Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Federal Government to Fund Bike Path from Madison, WI into Illinois

According to a local news report in Madison, Wisconsin, the federal government has earmarked $1 million in funds for transportation to connect the Badger State Trail (map)in Fitchburg to the Capital City Trail that runs around Madison, Wisconsin. Construction of the extension is expected to begin in May and last approximately two months.

Since the Badger State Trail has a starting point in Orangeville, Illinois, this extension will connect Illinois with a direct path to downtown Madison, Wisconsin. Yet the most interesting part of this development is that this would also create a "spur" off of the Grand Illinois Trail (G.I.T) into southern Wisconsin and downtown Madison. From Freeport, Illinois you can ride off of the G.I.T. to the Jane Addams Trail which will link up with the Badger State Trail into Madison. Considering that you can ride from Chicagoland on the Prairie Path and hit the Grand Illinois Trail, this means that that you can go from as far east as 1st Avenue in Maywood to downtown Madison on one continuous bike-specific route.

Bicycling in Wisconsin is huge park of the recreational economy. There are some estimates that bicycling in Wisconsin provides more to the local economy in that state than deer hunting. And if you know anything about Wisconsin, you know that the only things typically thought of as bigger than deer hunting are beer, cheese, and the Packers. Now it looks like you can add bicycling to that list.

If you have any questions regarding this post or about Illinois bicycle law, contact Mike Keating at 312-208-7702 or