Municipal Code of Chicago

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Please read the accompanying disclaimer below concerning the publishing of these ordinances on our website.

These ordinances can also be read on the American Legal Publishing website.

All of these ordinances are located in the Municipal Code of Chicago, Title 9: Vehicles, Traffic and Rail Transportation.

9-4-025 Bicycle safety violation–Penalty - Permalink

(a) Any person who violates subsection (e) or (f) of section 9-16-020, subsection (c) of section 9-36-010, or section 9-40-060, of this Code, shall be subject to (i) a penalty of $150.00 or, (ii) if such violation causes a collision between a motor vehicle and a bicycle, a penalty of $500.00, for each offense.

(b) Any person who violates sections 9-40-160 or 9-80-035 of this Code, when such violation interferes with the movement of a bicycle, shall be subject to (i) a penalty of $150.00 or, (ii) if such violation causes a collision between a motor vehicle and a bicycle, a penalty of $500.00, for each offense.

Added Coun. J. 3-12-08, p. 22781, § 2

9-16-020 (e) Right of way to a bicycle on Left Turn - Permalink

The driver of a vehicle within an intersection intending to turn to the left shall yield the right-of-way to a bicycle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard.

Added Coun. J. 3-12-08, p. 22783; Amend Coun. J. 3-12-08, p. 22781, § 1

Other subsections within this section have been omitted, showing only the subsections relevant to bicycling.

9-16-020 (f) Turning right in front of a bicycle - Permalink

When a motor vehicle and a bicycle are traveling in the same direction on any highway, street, or road, the operator of the motor vehicle overtaking such bicycle traveling on the right side of the roadway shall not turn to the right in front of the bicycle at that intersection or at any alley or driveway until such vehicle has overtaken and is safely clear of the bicycle.

Added Coun. J. 3-12-08, p. 22783

Other subsections within this section have been omitted, showing only the subsections relevant to bicycling.

9-36-010 (c) Overtaking on the left - Permalink

The operator of a motor vehicle overtaking a bicycle or individual proceeding in the same direction on a highway shall leave a safe distance, but not less than 3 feet, when passing the bicycle or individual and shall maintain that distance until safely past the overtaken bicycle or individual.

Added Coun. J. 3-12-08, p. 22783

Other subsections within this section have been omitted, showing only the subsections relevant to bicycling.

9-40-060 Driving, standing or parking on bicycle paths or lanes prohibited - Permalink

The driver of a vehicle shall not drive, unless entering or exiting a legal parking space, or stand, or park the vehicle upon any on street path or lane designated by official signs or markings for the use of bicycles, or otherwise drive or place the vehicle in such a manner as to impede bicycle traffic on such path or lane. The driver of a vehicle shall not stand or park the vehicle upon any lane designated by pavement markings for the shared use of motor vehicles and bicycles, or place the vehicle in such a manner as to impede bicycle traffic on such lane. In addition to the fine provided in Section 9-4-025 of this Code, any vehicle parked in violation of this section shall be subject to an immediate tow and removal to a city vehicle pound or authorized garage.

Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634; Amend Coun. J. 9-1-99, p. 10503, § 1; Amended Coun. J. 3-12-08, p. 22781, § 1

9-40-160 Drivers to exercise due care - Permalink

Every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian, or any person operating a bicycle or other device propelled by human or animal power, upon any roadway, and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary and shall exercise proper precautions upon observing any child or any confused or incapacitated person upon a roadway.

Amended Coun. J. 3-12-08, p. 22781, § 1

9-52-010 Rights and duties - Permalink

(a) Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by the laws of this state declaring rules of the road applicable to vehicles or by the traffic ordinances of this city applicable to the driver of a vehicle, except as to those provisions of laws and ordinances which by their nature can have no application.

(b) The regulations in the traffic code applicable to bicycles shall apply whenever a bicycle is operated upon any roadway or public sidewalk or upon any public path set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles, subject to those exceptions stated herein.

(c) Whenever authorized signs are erected indicating that no right or left turn or turn in the opposite direction is permitted, no person operating a bicycle shall disobey the direction of any such sign unless he dismounts from the bicycle to make the turn, in which event he shall then obey the regulations applicable to pedestrians.

