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Ride Illinois Legislative Priorities
January 30, 2024

2024 Legislative Priorities

Ride Illinois has established 2024 legislative priorities that, if successful, will positively impact bicycling in the state. Our Advocacy Committee has worked diligently to determine these priorities and the Ride Illinois Board of Directors gave the green light to proceed at their January meeting. Keep reading to learn more about the importance of each.

E-bike Rebate or Incentive Program

Establishing an e-bike rebate or incentive program for Illinois residents will make allow more Illinois residents to purchase an e-bike to use for regular trips. SB2015 was re-introduced in the state senate in early January. It’s possible that similar bills will be introduced soon. Check out our State and Federal Bicycle Bill Tracker for the latest.

Also, Ride Illinois worked with several partners to develop an organizational sign-on letter that invites organizations to voice support for including an e-bike rebate/incentive program in the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s Priority Climate Action Plan. Converting car trips to e-bike trips is one means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from Illinois.

Allowing Municipalities to Reduce Speed Limits

Speed is a contributing factor in about 30% of crashes, according to available data. Advocates, including Ride Illinois, aim to make it easier for municipalities (villages and cities) to reduce speed limits on their roads. The state of Minnesota passed a law (see Subd. 5h) in 2023 that allows municipalities to establish speed limits for some streets under the city’s jurisdiction without conducting an engineering and traffic investigation. We support making it easier for municipalities to reduce speed limits on the roads in their jurisdiction.

As our friends at League of American Bicyclists have emphatically stated, Slow Roads Save Lives!

Permitted and Intended

The Illinois Supreme Court ruling in the Alave v. City of Chicago case in December upheld the infamous Boub v. Wayne decision from 1998. It’s worth noting that Illinois is the only state in the country that recognizes bicyclists as permitted, but not intended users of the road, unless there is bicycle infrastructure and/or signage.

Many municipalities in Illinois don’t have dedicated bike infrastructure. Due to the court’s ruling, they are also discouraged from making their community more bike-able as a result. This matter has run its course in the courts, so our attention is shifting to a legislative change that will recognize bicyclists as both permitted and intended users of Illinois roads.

Ride Illinois' #1 Goal

The #1 goal in Ride Illinois’ Strategic Plan is to greatly reduce, and ultimately eliminate, bicyclist fatalities in Illinois. Positive change and progress require persistence, perseverance, and patience. That being said, we cannot promise that we will be successful on all of these priorities in 2024. However, you can be assured that Ride Illinois will continue to advocate for these important topics, as well as other ways to make Illinois better through biking. 

As progress is made on these legislative priorities, we will need your help! Ride Illinois will not only be sharing updates, but also action alerts that allow Illinois residents to speak up. Illinois residents are encouraged to contact their legislators to voice their support once bills are introduced. Support from Illinois residents and their willingness to amplify messages and contact elected officials can make a real difference.

Learn More and Keep in Touch

Click the buttons below to learn more about recently-introduced bills, at the state and federal level, pertaining to bicycling. And be sure to sign up for alerts and newsletters fro Ride Illinois to stay informed!