Lake Forest introduced its bicycle master plan and gathered further ideas and comments at an open house at Monday night.
About 35 residents browsed a series of placards showcasing the city’s cycling goals. While Lake Forest’s residential streets have low vehicular traffic and a low number of reported crashes, the community has asked for improved conditions for the large number of cyclists. The plan would add bike lanes on roads and signs to direct bikers on routes through the city and beyond.
“We’re hoping to do better connectivity through the downtown area,” said Anne Whipple, a facilitator at the event.
The city would also work to encourage cycling by adding new programs and amenities. Bike parking by the train station would allow cyclists to stop there to cool off or serve as an alternative to driving for commuters. If the master plan is approved, the city would host bike to work/school days along with community bike safety events.
The plan was developed with the help of residents who responded to staff surveys and attended in Lake Forest and Lake Bluff.
“I’ve been very pleased with the public support and comments,” said project manager Megan O’Neill.
Residents continued to offer feedback by placing stickers on a priority board that showed where they would like biking conditions to be improved first when funding available. The city will apply for federal grants meant to help connect communities by bike. Everett, Old Elm and Westleigh Roads were deemed the highest priorities, followed by Deerpath Connection and Laurel Avenue.
Lake Forest resident Cappy Johnston said she and her family typically bike in Wisconsin because she’s concerned about their safety when biking Illinois roads.
“I think its great that they’re concerned about doing some things here,” she said. “We live here and we like to bike here and it would be nice to have safer roads to bike on.”
Lake Forest resident Erich Loacker said he attended the open house because he’s an avid cyclist.
“I wanted to come see what the plan was and try to provide any input I can,” he said. “So far it looks very encouraging. It looks like they’ve got a lot of good ideas and they’ve taken input from the community.”
The master plan will be presented before the Parks and Recreation Board for further resident input later this month and will be reviewed by the Plan Commission and City Council this fall.