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Chicago Getting 50 Miles Of New Bike Lanes In Next 3 Years, City Says

By Ed Komenda | April 11, 2016 10:35am | Updated on April 11, 2016 1:23pm
 A stretch of protected bike lanes features bike traffic signals and the first bike passing lane.
A stretch of protected bike lanes features bike traffic signals and the first bike passing lane.
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DNAinfo/Quinn Ford

BRONZEVILLE — The city plans to build 50 additional miles of “better bike lanes” in neighborhoods across the city over the next three years.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld announced details of the plan at a Monday morning news conference on the Illinois Institute of Technology campus.

"The number of people riding their bikes in Chicago is at an all-time high," Scheinfeld said. "Our investments in better bike infrastructure are making it safer and more enjoyable for Chicagoans of all ages and abilities to ride a bike."

The protective bike lane project will install 7-foot-wide lanes separated from traffic by a concrete barrier to provide better separation between cyclists and people driving.

In 2016, nine miles of better bike lanes and up to 15 miles of other bikeways are expected to be added. This campaign will also include restriping on 20 miles of existing lanes.

"These are the type of investments that improve the quality of life in the city of Chicago," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.

The city released a year-end report Monday, detailing the Department of Transportation's 2015 efforts to expand bicycle networks all over Chicago.

In 2015, the city installed 42 miles of new and restriped bikeways, including 23 miles of barrier and buffer-protected bike lanes. Since 2011, over 108 miles of protected bike lanes have been installed throughout Chicago.

"More people are riding bikes," said Dan L. Black, project coordinator with Slow Roll Chicago, one of the city's most popular bike groups. "I believe we're going to see more investments in bike [infrastructure]."

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