$40 Million for Bike Path

"When it's done, there's no question about the value"

By Susan Ball
|  Tuesday, Sep 15, 2009  |  Updated 10:19 AM CDT
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Whether You Bike It Or Not

AP

Cost of Mayor Daley's proposed bike path plan: $40 million.

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Mayor Daley's latest bike path plan is expensive, whether you bike it or not.

A $40 million deal is in the works to renovate the 18-mile lakefront trail that stretches from Ohio Street Beach to the north end of Grant Park

It would include elevated pathways over Grand Avenue and Illinois Street as well as widened sidewalks on the Lake Shore Drive bridge in order to accommodate both bicyclists and pedestrians. Check out the detailed map.

The original plan, drafted ten years ago, cost roughly $20 million less than the newly proposed plan, which extends farther across the Chicago River to alleviate the most congested part of the trail. 

The 2002 proposal was put on hold when planners couldn't decide how to deal with the bridge's 6 to 8 feet-wide sidewalks. 

The reason for the change, reports ChicagoBusiness.com, is the addition of Millennium Park and numerous bike rental stations along the lake, which have attracted many downtown commuters. 

To account for the budget differential, the Daley administration has asked for $13.7 million in federal money allotted to projects that would reduce car pollution. $8.6 million has already been collected from the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program, which is expected to cover nearly 80% if the cost.

Mayor Daley's goal is for Chicago to be "the most bike friendly city in the United States."

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