(d) Every person convicted of a violation of any provision of this chapter regulating bicycles shall be fined $25.00.

Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634

9-52-020 Riding bicycles on sidewalks and certain roadways - Permalink

(a) No person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk within a business district. (b) No person 12 or more years of age shall ride a bicycle upon any sidewalk in any district, unless such sidewalk has been officially designated and marked as a bicycle route. (c) Bicycles shall not be operated on Lake Shore Drive or on any roadway where the operation of bicycles has been prohibited and signs have been erected indicating such prohibition. (d) Whenever a usable path for bicycles has been provided adjacent to a roadway, bicycle riders shall use such path and shall not use the roadway.

Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634

9-52-021 Riding bicycles on sidewalks–Penalty - Permalink

(a) The penalty for any person age 18 and older who rides a bicycle on the sidewalk adjacent to North Sheridan Road, between West Ardmore Avenue and West Sheridan Road (6400 north) shall be as follows: (1) the bicycle shall be temporarily disabled without permanent damage; and (2) the violator shall be subject to a fine of $50.00. (b) Following passage and approval, this section shall be in force and effect upon posting of signage notifying bicyclists of the penalty for violation of this section.

Added Coun. J. 2-6-02, p. 79154, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 6-4-03, p. 2538, § 1

9-52-030 Speed of bicycles - Permalink

No person shall operate a bicycle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions then existing.

Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634

9-52-040 Yielding right-of-way. - Permalink

(a) The operator of a bicycle emerging from an alley, driveway or building shall, upon approaching a sidewalk or the sidewalk area extending across any alleyway, yield the right-of-way to all pedestrians approaching on the sidewalk or sidewalk area and, upon entering the roadway, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching on the roadway. (b) Whenever any person is riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk, such person shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian. (c) Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near as practicable to the right-hand side of the roadway, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction and at all times giving the right-of-way to other moving vehicles.

Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634

9-52-050 Riding in single file required—Exceptions - Permalink

Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride other than single file except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.

Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634

9-52-060 Carrying articles on bicycles - Permalink

No person operating a bicycle shall carry any package, bundle or article which prevents the rider from keeping at least one hand upon the handlebars.

Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634

9-52-070 Parking - Permalink

No person shall park a bicycle upon a street other than upon the roadway against the curb or upon the sidewalk against a rack, parking meter or sign pole to support the bicycle or against a building or at the curb in such manner as to afford the least obstruction to pedestrian traffic.

Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634; Amend Coun. J. 7-21-04, p. 28659, § 1

9-52-071 Abandoned bicycles - Permalink

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to abandon any bicycle on any public way within the city. A bicycle shall be deemed abandoned if it: (1) is in such a state of disrepair as to be incapable of being operated in its present condition, or (2) has not been moved or used in more than seven days and bears physical indicia of having been deserted. (b) Any bicycle deemed abandoned pursuant to subsection (a) of this section may have a notice affixed to it which informs the bicycle’s owner that the bicycle appears to be abandoned. The commissioner of transportation or his designee is authorized to affix such notices upon bicycles. This notice shall indicate: (1) a telephone number for the owner to call to inform the department of transportation that the bicycle is not abandoned; and (2) the date after which the bicycle may be removed if it is not claimed by its owner. A bicycle shall not be deemed to be abandoned if the owner of the bicycle, within seven days of the affixing of a notice of abandonment, notifies the department of transportation that the bicycle is not abandoned. (c) If a bicycle is not relocated or claimed by its owner within seven days of the affixing of a notice of abandonment, that bicycle may be removed and disposed of by the commissioner of transportation or his designee.

Added Coun. J. 7-21-04, p. 28659, § 1

9-52-080 Head lamps, reflectors and brakes - Permalink

(a) Every bicycle when in use at nighttime shall be equipped with a head lamp which shall emit a white light visible from a minimum distance of 500 feet from the front and with a rear red reflector capable of reflecting the head lamp beams of an approaching motor vehicle back to the operator of such vehicle at distances up to 200 feet or a rear lamp emitting a red light visible from a distance of at least 200 feet from the rear.

(b) Every bicycle shall be equipped with a brake that will enable the operator to make the braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement.

Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634

9-52-090 Riding regulations - Permalink

(a) A person propelling a bicycle shall not ride other than astride a permanent and regular seat attached thereto. (b) No bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped.

Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634

9-52-100 Parent's or legal guardian's responsibility. - Permalink

No parent or legal guardian of any child shall authorize or knowingly permit the child to violate any of the provisions of this chapter applicable to bicycles.

Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634

9-80-035 Opening and closing vehicle doors - Permalink

No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so, and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.

Added Coun. J. 3-12-08, p. 22781, § 2

9-120-010 Definition - Permalink

The word "bicycle" as used in this chapter means every vehicle propelled by human power upon which any person may ride, having at least two tandem wheels either of which is 20 inches or over in diameter.

Prior code § 29.1-1; Amend Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634

9-120-020 Registration - Permalink

It is hereby made the duty of the owner of every bicycle, before operating or permitting the operation of the same upon any public way within the city, to register said vehicle with the commissioner of police on a form provided for such purpose. Registration may be accomplished by filing the registration record or form, duly filled out, in the office of the commander of the police district in which the bicycle owner resides, or by mailing said form, duly filled out, postage prepaid, to the commissioner of police.

Prior Registration code § 29.1-2; Amend Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634

9-120-030 Registration Record - Permalink

The registration record shall be in size and style as prescribed by the commissioner of police and shall contain the date of registration, the make, serial number, model and description of the bicycle registered, the name and residence address of the owner, the signature of the owner, the owner's age, and if such owner is under 21 years of age, the name and address of his or her parent or guardian, the name and address of the person from whom purchased, the date of purchase, and such additional information as the commissioner of police may require.

Prior code § 29.1-3; Amend Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634

9-120-040 Sale or transfer - Permalink

Upon the sale or transfer of any bicycle registered hereunder, it shall be the duty of the purchaser, within ten days of the date of such sale or transfer, to register such bicycle in his name in manner provided for in the case of an original registrant.

Prior code § 29.1-4; Amend Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634

9-120-050 Alteration of serial number prohibited - Permalink

It shall be unlawful to destroy, remove, alter, cover or deface the manufacturer's serial number on any bicycle. It shall be unlawful for any person to own or have custody of a bicycle, the original manufacturer's serial number of which has been destroyed, removed, altered, covered or defaced. Any person who violates any of the provisions of this section shall be fined not more than $200.00 for each offense.

Prior code § 29.1-5; Amend Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634

9-120-060 Traffic regulations to apply - Permalink

No person shall operate any bicycle upon the public ways or other places in this city in violation of any of the applicable provisions of Title 9 of this Code.

Prior code § 29.1-6; Amend Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634

9-120-070 Rental agencies - Permalink

A rental agency shall not rent or offer any bicycle for rent unless the bicycle is registered in accordance with the requirements of this chapter providing therefor.

Prior code § 29.1-7; Amend Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634

9-120-080 Bicycle dealers - Permalink

Every person engaged in the business of buying or selling new or second hand bicycles shall make a report to the commissioner of police of every bicycle purchased or sold by such dealer, giving the name and address of the person from whom purchased or to whom sold, a description of such bicycle by name or make, the frame number thereof, and the registration number, if any, found thereon.

Prior code § 29.1-8; Amend Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634

4-168-010 Definitions - Permalink

For the purposes of this chapter, unless the context clearly requires otherwise: “Central business area” means the area bounded by a line as follows: beginning at the easternmost point of Division Street extended to Lake Michigan; then west on Division Street to LaSalle Street; then south on LaSalle Street to Chicago Avenue; then west on Chicago Avenue to Halstead Street; then south on Halsted Street to Roosevelt Road; then east on Roosevelt Road to its easternmost point extended to Lake Michigan. “Bicycle messenger services” means the delivery by bicycle for hire of packages, parcels, food, papers or any other items on behalf of any commercial, industrial, governmental, charitable or other enterprise. “Bicycle” includes any vehicle defined in Section 9-120-010 and any other vehicle that would be included within such definition but for the size of the vehicle’s wheels. “Bicycle operator” means a person who makes deliveries by bicycle on behalf of a bicycle messenger service. “Person” includes any natural person, corporation, firm, partnership, joint venture, association or other entity. “Commissioner” means the commissioner of consumer services.

