1600 East Golf Road
Suite 0700
Des Plaines, IL 60016
Phone: 847-296-9200
Fax: 847-296-9207

Bike and Pedestrian Planning


While investment in road and transit improvements are major components of the Northwest Municipal Conference’s strategy to improve mobility in our region, it is just as important to provide non-motorized transportation options for those traveling within and between our communities. Our members have been proactive in planning for the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians. The Northwest Municipal Conference has taken an active role in several initiatives to enhance the biking and walking environment in our communities.

We strongly believe that the benefits of providing bicycle and pedestrian facilities more than justify their cost. The need for safe facilities has become readily apparent. More and more of our citizens, ranging from children biking to local schools and parks to health conscious adults to seniors citizens who are no longer able to drive to nearby amenities, are choosing to engage in biking and walking to get around their communities. Health benefits from the increase in physical activity pay dividends for both the individual and society. In addition, people who no longer opt to drive short trips are saving the air by leaving their vehicles parked.


Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee

The NWMC Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee meets monthly, traditionally on the third Tuesday of the month at 10:30 a.m. at the NWMC offices.  Meetings in January, February, March, and August will be held on the fourth Tuesday of the month.

Upcoming 2019 Meetings:   

  • Tuesday, February 26
  • Tuesday, March 26
  • Tuesday, April 16
  • Tuesday, May 21
  • Tuesday, June 18
  • Tuesday, July 16
  • Tuesday, August 27
  • Tuesday, September 17
  • Tuesday, October 15
  • Tuesday, November 19
  • Tuesday, December 17

 Agenda & Minutes

January 22, 2019  Agenda Packet (includes December 18, 2018 minutes)

December 18, 2018  Agenda Packet (includes September 18, 2018 minutes)
September 18, 2018  Agenda Packet
July 17, 2018  Agenda Packet (includes April 17, 2018 minutes)
April 17, 2018  Agenda Packet (includes March 20, 2018 minutes)
March 20, 2018  Agenda Packet (includes February 20, 2018 minutes)
February 20, 2018  Agenda Packet (includes January 16, 2018 minutes)
January 16, 2018 Agenda Packet (includes December 19, 2017 minutes)

December 19, 2017 Agenda Packet (Includes October 17, 2017 minutes)
October 17, 2017 Agenda Packet (includes August 15 and September 19, 2017 minutes)
September 19, 2017  Agenda Packet (includes August 15, 2017 minutes)
August 15, 2017 Agenda Packet (includes May 18, 2017 Minutes)
May 18, 2017  Agenda Packet (includes April 18, 2017 minutes)
April 18, 2017 Agenda Packet (includes March 21, 2017 minutes)
March 21, 2017  Agenda Packet (includes February 21, 2017 minutes)
February 21, 2017  Agenda Packet (includes January 17, 2017 minutes)
January 17, 2017  Agenda Packet (includes November 15, 2016 minutes)

November 15, 2016  Agenda Packet (includes August 16 and September 20, 2016 minutes)
September 20, 2016  Agenda Packet (includes August 16, 2016 minutes)
August 16, 2016  Agenda Packet (includes June 21, 2016 minutes)
June 21, 2016  Agenda Packet (includes April 19, 2016 minutes)
April 19, 2016  Agenda Packet (includes March 15, 2016 minutes)
March 15, 2016  Agenda Packet (includes February 16, 2016 minutes)
February 16, 2016  Agenda Packet (includes January 19, 2016 minutes)
January 19, 2016  Agenda Packet (includes December 15, 2016 minutes)

December 15, 2015  Agenda Packet (includes October 27, 2015 minutes)
October 27, 2015  Agenda Packet (includes September 15, 2015 minutes)
September 15, 2015  Agenda Packet (includes June 16, 2015 minutes)
June 16, 2015  Agenda Packet (includes May 19, 2015 minutes)
May 19, 2015  Agenda Packet (includes April 28, 2015 minutes)
April 28, 2015  Agenda Packet (includes March 17, 2015 minutes)
March 17, 2015   Agenda Packet (includes February 24, 2015 minutes)
February 24, 2015  Agenda Packet (includes January 20, 2015 minutes)
January 20, 2015  Agenda Packet (includes December 16, 2015 minutes)


