Bike to Work week spotlights cycling in Chicago

Since it’s Bike to Work week here in Chicago, I thought now would be a great time to highlight all the great cycling initiatives the city has implemented in recent years. (I’m in the market for a new bike myself so I can take advantage of all of them!) Our colleague Julie Hochstadter is leading the Coldwell Banker participation in the Bike to Work initiative this year. She was interviewed on WGN News this week about the initiative, and you can watch the video by clicking this link.

One of the great things about Chicago is how accessible it is to cyclists. The city has made a huge push to encourage more people to commute and get around via bicycle. Every big city runs into the problem of how to move large numbers of people around town efficiently and in an environmentally sustainable way. As a result, in recent years, almost every major metropolis has included bicycles as part of its city transportation solution. Inspired by cities like Amsterdam, Copenhagen and London that have fully embraced cycling, Chicago has been busy adding bike lanes and other resources available to cyclists. One of the newest resources is the city’s bike rental program. There are currently 3,000 bicycles available for rent at 300 stations scattered from Montrose to 43rd Street and from the lakefront to Western Avenue. People needing a ride can purchase an annual membership or a daily membership and use a bike for up to 30 minutes/day, simply returning the bike to another station when they are done.

To encourage more people to commute via bicycle, the city has also installed new bike lanes on many streets, including some around Kinzie where the bike lane is actually located between parked cars and the sidewalk to make the riding safer. Here at the Apostal Group, we think bicycling is a great idea, because you can fit more people into a set area, particularly in commercial areas. Neighborhoods that incorporate biking have greater revenue in their commercial area than neighborhoods that resist bicycle accommodations.

In the next post, I’ll talk about some great special events that the city sponsors for cyclists and highlight some of my favorite bike shops. So what are you waiting for? Let’s bike to work!

Photo courtesy of Flickr user gregmote