The Smith family lives in the neighborhood west of Ambucs Park in Urbana. On Saturdays, the Smiths like to ride their bikes to the international market at the intersection of University Avenue and Cunningham Avenue to buy groceries.
University Avenue is a high traffic corridor and currently does not include any bicycle facilities. In 2015 the bicycle Access Score to grocery stores, retail stores, and restaurants averages 70 out of 100 on University Avenue on the south side of the neighborhood.
The LRTP 2045 vision includes a new shared-use sidepath for bicycles and pedestrians from the east end of Ambucs Park to Cunningham Avenue. This sidepath would be a minimum width of 8 feet and is projected to improve the bicycle access score to grocery stores, retail stores, and restaurants by 16 points (from 70 to 86) for the Smiths and their neighbors.
Adding and improving bicycle infrastructure addresses LRTP 2045 goals to provide safe, active, affordable, and low-emission transportation options. Access Score is one tool planners use to measure transportation accessibility in our community.
Terry lives in the Village of Mahomet, just off Prairieview Road, north of Tin Cup Road. He enjoys living in this location because it is only about a mile from the beautiful 900-acre Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve, where Terry likes to fish on the weekends. He often meets up with his friends and neighbors at the preserve for a boat ride or a picnic.
Currently Terry drives to the preserve on the weekends even though it is only about a mile away and parking is limited when the weather is nice. Currently the bicycle Access Score to parks, including the forest preserve, is only 26 on Tin Cup Road west of Prairieview Road because there aren’t dedicated bike facilities along most of Tin Cup Road. The bicycle Access Score to parks gets even lower closer to Terry’s home off Prairieview Road, north of Tin Cup Road, as the distance from the forest preserve gets larger.
The LRTP 2045 Vision includes installing a concrete shared-use path for bicyclists and pedestrians along Tin Cup Road between Lake of the Woods Road and Prairieview Road, which is documented in the 2014 Champaign County Greenways and Trails Plan. Shared use paths are also recommended on Prairieview Road and Lake of the Woods Road to increase biking and walking access and connectivity for the entire area. These and other transportation improvements would improve the bicycle Access Score to parks by 24 points in this location.
A safe path for Terry to bike to the forest preserve will increase his time outdoors and his ability to get exercise. It will save him time and money if he doesn’t have to drive or look for parking when he visits the preserve.
If fewer vehicles are accessing the forest preserve, that will also mean fewer vehicle emissions and better air quality in and around this valuable natural resource, which would help address the LRTP 2045 objective to maintain attainment status for 8-hour ozone levels in the region.
Sara lives in the Parkview Senior Apartments off Curtis Road between Dunlap Avenue/US 45 and First Street in Savoy. Sara is retired and enjoys biking and walking through Dohme Park just north of her apartment complex when the weather is nice. Sara doesn’t own a car and regularly gets rides to the pharmacy or grocery store at the intersection of Dunlap Avenue/US 45 and Curtis Road, less than a mile away.
She would like to be able to walk there whenever she needs to but she doesn’t feel comfortable using the existing pedestrian facilities to walk along Curtis Road, across the railroad tracks, and across the traffic on Dunlap Avenue/US 45 to get to the pharmacy or supermarket.
The LRTP 2045 Vision includes several improvements in this area to improve access and connectivity for travelers of all modes. An off-street shared use path for bicycles and pedestrians is recommended for both sides of Curtis Road between First Street and Dunlap Avenue/US 45. In addition, on-street bike lanes are recommended for a portion of the roadway segment. A railroad grade separation is also proposed for the railroad crossing, which would eliminate wait times at the railroad and improve access to Dunlap Avenue/US 45 for pedestrians, bicycles, and all motorized vehicles.
These improvements, as well as bike lanes and a shared use path on First Street north of Curtis Road to connect to the University and the City of Champaign, would increase the bicycle access score to services by 40 points and are detailed in the Village of Savoy’s Prairie Fields Trail Phase 2, 2019 Savoy Comprehensive Plan, 2017 Savoy Bike and Pedestrian Plan, 2016 Curtis Road Corridor Study, and 2014 Champaign County Greenways and Trails Plan.
Off-street shared-use paths, on-street bike paths, and a railroad grade separation would allow Sara, and others who don’t own a car or prefer not to drive, to bike or walk to the pharmacy, grocery store, and other services in the vicinity of Savoy Plaza at any time. The improvements would also contribute to the LRTP 2045 objective to increase the mileage of bike facilities in the region.
Maria lives off Kirby Avenue, between Staley Road and I-57 in Champaign. She works a mile away at the grocery store on the southeast corner of Kirby Avenue and Duncan Avenue. She drives to and from work each day because she does not feel safe riding her bike between her home and Duncan Avenue. In 2015 there are no bike facilities along this segment of roadway and the narrow roadway shoulders disappear on the bridge portion that passes over I-57.
The LRTP 2045 Vision includes a project for on-street bike lanes on Kirby Avenue from Duncan Road to Staley Road as documented in the 2016 Champaign Park District Trails Master Plan and 2014 Champaign County Greenways and Trails. The implementation of bike lanes on Kirby Avenue combined with other transportation improvements increase the bicycle Access Score to grocery stores by 38 points in this location.
In 2045, Employees living off Kirby Avenue east of Duncan Road will be able to bike to their job using the Kirby Avenue bike lanes, with a bicycle Access Score to grocery stores of 70 in this location. This improvement will contribute to the LRTP 2045 objective of increasing the share of active transportation modes (walking, biking, and transit) used to commute to work in the region.
The Robinson family lives north of Perkins Road between Cunningham Avenue and the Urbana Dog Park. Even though they live less than a mile away, the Robinsons drive their dog to the park on the weekends because there are very few sidewalks or other pedestrian facilities between their home and the park.
The LRTP 2045 Vision includes a project to construct a sidepath parallel to Perkins Road between US 45 and the Dog Park as documented in the 2016 Urbana Park District Trails Master Plan and the 2014 Champaign County Greenways and Trails. This sidepath would contribute to improving the Robinson’s pedestrian access to the park by 17 points.
A safe path for pedestrians on Perkins Road will increase accessibility and physical exercise for the Robinsons and increase the pedestrian access score to parks to 83. This improvement would also contribute to the LRTP 2045 objectives to improve pedestrian safety in the region.