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CHICAGO –Mayor Emanuel’s plan to expand the city’s bike lane network continues.

It’s now up to 290 miles in all 50 wards.

Chicago’s transportation commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld today touted the latest protected bike lanes along 31st, from Michigan to LaSalle, as a clear sign of our changing commuting needs.

“This will be an emphasis of strengthen the connectivity  of our bike network,” she said.  “These curb protected bike lanes provide better separation from people riding bikes and people driving. They also reduce illegal parking and driving in the bike lanes and improve the esthetics of the roadway.”

The mayor spoke of the importance the added bikes lanes and how they drive an economic engine.

“As we’ve invested in these protected bikes lanes, we’ve also seen a growth in our tech economy in the city of Chicago because people in the digital economy like the focus on this and like being able to ride to work,” Mayor Emanuel said.  “People are going to be riding to work. It’s a matter of if we’re going to make it safe for them.”

This year, the city will get an additional 9.5 miles of protected bike lanes.  The city’s budgeted up to $6 million to improve and add bike lanes for 2016.