City of Chicago, Illinois


  Cycling Infrastructure


Links to City cycling office or resources


  City cycling map






Updated - 2006-09-14, 17



General Impressions - Cycling Facilities Encountered





 Chicago has serious intend to improve cycling for transportation through an extensive program from cycling infrastructure to intermodal (cycling and transit) commuting, to education, and marketing.



  At this time, their infrastructure on the ground includes some lengthy bike paths that maybe more recreational than commuting oriented, some bike lanes , and streets identified on the bicycling map which will be upgraded in the future for cycling.



  Chicago has a cycling dream supported by some good cycling infrastructure designs that should appeal to people who may wish to cycle. They also have a good plan which does recognize that marketing is needed to draw people away from their cars and cycle or cycle-transit instead.



  They also have a starting backbone of cycling lanes in place, mainly in the north-south direction. The bike lanes are supported by the 30 kilometres Lake Shore Drive Trail, an effective commuting route for north-south travel and a very pleasant recreational and exercise trail.




  The city has taken the approach of doing the easily implementable bike lanes and work on the rest next. This may result in bike lanes that would appeal to a wider cycling base. The heavily biked roads may not receive treatment until later.



  The city also sees bike lanes on all collector streets and many arterial streets. So, what the city has done is produce a cycling map that lists all cycling facilities in place today and shows as preferred cycling roads all those streets that will have bike lanes or shared road arrows in the future. This will help centralized the current cyclists to select roads and built up the demand base.



  The network implementation is far enough allowing cyclists to travel extensive distances within the city on bike lanes or on the Lakefront or other trails. Cycling across half of the city on wide bike lanes is feasible. Unfortunately, at this time, these bike lanes serve only some communities and usually leading towards downtown. Crossing east-west is especially short of any quality cycling facilities.



  What the city has is outsourcing the cycling program and cycling resources to an organization that is strictly cycling focused at this stage, the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation.



  Now the issue they face is similar to that of about every other city. That is moving from a plan or a vision to reality, i.e. cycling facilities on the ground. They face the issue of implementing a plan without watering down the plan or the designs.



The City


  Cycling Vision      


  Cycling Mode Share      
  Master Cycling Program      
  City Cycling Organizations      
  Public Involvement – Cycling Advisory Committee      
  Advocacy Organizations      
  Cycling Resources - Map      
    Hard Copy    
    Trip Planning – On-Line    
   Cycling Resources - Website      

Cycling Network

  Current Cycling Network      
  Future Network Plans      
  Naming Convention – Cycling Facilities      

Cycling Infrastructure Design

  Bike Lanes      
    Two-Way Bike Lanes on Road – Not Separated    
    Two-Way Bike Lanes on Road – Physically Separated    
    Two-Way Bike Lanes on Road Shoulder – Vertically Not Separated

    Two-Way Bike Lanes on Road Shoulder – Vertically Separated

  Bike Routes      
  Paved Shoulder      
  Off-Road Paths or Trails      
  Intersection Design      
    Not Signalized    
    Right Turn Traffic Lane and Straight Through Bike Lane

    Left Turn Bike Lane    
  Cyclist-Activated Traffic Signals      
  Pavement Markings      
    Cyclist or Bike Stencil    
    Bike Lane Line Width    
    Bike Lane with Car Parking Adjacent    
  Pavement Colouring      
  Signage   Signage, including destination, direction, information, and warning, was plentiful. The question is whether it is visible enough or can be easily missed when cycling by.  
    Route Signs    
      Signage - Right Turn Lane and Straight Through Bike Lane  
    Share the Road    
  Bike Parking      
    Post and Ring    
    Bike Racks    
    Bike Lockers    
    Bike Stations    
    Municipal Policy and Strategy, Target    
  Cyclists Amenities      
    End of Trip Facilities    
    Trip Facilities    
Cycling Infrastructure Design
Standards and Directions
Cycling and Transit        
  Cycling Mode Share - Transit Ridership      
  Cycling Mode Share - Rapid Transit Station Access      
  Targets – Cycling and Transit Usage      
  Bus and Bikes      
    Bike Racks Bus Program A commuter comments on bike racks on buses included being bypassed with loaded bike racks, poor maintenance of the bike racks, buses without bike racks, and buses with poor maintenance that breakdown leaving an undependable service impression.    
    Bus Stops Access and Bike Parking    
  Streetcars and Bikes      
  Rapid Transit and Bikes  

 Bikes are allowed on these trains except for specific rush hour times. Bikes are restricted to the cars with sliding doors, not folding doors. Two bikes are allowed per car. Trains tend to have four cars, at least.


    Rapid Transit Stops Access and Bike Parking    
  Commuter Transit and Bikes - Regional      
    Rapid Transit Stops Access and Bike Parking



  Bike Racks in Rapid Transit Stations To provide greater security for cyclists, bike racks have been installed in stations inside the pay fair zone.  
  Trains – Inter-Regional      
  Cycling Friendly Transit Stops      
  Home or Work to Station Collector System

Marketing of Cycling        
  Target Customers      
  Marketing Plan      
  Intermodal Commuting      
  Communications with Cyclists      
  Education and Safety      

Cycling Contribution to the Economy

  Cycling and the Local Economy

    Retail and Hospitality Services    
    Touring Cyclists Contributions    
  Contribution to Bicycle Industry      
Opportunities for Improvement