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Chicago Is America's Fifth Most Bike-Friendly City

By Chuck Sudo in News on May 23, 2012 1:30PM

Photo Credit: Bob Segal

Bicycling magazine ranks the top 50 bike-friendly cities in America in their July issue which hits stands May 29 and Chicago is sitting pretty at number five on the list.

Among the reasons cited by Bicycling for Chicago's ranking were:

  • The Kinzie Street protected bike lane, where cyclists now account for 51 percent of rush hour traffic. (The protected bike lane on 18th Street in Chinatown isn't doing too shabby, either.)
  • The Streets for Cycling 2020 plan that calls for 100 miles of protected bike lanes to be installed over the next four years.
  • The city's plans for the Bloomingdale Trail.
  • The recently approved bike-sharing program.
  • Annual bicycling events like Bike the Drive.

Possibly the biggest reason for Chicago's ranking was Mayor Rahm Emanuel's appointment of Gabe Klein as Transportation Commissioner. An avid cyclist, Klein has been an ally of transit and cycling advocates across the city and was also a major reason for Washington, DC's fourth-place ranking on the list. Portland, Oregon tops the list, with Minneapolis, Minn. coming in second place and Boulder, Colo. third. The Midwest is well-represented in the top 10. Madison, Wisc. is right behind Chicago in sixth place.

The future is bright for cycling in Chicago.