Route 97 Proposed Improvements–Public comments sought

If you were unable to attend last evening’s public informational meeting regarding IDOT’s Proposed Improvements to IL 97 and IL 123, you may submit your comments via snail mail or email. Comments will be accepted until July 5th.

Link to Proposal and Comment Form IL Route 97 Proposal

Your comments should include the following.

Proposed IL Route 97 & IL Route 123 Improvements
Your Name
Telephone number
Email address
The best way to contact you (Email, Mail, Both).

Send your comments to:

Jeff Myers, PE
Region 4 Engineer
Illinois Department of Transportation 126 East Ash
Springfield, Illinois 62704-4792


Attention: Jay Edwards, PE

Let Our Voices Be Heard — Build a Dedicated Hike & Bike Path Linking New Salem Historic Site with Petersburg

For years Trails & Greenways has advocated for a safe hike / bike path linking New Salem State Historic Site with Petersburg. The time has arrived to ensure this goal is finally realized.

Next Tuesday, June 21 from 4:00 to 6:00 PM at PORTA high school, the Illinois Department of Transportation will be hosting an open house public meeting about roadway improvements to IL 97 and IL 123 from New Salem through Petersburg.

The meeting will provide exhibits and maps  for viewing, and  IDOT representatives and consultants from the engineering firm of Thouvenot, Wade and Moerchen will be available to answer questions and gather public input about the project. 

It’s important that we show strong public support for a hike / bike path along Rte. 97. Please attend the public information meeting, and encourage your friends, family and neighbors to attend as well.

example crosswalkTrails & Greenways also advocates of a more walkable Petersburg.  We urge the  installation of two pedestrian right-of-way crosswalks along Rte. 97 at Douglas and Jackson Streets (main E/W streets downtown that cross Rte. 97). Having traffic stop for pedestrians in crosswalks will make walking in downtown Petersburg safer and more enjoyable for residents and visitors.

Lincoln Highway Bike Route

Bicycling Menard County backroads can be fun and rewarding. You can take in pleasant rural scenery and often spot some interesting wildlife.  My personal preference when riding country roads is to avoid state highways and even county highways, and stick to the more rural road district-maintained roads.  I also gravitate towards the northern and western side of the county as it seems the vehicle traffic is lowest in these areas.

Many Central Illinois roads are laid out in a grid fashion following section and township lines.  Occasionally, roads still exist that do not follow the boring N-S, E-W grid. These are often the oldest roads, and have stretches that follow old wagon trails used by early settlers. Some of these old wagon trails likely even follow trails that were used by native American inhabitants prior to the arrival of settlers of European descent.  “Crooked” roads in Menard County that fit this description include the Lincoln Trail in northern Menard County, and Peoria Road in the eastern part of the county. Continue reading “Lincoln Highway Bike Route”

Bike Menard County

During this time of uncertainty and crisis, many of us are feeling anxious and maybe a bit stir crazy. Most of us are spending way more time than usual watching television or pursuing other sedentary activities. Gyms are closed, yoga studios have gone dark, and not everyone has a dog to take on endless walks.

Fear not. Cycling is the cure for what ails you. There is no greater feeling of freedom than riding a bicycle down a country road on a warm, sunny day. Fortunately, solo biking is not only still allowed but encouraged. Those who are quarantined together can bike together as well. Bike shops are considered essential services and are still open in Illinois. Continue reading “Bike Menard County”