Taking to the Streets: Over 150 bikers demand improved bike network in Chicago

A recent report ranks Chicago as one of the world’s worst big cities to bike in. Now, cyclists in Chicagoland want to change that.

Over 150 bikers rolled out onto South Side streets on Sunday to push for a better bike network.

"I just want to see safe bike routes," said Bridgeport cyclist Ariana Schachne.

Schachne rode the seven-mile bike bus route proudly.

She knows too many people who’ve had close calls riding on city streets.

"You hear it all the time as a biker in the city. You hear something’s happening to someone or whatever, and I don’t want that to happen to people," said Schachne.

"Take a look at infrastructure and how that can be changed. What are the good things? What are the bad things?" said Andrew Mack, an organizer with Chicago, Bike Grid Now! and avid city cyclist.

He says the Tour de Grid Southside addition is a chance to see what a low-cost, low-stress bike network could look like.

Mack says city officials are in a tight spot.

Officials want to offer on-street parking for businesses and create space for a safe walking and bike lane.

"We also know that businesses tend to see much more retail traffic when people are walking through their neighborhood," said Mack. 

Mack says cyclists like Ariana and thousands of others deserve a chance to ride wherever and whenever they want.

"All of this is part of making streets people-centered, and cars are guests. Right now, people live on a street and don’t feel safe being out," said Mack. 

Mack says Chicago, Bike Grid Now! will continue events until the bike network is safe.