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Chicago Has Finally Built 100 Miles Of Protected Bike Lanes

By Kate Shepherd in News on Oct 9, 2015 7:30PM

Photo Credit: Josh Koonce

Chicago has finally reached the mayor's ambitious goal of installing more than 100 miles of protected bike lanes in Chicago by this year.

The city has completed 103 miles is planning on building 50 more miles of "better bike lanes" over the next four years, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement Friday that nodded at his past vow to make Chicago the nation's most bike-friendly city.

There are now 292 miles of designated bike lanes in the city and biking is the fasting growing mode of transportation for Chicagoans, according to the statement. The city's aim was to make the lanes accessible, low-stress paths that anyone could feel safe riding on.

Protected bike lanes have improved road safety, according to the city. For example, crashes have decreased by 32 percent since the barrier protected bike lane on 55th St. was installed in 2012. Four cyclists have been killed on the city's roads so far this year.

"Protected bike lane projects are making streets safer and more comfortable to ride on, walk on, and drive on," Rebekah Scheinfeld, Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner said in the statement. "Where protected lanes have been installed, we have seen a reduction in traffic crashes for all modes of transportation."

Emanuel's bike lane agenda hasn't been popular with all residents. In June, plans for a bike greenway in Edgewater were met by complaints from community members concerned about the designated lanes allowing cyclists to ride with or against the flow of traffic.