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County’s first-ever bike plan will focus on equitable access to low-stress bikeways – Streetsblog Chicago

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County’s first-ever bike plan will deal with equitable entry to low-stress bikeways – Streetsblog Chicago

Prepare dinner County is trying to create its first ever plan for bicycle infrastructure. At a digital open home for the plan county officers stated the Prepare dinner County Division of Transportation and Highways is without doubt one of the largest traders in bike infrastructure within the area. Connecting Cook County, the division’s first lengthy vary transportation plan in 70 years, launched in 2016, which prioritized energetic transportation, has resulted extra funds being allotted for biking infrastructure. In line with CCDTH, the Prepare dinner County Bike Plan is the county’s effort to additional refine its priorities, clearly outline roles and obligations, and set up longterm objectives for bike infrastructure. 

The Prepare dinner County Bike Plan will deal with three rules:

  1. Increasing the present system of off-street trails and different low-stress routes right into a coherent countywide community.
  2. Guaranteeing investments serve a better variety of county residents and extra equitably distributed.
  3. Enhancing services to help bike commuting and different purposeful bike journeys.

The outreach crew just lately held two on-line open homes for the general public to study concerning the bike plan. Sadly these conferences have been held at occasions that probably introduced limitations to individuals who work conventional hours: 10 a.m. and three p.m. The Lively Transportation Alliance introduced this to the crew’s consideration and was advised future conferences in June could be held at extra accessible occasions. 

One of many first matters talked about through the open home I attended was challenges to bike planning. Obstacles officers recognized included the inherent lack of fairness within the present transportation community, and the way during which bike tasks are historically funded. Extra prosperous communities can spend extra money on creating and sustaining bike infrastructure, so the wealthier northern portion of the county has extra biking infrastructure than the extra blue-collar southern half. Different factor complicating the planning course of embrace the unsure way forward for scooters and micromobility; restricted information on bike ridership; and unequal ranges of advocacy amongst sure segments of the bike neighborhood. 

IMG-6722Being cognizant of the “silent majority” of cyclists who don’t need to share the street with quick automotive visitors knowledgeable the primary Prepare dinner County bike plan purpose of making a low-stress community countywide. The outreach crew mentioned the proportion of riders that might be comfy on sure forms of bike infrastructure and the proportion of Prepare dinner County residents who fall into the 4 classes of cyclists developed by Portland bike planner Roger Geller: Robust and Fearless, Enthused and Assured, however Involved, and No Approach No How.

IMG-6723The presenter then segued into path extensions which were funded or are below research. Some extensions of notice are the Englewood Line (Beneath Examine), La Villita/Pilsen Paseo (Beneath Examine), and Cal Sag Trail East and West (Funded) which might enhance path entry for Black and Brown communities. A lot of the alternatives to create off-street trails are in outer-ring and inner-ring suburban cities by way of forest preserves and utility corridors. Moreover, there are alternatives to create sidepaths on roads and property belonging to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Better Chicago.

Increasing entry to trails is a crucial purpose of the Prepare dinner County bike plan. At the moment half of Prepare dinner County residents reside inside a mile and a half of a path. Thirty eight  p.c reside between a half mile to a mile and a half from a path. And twenty p.c of residents reside inside a half mile of path.

Suburban residents have better entry to trails than metropolis dwellers. There are fewer bike trails on the South and West aspect of Chicago and in adjoining south and western suburbs. These engaged on the bike plan are conscious that in some communities there are formidable obstacles to accessing a path like railroad embankments and interstate highways, to call a number of. In areas the place off-street choices should not obtainable, the county shall be growing an on-street neighborhood greenways technique so as to lengthen the community.

Relating to precept two of the Prepare dinner County bike plan, guaranteeing equitable investments, at the moment lower than 50 p.c of Black residents and fewer than 45 p.c of Latinx Prepare dinner County residents reside inside a mile and a half of a motorcycle path. As a way to tackle inequitable entry, planners will doc path entry by race and ethnicity; help tasks which might be handiest for bettering entry for communities of shade and low-income communities; and goal underrepresented teams of their outreach technique. Together with wanting to succeed in extra folks of shade, planners need to attain extra girls, given the comparatively low numbers of girls who bike.IMG-6724

The outreach technique so as to get extra participation from underrepresented teams will contain conventional conferences such because the digital open homes together with curiosity group conferences. Curiosity group conferences will contain a deeper dive on matters of particular curiosity to specific teams. There may also be ongoing digital and digital engagement. There shall be Q&A surveys, an interactive map the place of us can report areas of curiosity, on-line neighborhood dialogue and an concepts wall, together with a Children Nook on the mission web site. Plans for engagement embrace two different digital open homes in June and three surveys all through the method with completion of the bike plan slated for Spring 2022.

As a way to promote transportation biking, versus simply leisure using, the county desires to help “first- and last-mile” to transit journeys; set up a county-wide bike counting program to ascertain a baseline for a way many individuals are biking and the place; develop partnerships with municipalities and regional planning businesses to direct assets in an equitable method; and work with companies on inventive incentives to encourage biking.

Final objectives for the bike plan are a rise in bike ridership, enhancing the low-stress community, filling in gaps within the present community, and interact=ing underrepresented teams.

To be a part of the method of shaping the Prepare dinner County bike plan, you possibly can go to the public input website. There you possibly can watch a replay of the earlier open home and entry surveys. The present survey asks how COVID has formed your biking habits. As talked about earlier, be looking out for one more digital open home in June.


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