Carbondale Bicycle Master Plan - Background
There is a high desire and demand for bicycle usage in the City of Carbondale (a recent survey found 53% of Southern Illinois University alumni reported that they primarily walked or rode a bike while attending SIU). The purpose of the Carbondale Bicycle Master Plan will be to create a master plan for citywide bicycle improvements with short, intermediate, and long term implementation strategies. The Bicycle Master Plan will build upon the positive momentum of improving bicycling in Carbondale.
Key elements of the Bicycle Master Plan include:
Conduct an inventory of the existing bicycle network.
Identify connections between routes in the existing network.
Identify existing roadways that could accommodate bicycle facilities.
Recommend policy changes to assist in short and long term bicycle improvements.
Develop action items to move Carbondale toward being recognized as a ‘Bicycle Friendly Community’.
Public engagement including stakeholder meetings, public meetings, and outreach.
The Bicycle Master Plan will be completed by late spring/early summer 2016. In the fall of 2015, the planning team will be reviewing existing conditions and getting input from residents, students, and community stakeholders.
Common Questions and Answers about the Bicycle Master Plan
Q. How can I be involved in the process?
Great question! Public involvement is a very important part of this process and there are multiple ways to be involved. You can attend a public open house in mid-October and a second open house in early 2016. An online community survey will take place from late September through the end of October. In addition, the planning team will be meeting with numerous community stakeholders and organizations. Visit www.CarbondaleBikePlan.com to stay up to date about the plan and for details regarding upcoming meetings.
Q. When will the Bicycle Master Plan be completed?
The Master Plan will be completed by late spring/early summer 2016.
Q. Who is leading the Bicycle Master Plan?
The Southern Illinois Metropolitan Planning Organization (SIMPO) is funding the plan. The plan will be used by SIMPO, the City of Carbondale, IDOT, SIU, and other partners. The planning team is led by the i5Group, along with the League of Illinois Bicyclists and Horner Shifrin. The planning team is working with a Technical Committee and an Advisory Committee in developing the plan.
Q. Why is having a Bicycle Master Plan important?
The numerous benefits include: increasing the number of people biking, increasing the safety of bicyclists, and providing more transportation choices. In addition, the plan is an economic development tool. A bicycle friendly community can help attract businesses and residents, who often prefer to live where they can bike and walk.
Q. I don’t bike (or very seldom bike), why should I be interested in the Bicycle Master Plan?
Bicycling is an important quality of life component. Businesses and residents often choose to locate in a city with a high quality of life. A recent survey found 53% of Southern Illinois University alumni reported that they primarily walked or rode a bike while attending SIU. A bicycle friendly community is key to attracting and keeping students, young professionals, and families.
Q. How will the Bicycle Master Plan be implemented?
A master plan is a guide. The Bicycle Master Plan will be a guide for the City, the Southern Illinois Metropolitan Planning Organization, IDOT, SIU, and other partners to improve bicycling in Carbondale through additional facilities, education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation. A master plan does not force a community to fund new projects. Instead, it is a commitment to plan for the needs of bicyclists, especially when new streets are built or current streets are improved. If new bicycle facilities are a priority for the community, the master plan will help prioritize projects and leverage support and funding options.
Q. What will be the key elements of the Bicycle Master Plan?
Key elements of the Bicycle Master Plan include: an inventory of the existing bicycle network, identify connections between routes in the existing network, recommend new bicycle facilities, recommend policy changes to assist in short and long term bicycle improvements, and develop action items to move Carbondale toward being recognized as a ‘Bicycle Friendly Community’.
Q. What are the boundaries of the study area?
The city limits of Carbondale are the boundaries of the Bicycle Master Plan.
Q. How can I find out more about the Bicycle Master Plan?
Stephen Ibendahl, Project Manager
Joe Zdankiewicz, PE
Director of Transportation Planning
Southern Illinois Metropolitan Planning Organization (SIMPO)
Chris Wallace, AICP
Development Services Director
City of Carbondale