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posted: 6/10/2014 5:30 AM

Barrington to encourage biking with new signs, street markings

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  • Video: Barrington Bike Projects

  • New signs around Barrington will point out village bike routes as well as destinations around town such as village hall here, the Metra station, village parks and public schools.

       New signs around Barrington will point out village bike routes as well as destinations around town such as village hall here, the Metra station, village parks and public schools.
    GEORGE LECLAIRE | Staff Photographer, 2010

 
 

A series of village projects encouraging Barrington residents to use their bikes around town will be rolled out this summer.

Jennifer Tennant, the assistant director of development services, said at Monday night's board meeting that the village will replace dozens of bike route signs, some of which she said have "gotten a little loopy and incorrect over the years."

The new signs will point out village bike routes as well as destinations around town such as village hall, the Metra station, village parks and public schools.

Tennant said some signs will show several bike routes as a way to consolidate the number of sign posts placed around the village.

Another project will be to paint bicycle shared lane markings called "sharrows" on Dundee Avenue.

Sharrows are used when a road does not have enough room for a bike lane, but the road is wide enough to be shared with bicycles.

Tennant said the symbols will reminds drivers they are sharing the road with bikers, while encouraging bikers to stay near the curb.

Another ongoing project will be placing bike racks around the village, something Village Trustee Pete Douglas supported, calling the idea a "no-brainer."

"Stick ones down in the triangle, down Main, down Cook," Douglas said. "And then once they park their bikes they are walking, and that's a good thing for all of the businesses."

Public Works Director Mark Werksman said his department had several mobile bike racks that were normally brought out just for special events that could be used in other hot spots on a more permanent basis.

Tennant gave much of the credit for the new bike projects to the village's Bike & Pedestrian Advisory Committee, a group formed by the village board in 2011 in response to residents' requests for a more cohesive bicycle and pedestrian network in the village. Many of the projects that will be worked on this summer come from the advisory committee's 2012 transportation plan.

Village Trustee Robert Windon said the advisory committee's work is important because it ensures the village's yearly projects to improve bike and walkways are all building toward a larger goal.

Tennant, who is a staff liaison for the advisory committee, said many of the committee members are regular bike commuters.

After hearing the update on the summer biking projects, the village board voted to reduce the number of people on the advisory committee from 11 to 7. According to Tennant, after the group published its transportation plan in 2012, several members stopped attending, making it difficult to reach a quorum.

The advisory committee's next meeting is at 7 p.m. June 17 in the village hall.

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