Expanded Bike Guide

Sustainable, Non-motorized Transportation: A Priority in Illinois

Non-motorized transportation and sustainable transportation planning are priorities in the State of Illinois. As Governor Quinn writes in the Green Governments Coordinating Council Annual Report 2011:

It is our responsibility to leave the next generation with a clean, green Land of Lincoln while imparting the necessary skills to preserve our ecosystem in the face of future environmental challenges.

A robust bicycling policy offers unique opportunities to promote community health and livability while sustaining the environment for future generations. Bicycling initiatives produce a multitude of benefits including:

  • Environmental sustainability
  • Community-based economic development
  • Congestion mitigation
  • Social capital enhancement
  • Educational and student curriculum opportunities
  • Physical fitness

In advancing bicycling policy in Illinois, the State follows the "5 Es" framework, created by the League of American Bicyclists. This framework suggests that sound bicycle policy includes provisions for Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, and Evaluation & Planning. The State attempts to integrate each of these planning metrics into statewide non-motorized transportation policy.

Illinois: A "Bicycle Friendly State"

[The] Bicycle Friendly State Program ranks states annually based on their level of bike-friendliness. States receive feedback, technical assistance, training and further encouragement to improve their bicycling legislation, projects, and programs.

The League of American Bicyclists has ranked Illinois in the 10 states for bicycling in the nation. In the League's annual "Bicycle Friendly States" publication, Illinois achieved a 9th place ranking and significantly improved its performance over previous years. The achievement is an illustration of the State's commitment to non-motorized transportation alternatives. However, the State's work is never done, and Illinois remain dedicated to advancing programming and improving bike-friendliness in future years.

Advancing Bicycling Policy Across Illinois

Given that sustainable, non-motorized transportation alternatives are a priority of the Governor's Office, there is a broad-based effort across State government to advance bicycling in Illinois.

First, explore the Bicycling Legal Framework that guides State policy. Then cycle over to our Agency Bicycling Initiatives page for more details on agency-based bicycling efforts.

Regional Bicycling Information in Illinois

The statewide, bird's eye view of Illinois bicycling policy helps to contextualize regional bicycling information. Each region of Illinois has specific bicycle accommodations and resources that help local cyclists traverse the area.

Visit the Regional Bicycling Information page for localized bicycling information and guides to help navigate local bicycling facilities.

Cycling Safely in Illinois: A 'Share the Road' State

Bicycle Rules of the Road Cover

Safety is a critically important component of bicycling policy and lies at the foundation of all State efforts to advance non-motorized transportation. Visit our Bicycling Safety page to learn what the State is doing to ensure that Illinoisans safely 'Share the Road' with all users.

Illinois Bicycling Events

Everyday (even in winter) a bicycling-related event is happening somewhere in Illinois. Visit the Illinois Bicycling Events page for a few highlighted events promoting bicycle commuting and bicycle education. For local events, spin over to our Cycling Contacts page and contact a local liaison.

Bicycling Frequency Asked Questions & Answers

For more information on bicycling in Illinois, check out our Bicycling Frequently Asked Questions & Answers page. If you have questions that are not being addressed, let us know.

Contact Information

Bicycling resources are diffused across Illinois. Pedal over to our Cycling Contacts page for important bicycling contacts from local, state, and federal government as well as contacts from non-profits and private cycling associations.

Note: This website serves as a resource to the public. While all efforts will be made to improve and expand content, the site does not claim to be a comprehensive resource on all elements of bicycling in Illinois. Please send feedback to Mavara Agha in the Office of Governor Quinn.