Cycling Chicago

Pioneering Bike Paths Promise Easy Commutes




William Perugini/Shutterstock.com

Chicago has created 100 miles of new bike lanes in the last five years and plans to add another 50 miles of upgraded lanes with curbs to protect riders from cars by 2019. Beyond that, a series of floating, solar-powered bike paths along the edge of the Chicago River is on the drawing board; each mile of pathway may cost between $5

The architecture firm SecondShore first proposed the idea. “You look at the river, and while it used to be the main commercial artery in the city, it’s not much of one anymore,” says firm cofounder James Chuck. “This fits with the mayor’s general economic strategy for the city—how to make use of latent infrastructure.”

The floating bike paths, named RiverRide, would give pedalers a truly auto-free place to ride for part of their commute and connect with existing bike lanes. The system would fill gaps in the network, creating around a 17-mile stretch of continuous bike paths connecting 28 neighborhoods.

Floating on concrete pontoons, the paths would use solar power for lighting. Solar panels could also heat the surface so the path doesn’t ice up in winter. Plans call for the path to intersect with river bridges so bikers can cross to the other side.


This article appears in the May 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Eat Right to Sleep Well

Rather than popping a pill, eating certain foods can kick-start hormones that help us get a long, deep night’s sleep.

We Need Clean Waters

Efforts are underway around the country to make polluted waterways clean again and to instill local appreciation for their many helpful roles.

Peter Gros on Preserving Wild Nature

The wildlife expert explains why we should appreciate wolves, snakes and bats and what he finds encouraging about an enlightened focus on wildlife protection.

Running with the Kids

Families with children as young as 5 easily bond when they mindfully run together at a fun pace.

Livable Communities We Love

Across the country, cities from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh to Portland are finding fresh new ways to create engaging street life for residents while eco-upgrading their green spaces, services and infrastructure.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »This Month

Green Living Expo at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake

McHenry County College (MCC), in Crystal Lake, will host its ninth annual Green Living Expo from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., November 5, in the gym/multipurpose room, featuring local businesses and organizations that offer green products and services.

Ronora Lodge Provides an Idyllic Getaway

Deej Leggitt, co-owner of the Ronora Lodge and Retreat Center, two miles north of Watervliet, Michigan, says, “People say they feel The Mother here.”

Healing Our Bodies from Within

Local practitioners have been studying and practicing centuries-old techniques such as Reiki, color therapy and energy flow to help clients ease the pain and stress of daily life and chronic illness.

Farmers’ Markets Now Supported in Chicago Food Deserts

The USDA is awarding the city of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events grant funds to support Chicago farmers’ markets.

Choosing a Holistic Healthcare Provider Just got Easier

Dr. Nicholas LeRoy, a local chiropractic physician and holistic medicine specialist, treats patients using alternative and holistic therapies at his Chicago-based Illinois Center for Progressive Health.

Local Massage Therapy Centers Celebrate Anniversaries

Massage therapy spa Urban Oasis marks their 21st anniversary. Calm Massage Therapy Center, in Highland Park, is celebrating their fifth anniversary.