North suburban Highland Park is a city dedicated to building a better bike culture.
Last year, the city partnered with Active Trans to become the first Family Friendly Bikeways community.
So with support from the Highland Park Bike-Walk Advisory Group, we spearheaded an effort to improve biking in the Highlands, a neighborhood where people need better biking options between schools, parks, trails and businesses.
Last spring, city staff, members of the Bike-Walk Advisory Group and Active Trans toured the Highlands to assess existing conditions.
We discovered a trail that few people knew about and found an abundance of calm, quiet streets ideal for family biking.
The next step was a planning process, which called community input. So a meeting was held during the summer to collect feedback from residents to identify what bike-related improvements they would like to see.
Active Trans then developed a Highlands Family Friendly Bikeways Plan, which includes recommendations for developing bike routes on low-stress streets, creating new local and regional trail connections, pursuing traffic calming measures and increasing kids walking and biking at schools.
By being a Family Friendly Bikeways community, Highland Park is furthering the goals of its Bike-Walk 2030 Plan.
These goals inlcude improvements to its street and transportation system that will serve all sorts of people: people who walk, bike, and use transit; people with disabilities; and users of motor vehicles.
And Highland Park’s passion for making its city more bike friendly hasn’t gone unnoticed.
In 2014, the city was granted an Honorable Mention as a Bike Friendly Community by League of American Bicyclists.
We're grateful to the city and its Bike-Walk Advisory Group for being great partners.
Do you live in a north or west suburb and want to make your community more bike friendly? Contact Nancy Wagner to learn more about our Family Friendly Bikeways campaign.