VM Blog: Working Together to Keep Active Transportation Safe in Glencoe
By Village Manager Phil Kiraly
With summer in full force, we are out and about with our families, neighbors and friends enjoying walking, jogging and biking through Glencoe’s beautiful neighborhoods and along our extensive trails. As we take advantage of the good weather and being outdoors, it is everyone’s responsibility to also take precautions to keep each other as safe as possible—whether that be by sharing the road, or by trimming back shrubs and other obstructions on sidewalks. With this in mind, and with Illinois Speed Awareness Day on Wednesday, July 25, I ask you to consider the following:
- The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police reports that in 2016, speed was the reason for 34.2% of all fatal crashes in Illinois which equates to 369 deaths for the year, or one life every 23.7 hours. We can all do our part to prevent these losses by always obeying the speed limit. The Village has installed four new radar speed signs on Dundee Road and Green Bay Road to remind drivers to slow down and drive safely. Expect these signs to move throughout the year as we target different areas.
- Drivers should use extra caution and slow speeds around pedestrians and cyclists. Pedestrians have the right-of-way at any intersection when they are walking within designated intersection crosswalks. Cyclists are also required to yield to pedestrians at a designated crossing.
- Every person riding their bicycle in Glencoe under the age of 16 years is required to wear a protective helmet, but I encourage all cyclists of any age to wear a bike helmet during their travels as well.
- Inexperienced bikers, walkers and joggers should use the sidewalk whenever available. Pedestrians should be given the right-of-way on sidewalks at all times.
- In areas with no sidewalks, walkers and joggers should move to the left side of the street facing on-coming traffic. All cyclists capable of riding in the street should ride on the right-hand side of the street with traffic. According to Illinois law, cyclists must obey the same traffic laws as motorists and ride single-file along the right side of the street.
- Not only should those staying active in our community take steps to keep Glencoe safe but homeowners also have the responsibility of keeping our sidewalks clear and usable for all. Plants such as trees and shrubs that are improperly maintained pose significant safety hazards to pedestrians and motorists alike. Property owners are required to trim plants back one foot from the edge of the sidewalk and maintain a vertical clearance of eight feet above the sidewalk. Learn more about removing obstructions on sidewalks here.
In addition to the daily efforts of the Public Safety Department to help keep pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists safe, over the past year, the Village, Park District and District 35 have been working together to create Glencoe’s first-ever community biking and walking plan. The plan will recommend initiatives, policies and infrastructures improvements to improve active transportation in Glencoe. I’m encouraged by the passion and dedication our community members have in making Glencoe an even safer place for all, and I look forward to sharing new information with the community this fall.
Enjoy Glencoe this summer!