Chicago bikers rejoiced Wednesday when the Cook County Board released a 25-year transportation plan that commits to concentrating on pedestrians more than motorized vehicles.
The Connecting Cook County: 2040 Long-Range Transportation Plan stated among its several goals, one priority is to be more active in the fight for “transportation alternatives,” including biking, walking and public transportation.
“It’s not a wish list,” County Board President Toni Preckwinkle told DNA. “It’s a framework for how we’re going to proceed.”
The announcement stated that any new developments in the next years should accommodate for cyclists and pedestrians. The transit plan also touches on long-term funding to support Chicago citizens, including increased spending on sidewalks and biking. Currently, the majority of transportation funding is spent on roads and highways the plan states.
“We know that in the City of Chicago, a relatively low-cost investment — protected bike lanes and off-street trails — can make a real difference in terms of growing cycling around the city and around the region,” Active Transportation Alliance spokesman Kyle Whitehead said. “The county is taking the position that biking, walking and transit need to be prioritized over moving vehicles as quickly as possible. That’s an important line in the sand.”
Cook County residents are encouraged to contribute to the planning process.