Half of school children walked or biked to school in 1969, but only 13 percent were doing it in 2009.
In recent years, bicycling in Chicago has transformed from a fringe activity to a mainstream mode of transportation, opening up the benefits of biking to more Chicagoans than ever before. Since 2000, the number of people biking in the city has roughly tripled, with an average of 125,000 bike trips happening each day.
However, outside of downtown, only about 1/3 of Chicagoans on the North, South, and West side live within ¼ mile of a high-quality, low-stress bikeway like a protected bike lane, neighborhood greenway, or an urban trail. These are the types of facilities that are proven to encourage more people to use bikes as everyday transportation.
Bikeways for All seeks to bridge the gap between where we are and where we need to be by laying out a vision for a seamless, equitable and low-stress bike network made up of on-street bikeways and new off-street trails.
In particular, Bikeways for All proposes 180 miles of new low-stress biking routes and prioritizes three types of facilities: Protected Bike Lanes, Neighborhood Greenways, and Urban Trails. We envision 100 additional miles of these new Protected Bike Lanes and Neighborhood Greenways by 2020 as well as concrete progress on the urban trail projects included here.
Protected Bike Lanes: Low-stress bike corridors on key streets between neighborhoods that use physically protected bike lanes to create an experience similar to riding on an off-street trail.
Neighborhood Greenways: Local networks of well-marked routes on quiet neighborhood streets optimized for bikes with pavement markings and other treatments, like curb bump-outs and contraflow lanes.
Urban Trails: A connected network of off-street paths along the lakefront, Chicago River, abandoned rail lines and other corridors that provides the ultimate low-stress biking experience for people of any age or skill level.