The Village of Brookfield is making some good strides toward improving biking and walking in the community.
While these changes never happen overnight, this progress was apparent last week when more than 30 Brookfield residents attended a workshop to help develop the village’s active transportation plan.
Active transportation plans are important for communities because they provide a path forward for a connected transportation network that serves everyone who uses local streets, regardless of their ability and how they happen to get around.
Event attendees learned about the planning process and shared their thoughts through interactive polling and group mapping exercises.
Attendees 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.
The plan to make Brookfield more walkable and bikeable is underway thanks to a partnership between Active Trans and the village, with support by Healthy HotSpot, an initiative led by the Cook County Department of Public Health.
A major goal of the plan is to map out a network of biking, walking and transit-related infrastructure improvements as well as programs and policies to help the village reach its goals.
Gathering input from residents about walking and biking on Brookfield’s streets, trails and sidewalks is key to plan development (input is still being sought: you can comment on an online map or take a short survey).
Workshops, surveys and other types of outreach help enormously with understanding with local transportation challenges and needed improvements.
As part of the input process at the meeting, community members split into small groups to mark village maps with key destinations, roads that need to be improved for people biking and walking, and dangerous intersections.
The most common concern was the need to have better access to the Brookfield Zoo along 31st Street.
Because of annual events thrown by the village like Bike Brookfield, monthly community rides hosted by Brookfield Bikes, and safety and education campaigns, as well as nationally shifting attitudes, biking and walking are more popular than ever in Brookfield.
While Brookfield has made great strides to become a community that welcomes active transportation, more must be done to make the village even safer for people who walk and bike.
Active Trans and the village will analyze the feedback and incorporate community suggestions into the plan recommendations. After the community engagement phase is complete, drafting of the plan will begin and the final plan will be ready for adoption this summer.
If you walk, bike or use transit in Brookfield, please share your thoughts. You can comment on an online map or take a short survey.