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Support better biking, walking and transit 

DID YOU KNOW?

More than 60 businesses now offer special discount programs and events in Chicago’s first Bike Friendly Business Districts in Lakeview and West Town.

 Overview

The North Suburbs include north suburban Cook County, as well as Lake and McHenry counties.

Get the latest updates on active transportation issues in the North Suburbs below and make sure to join our In Your Community: North Suburbs e-newsletter list. The e-newsletter comes out quarterly and offers a quick read on issues related to bicycling, walking and transit in your area.

If you are interested in learning more about any of the information provided on this page, please feel free to contact Maggie Melin at maggie@activetrans.org or 312-216-0475.

 

Local News:

Bike Walk Socials in the suburbs

Multiuse recreation path bridge being built over Touhy Avenue

Evanston advocates fight for the Dodge Avenue bike lanes

Bike Walk Education in Schools Act passes the Illinois House and Senate 

Bicycle Friendly Communities awards announced

‘Tis the season to enjoy the outdoors! 

Active transportation plans coming to the North Shore

Kids ride free on Metra this summer

Advocates inspire bicycling in Elk Grove Village

Palatine’s Bike to School Day 

Advocacy training webinars 

We’re looking for Active Trans Ambassadors from the suburbs

 

Local Advocacy Groups & Bike Clubs:

Arlington Heights Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Commission  

Arlington Heights Bicycle Club  

Barrington Bicycle Club  

Bicycle Club of Lake County  

Bike Glenview  

Bike Morton Grove

Bike Palatine Club

Bike and Walk Park Ridge (Facebook Group)

Bike Wilmette (website), Bike Wilmette (Facebook Page)

Chicago Area Tandem Society

Des Plaines Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee  

Evanston Bike Club  

Evanston Streets Alive  

Friends of Cycling in Elk Grove

Go Evanston (website), Go Evanston (Facebook Page)

Highland Park Bike Walk Advisory Group 

McHenry County Bicycle Advocates

McHenry County Bicycle Club

Midwest Sustainability Group (includes the Go Lake County campaign)

Mt. Prospect Bike Club 

North Shore Cycling Advocates (Facebook Group)

Park Ridge Bike Task Force

Schaumburg Bicycle Club

Velo Club Roubaix (VCR)

Wheeling Wheelmen  

 

Active Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Projects:

Glencoe - Developing an Active Transportation Plan 

Northbrook - Developing a Master Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan 

Wilmette - Developing an Active Transportation Plan (in progress)

 

 

Multiuse recreation bridge on Touhy Avenue
The Village of Lincolnwood has completed construction on a pedestrian and bicycle bridge that allows users of the Valley Line Trail to safely cross Touhy Avenue on a spacious, 16-foot-wide path. The project was funded by a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality federal grant and contributions from the village. Photo credit: Advocate James Lamb from Northbrook

Bartlett advocate petitions for trail connection
Longtime bicycling advocate Terry Witt is leading the charge to fill in a significant regional trail gap through the Village of Bartlett. By filling in the 2-mile gap, it would create low-stress access among the Elgin Branch of the Illinois Prairie Path, Busse Woods and the Fox River Trail. Witt created a petition to fill the trail gap and needs your help collecting 1,000 signatures.

Palatine wins federal grant for Harper College bike path
The Village of Palatine secured a $400,000 Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality federal grant to build a bike path around the western edge of Harper College and connect existing nearby paths. This project is a significant step towards the implementation of the village’s Bicycle Transportation Plan. Congratulations to Palatine!

CMAP regional travel survey — earn $50
The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) wants to understand how Chicago-area residents get from place to place – whether on foot or by car, bus, train or bike. CMAP is asking residents to take the My Daily Travel survey to help the organization figure out the best use of future transportation investments. Each household can earn $50 for completing the survey.

Bike Walk Education Act: Help us get resources to your local schools
In August, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the Bike Walk Education in Schools Act (HB4799) into law, which now requires that every K-8 public school in Illinois provide walking and bicycling safety education. Active Trans worked with the Illinois Association of School Boards to compile a resource list and share it directly with school districts. We need your help sharing these resources with your school board! Email maggie@activetrans.org if you’re willing to get in touch with your local school district.

Governor signs Dutch Reach bike safety bill
Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the Dutch Reach bike safety bill into law in August. The bill adds the Dutch Reach method to Illinois’ Rules of the Road manual and bike safety questions to the state driver’s license exam. 

Sign the petition to get a fair share for biking and walking
Join us in the 
fight for a $50 million Bike Walk Fund in the state’s annual budget. It would fund biking and walking projects on corridors where the most crashes occur, many of which are located in low-income communities and communities of color. In October, 27 CEOs sent a letter to Gov. Bruce Rauner and gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker asking them to support this fund. You can help, too — sign the petition and share with your friends and family.    

Congressional candidates share views on transportation issues
To educate candidates and voters about federal transportation priorities for the next Congress, Active Trans partnered with the League of American Bicyclists on a seven-question candidate questionnaire. The questionnaire was sent to all candidates in the Chicago region that will appear on the November ballot. Check out their responses!

Kids on Wheels fleet provides on-bike education to youth
Active Trans’ Kids on Wheels mobile bike fleets once again traveled the region this summer to provide on-bike education opportunities for youth. This season, Active Trans worked with partner organizations to bring the Kids on Wheels caravan to communities from the northern suburbs to the Southland in addition to Chicago neighborhoods.

