The Village of Barrington has been conscious of the need to explore connectivity to various areas of the community for many years. In 1998, the Village hired TranSystems Corporation to undertake a Barrington Bikeway Study to determine how and where connectivity could be accomplished through bikeways and pedestrian connections. The Bikeways Study was prepared in response to availability of federal funding and public interest expressed from the Village residents. The final product identified a strategy for the planning and construction of marked bikeway routes throughout the Village. (The study can be found below in .pdf form.) At the time the study was undertaken the Village had a total of 0.5 miles of bikeways, none of which were marked. The study results identified approximately 13.4 miles of new bikeways which would create a network of safe facilities throughout the Village’s roadway network. The bikeway facilities plan provided for off-street bike paths, on-shoulder bike lanes, on-road signed and striped bike lanes, and on-road signed bike routes. The plan was to provide a network of bikeway corridors to encourage bikeway use for the causal user, children, adults, and the experienced bicyclists.
In 2010, the Village began the update of the Village’s Comprehensive Plan. Neighborhood meetings were held though out the Village to receive resident input for this long-range planning document. It became apparent through these meetings that resident input focused on bicycle and pedestrian connectivity; and improving how people can get around the Village without an automobile.
In response to the Plan Commission’s request as part of the 2010 Comprehensive Plan update the Village Board set forth to establish a Bike and Pedestrian Committee. The purpose of this committee is to develop a comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian plan and map for the Village; advocate programs to encourage bicycling and walking as healthy alternative modes of transportation; promote safety campaigns and education programs through Village-sponsored bicycle activities; develop educational materials for distribution throughout the community; and recommend possible coordination with other agencies, advocacy groups and surrounding municipalities and other jurisdictions, identify potential grants and programs to assist with the implementation of the approved bicycle plan. The Committee is charged with updating the Bikeways Plan and promoting the use of alternative modes of transportation for the benefit of all Barrington residents from first grade to retirement.
The updated plan has a similar structure to the 1998 Barrington Bikeway Plan in that it includes the purpose and goals, an analysis of the existing conditions and corridors, and recommendations for future improvements. However, this plan also includes a complete Bicycle Level of Service (BLOS) which provides a rating system to each route and path; a priority and phasing plan for short and long term planning; funding options outside of the Village of Barrington budget; maintenance on the entire system; how to educate, encourage and enforce the public on bicyclist and pedestrian rights; and finally performance measures to gauge the effectiveness of the plan. The entire plan can be seen below in the documents section.
Now that the Village has established a bicycle and pedestrian plan the next step is to begin the implementation.
The Barrington Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee meets the third Tuesday of the quarter (January, April, July and October) month, at 7:00 p.m., at Village Hall, 200 S. Hough Street, Barrington, IL.