Wednesday, February 12, 2014

U of I to Receive State Grant to Fund Road Word That Includes Additional Bike Lanes in Champaign-Urbana

View Larger Map

Last week Governor Pat Quinn’s office announced that the University of Illinois will be undergoing substantial changes at the Urbana-Champaign campus that will include additional bike lanes on busy parts of the campus. The University will receive $748,000 in state capital funds which will be used to develop improved pavements on Sixth Street between Armory Avenue and Gregory Drive, and Stadium Drive at South Neil Street (pictured above), as well as installing new traffic signals in said areas.
The bicycle lanes on Sixth Street and Stadium Drive will be a much needed addition. “We are grateful for this assistance from the state in completing these projects to improve streets and bike lanes for our students, faculty, staff and visitors,” said University Chancellor, Phyllis Wise. According to Wise, these new bicycle lanes will be placed in busy areas of the campus, so the impact will be great. Governor Pat Quinn said, “Our investment will make a key area of campus safer and easier for bicyclists and pedestrians to use”.
This will be the latest project in Governor Pat Quinn’s “commitment to create jobs and drive Illinois’ economy forward”. On January 30, 2013, Governor Pat Quinn, along with Transportation Secretary, Ann Schneider, announced that about $50 million would soon be spent on improving the transportation system in the state of Illinois. Adding bicycle lanes to the streets was one way they planned to create safe, alternative transportation options to the people of Illinois.
The Illinois Bicycle Lawyers of Keating Law Offices are strong advocates of bicycling in Illinois and are pleased to hear of these latest additions to the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign campus. Keating Law Offices has represented bicyclists in Champaign and Urbana who have been seriously injured while riding on or near public streets. Many of these injuries from bicycle accidents could have been avoided had the bicyclist had the option of riding in a bicycle lane. Bike lanes, especially protected bike lanes, serve as traffic calming measures in that the bike lane provides the bicyclist with a clear, distinct path of travel and also serves as a warning and indicator to motorists that bicycles are present. These factors contribute to a less dangerous cycling environment for bicyclists.

As bicycling continues to grow in Illinois, it is a positive signal that the state's largest public institution of higher learning and the State of Illinois itself are working to include bicycles in public service projects.