Regional Mode Share Report released
The Active Transportation Alliance released its 
2018 Regional Mode Share Report, which breaks down mode share by transportation type between the suburbs and Chicago. According to report, the Chicago region has grown more car dependent since 1980, with driving growing approximately four times faster than the population. The data illustrates the region's inability to build its way out of traffic congestion through highway expansion.

Advocacy training webinars 
As part of our Bike Walk Every Town suburban advocacy program, Active Trans hosts lunch time webinars on how you can organize and create change in your community. 
Check out these recordings of our most recent webinars:

Event Organizing Ideas & Tips 
Bikeway Design 101 
Advocating for a Fair Share of State Funding for Biking, Walking and Transit 

 

Multiuse recreation bridge being built over Touhy Avenue

The Village of Lincolnwood began construction on a pedestrian and bicycle bridge that will allow users of the Valley Line Trail to safely cross Touhy Avenue. Funded by a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality federal grant, the bridge is expected to be completed this summer. Thanks to advocate James Lamb for the photo!

 

Evanston advocates fight for the Dodge Avenue bike lanes

At the end of April, Evanston’s City Council discussed the possibility of removing the city’s protected bike lanes on Dodge Avenue. Fortunately, the aldermen voted overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the bike lanes. Shout out to the advocates, including representatives from Go Evanston, for showing up in high numbers and voicing their support for investing in safe, comfortable, dedicated bicycle facilities. Advocacy makes a difference!  

 

Bike Walk Education in Schools Act passes the Illinois House and Senate

We’re happy to report that the Illinois House and Senate passed the Illinois Bike Walk Education in Schools Act this spring. The bill would add biking and walking safety education to the school curriculum in Illinois. Now, the bill moves to Gov. Bruce Rauner for his signature. Thank you to the hundreds of supporters who contacted their legislators to push for passage of the bill. Stay tuned for more opportunities to take action.

 

Bicycle Friendly Community awards announced
The League of American Bicyclists recognized Highland Park and Wilmette with a Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) award, joining 450 visionary communities from across the country. Crystal Lake and Libertyville were also recognized with an honorable mention. Congratulations to all four communities!

 

‘Tis the season to enjoy the outdoors!

Local advocacy groups, bike clubs, schools, towns and Active Trans are organizing fun biking and walking events around the region:

 

Active transportation plans coming to the North Shore

An active transportation plan maps out a community’s vision of a connected network of low-stress bikeways, trails, sidewalks and transit access. Active Trans would like to see every village and city in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs develop and adopt one of these plans. Active Trans is currently working with the Village of Glencoe on a plan and will soon be kicking off the planning process with the Village of Wilmette. The Village of Northbrook has also been developing an active transportation plan, with its village board set to consider the plan on June 12.

 

Kids ride free on Metra this summer

Metra is now offering free rides to children age 11 and under who are accompanied by an adult between now and Labor Day. Check out the Metra website for a list of fun events and activities that you and your family can reach by train in June.

 

Advocates inspire bicycling in Elk Grove Village

One of the first steps to building a local movement is connecting with like-minded individuals in the community who also want to see safer, more comfortable transportation options. Organized events can be a great way to create this connection. We spoke to Dave Simmons from Friends of Cycling in Elk Grove about his group’s experience organizing bike pit stops in Busse Woods to encourage bike safety and good trail etiquette — an idea that could easily be replicated throughout the region.    

 

Palatine’s Bike to School Day

Bike Palatine and Palatine’s School District 15 teamed up again this May for National Bike to School Day. Thirteen schools in Palatine participated with an impressive 1,480 student riders. Check out resources from the National Center for Safe Routes to School if you’d like your school to get involved in the next Bike to School Day in May or the International Walk to School Day in October.

 

Advocacy training webinars

As part of our Bike Walk Every Town advocacy program, we host lunch time webinars on how you can help organize and create change in your community. Visit activetrans.org/bikewalkeverytown to register for our upcoming trainings, including the webinar we will host on June 21, which will cover event organizing ideas and tips. Check out the recordings of our most recent webinars:

Election Advocacy Strategies
Communication Strategies and Messaging
Outreach Strategies and Petition Writing 
How to Organize a Pop-Up Event
Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Council (BPAC) Panel Discussion

 

We’re looking for Active Trans Ambassadors from the suburbs

Want to represent Active Trans at future suburban events and help us spread the message about the importance of walking, biking and public transit to residents throughout the region? We’re training volunteers interested in becoming Active Trans Ambassadors. Those who complete the training sessions will receive special, limited-edition Active Trans Ambassador T-shirts. If you’re interested in learning more, please email maggie@activetrans.org. Photo credit: James Lamb. 

 

Local Community Resources:

Bike Lake County - regional bikeways map

Chicago Botanic Garden - bike to the garden 

Go Green Illinois - collection of citizen's environmental groups in the north suburbs

Go Green Wilmette  

Northwest Municipal Conference

Suburban Bikeways for All report

Trails Linking Communities (Facebook page) - stay updated on local and regional trial and bikeway news

 

Please email suggestions for additional local community resources to Maggie@activetrans.org.