The city of Chicago promotes bike culture through a celebratory week of biking once a year, but did you know various suburbs also celebrate Bike to Work Week, as well?
Here are just a few of the efforts to encourage more biking in suburban communities during Bike to Work Week.
The Village of Lombard, which has participated in Bike to Work Week since 2005, uses a unique approach to get more of the village employees to ride their bikes or walk to work during the week.
Employees are given playing cards based on their daily mileage, and the person who acquires the best 5-card hand wins a gift certificate for $50 to a local business.
“It’s fun and creates a bit of competition,” says David P. Gorman, Assistant Director of Public Works for the Village of Lombard.
But that’s just one of the ways that Lombard is working to get more people biking.
The village is also developing it first village-wide bike and pedestrian plan, which will make it easier and safer to get between key destinations in the village on foot and bike.
If you live or work in Lombard, the village is seeking public feedback on the plan right now. (Active Trans is one of the partners helping to develop the plan.)
This year, Terry Witt celebrated Bike to Work Week with his grandchildren — ages six and nine — at an annual family-friendly community bike ride, sponsored by the Bartlett Park District and local business.
The ride started at Happy Trails Park, continuing on side paths and trails.
“The route is quiet and safe,” Witt said. “You see Burley carts and training wheels. You can come out and walk.”
Throughout the week, people heading to work on the Metra from the Bartlett station received a complimentary cup of coffee and bike maps.
Witt said many people were bike commuting to the Metra just for Bike to Work Week, and added that he would like to see people continuing to ride after the week is over, “so it’s not just a week, [but] a way of life.”
The Forest Preserve District of Will County launched a new interactive map on its website in time for Bike to Work Week.
The detailed map allows people to personalize directions to the preserves, trails and visitor centers.
They can also measure routes for biking trails, roads and sidewalks, as well as search for events and recreational activities.
People can customize their outings on a needs basis through the search function and sort results based on the distance of their starting location (i.e., work, home, etc.). Users are also able to print maps with notes, including drawings and measurements, and they can share results on social media, emails or instant messages.
The new interactive map will make it easier to plan bike outings and bike to work trips.
And of course, don't forget to join our Family Friendly Bikeways campaign to stay abreast of all the great biking happenings in the suburbs.