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Chicago leads the nation in cycling growth

Over the past five years, bicycling has grown faster in Chicago than in any other U.S. city, Ron Johnson writes in Momentum. The data comes from the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and its partnership with Replica, which quantifies bicycle use in the city to understand the impact of its bicycle infrastructure efforts. According to Johnson, “the study showed a 119% increase in bicycle use between fall 2019 and spring 2023, marking the largest jump among the 10 largest cities in the country.”

The city says the study results validate its Chicago Bicycle Strategy, which aims for low-stress cycling routes, active community engagement and filling critical gaps in the city’s cycling infrastructure. In 2023, it added 27 miles of protected bike lanes and 18 miles of new greenways, while neighborhood trips increased by 113 percent.

Still, there is room for improvement. “Improving security measures and infrastructure remains a critical area for development. Advocates emphasize the need for more protected bike lanes, better intersection designs, and comprehensive safety campaigns to ensure that increasing numbers of cyclists can ride safely and confidently.”