DeKalb to add bike path


The construction of Peace Road will include a bike path that extends from Lincoln Highway to Macom Drive.

By Leah Nicolini

DeKalb | DeKalb is looking to collaborate with NIU to encourage bicycle transportation by paving a path for cyclists from Lincoln Highway south to Macom Drive.

The Peace Road lane widening project will incorporate the construction of a bicycle path in pursuit of a more bicycle-friendly community in order to achieve the Bicycle Friendly Community bronze-level award. The construction of Peace Road will widen the road to four lanes to accommodate an increase in traffic.

“I think this is the kind of project we would like to encourage,” said 5th ward Alderwoman Kate Noreiko at a March 28 City Council meeting.

The League of American Bicyclists assigns the title of Bicycle Friendly Community in order to create healthy and active community members throughout DeKalb County. To get a bronze-level award, the city must incorporate a few bicycle lanes that function with car traffic, according to a March 28 City Council agenda.

During the Peace Road construction, the bicycle path extending from Lincoln Highway south to Macom Drive will be offset and have a ditch between the road and the bicycle trail for safety. If additional funding is available, the path will extend to Fairview Drive, said City Engineer John Laskowki.

The construction is on hold until the budget to pay for the adjustments is approved. If approved, the construction will last at least until 2025.

DeKalb city staff is seeking grant money to pay for expenses affiliated with the project through local businesses. DeKalb has a subcommittee working on the project to meet the Aug. 9 deadline for the Bicycle Friendly Community application.

Kara Gallagher, healthy living director of Kishwaukee Family YMCA, said she is seeking a faculty member from NIU that can provide data for the Bicycle Friendly Community applications.

“We’ve got support in a way from people who work at NIU,” Gallagher said. “We’re still looking to connect with someone specifically that’s either the head of transportation at NIU or someone that’s a part of the group… .”