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People walking are five times as likely to be killed by a driver traveling 30 mph as one going 20 mph.

Annual walking & biking funding program gets a big boost

Active Trans is proud to report that one of the most important state funding sources for walking and biking improvements is awarding its largest annual amount ever.

The three-fold increase is the result of a statewide campaign led by Active Trans and helped along by supporters like you pushing for dedicated state funding for walking and biking.

The funding source — called the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP) and administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) — is putting nearly $106 million toward walking, biking, and trail projects around the state.

Out of the 270 ITEP applications that were submitted to IDOT last fall, 99 projects were awarded funding, including 45 projects in the Chicagoland region. This round of funding is the largest annual amount in the program’s history.

The 2019 Rebuild Illinois capital plan requires the state to dedicate $50 million in funding towards walking and biking projects every year. Before we won this $50 annual requirement, Illinois didn’t have any dedicated pedestrian and bike funding. These new funds are distributed through the ITEP program.

In addition to gaining more than a three-fold increase in available funding, we successfully fought for the bill to include strong equity provisions.

At least 25 percent of total ITEP funds are required to be directed towards projects in high-need areas, with a sliding-scale local match based on need.

Congratulations to the communities that were awarded funding this year. Here are a few Chicagoland projects that we can now look forward to seeing built:

  • Aurora – Montgomery Road multi-use path, $1.6M awarded
  • Carol Stream – Bike paths in multiple locations, $594K
  • Chicago – Columbia Drive pedestrian bridge reconstruction, $2M awarded
  • Des Plaines – Oakton Street path, $1.9M awarded
  • Evanston – Main Street improvements, $2M awarded
  • Geneva – Kautz Road bike path, $779K
  • Highland Park – Green Bay Road bike lanes, $2M awarded
  • Marengo – Prospect Street bike path & sidewalk, $663K awarded
  • Midlothian – Natalie Creek Trail, $2M awarded
  • Oak Forest – Sidewalk improvements, $677K awarded
  • Orland Park – 104th Avenue multi-use path, $1.3M awarded
  • Rosemont – Des Plaines River Trail, $1.6M awarded
  • Streamwood – IL Route 59 walking/biking overpass, $2M awarded

For a list of all projects awarded ITEP funding this year, visit IDOT’s ITEP webpage.

If you don’t see your community on this list, don’t fret! Your community can start preparing early for the next round of ITEP funding, which will be back in the fall of 2022.

To make sure this initial grant cycle with the new funding was a success, Active Trans worked closely with IDOT and interested communities across the state.

We also partnered with the Illinois Public Health Institute and IDOT to host a 3-part webinar series to help communities prepare and apply for ITEP. Recordings from the informational webinars and responses to frequently asked questions are available here.

We can help connect you and your city or village staff to other federal, state, and local funding opportunities. Email Advocacy Manager Maggie Czerwinski at Maggie@activetrans.org for more information.

 

Active Trans is able to carry out its work thanks to support and donations from people like you. If you’re not a member of Active Trans, please join us. Already a member? Consider donating to ensure that this important work keeps moving forward.