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Oak Brook officials going ahead with master bike path plan

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Oak Brook officials have decided to go ahead with a Multi-Use/Bike Path Master Plan to improve safety and “enhance connectivity for people walking, biking, and rolling throughout Oak Brook.”

“This plan will improve pedestrian safety and enhance connectivity for people walking, biking, and (handicapped accessibility) throughout Oak Brook,” said Timothy O’Malley, Oak Brook’s Public Works director.  “The intent of this project is to create a consistent, connected, safe, (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant network of pathways throughout the village limits.”

The plan will build on the village’s current bicycle and pedestrian network, and improve connections to regional trails and community destinations.

“Through this plan, the Village continues its initiative to make all modes of transportation safe, welcoming, and convenient for all, including children, the elderly, and those with disabilities,” O’Malley said.

The Village’s fiscal year 2024 budget includes the Multi-Use/Bike Path Master Plan study that was approved by the Village Board for $72,429.
The stated goals of the plan are to:

• Improve safety for people walking and biking of all ages and abilities;

• Create a network that enhances resident access to key community destinations;

• Develop standard bicycle and pedestrian facilities throughout Oak Brook;

• Utilize as a resource when planning and prioritizing Capital Improvement Projects

• Incorporate community priorities and input

There is currently a network of pathways throughout the village, some of which are Village-owned and maintained, O’Malley said. Other pathways are privately owned or belong to the Oak Brook Park District.

“Since 2023, Public Works has made a concerted effort to identify issues with the pathway system and formulate a plan,” O’Malley said. “There is a need to not only improve the condition of the pathway, but also to make it consistent throughout the village, bring it up to ADA compliance regulations, and improve the connectivity to other pathways and locations in the village.”

O’Malley said public input is encouraged through multiple links, including the Village website, www.oak-brook.org, and the My Oak Brook app. All responses will be reviewed and incorporated into the results of the study, he said, and a finalized concept should be provided to staff between late October and early December.

“All future improvements and ADA compliance will be based and prioritized on the studies’ recommendations and the ‘condition rating’ of the pathway system,” O’Malley said. “We will incorporate improvements individually and in capital projects through grant opportunities and fiscally responsible planning.”

Village President Larry Herman said the Multi-Use/Bike Path Master Plan is one more piece of the strategy by village officials to have deliberate and consistent capital planning to coordinate and leverage financial resources while maximizing village assets.

“Now that we have turned around the Village’s finances such that we no longer need to subsidize Sports Core operations, the funds previously used for such subsidies can be put to work, clearing the years-long backlog of deferred capital maintenance,” he said.

“In order to thoughtfully address all of this work, the first step is to prepare plans that address the comprehensive nature of capital improvements, in terms of maintenance, continuity, interconnectedness, and lifecycle planning. We are already working on our water service model, street reconstruction program, sign replacement plan, and facility studies.”

Chuck Fieldman is a freelance reporter for Pioneer Press.



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