LAKEMOOR – The first major project in Lakemoor’s effort to connect its neighborhoods with biking and walking paths is moving ahead.
The Lakemoor Village Board accepted a grant through the Illinois Department of Transportation’s transportation enhancement program at its meeting last week, just after adopting a new “complete streets” policy.
The grant dollars will go toward constructing a bike path that starts on the north end of Darrell Road in the Lakemoor Farms subdivision and ends at Moraine Hills State Park, said Matt Dabrowski, the village’s director of community and economic development. The village is responsible for 20 percent of the project cost, or about $66,000.
Work could start as early as the spring of 2015, he said. The village is currently in the engineering phase.
Lakemoor also used a state grant, this time from the Department of Public Health, to develop a complete streets policy. The grant covered staff time.
The policy is designed to promote all modes of transportation, including motor vehicles, walking, biking and public transportation, through the creation of a network of routes that are connected and safe.
The village currently only has two small segments of bike path that were installed as part of the Walgreens development, Dabrowski said.
The planned bike path would be the first real usable route for pedestrians and bicyclists, and it will also include the installation of pedestrian crossings and signals at Route 120, which should help make the busy intersection safer, he said.
Grants won’t be the only funding tool Lakemoor plans on pursuing in developing its sidewalk and bike path system, Dabrowski said. The village also plans to include paths in the infrastructure improvements that developers will need to cover.
The goal is to connect the planned bike path with any future development on the north end of town and ultimately to the Volo Bog State Natural Area, he said.
Physical constraints will also limit the implementation of the complete streets policy, Dabrowski said, pointing to some older neighborhoods that were built in a different era and cannot accommodate all the proposed improvements.
Those neighborhoods could see some elements incorporated, including crosswalks, street lighting and sidewalks, he said.