and Crash Analysis
The Bike 2015 Plan is the City of Chicago’s vision
to make bicycling an integral part of daily life in Chicago. The plan
recommends projects, programs and policies for the next ten years to
encourage use of this practical, non-polluting and affordable mode of
The Bike 2015 Plan has two overall goals:
- To increase bicycle use, so that 5 percent of all trips less than
five miles are by bicycle.
- To reduce the number of bicycle injuries
by 50 percent from current levels.
The plan has eight chapters, each with a specific goal:
- Bikeway Network – Establish a bikeway
network that serves all Chicago residents and neighborhoods.
- Bicycle-friendly Streets – Make
all of Chicago’s streets
safe and convenient for
- Bike Parking – Provide convenient
and secure short-term and long-term bike parking throughout Chicago.
- Transit – Provide
convenient connections between bicycling and public transit.
- Education – Educate
bicyclists, motorists, and the general public about bicycle safety
and the benefits of bicycling.
- Marketing and Health Promotion – Increase
bicycle use through targeted marketing and health promotion.
- Law Enforcement
and Crash Analysis – Increase bicyclist safety
through effective law enforcement and detailed crash analysis.
Messengers – Expand the use of bicycle messengers;
improve their workplace safety and public image.
Each chapter of the Bike 2015 Plan identifies specific objectives to accomplish
the chapter’s overall goal. One hundred fifty strategies detail how
to implement these objectives in realistic, meaningful and cost-effective
Each strategy has one to three performance measures, defining the
results expected and the timetable for completion. Strategies are listed
in chronological order to indicate the schedule of completion. Most strategies
Practices” to benchmark with excellent projects. (The Web version
of the plan provides hyper-text links to many of these best practices.)
Finally, each objective lists possible funding sources, to help ensure
the plan can be implemented and at less cost to the City of Chicago. Many
of the recommended strategies are eligible for federal funding, particularly
through the Congestion
Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ),
Transportation Enhancement, and highway traffic safety programs.
Streets for Cycling (Chapters 1 and 2)
bicycling begins with convenient and safe places to ride. The plan proposes
a 500-mile bikeway network, establishing a bikeway within a half-mile
of every Chicago resident. Bikeways to priority destinations, including
schools, universities and transit stations, are proposed. Bicyclists’ needs
should be considered in the planning, design, construction and maintenance
of all streets. Special attention should be given to bicycling whenever
bridges, underpasses and expressways are constructed or improved so
these facilities do not become significant barriers to bicycling. Road
hazards such as potholes, broken glass and sewer grates that trap bicycle
wheels should be identified on a regular basis and repaired quickly.
Parking (Chapter 3)
A key advantage to bicycling is free, convenient
parking. Key strategies to emphasizing this advantage include installing
an additional 5,000 bike racks and 1,000 long-term bike parking spaces,
encouraging bike parking inside commercial and office buildings, and ensuring
that the bike parking requirements of Chicago’s new zoning ordinance
Transit Connections (Chapter 4)
Access to public transit significantly increases
the range and flexibility of bicycle trips. Strategies to improve bike-transit
connections include considering bicyclists’ needs in the planning,
design and operation of trains and stations; establishing bikeways to popular
train stations; and providing bike parking inside and outside stations.
The goal is to increase the number of bike-transit trips by 10 percent per
Education and Marketing/Health Promotion (Chapters
5 and 6)
Developing safe bicycling skills in adults and children, and teaching
motorists to share the road with bicyclists are key education efforts.
Education is also the most effective way to prevent bicycle theft. Marketing
bicycling as a healthy, fun and convenient way to travel will encourage
use. Partnerships with the Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Park District,
Chicago Transit Authority, Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, not-for-profit
groups, health agencies, media outlets and the private sector would increase
the number of people reached and reduce costs.
Law Enforcement and Crash Analysis (Chapter
Enforcement of traffic laws helps reduce the number of injuries suffered
by cyclists and establishes a more inviting environment for bicycling.
Key strategies include training police officers to enforce laws that support
a safe bicycling environment, designating a person at the Chicago Police
Department to coordinate bicycle enforcement efforts, and analyzing the
circumstances of serious bicycle crashes to help prevent them from recurring.
Messengers (Chapter 8)
Bicycle messengers deliver material quickly and
inexpensively, providing an important service to Chicago’s business
community. Key strategies include reducing significant barriers to their
use, identifying and promoting opportunities for broadening bicycle messenger
service, and streamlining the delivery process to make them more efficient.
Several strategies identify how to establish a safer work environment.