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2016 Illinois Bike Summit

[The next Illinois Bike Summit will be held Monday, May 7, 2018 at University of Illinois – Chicago.  Look for more details in the months ahead.]

Thanks to all that attended and helped make the Illinois Bike Summit a great success!

Over 250 bicycle advocates, planners, civil engineers, public health researchers, and elected officials joined us on September 19 in Bloomington-Normal for a day of learning and networking. We hope they left inspired and better equipped to improve bicycling in their communities as we focused on Better Biking for All.

  • All people: Making bicycling accessible, safe, and attractive to people of all backgrounds, genders, ages, incomes, and abilities.
  • All places: Meeting the needs of all communities in Illinois: rural, suburban, and urban, upstate and downstate.
  • All purposes: Recognizing that people use bicycles for all kinds of reasons, including out of necessity during all the seasons.
  • All planning: Ensuring that best practices for bicycle accommodations are integrated into policies and design guidance at local, county, and state levels.

With these big picture goals and a range of session topics – from design and data to kids and community building – the summit offered strategies to help you make progress in your town.

Explore all the 2016 Summit had to offer below. Presentation slides and materials are linked to speakers’ names under Session Topics.

Program & Session Topics

Download the 2016 Illinois Bike Summit Program

Presentation slides are linked to speakers’ names below and will be added as they are received.

All breakout sessions are approved for CM credit. Sessions approved for PDH credit noted with *.

Opening Plenary – Normal’s Mayor Chris Koos, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s Brian Housh, and Ride Illinois’ Gin Kilgore

*Your Bikeway Infrastructure Toolbox – TY Lin International’s Nate Roseberry, with IDOT’s Jon McCormick

How Normal Became a Bicycle Friendly Community – Normal’s Mercy Davison and Wayne Aldrich, Bike BloNo’s Michael Gorman

Bike Law: In the Books and in the Courtroom – Attorneys Michael Keating and Brendan Kevenides

*Trails = $$$ – Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s Brian Housh

Raising the Next Generation of Cyclists – Alta Planning & Design’s Cynthia Hoyle and Chicago Kidical Mass’ Rebecca Resman (presentation and handout)

Rolling Towards Equity: Breaking Barriers and Biking for Necessity – Romina Castillo from CLOCC, Women Bike Chicago, and Slow Roll Chicago; Elizabeth Adamcyzk, Women Bike Chicago and Ride of Silence Chicago; Ride Illinois’ Gin Kilgore

* The Softer Side of Trails: The Whys and Hows of Natural Surface Facilities – Central Illinois Trails Association’s Loren Easter and Jerry Stoeckigt from Chicago Area Mountain Bikers

Lunch – IDOT Secretary Randy Blankenhorn, Ride Illinois award presentations, and a video featuring people who bike for transportation

Trail Talk: Youth Corps and Recreational Corridors – IDNR’s George Bellovics

*Making it Count: Using Data to Improve Bicycling – Alta Planning & Design’s Kristen O’Toole and Cynthia Hoyle

Advocacy: Bikeways for All and Make Biking Better – Active Transportation Alliance’s Jim Merrell and Ride Illinois’ Ed Barsotti

Mobile Workshop – See Normal’s Bike Network, led by Bike BloNo

The Ease of the E’s: Reaching Bicycle Friendly Community Status – Normal’s Mercy Davison, Schaumburg’s Richard Bascomb, Urbana’s Charlie Smyth; moderated by Ride Illinois’ Ed Barsotti

How Biking Helps Public Health and Public Health Helps Biking – Chicago Dept. of Public Health’s Margarita Reina, DuPage County Health Dept.’s Becky McFarland, and McLean County Dept. of Public Health’s Nicole Aune

Sharing—and Friending—the Trail – Cook County Forest Preserve’s Jacqui Ulrich and Friends of the Constitution Trail’s Patrick Dullard

The Early History of Bicycling in Illinois – Illinois Wesleyan University’s Chris Sweet

Coffee Talks - Early Morning Session

Finding Your Spokeswomen – Creating and Building a Women’s Cycling Community
Bloomington Cycle & Fitness’ Caryn Davis

