Our community takes pride in its recreational options. In addition to the outdoor recreation provided by Des Plaines and Mount Prospect Park Districts,the Cook County Forest Preserve offers more than 100 miles of paved bicycle trails and over 200 miles of multi-use trails in the Forest Preserve.
In February of 2012, the City of Des Plaines adopted a Complete Streets Policy calling for the City to consider pedestrians and bicyclists in all roadway projects. The Policy reinforced the City’s ongoing pedestrian and bicycle efforts aimed at improving the quality of life for Des Plaines residents by creating a more robust and integrated transportation network that serves all users.
The proposed City of Des Plaines Bicycle Network was established through a joint effort by the local bicycle community, the City and the Des Plaines Park District over several years. The network is continually refined based upon the City’s participation in regional planning including the Northwest Municipal Conference efforts, as well as the latest research about safe facilities.
In 2008, the Engineering Department was successful in securing a CMAQ grant to fund the initial design and implementation of a portion of the City’s bicycle network. This first stage of implementation was focused on the "low-hanging" fruit, meaning the local routes that only require striping and wayfinding signage. Implementation of the first stage of the network was completed in the summer of 2011. The network consists of 15 miles of signed on-street routes. In addition, more than 5 miles of the network includes shared lane markings or other supportive pavement marking. The local routes help fulfill the goal of highlighting bicycle connections between neighborhoods, parks, schools and commercial areas throughout the City.
In January of 2011, the City of Des Plaines received $90,300 in funding from the Model Communities Grant Program for a number of initiatives targeted at reducing obesity and improving overall health of Des Plaines residents. As part of the grant award, the City was able to work with the Active Transportation Alliance on a year-and-a-half long public planning process that culminated in the creation of a Complete Streets Policy, an Active Transportation Plan, and a city-wide School Travel Plan that will guide future development in the City. In addition, the grant funding allowed for the purchase of more than 100 bike racks for installation throughout the City.