way protected lane, CDOT was able to minimize impact to other roadway users – pedestrians, motorists and transit users.
“The Dearborn Street project was an exclamation mark for all the bicycle improvements in Chicago in 2012,” Klein said. “The project garnered positive local and national attention to the efforts of Mayor Emanuel to make Chicago a national leader in bicycling infrastructure.”
Chicago is one of six cities that are partnering in The Green Lane Project, a two-year campaign to catalyze the creation of world-class protected bicycling networks on American streets. The project, sponsored by the Bikes Belong Foundation, provides strategic and technical support to the six focus cities – Austin, Chicago, Memphis, Portland, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. – while expanding the national knowledge base, sharing lessons learned and tracking emerging best practices.
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