Illinois wants to hear from you about bicycle transportation

blue schwinn and dogsWhat’s new? The first-ever statewide Bicycle Transportation Plan. A public meeting will be held Tuesday, July 16, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission at 211 Fulton Street in Peoria. You’ll find dates for other meetings around the state here. From IDOT:

“This long-range planning document will guide future policy decisions and infrastructure improvements to make cycling a safer, more convenient, and more accessible transportation option for Illinoisans. Topics covered in the plan will include bicycling-related planning and policy, funding, bicycling safety, design and maintenance, a regional biking network, implementation and prioritization guidelines for bike paths and lanes, state bicycling performance measures, education, outreach, and enforcement.

“As part of the planning process, IDOT is hosting a series of meetings throughout the state to discuss the plan and gather input from attendees. At each meeting location, there will be two meetings – an afternoon meeting for transportation professionals (practitioners working for a municipality, a county, etc. or a consultant, designing roadways or other bicycle-related projects, or just playing a role in making their communities more livable and bike-friendly), and an evening meeting for the general public (people who ride or potentially ride bikes, for pleasure, for commuting to work, for errands, for necessity, etc.)”

Could a bike lane be added to Peoria’s McCluggage Bridge? Tri-County Regional Planning Commission director Terry Kohlbuss says maybe, but “a need or community desire for the trail would need to be established before any steps were taken to launch into action.” He says “The bike lane could lead to a full bike trail that would loop around Lower Peoria Lake in East Peoria, down to the Bob Michel Bridge and back.” (Journal Star)

Looks like bicycling and walking projects have a new funding source in Oregon: the lottery-funded Multimodal Transportation Fund, also known as Connect Oregon, which was created to fund modes of transportation that can’t access motor fuel revenues. Editor Jonathan Maus says: “Even though it’s always been referred to as multimodal, the ConnectOregon program has funded only air, marine, rail, and public transit infrastructure improvements — everything but bicycling and walking.” (BikePortland)

According to economist Lee Huang of Econsult Solutions, money spent on Philadelphia’s Schuylkill Banks trail and greenway is “partially responsible for an increase of over 150 percent in residential property value near the Schuylkill Banks since 2000.” (PlanPhilly)

Larry Varney passed along an interesting link to a company that makes custom bicycle decals. Hmm. Which of my bicycles couldn’t benefit from a 16incheswestofpeoria decal? (Veloink)

About 16incheswestofpeoria

Former bicycle mechanic, current peruser of books, feeder of birds.
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2 Responses to Illinois wants to hear from you about bicycle transportation

  1. lardavis says:

    For commuting and training/exercise, this McCluggage Bridge link would be a desirable short-cut across the river. For actual user value, and income-generating – not so much, with lack of retail or destination on each side of the river without significant effort to climb out of the valley. If multi-modal design is considered, look at the issues on the Michel bridge now that traffic count has escalated, and esp. with how the connection points at each end are poorly implemented at the East Peoria side compared to the Peoria. So many “conflict situations”, for pedestrian/bike and motor vehicles crammed into that intersection – esp. towards upriver retail. On a weekend morning, it’s not bad at all – without the mid-day congestion.

    • The McCluggage is an interesting project. I rode over it years ago, early morning on weekends. A dedicated design that allows 24-hour access could create a whole new bicycle traffic pattern in that area, mostly of recreational riders. However, Peoria’s biggest problems are elsewhere and remain self-inflicted: the huge stock of residential dead ends north of War Memorial Drive and traffic lights that don’t respond to people traveling by bicycle. Both of these problems have existed for decades and without organized opposition won’t be solved any time soon. I’m totally with you on trail/road interface problems, too. In East Peoria the solution is so bad that you have to think the design mission was to make bicycling as dangerous as possible. In actuality, the design turns a four-way intersection into a five-way and treats the cyclist as a pedestrian. The Peoria Park District used the same design where the Rock Island Greenway meets Knoxville. Evidently, you’re supposed to cross Knoxville as a pedestrian and continue south on an uneven sidewalk with abrupt 90-degree turns here and there. The crying need on both sides of the river is for engineers who have actually ridden bicycles and studied the growing body of engineering data on bicycle-friendly design. Instead, we all are subject to the well-intentioned mercies of the professionally ignorant.

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