Roughly every three days, one person biking or walking is killed by someone driving a car in the Chicago region.
The North Suburbs include north suburban Cook County, as well as Lake and McHenry counties.
Get the latest updates on active transportation issues in the North Suburbs below and make sure to join our In Your Community: North Suburbs e-newsletter list. The e-newsletter comes out quarterly and offers a quick read on issues related to bicycling, walking and transit in your area.
If you are interested in learning more about any of the information provided on this page, please feel free to contact Maggie Melin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-216-0475.
Local Advocacy Groups & Bike Clubs:
Bike and Walk Park Ridge (Facebook Group)
Midwest Sustainability Group (includes the Go Lake County campaign)
North Shore Cycling Advocates (Facebook Group)
Active Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Projects:
Glencoe - Developing an Active Transportation Plan (currently collecting feedback)
Northbrook - Developing a Master Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan (currently collecting feedback)
Bike Walk Every Town webinars
Bike Walk Every Town, Active Transportation Alliance’s new suburban advocacy program, hosts monthly webinars to help advocates dig deeper into advocacy tools and tips to improve biking and walking in the suburbs. In case you missed it, January’s webinar explored election advocacy strategies around engaging elected officials and candidates during election cycles. Register for our next webinar on Feb. 28. It will dive into best practices on developing and sharing your messages and tips when speaking to the media.
Bike Walk Socials bring advocates together
Mingle and network with other suburban advocates at one of our Bike Walk Socials this spring. Our Northwest Bike Walk Social will be Monday, March 19, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Church Street Brewery in Itasca. Snacks and refreshments will be provided. We’re also planning the North Shore Social and will let you know when the date is set. We hope to see you there!
Connecting the Bull Valley trail gap
This winter the McHenry City Council and McHenry County Board took some major steps to fill in a key gap in our regional trail network. Phase I engineering funding was approved for a three-quarter mile multiuse trail along Bull Valley Road just south of the city of McHenry. The proposed trail extension would run between Route 31 and the Illinois Prairie Path, establishing the western link of the Millennium Trail by connecting east to Moraine Hills Park and eventually all the way to Lake Michigan. Greg Glover, member of the McHenry County Bicycle Advocates, helped move this funding decision forward by collecting more than 1,100 petition signatures and securing business support for the trail connection.
Beach Park regional bike plan
The communities of Beach Park, North Chicago, Waukegan, Winthrop Harbor and Zion are working together to develop a vision for a regional trail system. The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) awarded a technical assistance grant to these communities to develop a regional bike plan, which will begin this year. The plan will look at access to the lakefront and nearby open spaces and promote trail connections between communities.
Walking advocacy superstars in the suburbs
Two inspiring walking advocates, Anne Nagle of Wilmette and Geraldolyn Harris of Des Plaines, shared their stories about promoting better transportation options in the suburbs and their participation in the Walking College from America Walks, a national nonprofit focused on making communities more walkable and livable. The Walking College is a 12-week online program that connects participants to a network of peer mentors and resources and trains attendees to advocate more effectively in their communities. In our two-part blog series, Nagle and Harris discussed how they plan to use their experience in the Walking College to transform their communities. If you’d like to join the 2018 Walking College cohort, applications are due Feb. 28.
McHenry County Bicycle Advocate not taking ‘no’ for an answer
Meet Crystal Lake resident Eberhard Veit. In 2008, Veit co-founded the McHenry County Bicycle Advocates to encourage more people to ride bicycles for transportation. He’s had numerous . By tracking upcoming construction projects in the county, Veit has been able to positively influence transportation projects to include accommodations for bicyclists and pedestrians. “The key is to get in early and get something in a plan,” Veit says. “If it’s not in a plan, it doesn’t happen.” Learn more about how Veit is making a difference.
31 days of car-free suburban life
Did you know ditching your long driving commute for a short walking commute can have the same effect on the brain as falling in love? This winter, Elgin residents Katie Shaw Thompson and her family tried an interesting experiment: a month of car-free suburban living. Thompson, an ordained pastor and proud mother of two preschoolers, documented and reflected on her and her family’s experience with this month-long car fast in her daily blog, the Elgin Bike Hub. You can follow their journey and learn even more fun transportation trivia along the way.
Glencoe and Northbrook seek feedback about biking and walking
The Villages of Glencoe and Northbrook are collecting feedback to improve biking and walking in their communities. Active Trans is currently working with the Village of Glencoe to develop an Active Transportation Plan.The Village of Northbrook is working on a Master Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan with Alta Planning + Design and Christopher Burke Engineering. If you are a resident of Glencoe or Northbrook, visit their project websites to learn how you can provide input through online surveys, interactive maps and future community meetings.
Get involved with your local advocacy group
Interested in getting involved in a local biking or walking advocacy group, an advisory council, or bike club? We’ve just updated our list of active groups and clubs from around the region. From Evanston to McHenry County to Wilmette and anywhere in between, you can find residents and volunteers working to transform the suburbs and make our region a cleaner, safer, healthier place to live. Find the groups nearest to you.
Metra and Pace hike fares
Metra and Pace fare hikes are now in effect. Pace’s ticket prices increased by 25 cents on Jan. 1 — a regular bus trip now costs $2. Metra’s fares increased on Feb. 1. The fare increase affects all Metra ticket prices, including one-way tickets (up 25 cents) and monthly passes (up $9 to $12.50 per month depending on the zone). These fare hikes were approved at the end of last year due to public transportation funding cuts in the state budget.
Local Community Resources:
Bike Lake County - regional bikeways map
Chicago Botanic Garden - bike to the garden
Go Green Illinois - collection of citizen's environmental groups in the north suburbs
Trails Linking Communities (Facebook page) - stay updated on local and regional trial and bikeway news
Please email suggestions for additional local community resources to Maggie@activetrans.org.