Alderman Arena is a proponent of increasing access to alternative modes of transportation. He feels that by making our streets safer for all type of commuters, everyone will benefit. Slowing down traffic and encouraging people to use a variety of methods of transportation has shown to have positive health, economic, and social impacts on communities.
The City of Chicago has more than 200 miles of bike lanes, including on-street protected, buffered and shared bike lanes, and off-street paths. Chicago Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 has set the goal to expand to a 645-mile network of biking facilities by 2020. This will help Chicago become the most bicycle-friendly city in the United States and allow residents and visitors to feel more comfortable exploring our wonderful city.
The three key principles of the plan are:
- to provide a bicycle accommodation within 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.
Download a PDF copy of the current Chicago Bike Map here.
Biking in 45
In 2015, residents of the 45th Ward voted for the installation of bike lanes on Milwaukee Avenue from Addison Street to Lawrence Avenue through the participatory budgeting process. Since then, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) has gathered information on land use, parking utilization, and roadway geometry to develop a proposed design for the Milwaukee Avenue bike lanes.
In their study, CDOT determined that Milwaukee Avenue is too narrow to accommodate motor vehicle lanes, bike lanes, and parking lanes in each direction. As a result, parking removal on one side of the street from Addison Avenue to Irving Park Road will be required to provide space for the new bike lanes. CDOT did not recommend removal of parking spaces from Irving Park Road to Lawrence Avenue, however, due to the high parking demand. Instead, CDOT is recommending to install marked shared lanes in this section of Milwaukee Avenue.
CDOT conducted 8 parking demand counts at various times on weekdays and weekends. Based on this survey, the city recommended removing 92 on-street parking spaces, or 9% of the over 1,000 existing private and public parking spaces.
In addition to the removal of parking spaces, CDOT coordinated with the CTA to identify the following changes that will be made to the existing Route 56 Milwaukee:
- The northbound and southbound Waveland bus stop is recommended for removal based on low ridership.
- The southbound Kilbourn stop will be combined with the southbound stop at the Grayland Metra station.
- The northbound and southbound Wilson stop will be combined with stops at Laramie Avenue to provide a better pedestrian crossing at a traffic signal.
The addition of buffered bike lanes along Milwaukee Avenue will increase the safety for all commuters and encourage alternative methods of transportation.
Divvy is Chicago’s bike sharing system. There are more than 580 stations across the Chicagoland area offering thousands of bikes to provide residents and visitors with an easy, fun, affordable, and convenient mode of transportation.
Divvy recently installed seven stations on the far Northwest Side, with more slated in upcoming years. Currently, the stations on the far Northwest Side include:
- Kilbourn Avenue and Irving Park Road
- Milwaukee Avenue and Cuyler Avenue
- Keystone Avenue and Montrose Avenue
- Pulaski Road and Eddy Street
- Knox Avenue and Montrose Avenue (near Montrose Blue Line station)
- Kilbourn Avenue and Milwaukee Avenue (Metra Grayland station)
- Irving Park Road and Avondale Avenue (near Irving Park Blue Line station)
Bike 45 is a social group whose mission is to increase bicycle use in the 45th Ward through education and exploration. They strive to familiarize our neighbors with bicycle-friendly routes, safe practices, and how to incorporate cycling into their daily lives.
Bike 45 meets monthly starting late spring through the summer to go on social rides. Make sure to follow them on Facebook to stay up-to-date on their routes and to meet new neighbors.
Since 2001, the City of Chicago’s Bicycling Ambassadors have attended over 450,000 events and directly encouraged more than 600,000 people to ride bikes, walk, and use public transportation. Their service to the residents of the City of Chicago has earned them a nationwide reputation as the experts in bicycling safety.
The Bicycling Ambassadors are a free city service that is available year round. They attend a wide variety of events, from bike tours to health fairs to school events. Complete and online application to invite the Ambassadors to attend your event.