Chicago’s Goal: Best Big City for Bicycling in America

“Building a bicycling network is important to creating a quality of life in Chicago that will attract businesses and families to the city,” announced Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the opening of the Dearborn Street protected bike lanes.

“Building a bicycling network is important to creating a quality of life in Chicago that will attract businesses and families to the city,” announced Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the opening of the Dearborn Street protected bike lanes.

When elected in 2011, Mayor Emanuel committed to building 100 miles (160 km) of protected bike lanes in Chicago. Since then more than 30 miles (48 km) of protected lanes have been installed and the mayor has extended his promise for more bike routes. Developed through a community process, the Chicago Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 will build a 645-mile (1038 km) bike route network throughout the city based on three key principles: to provide a bicycle accommodation within a half-mile of every Chicagoan; to provide more bikeways where more people live; and to build more infrastructure where ridership is high, while establishing a strong backbone of infrastructure where ridership is currently lower.

The plan, to be completed by 2020, aims to make on-street cycling a safe and comfortable choice for everyone in Chicago.

Learn more: Chicago Streets for Cycling Plan 2020

3 Comments

  • Kasi Allen

    I’m always happy to see more bike lanes added in Chicago, but I can’t help but wonder what’s being done to upkeep the lanes. The 18th street path to lakefront is always busy with bikers, and the potholes and incredibly dangerous!

    I am happy to be a Chicago biker, potholes or no!

  • Jeff Judge

    Hey Cullen,

    There’s a couple routes up to Milwaukee from Chicago:

    1) Bike paths
    There’s a series of bike paths from Chicago all the way up to about 10 miles south of Milwaukee. You just need to navigate up to the Robert McClory path (http://www.traillink.com/trail/robert-mcclory-bike-path-(formerly-north-shore-bike-path).aspx), then when you hit Kenosha that’ll turn into the Pike Bike trail.

    Here’s some additional info: http://wibikeroutes.net/Milwaukee-Chicago_files/Milwaukee-Chicago.html

    Searching “Chicago to Milwaukee” and choosing the bicycle icon via Google Maps will get you the route too.

    I rode this with friends two summers ago up and back and it was a nice route.

    2) Follow the lake
    I know it sounds simple, but you can follow Sheridan Road all the way up to Wisconsin, then from there just follow the Lake Michigan “Circle Tour” signs.

    I rode this last summer by myself and preferred it over the bicycle paths. With that said, I’ve got a road bike and put in a good amount of miles so if you’re hesitant about option #2 just take the paths up.

    Good luck!

  • Cullen Carter

    I’ve always been interested in finding a bike route from Milwaukee to Chicago.

    This article makes me MORE curious. I must explore my southern neighbor by bike soon.

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