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Rahm Emanuel Refuses to Say He’s “Not Against Bike Lanes”

4:38 PM EDT on June 23, 2011

New protected bike lane on Chicago's Kinzie Street.

Okay. We can be envious now.

We noted a little while back that in setting out to make Chicago the nation's most bike-friendly city, Rahm Emanuel was setting a tone not heard before from a big-city mayor. Indications are that cyclists aren't tolerated in Emanuel's Chicago, but wanted. Here's an excerpt from an Emanuel statement on the city's bike program web site:

Whether it's navigating neighborhood streets with family and friends or catching a breeze along the lakefront on the way to work, more Chicagoans are discovering the benefits of biking. It's a fast, fun, healthy, and affordable way to get around the city. In addition to providing a convenient alternative to driving, cycling reduces traffic congestion, promotes a cleaner environment, creates healthier communities, and improves the quality of life in our neighborhoods.

One of my top priorities as mayor is to create a bike network that allows every Chicagoan -- from kids on their first ride to senior citizens on their way to the grocery store -- to feel safe on our streets.

Memo to New York's 2013 mayoral contenders: If you really support bicycling, this is how to do it with conviction and avoid coming across like a spineless coward.

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