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The City of Evanston says this is “Bike Kick-off Month” — billed as effort to improve safety on the road while fostering awareness and respect among bicyclists, motorists and pedestrians.

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl will sign a proclamation officially declaring the program at next Monday’s City Council meeting.

Evanston’s program aligns with National Bike Month, sponsored by the League of American Cyclists. All month long, Evanston residents are encouraged to utilize this healthy, economical and environmentally sound form of transportation to commute to work or school, exercise, or simply enjoy the city’s neighborhoods and scenery.

To encourage safe biking, driving and walking habits, Mayor Tisdahl is also urging Evanston motorists and bicyclists of all ages to take the Illinois League of Bicyclists’ Bike Safety Quiz, available at BikeSafetyQuiz.com. The quiz is part of the organization’s “Mayor’s Bicycle Safety Challenge,” which encourages community members across the state to learn relevant safety techniques and laws through interactive quizzes.

Community members are also encouraged to visit bikeevanston.org for bike maps, bike registration, local discounts for bicyclists, safety tips, rules of the road, and more.

As part of Bike Kick-off Month, the City and its community partners have announced the week of May 11 as the beginning of a city-wide “Let’s Roll Together” campaign to encourage and assist bicyclists, drivers, and pedestrians in practicing safe traffic behavior. During the week, the City of Evanston, Evanston Police Department, and community partners will conduct targeted community engagement at the following intersections:

  • Church St. and Chicago Ave.
  • Sherman Ave. and Davis St.
  • McCormick Blvd. and Prairie Ave.
  • Dodge Ave. and Greenleaf St.

City staff and volunteers will be present at these locations during select times throughout the week to distribute Evanston bike maps and safety information, and to identify both safe and unsafe traffic behavior. Volunteers are encouraged to register at volunteerevanston.org.

“Let’s Roll Together” community partners include the Active Transportation Alliance, Age Friendly Evanston!, Citizens’ Greener Evanston, Downtown Evanston, Evanston Bicycle Club, Evanston Chamber of Commerce, League of Illinois Bicyclists, Northwestern University, Chicago’s North Shore Convention & Visitors Bureau, local bike shops, schools, hospitals, and civic groups. Additional “Let’s Roll Together” events and outreach activities are planned for the summer and fall of 2015. 

The City of Evanston is one of only nine communities in Illinois to be recognized as a “Bicycle Friendly Community” by the League of American Bicyclists, and one of only three to achieve a Silver Award level or higher.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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6 Comments

  1. I hope this helps
    I hope this helps. I love biking but more than 50% of the cyclists I see in downtown are going the wrong way, riding on sidewalks, biking on ridge, etc. This approach seems better than harsher unenforced penalties.

    1. It won’t help
      Like so many things the Council proposes, it will come to naught.
      They propose to get votes, not take action.
      The police could ticket probably 10 bikers on Clark between Orrington and Sherman from 11:30 AM to 1 PM—but surprise surprise they don’t even make an appearance. As for not needing ticketing, the bikers say they don’t care if it is illegal and know the police won’t do anything.
      The Mayor, Police Chief and Northwestern officials say will take action–but they don’t.
      Thus another generation of NU grads will conclude the city probably won’t do anything about their habits in cars–speeding, no turn signals even on busy streets, not stopping at intersections and going through traffic signs and lights.

  2. No bike riding on sidewalks

    It appears (to me) from the picture the signs are going to be placed on the same posts as all the other signs (snowplowing/street cleaning).

    Are they for the bikers to see or motorists to read? They should consider signs that say"DO NOT ENTER" with a Line through a picture of a Bike. Place these signs at each corner on all sides of the street

    1. Issuing Citations is Unfortunately Necessary

      I am a longtime bike rider in Evanston's downtown area and constantly witness sidewalk riding violators (teens, seniors, parents with kids, NU students), along with the new obnoxious trend of cyclists going west on the east bound Church Street designated path, and vise versa on the west bound Davis Street designated path.

      I don't like the idea of ticketing bicyclists, but, based on my many years of observing such violators, unless there is a huge educational and ticketing intervention by the city government, they are going to continue ignoring signs and proper biking directions just like many do traffic signs and signals. 

    2. Already on posts—but ignored
      Almost every corner downtown has a sign but bikers—mostly NU—ignore them.
      At Orrington and Clark [Burger-King] and across the street on SE corner I think the no bike riding sign is singular but still ignored.

  3. Reinstate two-way traffic downtown

    The easiest way to insure that cyclists don't ride bikes on the sidewalk downtown would be to switch the streets back to the two-way configuration.  The two-way configuration was done in the 1950s primarily to accommodate fast car traffic and it was done when there were very few people living downtown.  One way traffic makes it inefficient to get from one location to another on a bike and it also allows cars to travel faster making the streets unsafe.

    There is really no reason to keep the one-way configuration.  It is better to go back to how it used to be.  It will be safer for everyone.

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