Chicago tops for bikes

Bicycling Magazine recently named Chicago the best big city forbicycling in the U.S. (and number two in North America after Montreal). Here's how the city described the recognition.

Chicago is the best big city in America for bicycling, according to Bicycling magazine. Chicago was picked as the Best Cycling City in the United States with a population of more than one million residents in the November issue of Bicycling, the world's largest bicycling magazine, which wrote "Chicago has made incredible strides to become a great cycling town."

Chicago was named the Number Two city in North America, with Montreal, Canada, at Number One.

The recognition is the second accolade Chicago has received recently. Last month, the League of American Bicyclists named Chicago the winner of the League's Best Bicycling Event in the Nation Award. The award was given in recognition of Bike Chicago 2001, Chicago's month-long celebration of bicycling, sponsored by the Mayor's Office of Special Events.

"Chicago has always been a great place to live, work and raise a family, and now we're receiving recognition for being a great place to ride a bike," said Mayor Richard M. Daley. "Biking is a great way to stay fit, and see the City from a unique and wonderful perspective. I've worked hard as Mayor to create a favorable environment for bike lovers, and I am pleased that these efforts are being recognized nationally."

Both honors are just the latest to recognize Mayor Daley's efforts to make Chicago one of the best cities for bicycling in the world.

Since 1991, when Mayor Daley formed the Mayor's Bicycle Advisory Council, Chicago has established more than 100 miles of bikeways and invested millions of dollars on bike-related improvements all across the City. In addition, Mayor Daley's Bicycling Ambassadors debuted this year, appearing at events and festivals throughout the city to offer bicycle education and safety tips.

"Thanks to Mayor Daley's vision, Chicago has become an excellent place to ride a bicycle," said Miguel d'Escoto, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation, which runs Chicago's Bike Program. "By continuing to promote bicycling as a means of alternative transportation, we're helping to both alleviate congestion and improve the environment."

To come up with its list of Best Bicycling Cities, Bicycling magazine rated cities on their bicycling infrastructure (bike lanes, bike racks, access to bridge and public transportation), the involvement of bicycle advocacy groups, and their bike culture, including bike clubs, bike shops and everyday riders.

The League of American Bicyclists represents more than 300,000 affiliated cyclists, promoting bicycling for recreation, fitness and transportation. Its award to the Mayor's Office of Special Events and CDOT cited Bike Chicago 2001, which included more than 100 bike events throughout the city during May. Among those events was a Bike-To-Work Rally in Daley Plaza that included a Celebrity Commuter Challenge, in which media personalities from television, radio and internet news services competed in a race against a car to see which could travel through city traffic the quickest.


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