Walk In, Bike Out – A Community of Volunteers Rehabs Bikes for Those in Need
Julian Westerhout, Bloomington

Summer Bike Camp – Having Fun While Being Safe
Leo Covis and Charlie Smyth, Champaign County Bikes

Show Me the Money – How to Fundraise for Capital Projects
Champaign County Bikes’ Jeff Yockey and Ride Illinois’ Frank Brummer

Using Bicycle Master Planning to Make Your Community More Bike Friendly
Champaign County RPC’s Gabe Lewis and City of Urbana’s Kevin Garcia

Share the Road?? – Improving Signage to Increase Clarity and Reduce Conflicts
Ride Illinois’ Ed Barsotti
Mobile Workshop Session

With more than 40 miles of multi-use trail, Normal-Bloomington is a statewide destination for recreational bicyclists. With additional on-street bicycle facilities in key locations, the trail is also the primary component of the local bicycle transportation system. Participants got a first-hand look at this amazing bicycle system during the afternoon mobile workshop at the Illinois Bike Summit.

The ride covered approximately 3.5 miles of trail and 1.5 miles of on-street bike lanes. Key features included:

  • The Veterans Parkway underpass, which provides a safe and beautiful creek-side passage under a 8-lane state highway
  • Sister Cities Gardens, including a Japanese tea house and plantings from Russia
  • The Connie Link Amphitheatre, the Town’s premier outdoor theater rebuilt at a trailside location
  • Uptown Circle, a national award winner for multimodal transportation design and environmental friendliness
NACTO Training

The day after the summit, professional engineers and planners attended a day-long training on NACTO’s Urban Bikeway Design Guide and related suburban/rural content. The highly-acclaimed class was taught by T.Y. Lin International’s Nate Roseberry, with 6 continuing education credit hours available for engineers and planners.

Participants learned state-of-the-practices for on-street bikeways, based on lessons learned from the world’s best bicycling cities. The design charrette format  incorporated classroom and field activities, and provided a forum for dialogue and engagement between engineers, planners, and other professionals.


• Become familiar with innovative bike facilities covered in the Urban Bikeway Design Guide, including cycletracks, protected bike lanes, and bicycle boulevards.
• Learn how to tailor on-street bikeway solutions to local communities
• Apply principles of the Urban Bikeway Design Guide, including short-term and long-term strategies
• Learn appropriate context and warrants for facility implementation.

Continuing Education Credits

All of the summit’s 15 breakout sessions are approved for planners’ CM credits. Some breakout sessions are also eligible for PDH credits and are noted in session schedule above.

6 continuing education credit hours are for engineers and planners who completed the NACTO Bikeway Design Training.

Contact us at info@rideillinois.org if you did not pick up a signed certificate at the event.

Attendees Bike Ride and Reception

On Sunday, Sept. 18, the evening before the Summit, attendees were welcome to join us for a special ride and reception sponsored by Epstein. Two route options were available:

Get Your Kicks on Route 66
McLean County leads the state in the design and construction of the Route 66 bike trail. Experience the newest section of trail, set to be completed by the end of August. At just under 20 miles total, the ride will head northeast out of Normal toward the Village of Towanda and feature a National Register property at 305 E. Pine Street (an original Route 66 gas station),  the Illinois Soldiers and Sailors Children’s Home (a historically significant campus that served as a state orphanage from the Civil War through the late 1970s), a view of the historic Duncan Manor, and a beverage stop at Kick’s.

In-Town Ride-Around
Ride one of Illinois’ premier rails-to-trails projects – the 40+ mile Constitution Trail! Pedal at a leisurely pace down the old rail line and see many successful features of this treasured linear park: the Connie Link Amphitheatre, the National Register landmark Camelback Bridge, the historic Evergreen Cemetery, and the historic Downtown Bloomington. At approximately 15 miles, this is the perfect ride for the casual bicyclist and ardent advocate.

A reception followed at the Hyatt Place’s newly opened outdoor patio, where participants enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and network with other summit attendees.