Occupy Chicago’s nickname for Chicago’s infamous Mayor Rahm Emanuel, “Mayor 1%,” is looking more accurate than ever—but for reasons that do not fit the self-proclaimed “99 percent’s” typical narrative. More likely, Emanuel’s plan to spend millions on the 1% percent will receive applause from the Occupy crowd, good “environmentalists” that they are.
This $91 million expenditure will go towards bringing roughly 650 miles of new protected bike lanes to the city of Chicago over the next eight years. This, Mayor Emanuel says, will add more “transportation choices” and help the city recruit start-up companies.
Ironically, while safety is another stated reason for the new bike lanes, the project actually forces opposing lanes of motor vehicle traffic much closer together. The bike lanes, which are normally only painted lanes that run with motor vehicle traffic, will now run along the sidewalk, with permanently installed pillions that protect them from parked cars. This, in turn, also moves parking lanes closer to moving traffic, as the overall lane space is much tighter, with approximately seven feet of road space removed on each side of the street for the bi-directional bike lanes.