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New Laws, Advocacy, Bike Lanes Benefit Chicago Bicyclists

Woman cycling in downtown Chicago

A Chicago Bicycle Accident Lawyer Explains How the Improvements Can Help Keep Cyclists Safe

This year could turn out to be safer for Chicago cyclists, thanks to several new state laws and bicycle advocacy groups working to expand bike lanes in Chicago and reduce the number of bicycle accidents in the greater Chicago area.

“Historically, we’ve prioritized automobile transportation and, consequently, there is a lack of biking and walking paths in many areas,” Illinois State Rep. Bob Morgan said in a recent interview with the Active Transportation Alliance (Active Trans) about the new bike lanes in the Chicago area. “By taking a more holistic view of transportation, this bill can help improve the amount of biking and walking infrastructure in our communities.”

Morgan sponsored one of the state laws last year that will significantly expand the number of bicycle trails in the Chicago area. He spoke with Active Trans in December. That same month, Active Trans held its annual meeting, where the organization honored two individuals for their ongoing bicycle advocacy in the Chicago area.

New Laws Passed in Illinois That Benefit Bicyclists

Illinois lawmakers passed two state laws last year that will greatly expand the number of bicycle lanes and trails in Chicagoland. Morgan co-sponsored House Bill (HB) 2950, which allows Springfield and the collar counties of DuPage, Kane, Lake, Will, and McHenry to spend funding generated by gasoline taxes on bicycle lanes and sidewalks. Governor Pritzker signed HB-2950 into law last August.

In addition, state lawmakers last year also approved HB-270. That law amended the Illinois Highway Code and now requires all Illinois Department of Transportation projects within one mile of an urban area to provide funding for bicycle lanes and pedestrian ways in conjunction with all construction or reconstruction projects.

Where Are New Bike Lanes Being Built in Chicago?

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) installed more than 50 miles of new bike lanes in 2021. The city paid for the bike lanes using $17 million in funding from the mayor’s Chicago Works plan.

The city will use the same funding to install an additional 45 miles of bike lanes this year. The new bike lanes being built this year will be located in the Austin, Belmont Cragin, and North Lawndale neighborhoods in Chicago, according to Chicago Yimby. This year’s bicycle improvement project also includes installing 300 new bike racks throughout the city.

Injured Cyclists Count on Keating

Anything that can be done to boost cyclist safety is good, but it's important to remember that it only takes one reckless driver to cause a crash that turns your whole life upside down. And while bicycle accidents often result in severe injury or death, they can also turn into complicated legal cases. That's why you need to make sure you fully understand your legal rights and options so you don't lose out on the compensation you need and deserve.

At Keating Law Offices, our attorneys have prosecuted more bicycle-related lawsuits in Illinois than any other law firm in the state. We are national leaders in cycling law and advocacy, and we know how to hold negligent drivers accountable for their actions. Discover what a Chicago bicycle accident attorney can do for you, and let us fight for the compensation you're entitled to.

Contact our law firm and schedule a free consultation at one of our two Chicago locations. We cannot undo the past, but we can help you plan for your future. We are here to help and will answer any questions you have about your accident and explain all the legal options available to you.

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