LOWELL | About 20 residents from the Lowell area gathered Tuesday to offer input on where pathways for bicycling, jogging and walking should be placed.
The feedback indicated residents want to see paths running parallel to town streets to help them travel safely. They also called for municipal policies requiring such paths in new developments.
Bicycle parking is needed, along with trails leading to the town's parks and Buckley Homestead County Park, residents said.
The meeting was part of an effort by Active Transportation Alliance to develop a plan that will serve as the town's guide to future projects and as a basis for funding requests, said Leslie Phemister, suburban outreach manager for ATA.
"The idea is access for everyone," Phemister said of what ATA calls "complete streets" designed for drivers, bicyclists, walkers and joggers.
It is a concept that appeals to Town Council Vice President Craig Earley, D-1st, and biking enthusiast Ron Brown, of Cedar Creek Township, who persuaded the council to retain ATA earlier this year.
Earley said it's something that should have been started by the town years ago.
Ray Cusic, who lives on the town's west end, welcomes the idea.
Cusic has a 12-mile route he likes to take in town and around it to the south. Travelling on Ind. 2, the town's main thoroughfare, is not particularly safe, he said.
"Of course, always ride during the main, bright part of the day. I have rear-view mirrors I use," he said.
Phemister and her co-workers, Marissa Dolan and Paul Lippens, emphasized the social, economic and health benefits of active transportation.
Earley thanked Lowell Town Council President Edgar Corns, R-5th, and Councilman Robert Philpot, R-2nd, for attending. A hearing in Lowell on the planned Illiana Expressway likely pulled some residents away from the bike trail session, he said.
Those unable to attend are urged to complete a Lowell Bike Plan Survey online at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/lowellbikeplan.