It is understood many of the students from the College of DuPage bike to and from campus, many people ride their bike, but you can’t get to campus without being on a major road. Luckily, DuPage County is thinking about developing a full east-west trail from the College Of DuPage back to Oak Brook Mall.
They also want to link the North Central DuPage Regional Trail on the North with the Illinois Prairie Path, Great Western Trail, and the Southern DuPage County Regional Trail to the South. Both trail plans would allow the surrounding communities to have easy access to them. I emailed Keith Yearman, Professor of Geography at the College of DuPage about this idea, and he expanded with his own thoughts on the plan. Here is what he said,
“If you develop new paths, people will find them. Also, you have significant development due east of the campus. You have large single-family subdivisions, town homes and apartment complexes between Roosevelt and Butterfield stretching back to and beyond Yorktown. There’s a large population that could take advantage of an east-west path. With both new north-south and east-west paths, you would link downtown Wheaton and Glen Ellyn to Morton Arboretum, the College and out to Oak Brook Mall. That’s a great network developing from an already-great path (Illinois Prairie Path). “
The Prairie Path is very useful to some people depending where you live and can only get you so far. For some students, they can take the Prairie Path directly to campus but for others it is not so easy such as this student at COD, Blake Englesman. He lives in Oak Brook off of York Road and still has to cross a busy road to get to the Prairie Path. When having an interview with him, I asked him if he would find this path beneficial and he said,
“Except for when it’s cold outside, I pretty much bike everywhere because it’s my only way of transportation at times. If there was a safe way of biking to COD for me without being on a dangerous road for bikers, I would definitely take that route.”
DuPage County cannot accommodate everyone by creating bike trails conveniently located for everyone, but this path would be beneficial for multiple purposes for the people in the surroundings areas.
On DuPage County’s website under Bikeways & Trails Regional Trail Development East Branch DuPage River Greenway Trail, It says by using the combination of off-road and on-road bikeways, they will tie together the ten forest preserves including Spring Creek Reservoir, Swift Prairie, East Branch, Churchill Woods, Hidden Lake and Green Valley. Over 420,000 residents in central DuPage County will be available to this trail, 29 local parks, COD and 18 schools and other destinations like Morton Arboretum. The trail also provides non-motorized access to employment centers, downtown areas, train stations, and other commute destinations.
Creating a project like this will need people to become involved and be aware of the issues they could run into. When having a phone interview with the Principal Planner/Trails Coordinator of the DuPage County Bikeways Program Daniel Thomas, I asked him how will they make this happen and what things to they need to do first in order to get started on this project and he said,
“There would need to be a bridge over the DuPage River, It would be part of the land that is owned by the Park District. There needs to be permission from them, ComEd, schools the path would be cross; it needs to become funded.”
Later in the interview I asked Thomas when they plan on putting this project in action and what exactly will it take and he said,
“It is all conceptual right now; it will need people to partner together and make agreements.”
Although this idea will take time to develop and does not have a specific timeline established, this is a great outlook for potential students who are not able to bike to COD as easily.
Blake Englesman-Phone Number: (630) 439-6106 Email: Lax2904@gmail.com
Daniel Thomas-Phone Number: (630) 407-6883 Email: Daniel.Thomas@dupageco.org
Keith Yearman-Phone Number: (630) 942-2765 Email: Yearman@cod.edu
DuPage County IL Official Website: Bike & Trails Regional Trail Development East Branch DuPage River Greenway Trail