Chicago DOT announces largest bike-lane expansion in city's history

City is installing 100 miles of new and upgraded bike lanes

September 23, 2021 / 2 minute read
bike lanes

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) announced this week that the city is undertaking the biggest bike lane expansion in its history, as a result of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Chicago Works capital plan. 

With a total of $17 million in new funding this year and next, CDOT is installing 100 miles of new and upgraded bike lanes. CDOT Commissioner Gia Biagi released a blueprint for building more bikeways that puts an emphasis on community-led planning and connected neighborhood networks.  

“Our goal at CDOT is to make every day cycling safe, affordable, and convenient for people of all ages and abilities, by connecting people to meaningful destinations and connecting neighborhoods to each other,” Commissioner Biagi said in a statement. “But there is no one-size-fits-all approach to growing our bike network. Every neighborhood has different opportunities, challenges, and perceptions of biking. This means different strategies are required for different neighborhoods.” 

CDOT also released a new document, the Chicago Community Cycling Network Updatewhich outlines an approach for expanding bike infrastructure with a focus on new protected bike lanes, working with community stakeholders on building Neighborhood Bike Networks, and filling gaps in the citywide network. 

Commissioner Biagi said that with a new dedicated source of funding through Mayor Lightfoot’s Chicago Works infrastructure investment program, CDOT is on track to grow the existing bike network to about 400 miles by implementing 50 miles of projects in 2021, with 50 additional miles in 2022. These 100 miles of new and upgraded bike lanes is the largest growth in the city’s biking system ever over a two-year period. This year’s bike infrastructure includes a focus on the South and West Sides and is being coordinated with the ongoing citywide expansion of Divvy. The bike-share system is expanding its service to those areas and adding an additional 3,500 electric assist bikes to Chicago’s streets this summer, on top of the 3,500 e-bikes deployed in the first phase of the expansion in 2020.   

CDOT has designed and is installing 12 miles of new protected bike lanes in both 2021 and 2022 and will continue identifying additional miles of protected bike lanes for next year.



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