Bike Lanes: Chicago’s Environmental Policy

The city of Chicago has created a new plan to expand city bike lanes for the year 2020. In 2016 they invested into creating 9.7 more miles of bike lanes and spent $6 million to fix up bike lanes (Lewis, 2016). The purpose of the project was to create a more sustainable way of transportation. Also, Rahm is trying to cater to the large population of bikers, especially tech people who are moving to city and love to ride their bikes (Lewis, 2016).  According to the city’s website they created a survey in 2005 that showed the preferred way families traveled when it comes to bicycling and used the information to create the plan for biking 2020 plan. To ensure  the safety of cyclist there is the Complete Streets Policy that include design and right-away programs, narrower traffic lanes, curb extensions and clear markings of bike lanes (City of Chicago).

However, similar to other bike systems like LA are important and many cities want to increase bike paths, but the question is are they really changing anything and how efficient are there (Dearen, 2012). Since, they are reducing pollution in the air in the long run, but are cities really structuring correctly and implementing the programs in a way that makes sense to the cities structure. As discussed in class environmental policy, in this case bike lanes are heavily influenced by city policy and moreover urban planning and whether the city can handle the project. In the case of bike lanes in Chicago I feel it’s not really changing anything because we have a structured program street south are wider and therefore have more space, while the north side streets have less space and are less wide specially in areas, like Albany Park this I feel is creating a messy system. A system now only used correctly in certain areas of the city, but we need it to work everywhere.

References: https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/cdot/provdrs/bike/svcs/bike_planning.html

http://wgntv.com/2016/04/11/citys-bike-lane-expansion-continues/

http://www.zdnet.com/article/are-bicycle-lanes-really-green-some-city-residents-see-red/

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2 thoughts on “Bike Lanes: Chicago’s Environmental Policy

  1. I like the idea of increasing the number of bike lanes in the city. It is a good, healthy way for people to get around. I also agree that streets on the north side are smaller, which creates issues for bikers and cars when they are attempting to move from place to place. I think that the issue of safety and size of street should be addressed by the city before moving on these bike lanes.

    https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/cdot/provdrs/street.html

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