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Chicago’s first protected bike lane on Kinzie St. increased ridership by 55 percent without increasing traffic congestion for cars.

Two new bike plans seek continuity in NW Suburbs

Two new, wide-ranging bicycle plans are now on the books in the North and Northwest Suburbs. The Northwest Suburban intergovernmental organization called the Northwest Municipal Conference (NWMC) unanimously approved these two plans:

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North and Northwest Cook County Bicycle Signage Plan

This plan recommends a network of wayfinding and destination signs in a series of regional bicycle corridors. The plan can be used by municipalities when implementing segments of these routes. 

It also provides a recommended design for the network of signs and proposes some high tech details like incorporating a website address and smart phone technology on the signs to give riders more information about the full network.

Northwest Highway Corridor Bicycle Facilities Plan

This plan recommends a series of bike facilities—including sidepaths, bike lanes and signed bike routes—to provide a continuous, 20 mile bicycle corridor between Barrington and Park Ridge. The plan includes cross section views of the proposed improvements, cost estimates and an implementation strategy.

The Northwest Highway Corridor runs through Arlington Hts., Barrington, Cary, Crystal Lake, Des Plaines, Fox River Grove, Mt. Prospect, Palatine and Park Ridge.

More details about the plans

The two plans represent key implementation steps from the 2010 NWMC Bicycle Plan, which identified 16 regional corridors. (Psst, in case you didn’t know, Active Trans put this 2010 regional plan together.)

Under the federal Communities Putting Prevention to Work program and through the Cook County Department of Public Health, NWMC received $66,000 to complete these two plans.

There’s no chance that these plans will be collecting dust on a shelf somewhere. The conference and municipalities will be using the plans to pursue funding opportunities that will help to implement the recommendations.