Rahm Emanuel states on his web site that he supports full implementation of Chicago’s Bike Plan. Emanuel wants to increase the number of bike lane miles added each year in Chicago from 8 miles to 25 miles. Additionally, Rahm states that he will prioritize the creation of protected bike lanes. Following the example of cities like Portland, Oregon, Chicago would create protected bike lanes which are separated from traveling cars and sit between the sidewalk and a row of parked cars that shield bicyclists from street traffic. As Chicago personal injury lawyers, the law firm of Zneimer & Zneimer has handled many cases for bicyclists hit by motorists on the city streets of Chicago. Chicago streets, even when they have bike lanes are not yet safe for bicyclists. Motorists still feel free to drive and park in bike lanes and the bike lanes disappear when they reach an intersection. Having protected bike lanes is the best way to make biking safer in Chicago. I have ridden a bicycle in the protected bike lanes in Portland, Oregon and I felt way safer than biking on the mean streets of Chicago.
Another exciting idea proposed by Emanuel would be to complete the Bloomingdale Trail which would be a 2.65 mile multi-use recreational trail built along the old unused rail line along the Bloomingdale Avenue on the northwest side of Chicago. The tracks will be converted into a safe greenway that accommodates pedestrians and bicyclists.
The Trail will be the world’s longest elevated trail, according to Emanuel’s web site, and it will allow thousands of Chicago residents to commute to work. The cost is estimated at $75 million and would be shared by local, federal, corporate and non-profit partners. Additionally, Rahm is committed to having the trail up and running during his first term.