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Our view: Support for expansion of bike route

The city of Crystal Lake is considering adding nearly 9 miles of bicycle-friendly routes that will link schools, parks, downtown and other areas of the community.

We fully support the city’s efforts.

Crystal Lake currently has 2.3 miles of on-street bikeways. The Crystal Lake Bicycle Facility Master Plan seeks to quadruple that by adding bikeways that connect to Three Oaks Recreation Area, Lippold Park, Crystal Lake Main Beach, Veterans Acres Park, downtown Crystal Lake and the Prairie Trail and Miller Road bike paths.

A $60,468 federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant would pay for the new bikeways, which include adding signed bike routes and striped bike lanes, among other options.

“It’s obviously something that’s beneficial from a recreational standpoint, but it does serve the purpose of safety improvement,” Crystal Lake Director of Engineering Erik Morimoto told Northwest Herald reporter Chelsea McDougal for a story that published Wednesday. “[By] getting cars and bikes in different areas of the roadway, [it] reduces the chances of a collision.”

The city also plans to apply for additional grant money to expand the project to include a bike route that connects Main Beach and Barlina Road. Good luck.

Crystal Lake and McHenry County already are more biker-friendly than many communities across the country.

The McHenry County Conservation District maintains more than 30 miles of bike trails across the county, including the 26-mile Prairie Trial, which follows a former railway line from the Kane County border north to the Wisconsin border.

We’re in favor of making our communities even more biker-friendly, within reasonable costs, of course.

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