Want to Divvy in Chicago? Know the rules of the road before borrowing a bike

Want to Divvy in Chicago? Know the rules of the road before borrowing a bike
Chicago Divvy bikes

Chicago Divvy bikes

Chicago is quickly developing a reputation as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the U.S.

The introduction in of the Divvy bike-sharing program in 2013 provided residents and tourists with a healthier and eco-friendly commuting option.

But Divvy's 3,000 bikes in Chicago’s 200 miles of dedicated bicycle lanes means there are more chances for accidents because casual riders aren't always familiar with the city's rules of the road.

"Overall the Divvy program has been a positive for the city," says Adam Kaplan, a partner in highly rated bike shop Get A Grip Cycles in Chicago’s Irving Park neighborhood.

"But it can be a double-edged sword because Divvy riders understand the value of getting around on a bike, but some are inexperienced. For everyday bike commuters, we tend to give them a pretty wide birth."

RELATED: 5 Bicycle Safety Tips

So, what should Divvy riders know before swiping their credit card and unloading a bike from the rack?

Take a look at some of Chicago’s most important bicycle safety laws:

  • All traffic rules apply to bicyclists, including riding the wrong way on a one-way street.
  • Cyclists are not allowed to ride on Chicago sidewalks.
  • Groups of riders must only ride in a single-file formation, but may ride two abreast when not blocking other traffic.
  • It is illegal to talk or text on a mobile phone while riding a bike.
  • All bicycles must be registered with the Chicago Police Department.
  • A front white headline and rear red twilight are required to ride at night. Divvy bikes are equipped with front and rear flashing lights.
  • Bicycles are not allowed on Lake Shore Drive.
  • Violators of any bicycle safety laws in the city can face up to a $500 fine.

For a complete guide to Chicago bicycle laws, check with the Chicago Department of Transportation.

Ready to invest in your own ride? Check out these Chicago-area bike shops.


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Chicago's Divvy system plans a 2015 expansion that will make it the largest bike-share program in North America by service area.  (Photo by Steven Jack)
Chicago's Divvy system plans a 2015 expansion that will make it the largest bike-share program in North America by service area. (Photo by Steven Jack)

Popular bike-sharing program Divvy to add 175 stations on Chicago's near west and far north, south sides. Mayor Rahm Emanuel pushing for more neighborhood stations.

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