Pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers will soon see a more integrated network of roadways and paths in Des Plaines.
A plan presented by Active Transportation Alliance, a nonprofit advocacy organization based in Chicago, passed in a 7-1 vote at the city council meeting Monday. Fifth Ward Alderman Jim Brookman voted opposed.
Tim Oakley, director of public works, said he and his staff will look at different areas in the city and evaluate what intersections could benefit from this plan.
“The purpose is to promote safety for all users of roadways,” he said.
The plan’s recommendations include increasing signage and crosswalk visibility at parks, and add pedestrian signals and curb cuts near schools. It also calls for improvements to the intersections at Wolf Road and Howard Street, and Wolf Road and Oakton Street.
“There a lot of opportunities for things that can be done around here,” said Wharton Sinkler, a Des Plaines resident.
Sinkler added he feels the plan's forward ideas will help Des Plaines.
Des Plaines received $90,300 in revenue from the Model Communities Grant Program in January 2011 and all projects last year were funded through this. Representatives from many local businesses and organizations, including Oakton Community College, Lattof YMCA, and the Forest Preserve weighed in on the project.
Residents gave feedback in April about the plan, which also includes a public education component.
Tom Olsen, another Des Plaines resident, said he wouldn’t let his kids ride their bikes to school because it is more than one mile away. Olsen said he hopes this plan makes the roads safer for cyclists including him.
Seventh Ward Alderman Dan Wilson said he endorses the plan, adding that the “progressive” plan will attract young people to Des Plaines.