Image credit Chicago Community Loan Fund
Last week, five Atlanta City Councilmembers, Commissioners of the Department of Planning and Community Development and Public Works, key city staff including the Mayor's Office, and several Atlanta Bicycle Coalition board members and staff attended a study tour of Chicago. Sponsored by PeopleForBikes, the tour was coordinated by ABC, the City of Atlanta, and the Chicago Department of Transportation.
During the study tour, councilmembers went on a five-mile bike ride using the Divvy bike share program, and heard presentations from a Chicago Alderman, business leaders, the Chicago Mayor's Office, the Chicago Department of Transportation, and Slow Roll Chicago.
The tour gave an excellent overview of Chicago's rapid rise to the top tier of U.S. biking cities. Their investments in buffered and protected bike lanes is paying off with revitalized business corridors, more transportation options for residents, and an amazing experience for visitors like us! To read more about the Chicago story, visit PeopleForBikes on Chicago, or Streetsblog Chicago.
Our favorite moment of the trip came at the end. A city official said "...this has been an awakening experience - now I know more of what it feels like to bike on city streets, and it gave me empathy. Moving forward I am now pro-bike. This trip helped me to understand the mindset [of bicycles as transportation options], and that it's not just health nuts. I'm going to take this back to my staff and department."