The Chicago region’s current hub-and-spoke transit system leaves nearly half a million Cook County residents stranded in transit deserts.
The West Suburbs include west suburban Cook County, as well as Dupage and Kane counties.
Get the latest updates on active transportation issues in the West Suburbs below and make sure to join our In Your Community: West 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 email@example.com or 312-216-0475.
Bike Walk Every Town
Our new suburban advocacy program, Bike Walk Every Town, is designed to mobilize and support grassroots supporters, like yourself, from across the region. We’d like to give you the tools you need to improve biking, walking and transit in your community.
We will host our free Bike Walk Every Town Summits in the west suburbs on Oct. 7 and the northwest suburbs on Oct. 21 (lunch is included) to offer you in-person trainings and a chance to network with other champions in the region. Learn more about our new effort to improve biking and walking in the suburbs andregister for the Summit for free.
Suburban Bikeways for All
At the end of June, Active Trans released our Suburban Bikeways for All report, which lays out our vision for biking in the suburbs and action steps on how to achieve it. The priorities in the report will lay the foundation for the new Bike Walk Every Town initiative. Check out the report: Despite progress, biking options limited in suburbs.
Better Trail Connections in DuPage County
DuPage is proposing a new side path called the Eola Connecter to improve trail connectivity between the Aurora Branch of the Illinois Prairie Path and several other nearby paths and destinations. View maps and diagrams of the proposed path and check out the county’s recently launched trail web application to help you better plan your next biking and walking trips. Learn more about better trail connections in DuPage County.
First Grade Transportation Advocates of Summit
Earlier this year, first graders from Graves Elementary School in the Village of Summit sent their Mayor a letter asking for a meeting. The students requested that the village work on improving the pedestrian bridge that many students rely on to walk to school every day. See their letter and the models they designed of what a safe bridge could look like. Read the letter and learn about the first grade transportation advocates of Summit.
Pop-up Complete Streets Projects
Bike lanes made from duct tape? Curb extensions made of flowers? In case you missed it, please enjoy these videos of our pop-up complete streets projects in Midlothian, Richton Park, Skokie, South Chicago Heights, and Willow Springs. The videos showcase five temporary street treatments that provided community members with a tangible visualization of how walking, bicycling, and public transit facilities can create safer, more engaging streets. Watch the videos.
Advocates meet with West Suburban members of Congress
In February and March, Active Trans worked with community advocates across the region to meet with local members of Congress and urge them to protect bike/walk/transit funding under the new administration. This included meetings with Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) and Representative Peter Roskam (IL-6) in the West Suburbs. We talked about recent projects in their districts that received federal funding and highlighted remaining gaps in the network. Our team then followed up with D.C. staff for each member as part of the Illinois delegation at the National Bike Summit.
Sign our petition: make Madison a Main Street, not highway
After more than 10 years of planning and discussions, Oak Park is poised to start a long overdue makeover of Madison Street. Some residents, however, want to delay the process even more, which could result in the loss of funds to pay for the work. Overall, the plans will make Madison more like a Main Street and less like a highway. This is a project that should be done properly to improve the safety and character of the street while also limiting potential traffic diversions or backups, and designing new developments to address the concerns of nearby residents and businesses. Please sign the petition urging Oak Park village trustees to move forward with improvements, but also asking them to make sure we get it right.
Improved crossings coming to Maywood
Street crossings in Maywood are getting an upgrade! Nearly 30 crosswalks near schools, parks and municipal buildings will see freshly painted pavement markers and new signage indicating that motorists should be aware of and stop for people crossing the street. The enhancements will be installed at the intersections with the highest amount of walking and biking traffic. Signs have already been installed on Oak Street and 5th Avenue. This decision comes after a summer plagued with a high amount of auto crashes. We commend Maywood officials on taking steps to make the streets safer!
New bridge over County Farm Road provides trail connectivity
Construction on a new pedestrian bridge over County Farm Road in Hanover Park recently began, which is a big win for trail connectivity in the community. The bridge will connect Mallard Lake and Hawk Hollow Forest Preserve and provide a much-needed link in the 35-mile North Central DuPage Regional Trail. The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County is overseeing construction of the bridge, which should be completed by this winter.
Lombard moves forward on active transportation
In March, Lombard’s first ever Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan was approved by the Village Board of Trustees. The plan, developed in partnership with Alta Planning + Design and Active Trans, will help Lombard become even more friendly to people who walk and bike by improving infrastructure, making crossings safer and upgrading trails. Lombard has already been busy implementing the plan by installing a flashing beacon system where the Illinois Prairie Path crosses Main Street. New bike lanes and shared lanes have also recently been installed along Madison Street to increase safety for cyclists.
Local Community Resources
West Suburban Active Transportation Council: Nancy@activetrans.org
Please email suggestions for additional local community resources to Jim@activetrans.org.