Kozel thinks increased bicycling will help downtown traffic

Increasing opportunities for bicycling in and around Barrington is an idea all four candidates for the village board are supporting, but is a particular passion for one of them.

Michael Kozel, a 30-year resident of the village but a first-time candidate, said he sees the issue of bicycling as hand-in-hand with that of downtown redevelopment, which the board has spent years discussing.

“How are we going to get more people into town?” Kozel asked. “I’d like to see more effort to increase biking. There’s not even one bike rack downtown.”

Kozel said there aren’t even bike racks at the Barrington Park District’s facilities, and few links between existing bike paths in the village.

Among the many big issues the village is grappling with these days, Kozel said he feels bicycling is one area Barrington can improve at relatively little cost.

Incumbent candidate Jim Daluga agreed that a desire for more bicycling opportunities was a sentiment heard again and again in a recent series of neighborhood meetings for the revision of the village’s comprehensive land-use plan.

“The number one thing people asked for was additional bike lanes and bike paths,” Daluga said.

As such, the revised plan will include a provision that every time redevelopment or new development takes place in the village, bike path connections should be part of the projects.

Fellow incumbent Paul Hunt echoed that statement, adding that there also has been discussion toward linking together all existing paths in the parks and forest preserves in and around Barrington.

Newcomer Robert Windon said he, too, is fully supportive of growing the village’s bike path infrastructure so long as funding and other logistical concerns are addressed.

Daluga, Hunt and Windon are supporting each other’s candidacies while Kozel is running independently.

Trustee Jeff Anderson, whose current term is ending along with Daluga and Hunt’s, is not seeking re-election.

Jim Daluga
Paul Hunt
Robert Windon
  Bringing more bicyclists — like this one at the Crabtree/Paul Douglas Forest Preserve — directly into Barrington will help the downtown, Mike Kozel believes. Mark Welsh/