Chicago lagged on biking and walking funding in 2010

(News from the Active Transportation Alliance)

Chicago ranks 46 out of 51 large cities for spending on walking and bicycling in 2010

The Active Transportation Alliance lauds recent investments and urges elected officials to secure more federal funding


According to a report released by the Alliance for Biking & Walking, a national advocacy organization, Chicago ranked 46 out of 51 large cities for per capita spending on improving walking and bicycling in 2010. The Active Transportation Alliance believes the report shows clear support for local elected officials to secure additional federal funding that could improve infrastructure, safety and education programs for walking and biking.

The “Bicycling and Walking in the U.S.: 2012 Benchmarking Report” ranks Chicago 12th out of 51 large cities for percentage of people commuting to work by walking (5.8 percent) or biking (1.1 percent bicycling). Despite the lack of investment, Chicago ranks higher than the nationwide average of 2.9 percent walking and 0.6 percent biking, but not as good as Minneapolis, which boasts 6.4 percent of commuting trips on foot and 4.1 percent of commuting trips on a bike.

Over a five year average (2006-2010), Chicago spent .2 percent of its federal transportation funding on bike and pedestrian projects for a total of $561,871.

“Chicago’s recent investment in biking and walking infrastructure served as a shot in the arm to help offset years of underfunding,” said Ron Burke, executive director of the Active Transportation Alliance. “It’s an exciting time for biking and walking in Chicago, and we’re thrilled to help Mayor Emanuel’s administration bring these plans to fruition.”

Burke said the planned network of protected bike lanes and neighborhood greenways, as well as the crosswalks, plazas and other types of pedestrian infrastructure will certainly boost the number of people walking and biking in Chicago. 

Overall, the report makes a strong case for boosting active transportation funding nationwide. “A much greater investment is needed in biking and walking to increase active transportation,” said Jeffrey Miller, Alliance for Biking & Walking president/CEO. “The Benchmarking Report shows that biking and walking are smart and cost-effective solutions that will pay for themselves many times over in healthcare savings and impact on local economies.”

“Bicycling and Walking in the U.S.: 2012 Benchmarking Report” was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and made possible through additional support from AARP and Planet Bike. For more information and to download the report, visit

The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that works to make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel. The organization builds a movement around active transportation, encourages physical activity, increases safety and builds a world-class transportation network. The Active Transportation Alliance is North America’s largest transportation advocacy organization, supported by nearly 6,000 members, 1,000 volunteers and 40 full-time staff. For more information on the Active Transportation Alliance, visit or call 312.427.3325.  

Alliance for Biking & Walking is the North American coalition of nearly 200 grassroots biking and walking advocacy organizations. The Alliance works to strengthen state and local organizations through research, sharing best practices, training, resources, and grants. For more information or to find a local organization visit