The Chainlink

West Town & Lakeview Launch ‘Bike Friendly Business Districts,’ Discount Program for Biking

New program offers discounts for customers who arrive by bike; kickoff events to coincide with Chicago Bike Week


Chicago, IL (June 9, 2014) – On a typical day, more people ride on the Milwaukee Avenue protected ‘Spoke Route’ through West Town than almost any other street in the country. Chicago’s Lakefront Trail through Lakeview is also the busiest trail in the country. As a growing number of people continue using bicycles as a part of their daily lives and the city continues to invest in safer bikeways and the expansion of Divvy bike sharing, the West Town and Lakeview Chambers of Commerce believe there’s opportunity for local businesses to benefit. As such, the two chambers have partnered with Active Transportation Alliance to officially launch today Bike Friendly Business Districts, highlighted by a new neighborhood discount program for customers who arrive by bike. 


“More and more cities are discovering that increased biking is good for local businesses,” said Kace Wakem, program manager at the West Town Chamber of Commerce.  “Slower speeds increase the visibility of storefronts, helping to convert passers-by into loyal customers.”


“Biking is a great way to get around Lakeview,” said Heather Way, executive director of the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce. “A community that bikes is more likely to stay closer to home and frequent local businesses, but it also makes us a more attractive destination for visitors from the rest of the city.”


A Bike Friendly Business District is a commercial zone where local business owners, community groups and residents use the growing popularity of biking to promote shopping in the neighborhood while helping to improve conditions for biking, working together as community partners.  Studies have shown customers arriving by bike stop more frequently and spend more money per month than other customers.


“With more people riding bikes in Chicago than ever before, it’s great to see our local shops and restaurants are making the connection that bike-friendly is business-friendly,” said Ron Burke, executive director of Active Transportation Alliance, “Lakeview and West Town have long been leaders in Chicago’s bike community and we’re excited to see them take their efforts to the next level. We hope this is just the beginning of a whole new trend in Chicago’s neighborhoods.”


The Bike-Friendly Business District programs highlight various initiatives that help to make the neighborhoods bike-friendly:

  • Bike-Friendly Business Discount Program: Local businesses are offering special deals for customers who arrive by bike.
  • Bicycling education and encouragement initiatives: The chambers and community partners are planning public events, workshops, and educational materials.
  • Improved bike infrastructure: The chambers plan to install additional bike parking and new DIY repair stations. The Chicago Department of Transportation also recently installed new buffered bike lanes on Augusta in West Town, while Ald. Tom Tunney is planning a new Neighborhood Greenway on School Street in Lakeview.


As of today’s launch of the Bike-Friendly Business Discount Programs, over 60 businesses in West Town and Lakeview are now offering deals to customers arriving by bike who show their helmet. Look for Bike-Friendly Business decals in the windows of participating neighborhood businesses, and find a list of participating businesses at


Upcoming events also highlight how West Town and Lakeview businesses are participating to promote biking during Chicago Bike Week:

  • June 14, Schubas Bike Bash, at 3159 N Southport, 12-4PM: Kick off Bike Week with bike tune-ups, demos, raffle prizes and workshops, as well as BBQ and music.
  • June 16, On the Route Bicycles Commuter Pit Stop, at Lincoln and Barry, 6:30-9AM, with support from Whole Foods: Stop for free coffee, giveaways and bike mechanic.
  • June 17, Heritage Bicycles Commuter Pit Stop at Lincoln and Wellington, 6:30-9AM, with support from Whole Foods: Stop for free coffee, giveaways and bike mechanic.
  • June 17, Paramount Room, 4-8PM, After Work Happy Hour and Pit Stop featuring: 20% Off Food and a $4 Craft Beer Pints all night, cyclist networking, presentations from a bike advocacy group, bike maintenance demos, and complimentary passed hors d'ouevresJune 18, Frontier, 4-9PM, Patio Happy hour Oyster Boil, featuring: $12 Boiled Dozens and $1 Raw Oysters, $5 Half Acre Family Tall Boys, and BMX Demos from Let's Roast Bike Shop starting at 6pm
  • June 19, Duran European Sandwiches, 7-10AM, Brake for Breakfast, : $3 for choice of bagel and smear and La Colombe coffee, or a made-to-order bagel sandwich with coffee for $5
  • June 20, Ancien Cycles, 6-9PM Live Music, Beer, Free Burgers & Pho-Style Soup


About the West Town Chicago Chamber of Commerce:

The West Town Chicago Chamber of Commerce fosters community and economic development by empowering businesses with information, networking opportunities, marketing, and other programming. The chamber extensively promotes the unique elements of the West Town neighborhoods and strives to engage the public through the organization of special events that highlight existing businesses and attract consumers and new businesses to the West Town area. The chamber serves as a channel through which members can cultivate a diverse, symbiotic, and growth-oriented community.


About the Lakeview Chamber of Commerce

The mission of Lakeview Chamber of Commerce (LCC) is to support the prosperity of the local Chicago business community from Diversey on the south, to Irving Park Rd on the north; and Ravenswood on the west, to Racine on the east. It especially strives to promote the retail, professional, educational and economic interests of the area, and works to make Lakeview a neighborhood where people wish to live and linger, guided by its Lakeview Area Master Plan. The Lakeview Chamber is the Sole Service Provider for Special Service Area 27 (SSA 27). It coordinates the development of the SSA and administers the SSA-funded programs. SSAs are a funding mechanism to raise money for services to a designated mixed-use area through a property tax levy.


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