DOWNTOWN — From adding bike lanes on the South Side to questioning a state moratorium on adding protected bike routes on some streets in the city, cyclists sounded off at an Illinois Department of Transportation public forum Tuesday.
The meeting on the Illinois Bike Transportation Plan focused on reducing and eliminating barriers to bike travel statewide and was built around input from about 40 cyclists in attendance at the Thompson Center.
Illinois was recently ranked as the ninth most bicycle friendly state in the country by the League of American Bicyclists.
But one Hyde Park resident complained about the lack of bike lanes that connect his neighborhood with downtown.
Others asked whether the state was planning to lift its moratorium on adding more bike lanes on state routes that cut through the city. The state has said the three-year moratorium is needed while it can study whether the lanes reduce accidents.
At a meeting earlier Tuesday about the state plan for transportation professionals, Streetsblog Chicago editor John Greenfield asked if the process would "have any effect on whether IDOT will eventually embrace protected bike lanes," according to a transcript he posted at chi.streetsblog.org.
IDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Policy Advisor Gabriel Sulkes answered that the state-wide study along with a study of the Chicago area will "produce recommendations that the department will take into consideration when designing facilities and when looking at internal policies," the transcript said.
Tuesday's meeting was the last in Chicago, but future meetings will be held around the state.