Ride Illinois honors Aurora for bike-trail extension project
For its outstanding commitment and follow-through in maintaining and expanding a network of protected bicycling lanes, the City of Aurora recently received the 2016 Ride Illinois Project Award from the statewide advocacy group Ride Illinois.
Presented at the 2016 Illinois Bike Summit held recently in Normal, the award recognized the city for installing downtown bike lanes that filled the last remaining half-mile-long gap along the Fox River Trail, a path of more than 60 miles running from Oswego north, nearly to Wisconsin.
"Protected bike lanes are for more than just Chicago and directly adjacent suburbs," Ed Barsotti, Ride Illinois’ chief programs officer, said. "We're thrilled to see the bold leap forward in Aurora's bikeway infrastructure and to recognize this transformative project. It's also smart policy, as Illinois' second-largest city … seeks to attract businesses and a young workforce."
Unique to the project were traffic signals designed especially for cyclists, concrete curbs, brick stamping and green pavement to clearly mark cyclists’ territory. Officials praised the installation for providing a high comfort level to participants.
"The closing of the Fox River Trail gap was something we worked long and hard for because we knew it would benefit not just bicyclists, but our residents and businesses as well," Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner said.
The project was incorporated into a large-scale renovation of south River Street that involved directional changes, parking and landscaping upgrades; and it complements the recently built Santori Public Library in Aurora.
Ride Illinois is a nonprofit group working for better bicycling conditions throughout Illinois, and advocating for bike-friendly roads, favorable legislation and public education on safe road-sharing practices.