Special report: As crashes rise, suburbs push to build in safety for walkers, cyclists | Chicago Daily Herald

Headlines are quick hits from media outlets from Missouri and around the world. Follow the headline link for the full story. The source of this headline says:

A Daily Herald analysis of suburban vehicle crashes with cyclists and pedestrians found 250 were fatal and 9,290 involved injuries from 2012 through 2015.

And instead of declining, in 2015 suburban collisions rose 3 percent and fatal collisions spiked by nearly 13 percent, according to the most recent Illinois Department of Transportation data.

A number of communities are trying to reverse the trend, although most remedies are costly and some may give rise to other problems. . . .

The downside of bike paths comes when they end, the Active Transportation Alliance concludes in its "Suburban Bikeways for All" report.

The Chicago area boasts about 4,000 miles of trails and paths, but 142 miles of gaps in the system create a stressful and dangerous environment for riders, runners or pedestrians spilling out onto busy streets, the Alliance reports.

The Lake County Forest Preserve District tried for decades before closing a one-third-mile gap in the Des Plaines River Trail that forced users onto busy Milwaukee Avenue. But other gaps exist in Wheeling and Prospect Heights.

Across the region, some gaps are caused by owners who won't sell land or by roads changing jurisdiction, such as from a town's control to the state's, Alliance Advocacy Director Jim Merrell said. But gaps shouldn't occur "if communities are implementing a thoughtful and comprehensive active transportation plan."

MoBikeFed comment: This is the type of issue that suburbs across the U.S.--and across Missouri--are grappling with. It is very possible to make suburbs safe and convenient for people to walk and bicycle, but it takes work, planning, and time.

Because many of suburban communities were designed solely with motor vehicle transportation in mind, some of the problems are 'baked in' to the system.

But, with time and effort, these problems *can* be reversed. We urge all of our Missouri suburbs to move forward on this issue, as the Chicago suburbs are doing.

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