Added Coun. J. 7-29-92, p. 20042; Amend Coun. J. 12-9-92, p. 25465

4-168-020 License – Required - Permalink

(a) No person shall engage in the occupation of providing bicycle messenger services within the central business area without having secured a license issued under this chapter. The license shall be in addition to any other license required by law. (b) This section shall not apply to a person who provides bicycle messenger services exclusively for himself or herself, or for his or her employer. This section shall, however, apply to a person who provides bicycle messenger services as an independent contractor for any person other than pursuant to a contract with a person with a license issued under this chapter.

Added Coun. J. 7-29-92, p. 20042; Amend Coun. J. 12-9-92, p. 25465

4-168-030 License – Fee - Permalink

The annual fee for a license issued under this chapter shall be $70.00 and shall not be prorated. The license period shall begin September 1st of each year and end August 31st of the following year.

Added Coun. J. 7-29-92, p. 20042; Amend Coun. J. 12-9-92, p. 25465

4-168-040 License – Application - Permalink

Application for a bicycle messenger service license shall be made in writing to the commissioner on a form provided by the commissioner and signed and sworn to by the applicant or, if the applicant is a corporation, by its authorized agent. Each application shall contain: (a) The full name, residence and business address and the business telephone number of the applicant; (b) If the applicant is a corporation: (1) The corporate name and business of the applicant; (2) The date and state of incorporation; and (3) The names, residence addresses and residence telephone numbers of the corporate officers and its registered agent; (c) If the applicant is a partnership: (1) The name and business address and telephone number of the principal office or place of business of the applicant; (2) The names, residence addresses and residence telephone numbers of all partners; and (3) The name, address and telephone number of a person authorized to receive notices issued pursuant to this chapter. Each corporate applicant for a bicycle messenger license shall be organized and qualified to do business under the laws of the State of Illinois.

Added Coun. J. 7-29-92, p. 20042; Amend Coun. J. 12-9-92, p. 25465; Amend Coun. J. 7-27-05, p. 53211, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 5-9-07, p. 105047, § 11

4-168-050 Insurance – Required - Permalink

(a) Each applicant for a bicycle messenger service license shall provide proof that the applicant and each bicycle operator engaged by him has insurance coverage in the following minimum amounts: (1) $50,000.00 for property damages; (2) $50,000.00 for injuries to or death of any one person; and (3) $100,000.00 for injuries to or death of more than one person in any one accident. In addition, worker’s compensation coverage must be provided as required by state law. (b) Any insurance policy required by this section must be in a form satisfactory to the commissioner and must provide that the policy will not be canceled and the amount of coverage will not be changed unless 60 days prior written notice is given to the commissioner.

Added Coun. J. 7-29-92, p. 20042; Amend Coun. J. 12-9-92, p. 25465

4-168-060 Records on bicycle operators – Required - Permalink

Every licensee shall maintain records of all bicycle operators operating on the licensee’s behalf. The records shall include the name and address of each bicycle operator and the identification number or letters required under Section 4-168-070 for each operator. The identification number or letters assigned to a bicycle operator shall not be assigned to or used by any other operator unless such transfer is necessary because of a change in employment status. The records required by this section shall be made available to the commissioner at his or her request, and shall be maintained for at least two years.

Added Coun. J. 7-29-92, p. 20042; Amend Coun. J. 12-9-92, p. 25465

4-168-070 Helmet and visible identification – Required - Permalink

(a) Every licensee shall supply each bicycle operator operating on the licensee’s behalf: (1) a safety helmet meeting nationally recognized safety requirements; and (2) a safety vest or other garment of a bright color, prominently displaying the name of the licensee in letters at least one and one-half inches high, and a number or letters or a combination thereof at least four inches high which, in conjunction with the displayed name of the licensee, will form a unique combination permitting identification of the bicycle operator. All letters and numbers shall be of a color contrasting with the background of the garment. The identification number or letters required by this paragraph shall also appear on the bicycle in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the commissioner. (b) The operation of a bicycle in the central business area on behalf of any licensee without the equipment required by this section is a violation of this section and shall create a rebuttable presumption that the licensee has violated this section.

