In 1898, near the end of the 1890’s bicycle craze, there was a proposal for eight miles of lakeside elevated bike paths to be built in Chicago:
“Plans for the cycleway or elevated bicycle path which Chicago capitalists propose to erect along the north shore shows an ornamental structure which is calculated not to mar the surrounding scenery. The promotors…are of the opinion that the popular demand for such a roadway will overcome the prejudice against elevated structures. It is proposed to build eight miles of road for the first experiment, and the success will determine the extensions. In general the plan is to have the structure sixteen feet above the level of the streets.”
At the time, over 10,700 people in the city rode bikes to work in the Loop.