Thursday, May 12, 2011

Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel's Transition Plan Offers Big Benefits To Chicago Bicyclists

Courtesy of Transportation Nation
Chicago's new mayor-elect has released his 2011 Transition Plan which contains some significant benefits for city bicyclists.  Rahm Emanuel's plan proposes the creation of 25 miles of protected bike lanes yearly for use by persons of all ages and abilities beginning in his first year in office.  A two mile long pilot location for a protected lane is to be chosen within his first 100 days in office.  Protected bike lanes will be located between the sidewalk and parked cars which would shield cyclists from moving motor vehicle traffic.  The City will prioritize creation of these new lanes to link various neighborhoods to Downtown and to each other.  (See Initiative #25 on page 37).

The bicycle will be taken seriously as a mode of intracity transportation when it becomes reasonably safe and convenient of everyone.  Protected bike lanes mean that shuttling young children to school or daycare in a trailer, bakfiet or child seat becomes a viable option for more people.  Take the fear of getting poleaxed by a car out the the equation and more Chicagoans will perform more errands on their bikes, reducing the number of cars on city streets.  This will reduce congestion for drivers and cyclists alike, lessen carbon emissions and make streets safer for all.

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