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City To Build More Than 30 Miles Of New Bike Lanes

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Protected Bike Lane

A protected bike lane, with flexible plastic barriers and parked vehicles separating the bike lane from vehicle traffic, was opened along Kinzie Street in Chicago on July 25, 2011. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced Chicago is building 33 miles of new bicycle lanes this year.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Marsett reports, the protected bike lanes are part of a planned nearly 650-mile network of biking facilities to be in place by 2020. The paths include a protected path on Dearborn Street that will feature traffic signals especially for cyclists.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Marsett reports

The mayor says by the end of this year, “Chicago will lead the country in protected bike lanes, dedicated bike lanes, and will be the bike-friendliest city in the country.”

Emanuel says for a city to function and prosper, modern and efficient bike lanes is essential.

The mayor says having bike lines is also essential to keeping businesses in Chicago.

The city says the bike lane project will provide a bicycle accommodation within half-mile of every Chicagoan, and will be instrumental in creating the quality of life Chicagoans are seeking.

Last year, the city installed and re-striped 39 miles’ worth of bike lanes. Last year also marked the opening of the first protected bike lane, along Kinzie Street between Milwaukee Avenue and Wells Street.

Protected bike lanes are also planned for Elston Avenue and in the West Side boulevard system.

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