City has bigger plans for biking
By Mike Danahey email@example.com June 14, 2012 10:08PM
Updated: July 16, 2012 6:33AM
ELGIN — Improvements slated for Villa Street on the city’s east side are part of Elgin’s ambitious Bikeway Master Plan, which the city council approved in 2008.
The long-term plan includes bikeways about every four blocks, or half mile; networking lanes on major streets within every Elgin neighborhood; and existing bike trails to St. Charles and other nearby communities.
It requires new developments to include bike lanes. It also calls for lanes to be painted on older streets as the time comes for them to be resurfaced.
Schaumburg-based engineering firm TranSystems, which designed Elgin’s plan, has estimated the cost of implementing primary bikeways on major streets at around $400,000. That includes street repairs and installing smaller sewer grates, and signs.
As for how many bike lane-miles the city currently has, volunteer bike ambassador Tom Armstrong admits he is not sure.
Those lanes do include Bluff City Boulevard from Liberty Street to Gifford Street; Raymond Street from National Street to Bluff City Boulevard; along Holmes Road from McLean Boulevard to near the city’s public works building; and on Davis Road from Route 31 to McLean Boulevard, Armstrong says.
And he notes a project to have lanes along Congdon Avenue east out of Elgin eventually — to connect with trails and lanes leading to an extensive trail in Hoffman Estates — is under review by the Illinois Department of Transportation.
To get a better handle on those lanes, area trails and streets that will be rated for bike-friendliness, the last “Bike to Work Week” event this Sunday will be a fundraiser to pay for creating and having 30,000 copies of a map to distribute.
Armstrong says the project will cost about $14,000 to $15,000, with the city setting aside $7,000 in grant money for the effort.
The Sunday Ride for Life, a 15-, 25- or 60-mile ride, begins and ends at Village Pedaler, 1954 Gyorr Ave., South Elgin.
Registration begins at 6:30 a.m., and the fee is $30 for adults, with children 10 and under riding free with a paid adult. More information is available by emailing Armstrong at firstname.lastname@example.org.