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The “Cities for Cycling” Roadshow Rocks Chicago

"Cities for Cycling" is a project of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) to document, promote and implement the world’s best bicycle transportation practices in American cities. As part of the Cities for Cycling program, bikeway design experts take their show on the road, using the streets of different U.S. cities as their classroom and the new NACTO design book as their guide.

"The NACTO Guide is a really important step for cities to say it is okay to be different then a rural area. We are not better…we are just different and we would like to apply these different principles," says Chicago Commissioner of Transportation Gabe Klein.

Streetfilms brings you these highlights of the Chicago stop on the tour, where representatives from the transportation departments of NYC, Portland and San Francisco shared lessons from developing bike infrastructure in their hometowns.

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Kinzie Street: The First of Many Protected Bike Lanes for Chicago

In his campaign for mayor, Rahm Emanuel pledged to make Chicago a more bike-friendly city. And in office, he set his sights high, aiming to construct 100 miles of protected bike lanes in his first term.

His team wasted no time. Chicago DOT installed the city's first protected bike lane on Kinzie Street before Emanuel's first 30 days in office were over. Leading Emanuel's DOT is former Washington, DC DOT Commissioner Gabe Klein, who clearly understands the connection between safe streets and the health of a city.

Last month Streetfilms traveled to Chicago to speak with the commissioner, ride on Kinzie Street, and bask in the city's cycling excitement.

And one piece of local trivia. The Blommer Chocolate Store is right on the Kinzie Street protected bike lane and boy does it smell good. It figured prominently in my all-time favorite response to an interview question about biking.