Northwest Municipal Conference Multimodal Transportation Plan

The north and northwest suburbs have an extensive transportation system of expressways, arterials, and local roads, and are served by all three regional transit providers. In addition, an emerging system of bicycle and pedestrian facilities—some connected, and others isolated—can be found throughout the area, maintained by municipal, forest preserve, township, and county agencies.
NWMC approved its first ever conference‐wide bicycle plan in 2010. Individually, many NWMC members had prepared excellent plans and maps for facilities within their municipal boundaries. However, the members of the Northwest Municipal Conference saw the opportunity to connect these smaller sets of facilities into a larger regional network. The goals of the 2010 plan, as set out by the Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee, were to produce a more detailed corridor analysis and an implementation strategy for regional bicycle facilities. Complementing these larger goals are recommendations for preparing local bicycle plans and bicyclist safety, education, and encouragement programs, local and regional bikeway signage, bike facility design and implementation considerations, as well as grant and other funding opportunities. Since the completion of the 2010 NWMC Bicycle Plan, three related plans have been CMAP RFP 205 Northwest Municipal Conference Multimodal Transportation Plan 3 prepared. In 2012, the NWMC Regional Bicycle Signage Plan and the Northwest Highway Corridor Plan were adopted. In 2014, the Des Plaines River Trail Plan was adopted. 
NWMC applied to the CMAP Local Technical Assistance Program to update and expand the 2010 Bicycle Plan, to include considerations for key pedestrian connections, bicycle and pedestrian access to transit service and facilities, and better integrating and connecting all three modes of active transportation.
This project will
  • Evaluate the regional corridors proposed in the 2010 Bicycle Plan to determine if these corridors remain the best options in terms of network connectivity and implementation feasibility
  • Move beyond and broaden the 2010 Bicycle Plan, by incorporating analysis and recommendations related to the pedestrian and transit networks
  • Provide updated information on best practices for safe and convenient accommodation for all three modes
  • Prioritize proposed improvements (based on network connectivity, access to destinations, and quality of accommodation, cost, and overall feasibility)
  • Engage all NWMC members and partner agencies in the region who have a role in creating and maintaining the transportation system, as well as the general public—who are the end users of the system 
On January 9 the CMAP Board  approved the contract Sam Schwartz Engineering for the development of the NWMC Multi-Modal Plan. Sam Schwartz Engineering is one of three firms to    respond to the  RFP released by CMAP to the plan. Two CMAP staff and two Conference staff then went through the consultant selection process ultimately choosing the team assembled by Sam Schwartz believing that they presented the strongest approach to the project, even going beyond the deliverables requirements in some areas.
Staff met with Sam Schwartz for a kick-off meeting on January 18. A  timeline shows the completion of the project in approximately one year. Throughout the process there will by numerous opportunities for engagement. The NWMC Bike and Pedestrian Committee with additional members from relevant agencies will make up a steering committee. There will be additional opportunities for engagement for both conference members and the general public including conference member surveys, focus group meetings, a stakeholder open house, a community survey, and a visual preference survey. Staff will keep conference members updated about plan development and engagement opportunities.

North and Northwest Cook County Bicycle Signage Plan

Adopted by the NWMC Board on February 8, 2012, the signage plan recommends a network of wayfinding and destination signs in the Conference's regional bicycle corridors and can be used by municipalities when implementing segments of these routes. It also provides a recommended design for the network of signs and proposes incorporating a website address and smart phone technology on the signs to give riders more information about the full network.

Plan Documents:
Adobe Logo North and Northwest Cook County Regional Corridor Bicycle Signage Plan
Bicycle Signage Map Layers (kml)
Bicycle Signage Map Layers (shape files)

Northwest Highway Bicycle Facility Plan

Adopted by the NWMC Board on February 8, the Northwest Highway plan recommends a series of bike facilities, including sidepaths, bike lanes and signed bike routes to provide a continuous, 20 mile bicycle corridor from Barrington to Park Ridge. The plan includes cross section views of the proposed improvements, cost estimates and an implementation strategy.

Plan Documents:
Adobe Logo Northwest Highway Bicycle Facility Plan
Appendix - Segments Table

2010 Bicycle Plan

In 2009, the NWMC hired the Active Transportation Alliance (Active Trans) to work with NWMC staff and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee to prepare the 2010 NWMC Bicycle Plan.  The goals of the plan, as set out by the Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee, were to produce a more detailed corridor analysis and an implementation strategy for regional bicycle facilities.  Complementing these larger goals are recommendations for preparing local bike plans; creating bike safety, education, and encouragement programs; installing regional signage; and pursuing grant opportunities.  This plan represents the most detailed bicycle planning effort yet prepared by the conference. Building on previous bicycle planning work and relying on the hard work of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee, the Active Trans, municipal staff and elected officials, this document will act as a guide for planning and implementing bicycle facilities in the NWMC service area.

In December 2010, the NWMC Board unanimously approved the 2010 Northwest Municipal Conference Bike Plan.  You can download the Plan below:

NWMC 2010 Bicycle Plan Documents:
Adobe Logo Full Copy of NWMC Bicycle Plan (13 mb)
Adobe Logo NWMC Bicycle Plan Map (5 mb)

Due to the file size, it is recommended that you right click on these links and save them to your hard drive one file at a time.  If you have trouble downloading these documents, please contact Cole Jackson ( or 847.296.9200).

For information about implementation of the 2010 Bicycle Plan, please click here.