Added Coun. J. 7-29-92, p. 20042; Coun. J. 12-9-92, p. 25465

4-168-080 Identification card – Required - Permalink

(a) Every licensee shall issue to each bicycle operator an identification card containing at least the following information: (1) The bicycle operator’s name; (2) The bicycle operator’s identification number or letters that he is required to wear pursuant to Section 4-168-070; (3) The licensee’s name, business address, telephone number and bicycle messenger service license number; and (4) The name of the insurance company that has issued the insurance policy required under Section 4-168-040 and the policy number of such policy. The identification card must also display a clear photograph of the bicycle operator. (b) No bicycle operator may operate a bicycle within the central business area on behalf of any licensee without having on his person an identification card meeting the requirements of subsection (a) of this section. Any such person must permit a city employee who has the responsibility to enforce this chapter to examine such card whenever the city employee on the course of his or her duties asks the person to do so. The failure of a bicycle operator to comply with this section shall create a rebuttable presumption that the licensee has violated this section.

Added Coun. J. 7-29-92, p. 20042; Amend Coun. J. 12-9-92, p. 25465

4-168-090 License – Suspension or revocation - Permalink

Upon the determination that a person has violated any provision of this chapter or any rule or regulation promulgated hereunder, the commissioner may institute an administrative adjudication proceeding with the department of administrative hearings by forwording* a copy of a notice of violation or a notice of hearing, which has been properly served, to the department of administrative hearings; provided, however, suspension or revocation of a license shall be accordance with the requirements of Chapter 4-4 of the Municipal Code.
* Editor's note – As set forth in Coun. J. 5-9-07, p. 105047, § 11; correct language appears to be "forwarding".

Added Coun. J. 7-29-92, p. 20042; Amend Coun. J. 12-9-92, p. 25465; Amend Coun. J. 7-10-96, p. 24982; Amend Coun. J. 11-12-97, p. 56813; Amend Coun. J. 4-29-98, p. 66564; Amend Coun. J. 7-27-05, p. 53211, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 5-9-07, p. 105047, § 11

4-168-100 Administration authority - Permalink

The commissioner shall have the authority to promulgate rules and regulations necessary or desirable for the administration of this chapter.

Added Coun. J. 7-29-92, p. 20042; Amend Coun. J. 12-9-92, p. 25465

4-168-110 Rules and regulations – Enforcement authority - Permalink

The commissioner shall have the authority to administer and enforce this chapter. The department of police shall have the authority to enforce the safety- related provisions of this chapter and all traffic laws, ordinances, rules and regulations as they apply to bicycle messenger operators.

Added Coun. J. 7-29-92, p. 20042; Amend Coun. J. 12-9-92, p. 25465; Amend Coun. J. 7-27-05, p. 53211, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 5-9-07, p. 105047, § 11

4-168-120 Violation – Penalty - Permalink

Any person who is found guilty of violating this chapter shall be subject to a fine of not less than $25.00 and not more than $500.00 for each such violation. However, any person found guilty of violating this chapter by engaging in the occupation of providing bicycle messenger services in the central business area without a license required by this chapter shall be subject to a minimum fine of $100.00. Each day that any violation shall continue shall be deemed a separate and distinct offense. A second or subsequent intentional violation of this chapter committed within 12 months after a previous conviction under this chapter may be punished as a misdemeanor by a fine of up to $500.00, or a period of incarceration not exceeding seven days, or community service, or any combination thereof, pursuant to Section 1-2-1.1 of the Illinois Municipal Code.

Added Coun. J. 7-29-92, p. 20042; Amend Coun. J. 12-9-92, p. 25465

Disclaimer

This Code of Ordinances and/or any other documents that appear on this site may not reflect the most current legislation adopted by the Municipality. CDOT Bicycle Program provides these documents for informational purposes only. These documents should not be relied upon as the definitive authority for local legislation. Additionally, the formatting and pagination of the posted documents varies from the formatting and pagination of the official copy. The official printed copy of a Code of Ordinances, available through the City Clerk’s office should be consulted prior to any action being taken. If you would like to contact the City Clerk's office in this regard, you can do so by calling 312.744.6870 or visit the City Clerk's website.

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