After a flurry of new construction from 2011 to 2015, the growth of Chicago’s networks of protected bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly streets has unfortunately slowed down.
Chicago installed 15.9 miles of new bikeways (including one mile of protected bike lanes) in 2017, down from a peak of 39.5 new miles of bikeways in 2014.
Progress on safer streets is clearly lagging despite growing support among Chicagoans and our elected officials for creating streets that protect the most vulnerable users on foot and bike.
This lack of forward momentum is also evident in the city's Vision Zero plan, which has set a goal to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries among people walking, biking and driving. Without dedicated funding for the plan, progress on this goal is unlikely.
We call upon Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago City Council to commit to spending a fair share of city transportation dollars on a new, dedicated Bike Walk Fund of $20 million annually.
Add your name to our petition to Mayor Emanuel and Chicago City Council.
This fund should be used for new biking and walking projects within the city’s corridors where the most crashes occur, most of which are in low-income communities and communities of color on the South and West Sides. Historically disinvested communities must be prioritized; projects may include better-lit crosswalks and countdown timers, curb-protected bike lanes and bus stop bumpouts.
Support a Chicago Bike Walk Fund by signing our petition today.
Currently, street safety projects are funded through a patchwork of local, state and federal sources, including aldermanic menu money. None of these are consistently available nor adequate to address the overwhelming need that exists, limiting Chicago’s ability to plan and build a network over time that truly connects communities.
A Bike Walk Fund would allow the city to save lives by targeting investments in the corridors and neighborhoods that need it the most.
We'll be pushing this petition throughout the upcoming Chicago Bike Week and the two-week long Bike to Work Challenge, which is currently underway. You can sign it in-person at Thursday's Bike Week Rally (Daley Plaza, 5 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.) or at any of our pit stops throughout the challenge.