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A look at Cook County’s new bike infrastructure plan

| Apr 10, 2021 | Bicycle Accidents

Many in Illinois choose alternate forms of transportation, especially in areas with higher levels of traffic and congestion. You may be one who chooses to ride your bike for exercise, enjoyment or transportation, but you also know this can be risky. Many do not know how to properly share the road with people on bikes, and the current infrastructure may not support many on bikes at one time.  

Thankfully, Cook County has announced an initiative that will improve conditions for cyclists. The plan will focus on providing residents with equitable access to safe and low-stress bike paths. The recently announced transportation plan will bring positive changes to those who choose to get around independent or public transportation and personal vehicles. 

Potential changes and improvements 

The plan will include prioritizing active transportation, allocating funds specifically for the improvement and development of bike paths. County leaders also announced the following as the key principles for their new transportation initiative: 

  • Assurance that investments in transportation in the county will directly benefit a larger number of residents through the equitable distribution of these funds 
  • Commitment to expanding the current system of trails, off-street paths and low-stress bikeways throughout the county in a cohesive system 
  • Improvement and expansion of facilities to support an increased number of bikes and purposeful bike trips 

In the past, improvements in alternate transportation, such as bikeways, has been challenging in lower-income areas. This initiative hopes to distribute funds in a way that will allow all residents to benefit from increased accessibility. When there are fewer or poorly maintained bike paths, it can lead to people cycling in the roads and high-traffic areas. In turn, this may lead to a higher chance of accidents.  

Safety first 

One of the main benefits to improving conditions for bikes is the increased safety this could bring to you and many others in the Cook County areas of Illinois. If you ride your bike, you know you are especially vulnerable to the force of an impact with a larger and heavier vehicle. It is especially important to have safe, accessible and easy-to-use pathways. 

If you are the victim of a bike accident caused by a driver, you could have legal options available to you. It is possible you may have grounds for a civil claim, allowing you to pursue compensation for your losses. If you think you could have a case, you may want to take quick action to preserve important evidence and take the initial steps of the legal process.