The city of Chicago has released a very detailed plan to make the city one of the most bicycle-friendly in the U.S. In their "Bike 2015 Plan," Chicago city planners propose elevated bike lanes, special maps designed to aid bikers, and a 500-mile bikeway network throughout the city. Their goal is to make 5 percent of city trips under 5 miles into bicycle trips by 2015. That sounds small, but it's huge.
One of the things that's most interesting about the Bike 2015 Plan is that it calls for the city to intervene in bike safety and maintenance. It also lays out plans for several studies showing what optimal layouts for bike-friendly city streets would be, as well as what kinds of signs work best to protect bikers from zooming cars (known among bikers as "death machines"). Possibly most interesting are the ample links to bike-friendly strategies in other cities, which gives you a sense of how common it is these days for cities to plan with bicycles in mind. Now all Chicago needs is more funding to implement its plan, which is posted online in easily-browsed chunks. Check it out.