Illinois law now requires the state to cover 100% of the cost of walking and biking infrastructure when it is needed on state roads! Illinois House Bill 270 passed the legislature in May with strong bipartisan majorities and became law on August 30. The new law goes into effect January 1, 2022.
We want to thank State Senator Christopher Belt (57th District) and State Representative Anna Moeller (43rd District) for being the chief sponsors of HB 270. Active Transportation Alliance, Ride Illinois and Metropolitan Planning Council collaborated on the push for this legislation. We also want to thank the countless individuals and organizations across Illinois who voiced their support for this law which will result in safer roads and sustainable transportation options. Supporters filed more than 900 witness slips in advance of the bill being called in the house and more than 1,000 before the senate hearing.
HB270 mandates that the state cover the full cost of biking and walking infrastructure in road projects on IDOT-maintained roads, just like they do for the motor vehicle aspects of projects. This applies to segments of roads up to one mile from the center of communities with 1,000 or more residents. Currently, when the state of Illinois is building or repaving a road, the state covers 100 percent of the cost of infrastructure for cars and trucks, such as travel lanes and road markings. But if the state’s analysis determines a sidewalk, sidepath, or bike lane should be added and there is community support for it, the local community has been required to cover 20 percent of the cost. Since many communities cannot afford the match amount, the walking and biking infrastructure gets pulled from the final design.
As Ride Illinois has done for nearly 30 years, we will continue to pursue legislation that makes riding a bike for recreation and transportation in Illinois safer and better! Thank you to all the advocates and legislative leaders who made HB270 a reality!