Klein with Active Trans’ Julia Kim.
With terrific weather there was a good turnout at today’s Bike to Work Rally under the giant Picasso in Daley Plaza. As the festivities wound down, I buttonholed Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein to ask him a few questions about the state of cycling in Chicago.
This is going to be a big year for bicycling in Chicago. What things are you most excited about that are coming up this year?
There’s so much that we’re working on, but I’m really proud of the bike team’s efforts on the protected bike lanes and the buffered bike lanes, and traditional bike lanes. I mean, last year we put in 39 miles all across the board, which was probably more than we’ve ever done. This year we’re going to put in 25 miles of protected and buffered bike lanes, mostly protected. So I’m very excited about our efforts to make it safer for people, particularly to get to work. That’s why Bike to Work Week is great. What we’ve seen, and I’ve heard it from people in our agency is, people are like, “Wow, I didn’t know it was so much fun and so fast and so easy to get to work on my bike.” And now if we can just make it a little safer, then I think people will be like, “There’s no good reason not to do this.”