Cook County Releases Its First Ever Bike Plan
Plan guides equitable investments to make biking more convenient and comfortable across the County
Today, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced the completion of the County’s first ever Bike Plan. Spearheaded by the County’s Department of Transportation and Highways (DoTH), the priorities laid out in the Bike Plan include increasing everyday cycling by connecting existing bike infrastructure to major destinations, creating a core low-stress bike network to ensure riders feel comfortable and increasing access to bike lanes and paths through equitable investments.
The County’s Bike Plan recommends enhancements including 90 miles of new off-street paved trails, 150 miles of new sidepaths and at least 230 miles of new on-street bike routes throughout Cook County. Once fully implemented, the plan ensures that 96% of County residents will live less than a mile from a bike path or lane suitable for any rider or ability level.
“The Cook County Bike Plan is an essential component to reimagining the County’s role in transportation,” said President Preckwinkle. “There are plenty of residents who enjoy biking or walking with their families, but do not have access to safe and comfortable facilities. The Bike Plan is our guide as we work to address these inequities. Ensuring residents have better access to other forms of affordable and convenient transportation will make Cook County a better place to live.”
The plan outlines ways the County will build bike infrastructure along roadways under DoTH’s jurisdiction, make connections within the existing trail network to eliminate gaps, study potential areas where new off-street trails can be installed, as well as provide support to municipalities looking to add bike routes on residential streets. The plan also highlights opportunities to partner with state, city and local agencies to make intersections safer for cyclists, especially in areas where bike paths cross major roads.
“The completion of this plan reaffirms the County’s commitment to advancing holistic transportation solutions across our communities and neighborhoods,” said DoTH Superintendent Jennifer “Sis” Killen. “Safe and accessible bicycle infrastructure provides a sense of connection for our residents and contributes to healthy, thriving communities.”
Since 2017, the County has awarded $20 million in Invest in Cook grants to advance or complete 99 bike and pedestrian projects. Over half of this funding has been awarded to projects in disinvested and under-resourced communities. The Bike Plan continues the momentum gained from the Invest in Cook grant program to ensure the creation of a comfortable, low-stress bike network for residents.
For more information and to download the County’s Bike Plan, visit cookcountyil.gov/bikeplan