Barrier-protected bike lanes, Bike to Work rally at Daley Plaza - FOX 32 News Chicago

Barrier-protected bike lanes open, Bike to Work rally at Daley Plaza

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Chicago Bike Week ends with a bang on Friday, with the Bike to Work Rally in Daley Plaza.

From devoted city cyclists to recreational family riders, thousands of bicycles filled the downtown plaza Friday morning. They're celebrating biking in Chicago. They're also encouraging safe riding for everyone, whether they're on the paths along the lake or zipping through city streets.

Mayor Emanuel will join the U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood at the rally around 8 a.m.

New barrier-protected bike lanes have opened along Chicago's Milwaukee Avenue, the city's most heavily biked corridor.

Thousands of cyclists zip along the roadway each day on commutes into the business district from the northwest.

The section with protective barriers separating the bike lanes from vehicle traffic is along a nearly one-mile stretch just outside downtown.

The Chicago Department of Transportation announced opening of the bike corridor on Thursday. It estimates that bicycles account for more than 40% of the traffic along the corridor during rush hour.

Bicycle traffic signals and the city's first bike passing lanes for faster cyclists is part of the roadway.

The city says 20,000 bicyclists commute daily to downtown.

Chicago has 170 miles of bike lanes and aims to reach 645 miles by 2020.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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