The Illinois Bike Transportation Plan (Plan), the first state-wide bicycle plan in Illinois history, provides the Department with policies, best practices and strategic direction for implementing a sustainable, multimodal transportation system in Illinois.

The mission of the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) was to provide safe, cost-effective transportation for Illinois’ residents and visitors in ways that enhance quality of life, promote economic prosperity and demonstrate respect for the environment. IDOT contracted Alta and team partners to complete the non-motorized chapter of the Long Range Transportation Plan.

The plan addressed: a statewide and regional analysis of the current accommodations, policies, and planning documents for bicycling in Illinois; an evaluation of IDOT’s implementation of the state’s Complete Streets policy and other bicycling-related statutes; and a review of national bicycling trends and best practices and their applicability in the Illinois transportation context. The existing conditions analysis will include an analysis of state bicycle safety data, existing roadway conditions for bicyclists at a regional and statewide scale, existing greenways and multi-use trail coverage throughout the state, and stakeholder input on bicycling and safety conditions.

Based on the existing conditions analysis, plan recommendations included the following:

  • Bicycling related planning and policy recommendations,
  • Bikeway safety, design and maintenance recommendations,
  • Regional-scale bikeway network recommendations,
  • Bikeway network implementation and prioritization recommendations,
  • State bicycling performance measures,
  • Education, outreach and enforcement recommendations, and
  • Funding recommendations

The project included a major statewide public outreach program with numerous workshops focused on multi-modal transportation assessment as it relates to bicycling and pedestrians in each MPO region. Over 4000 individuals, 60 local agencies, 50 non-profits, and 11 educational institutions provided input via in-person meetings, webinars, social media, and online surveys. The input received from these stakeholders helped inform final recommendations and establish a framework for future collaboration.

In addition, Alta developed an interactive website and project branding, and conducted a statewide analysis to provide policy recommendations. A comprehensive regional bikeway facility inventory was one of the major GIS tasks included in the project, involving data collection from cities, counties and other agencies across the state.  As part of the inventory, newly digitized bikeway facilities were incorporated into a statewide GIS geodatabase.  Other GIS tasks included a review of current GIS practices involving bicycle transportation-related data and a statewide bicycle crash analysis.