Local

Algonquin to discuss Kane County bike-share program

Members of the McHenry County Bicycle Club ride along area roads July 14, 2016.
Members of the McHenry County Bicycle Club ride along area roads July 14, 2016.

The village of Algonquin will discuss signing a memorandum expressing interest in taking part in a Kane County bike-share program at its next board meeting.

The Kane County Division of Transportation recently started developing a countywide bike-sharing system, with an expected launch date of August 2020.

KDOT is currently working on getting memorandums of understanding from interested municipalities that want to participate in the program. The memorandum would not be legally or financially binding. If Algonquin signed, it would just mean that it might be interested in joining the bike share.

Villages that sign the memorandum would be allowed to view and provide comments on the request for proposal for a bike-sharing company KDOT is set to release this September.

At its last meeting, the Committee of the Whole decided to let the matter go to the full board for consensus.

Algonquin Village President John Schmitt said staff asked the committee if the bike-share program would be something that it would be interested in participating in.

“It was very much a [discussion saying] ‘Yeah, that’s something we should look into,’ ” Schmitt added.

Ryan Peterson, transportation planner for KDOT, said bike shares have become a national trend.

It’s a good amenity to have, not just from a transportation standpoint, but a recreational standpoint as well, he said.

Areas that have already signed the memorandum of understanding include Batavia and South Elgin.

Peterson estimated it would cost about $7,000 to $10,000 a year for municipalities to finance insurance, maintenance and storage of the service.

Mike Kumbera, assistant village manager for Algonquin, said as the county does its “due diligence” with the project, the village will in turn identify ways it could collaborate to make the program more successful.

“This is the first step, obviously as the project gets a little further along, there could be more involvement at the local level,” he said.

Municipalities have until Aug. 23 to sign the memorandum.

McHenry County and Kankakee County already have bike-share programs in place.

The Village Board’s next meeting is set for Aug. 6.

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