Chicago’s first protected bike lane on Kinzie Street increased ridership by 55 percent without increasing traffic congestion for cars.
The West Suburbs include west suburban Cook County, as well as Dupage and Kane counties.
Get the latest updates on active transportation issues in the West Suburbs below and make sure to join our In Your Community: West 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 neighborhood.
If you are interested in learning more about any of the information provided on this page, please feel free to contact Nancy Wagner at Nancy@activetrans.org or 312-216-0479.
Advocates meet with West Suburban members of Congress
In February and March, Active Trans worked with community advocates across the region to meet with local members of Congress and urge them to protect bike/walk/transit funding under the new administration. This included meetings with Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) and Representative Peter Roskam (IL-6) in the West Suburbs. We talked about recent projects in their districts that received federal funding and highlighted remaining gaps in the network. Our team then followed up with D.C. staff for each member as part of the Illinois delegation at the National Bike Summit.
Sign our petition: make Madison a Main Street, not highway
After more than 10 years of planning and discussions, Oak Park is poised to start a long overdue makeover of Madison Street. Some residents, however, want to delay the process even more, which could result in the loss of funds to pay for the work. Overall, the plans will make Madison more like a Main Street and less like a highway. This is a project that should be done properly to improve the safety and character of the street while also limiting potential traffic diversions or backups, and designing new developments to address the concerns of nearby residents and businesses. Please sign the petition urging Oak Park village trustees to move forward with improvements, but also asking them to make sure we get it right.
Brookfield prioritizes biking, walking and transit
Plans to make Brookfield more walkable and bikeable are under development through a partnership between Active Trans and the village. Attendees of a recent community workshop about active transportation planning included local residents, as well as representatives from the village staff, board of trustees, the zoo and Brookfield Bikes, a local bike club/advocacy group. Attendees had great ideas about improving biking, walking and access to transit in their community!
What does your mayoral candidate think about biking, walking and transit?
Cities and villages around the region are gearing up for local elections on April 4. Where do candidates in your community stand on biking, walking and transit? Active Trans contacted candidates for mayor and village president from municipalities across the region with a request to complete our Suburban Municipal Candidate Questionnaire. The questionnaires are an educational resource to inform voters about candidate’s priorities for improving biking, walking and public transit. Check out our voter guide today.
Greenline Wheels launches free cycling clinics
Greenline Wheels in Oak Park is hosting a bi-weekly series of cycling clinics called Teach Me Tuesdays. The free clinics cover various subjects and are held every other Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., from January 10 through April 18 at the Greenline Wheels office, 105 South Marion Street in Oak Park. View the full schedule on our blog!
Walking with West Chicago’s Mayor Pineda
West Chicago knows how to step up to the challenge of walking to improve heart health. Hundreds of residents recently participated in Mayor Ruben Pineda’s Move with the Mayor Challenge. Each Saturday in September, the mayor led a 30-minute walk with community members to promote healthy and active living. Pineda spoke about the success of the program at the National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention’s Annual Meeting. The meeting’s focus on building a culture of health in the community paralleled Pineda’s vision for West Chicago and his ambition behind the walking initiative. Move with the Mayor Challenge is coordinated by Healthy West Chicago, a collaboration of more than 40 organizations supporting healthy lifestyles in the community.
Dangerous Illinois Prairie Path detour
The Illinois Prairie Path, a popular and beautiful trail cutting through 62 miles of West Chicagoland, is in trouble. DuPage County is proposing to close the Aurora Branch of the trail and detour trail users to the Batavia Branch. The detour would take users along Eola Road for half a mile, which includes a crossing at the busy and dangerous intersection at Diehl Road. Active Trans is working with the DuPage County Department of Transportation, City of Aurora and Ride Illinois to address the issue. While the county prefers the lowest cost scenario, trail users and advocates are encouraging a safer alignment, separated from the busy Eola Road. DuPage County officials agreed to review all options. To learn more about Illinois Prairie Path access, check out our Illinois Prairie Path Complete Crossings report.
Improved crossings coming to Maywood
Street crossings in Maywood are getting an upgrade! Nearly 30 crosswalks near schools, parks and municipal buildings will see freshly painted pavement markers and new signage indicating that motorists should be aware of and stop for people crossing the street. The enhancements will be installed at the intersections with the highest amount of walking and biking traffic. Signs have already been installed on Oak Street and 5th Avenue. This decision comes after a summer plagued with a high amount of auto crashes. We commend Maywood officials on taking steps to make the streets safer!
Bartlett bike race becomes instant classic
With beautiful weather and more than 500 enthusiastic participants, the first-ever Kickstand Classic on Sept. 25 was a great success! This Active Trans event gave riders of all skill levels and speeds the opportunity to participate in a chip-timed race. Event participants rode 10, 14.5 or 19 miles through the scenic town of Bartlett. The race was broken down into three waves of riders depending on their speed. Two rest stops with dozens of volunteers, who doubled as cheerleaders, offered participants a chance to stop for a drink of water or bike repair from local bike shop mechanics. Active Trans presented top riders and teams with awards at the festival area, which featured live music and New Belgium beer.
New bridge over County Farm Road provides trail connectivity
Construction on a new pedestrian bridge over County Farm Road in Hanover Park recently began, which is a big win for trail connectivity in the community. The bridge will connect Mallard Lake and Hawk Hollow Forest Preserve and provide a much-needed link in the 35-mile North Central DuPage Regional Trail. The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County is overseeing construction of the bridge, which should be completed by this winter.
Lombard moves forward on active transportation
In March, Lombard’s first ever Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan was approved by the Village Board of Trustees. The plan, developed in partnership with Alta Planning + Design and Active Trans, will help Lombard become even more friendly to people who walk and bike by improving infrastructure, making crossings safer and upgrading trails. Lombard has already been busy implementing the plan by installing a flashing beacon system where the Illinois Prairie Path crosses Main Street. New bike lanes and shared lanes have also recently been installed along Madison Street to increase safety for cyclists.
Protected bike lanes debut in Aurora
On May 13, the City of Aurora officially opened a half-mile of curb-protected bike lanes on River Street. The new bikeway serves those biking for transportation and closes the last major gap in the Fox River Trail network, which covers more than 60 miles. After decades of the city’s incremental progress in closing the gap, Mayor Tom Weisner took a bold step. He instructed and empowered staff to find a creative solution using city funds. The innovative facility features green pavement, bicycle-only traffic signals, concrete curbing and brick stamping, and more. The protected bike lane project and other bike projects are making it easier for Aurora residents and visitors to bike for transportation or recreation.
Spotlight on the West Suburban Active Transportation Council
The West Suburban Active Transportation Council, led by Lombard’s Public Works Director Carl Goldsmith, is focusing on trail connections and access in DuPage County. The group will be stronger than ever after merging with fellow bike advocacy group Trails Linking Communities. We welcome Andi Cooper, the new director of Healthy West Chicago, to the council! Andi is making West Chicago healthier by expanding walking programs in the city — including the popular “Walk With The Mayor.” Email Nancy at Nancy@activetrans.org for more information.
Local Community Resources
West Suburban Active Transportation Council: Nancy@activetrans.org
Please email suggestions for additional local community resources to Jim@activetrans.org.