Did You Know?

Decades of research shows that expanding roads doesn’t provide lasting congestion relief. More lanes means more traffic.

Chicago’s bike network comes up short in national ranking 

People for Bikes recently released the 2023 City Rankings, and once again Chicago ranked near the bottom of the list of bike-friendly big cities in the US, a dismal 161 out of 163 cities evaluated.  

This echoes a similar result from a previous edition of the ranking. 

Chicago fared so poorly because our city is at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to the particular factors that People for Bikes evaluates in its rankings.  

And unfortunately, these challenges will come as no surprise to anyone who spends time biking around our city.  

Our 30 mph default speed limit means cars are legally allowed to drive at unsafe speeds on almost every street.  

While the city has invested millions of dollars building dozens of miles of protected bike lanes over the past ten years, the lack of seamless connections among these safe and comfortable bikeways is a barrier for many people who would otherwise use bikes as everyday transportation. 

Luckily, Mayor Brandon Johnson’s recently released transition report includes recommendations to both lower the speed limit and create a citywide network of protected bike lanes and neighborhood slow streets.  

Some of this work is already underway. Chicago Department of Transportation has identified 150 miles of new bikeways to improve our network  

Now we need to ensure the projects are delivered in a timely manner as we work with communities to identify the next 150 miles of better bikeways. 

These improvements would go a long way towards not only moving Chicago up the People for Bikes ranking, but for making biking a viable option for everyday trips for more people in our city.  

As the mayor and city council get further into their new terms, Active Transportation Alliance will continue to mobilize support for lower speed limits and a connected and protected bike network.  

Together, we can make Chicago the safest and best city for biking in the country.