Wilmette, Community

2 bicycle travel projects pick up grants from Cook County

County funders smiled upon local cyclists.

As announced on Aug. 31, two local bicycle-supporting projects were recipients of grants from the Invest in Cook program, an initiative from the Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways.

The Village of Wilmette will receive $150,000 in engineering funds to add bicycle infrastructure to Wilmette Avenue and Glenview Road and Ridge Road. According to the project description, it will add dedicated lane for bicyclists “to prioritize safety and reduce the risk of crashes.”

The project also includes bike facilities on Wilmette Avenue and Glenview Road, and shared bike lanes on Ridge Road from Isabella Street to Elmwood Avenue.

The Wilmette Park District, in conjunction with other local agencies, won a $40,000 grant to support a feasibility study into how to fill a 1 1/2-mile gap in the North Shore Channel Trail. The gap is between Wilmette and Evanston and “effectively splits the local trail network into northern and southern halves, and there is no connection between them that does not involve traveling along or across wide and stressful roadways,” according to the project description.

A feasibility study will explore options to fill the gap and provide cost estimates and implementation strategy.

The trail extension could give the 5-mile trail added destinations, such as Gillson Park and the Baha’i Temple in Wilmette.

In its seventh year, Invest in Cook funded $7.75 million to 37 projects, including nine that support bicyclists and 10 pedestrians.

Other grant recipients include the Glenview Park District ($225,000) for the construction of a pedestrian bridge replacement over the north branch of the river at Central Street; the Village of Niles ($132,500) for design engineering of bicycle support along Shermer Road between Waukegan Road and Dempster Street; and the Village of Skokie ($94,500) for acquisition of land to complete the Skokie Valley Trail improvement project.

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This article was developed using publicly available information, such as press releases, municipal records and social media posts.

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