Now that it's spring (at least according to the calendar), it's time to break out that bicycle from storage and get moving! Bicycles are actually the world's most widely used transport vehicle, outnumbering automobiles almost two to one. However, the U.S. is a major exception to biking's popularity around the world with less than one percent of trips made in the U.S. done by bicycle. The likely deterrent for most folks is convenience. However, biking is becoming more and more convenient and popular through the construction of new bike trails! Many communities are working to construct brand new trails, enhancing existing paths to make them accessible for both walking and biking, or connecting existing trails to increase accessibility and provide for longer rides.

Why should you support the improvement of bike trails in your community? First, biking is a low-impact exercise that has many health benefits. Also, it can be economically beneficial for both you and your community as you'll save money on gas and reduce the wear and tear to local roads. Lastly, biking creates zero carbon emissions, making it the greenest form of transportation!

So how do we promote this incredibly sustainable and economically beneficial form of transportation? Just being aware of the bike trails available in your state or local community is the first step! Below is a list of some amazing bike trails that can be found throughout Illinois and Wisconsin:

  • Illinois Prairie Path 
    This 61-mile east-west trail goes through many communities including Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn, Wheaton, and further west to the Fox River. This was North America's first successful "rails to trails" project. 
  • Glacial Drumlin Trail 
    This 52-mile trail runs from Waukesha west to Cottage Grove with easy connections to Madison and Milwaukee.

Bike trails are an important key to development of cost-effective multimodal transportation systems. So get out and explore your local bike trails today!  

About the Author

Maria Kealy

Maria C. Kealey, E.I.T. 
Project Engineer

Maria brings fresh innovation coupled with effective communication skills to her role as a project engineer. She has been employed with Ruekert & Mielke, Inc. (R/M) since 2015 while she completed her degree in Civil Engineering and obtained a certificate in Environmental Studies at UW-Madison. Maria has been involved in a wide array of projects thus far, providing her with comprehensive knowledge of the industry. She understands the needs of clients to exceed expectations. These skills allow her to efficiently manage projects and coordinate design efforts, while maintaining timely communication with community staff and residents.

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