Chicago Leads Nation in Biking Growth

Cycling as a mode share grew faster in the Windy City over the last five years than in any other major U.S. metropolis.

1 minute read

May 22, 2024, 8:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

People on bikes and walking on 606 Bloomingdale Bike Trail on sunny day in Chicago, Illinois.

A cyclist rides on a multiuse trail in Chicago, Illinois. | Antwon McMullen / Adobe Stock

Over the last five years, bicycling grew faster in Chicago than in any other U.S. city, writes Ron Johnson in Momentum. The data comes from the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and its partnership with Replica, which quantifies biking in the city to understand the impact of its bike infrastructure efforts. According to Johnson, “The study showed a 119% increase in biking between fall 2019 and spring 2023, marking the largest jump among the country’s 10 largest cities.”

The city says the study’s results validate its Chicago Cycling Strategy, which targets low-stress cycling routes, active community engagement, and filling in critical gaps in the city’s bike infrastructure. In 2023, it added 27 miles of protected bike lanes and 18 miles of new greenways, while neighborhood trips increased by 113 percent.

Still, there is room for improvement. “Enhancing safety measures and infrastructure remains a critical area for development. Advocates emphasize the need for more protected bike lanes, improved intersection designs, and comprehensive safety campaigns to ensure that the increasing number of cyclists can ride safely and confidently.”

Tuesday, May 21, 2024 in Momentum Magazine

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