Northwest suburban communities adopt vision for Des Plaines River Trail

People who live and work in seven communities along the Des Plaines River Trail are on their way to having better access to this iconic trail in northern Chicagoland.

Today, the Des Plaines River Trail crosses many busy roads in Northwest Cook County, like Dundee, Milwaukee and Oakton — with little to no accommodations for people trying to walk or bike across these high speed, high volume roadways.

Additionally, few roads that intersect the trail have sidewalks, bike lanes or other paths that allow the 60,000 people live nearby and 30,000 employees work in the area to access the trail on foot or bike.

As a result, the trail has been underused and even avoided.

Fortunately, this is likely to change thanks to the local council of governments — called the Northwest Municipal Conference — adopting a plan that will help guide the communities along the trail in making transportation improvements that provide safe access to the trail on foot or bike.

It focuses on connecting residents and employees in the seven communities along a section of the trail in Cook County between Lake Cook Road and Higgins Road to the trail.

When this plan is implemented, people in Wheeling, Northbrook, Mount Prospect, Des Plaines, Glenview, Prospect Heights and Park Ridge will be able to safely access and cross the trail.

We’re proud to say that Active Trans was a major contributor to the plan and developed all the recommendations in it.

This plan is a culmination of a year-long process that included engaging more than 450 people that ride or walk the trail as well as discussions with Illinois Department of Transportation, Cook County Forest Preserves, Pace, Metra and the seven municipalities near the trail.

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