Cook County Announces Bicycling Promotion Plan


Cook County has announced plans to encourage cycling, calling for hundreds of miles of new bike lanes, routes and trails throughout the area.

The plan recommends adding 230 miles of bike routes, 150 miles of roadside public roads, and 90 miles of off-road paved trails to the county’s roads. The goal is to create a “less stressful” network of bike lanes, make riders feel more comfortable, better connect existing bike paths to major destinations, and increase access to bike lanes and bike paths throughout the county. to increase access.

With the additional recommendations, the county estimates that 96% of county residents will live within a mile of a convenient bike path or lane.

“You can reduce your carbon footprint by prioritizing low-emission travel,” Cook County Commissioner Toni Prekwinkle said in the study. “For bicycles, that means building bike paths and other facilities to make them attractive to all riders. No. Where people live for too long determines whether or not an area will have bike paths and bike lanes.”

But building roads and lanes takes time and requires cooperation with other agencies. For example, the plan calls for the construction of at least 15 miles of trails along county-owned roads over the next 10 years and, starting in 2024, working with at least two communities annually to designate neighborhood bike routes and crossroads. It is recommended to improve safety.

Projects included in the plan may involve coordination with the City of Chicago, other municipalities and the state, and will likely still require approval from the various parties involved.

Cook County spokesman Natalia Derevyany said project costs vary by road type and location. Funding may come from federal grants, and counties may also provide some funding. Depending on the project, local governments may also provide funding.

The plan aims to encourage cyclists who are “interested but apprehensive” to cycle near their cars. It also includes side roads along the road and off-road trails that can connect to trails in county forest reserves. It also focuses on bike routes in residential areas with low traffic.

The plan highlights the potential for bike routes along Chicago’s main thoroughfares and better connectivity to the Major Taylor Trail terminus at Dan Ryan Woods on the south side of the city. According to the report, extending the trail and improving bike paths along local roads could make the Major Taylor Trail more accessible.

The report said adding more bike lanes and bike paths is gentrifying in low-income neighborhoods, as high-profile investments heat up local real estate markets and residents view bike facilities as something for others. It is pointed out that it is regarded as a sign of But county officials outlined a solution in their report, writing that equitable distribution of bike lanes and bike paths and designing them for use by everyone of all ability levels would help.

“Bicycle facilities are just one part of meeting the transportation needs of the community,” they wrote. “A balanced investment in transport and roads is also needed so that the introduction of new cycling facilities does not miss opportunities for other transportation priorities. It may decrease over time.”

Another barrier to installing more bike lanes, especially in low-income areas, is the cost of designing and building a bike project, as well as the cost of local communities to maintain the project after construction. It is a county requirement to bear the costs incurred by the community. according to the report. But counties are now paying for projects along their own roads, which can help communities with high maintenance needs, according to the report.

“The Cook County Bike Plan is an integral part of our rethinking of the county’s role in transportation,” Prekwinkle said in a statement. “Many residents enjoy cycling and walking with their families, but lack access to safe and comfortable facilities. Bike Plan is our guide to addressing these inequalities. By making other convenient modes of transportation more accessible, Cook County will be a better place to live.”

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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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