Chicago will build 33 miles of new bicycle lanes this year as part of a plan to improve the city's network of biking facilities by 2020.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel reaffirmed his promise to be a bike-friendly mayor with the announcement of plans to build 650 miles of protected paths and bike lanes, including a stretch on Dearborn Street that has traffic signals especially for cyclists, CBS Chicago reports.
Speaking at Malcolm X College Sunday, Emanuel said the expanded bike lane network is part of a strategy to lure high tech companies to Chicago, the Chicago Sun-Times reports, since the industry has a reputation for cycling enthusiasm.
“By next year I believe the city of Chicago will lead the country in protected bike lanes and dedicated bike lanes and it will be the bike friendliest city in the country,” Emanuel said Sunday, according to the newspaper.
The Department of Transportation built the city's first protected bike lane last summer along a half-mile stretch of Kinzie Street between Milwaukee Avenue and Wells Street.
Chicago has more than 170 miles of marked on-street bike lanes, according to the city website, but cyclists say they're not all safe. In March, a Chicago man filed a lawsuit against the city after he was injured in a cycling accident caused by a metal sewer grate in a bike lane, the Chicago Tribune reports.