Rahm Emanuel has been elected the next mayor of Chicago!
Here is a bit of what our new mayor has to say about bicycling in Chicago:
Rahm supports full implementation of Chicago’s Bike Plan and will initiate a review of its goals and timelines to identify opportunities to expand the plan and accelerate the pace of implementation.
Chicago’s 125 miles of bike lanes cover a small portion of the city’s 5000 miles of roads. Rahm wants to dramatically increase the number of miles added each year – from 8 to 25 – and prioritize the creation of protected bike lanes. His plan is based on a simple premise: create a bike lane network that allows every Chicagoan – from kids on their first ride to senior citizens on their way to the grocery store – to feel safe on our streets.
Under the plan, Chicago would be a pioneer in the creation and expansion of protected bike lanes, which are separated from traveling cars and sit between the sidewalk and a row of parked cars that shield cyclists from street traffic. He will prioritize the lanes on major thoroughfares that link communities to downtown and each other.
I was surprised and impressed by the specificity of these campaign promises, especially the emphasis on protected bike lanes, which the city so desperately needs to encourage more people to ride a bike.
Mayor Daley has done a lot for bicycling in Chicago, but I’ve seen very little progress in the last couple of years. I’m excited for a fresh start!
You can read more about Emanuel’s transportation plans here, with sections on public transportation, bicycling and high speed rail.