bicycles

The Chicago area’s Active Transportation Alliance is urging its members to sign a letter to Evanston’s mayor and city council to implement quickly a recent update to the city’s bike plan.

“Even in a bike-friendly place like Evanston,” the alliance urges on its weblog, “we need to speak up to ensure the bold vision included in the bike plan update becomes a reality.”

The group is asking its members that are Evanston residents to sign a letter online that it will send to the Council.

Here is the text of the letter the group plans to send:

“Dear Mayor Tisdahl and Evanston City Council:

“We applaud you for adopting the Evanston Bike Plan Update and moving forward with planned developments recommended in the initial Evanston Bike plan. We urge you to continue implementing these planned improvements and move forward with implementation of projects in the plan update.

“The plan and the update were developed with considerable input from residents, city staff and professional experts. They include proven strategies for achieving goals we deeply value: making Evanston’s streets safe, complete and livable.

“The goal of making safe streets for all is especially urgent in Evanston. Our city is home to four of the top ten suburban intersections for bike and pedestrian crashes in Illinois from 2008 to 2012. When these unsafe conditions are combined with the fact that Evanston has one of the highest levels of bicycle ridership in the country, it’s clear we must take action.

“Making travel safer is the shared responsibility of all road users. Research shows that the type of bike facilities and policies recommended in the plans make streets safer by creating more order, which reduces conflicts and crashes.

“With this in mind, please support increased public safety by developing off-street bike paths, protected bike lanes, greenways and other comfortable corridors.

“Consistent with the Complete Streets Resolution the city council adopted in May, the plans support Complete Streets that accommodate transportation options that enhance personal mobility rather than favoring motor vehicle traffic above all others.

“The plans also support livable streets. Bike facilities are traffic-calming infrastructure that gives streets a human-scale feel that is comfortable and welcoming to local residents and visitors alike.

“The development and adoption of these exciting documents are important milestones that reflect Evanston’s leadership as a bike-friendly city and its commitment to health, sustainability and local economic development.

“Now is the time for Evanston to take the next step. We urge the city of Evanston to take concrete action to pursue the recommendations of the bike plans and look forward to supporting these efforts however we can.”

The group asks for signatures by a deadline of noon tomorrow.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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