Regional Active Mobility Program

Regional Active Mobility Program

The Regional Active Mobility Program (RAMP) is a coalition of local and sub-regional partners to coordinate and increase opportunities and for bicycling and walking in the greater Fox River Valley region. The project envisions a diverse coalition of organizations guided by a core group of municipal and county governments, convention and visitors’ bureaus, park and conservation districts, advocacy organizations, private sector representatives. 

RAMP originated as an initiative of the Fox Valley Sustainability Network (FVSN).  The vision of the initiative was to expand the FVSN membership beyond the river valley proper, to include a broader range of potential partner organizations, and to focus efforts on the promotion and advancement of active mobility. The City of Aurora, on behalf of a group of initial partner agencies, applied to CMAP’s Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program and was awarded funding in late 2017. Bringing CMAP on board to convene and guide the coalition in its early stages was seen as a way to bring a regional perspective to the group and provide key resources and expertise in multi-jurisdictional coordination, collaboration, and outreach and active transportation.

While RAMP’s overall purpose will be formalize efforts to work collectively – across jurisdictions, departments, agencies, and sectors – on improving conditions and increasing bicycling and walking regionally, three main focus areas have been identified where potential economies of scale and initial partner interests overlap:  bikeshare, wayfinding, and eco- or active tourism.

Bike share

The City of Aurora launched a small bikeshare program in 2016.  The ‘hybrid’ system currently has three dock locations and eighteen bicycles. McHenry County and Visit McHenry recently initiated an effort to implement a county-wide bike share program, which is targeting spring-summer 2019 for program launch. Kane County DOT is also considering issuing an RFP for county-wide bike share.

Expansion of the existing bikeshare programs across a broader geographic area – along the Fox River Valley and beyond – is seen as the backbone of RAMP.  When considering the expansion of bikeshare, RAMP may explore a regional membership approach, in order to streamline the expansion process, facilitate contracting, and ultimately, maximize integration, functionality, and usage of bikeshare.

Wayfinding

In order to support and encourage active transportation and recreation by bikeshare users, runners, walkers, bicyclists, and visitors to the Fox River Valley area, RAMP envisions a collaborative, interagency effort to develop and implement a regional wayfinding program that is consistent throughout all member communities and jurisdictions.  Such a program would likely include traditional, static signage, along with digital information, printed materials, and customer service, which together form a suite of wayfinding tools.

Active Tourism

The Fox River Valley and surrounding areas are well-positioned to advance and benefit from active tourism. The Fox Valley Sustainability Network formed a Bicycle Ecotourism Group, which has identified opportunities and advantages the region enjoys. These include the Fox River Valley’s location within a population center of eight million residents, its accessibility by several Metra rail lines, the natural beauty of the river and river valley, nearby parks and preserves, and, above all, the 43-mile long Fox River Trail (as along with other nearby/connected trails and bikeways). 

In order to draw substantially more visitors and help fuel sustainable, environmentally-friendly economic growth, the advantages of the Fox River region must be combined with investments in high-quality bicycle and walking infrastructure and promoted by coordinated marketing and publicity through an active tourism program. RAMP’s efforts in the first two focus areas – expanding bikeshare and developing a regional wayfinding program – will provide a strong foundation and catalyst for the third:  growing active mobility-based eco-tourism and commerce          

Public Engagement

Stakeholder engagement, outreach, and agency coordination comprises the primary activity and central purpose of RAMP. Outreach and engagement for the project will focus on advancing cooperation, rapport, and collaboration between coalition members and key partners. 

Contacts

John O’Neal, CMAP, Project Manager, Transportation Planner (joneal@cmap.illinois.gov or 312-386-88822)

Jane Grover, CMAP, Outreach Principal (jgrover@cmap.illinois.gov or 312-386-8802)

Alex Minnella, City of Aurora, Planner, Development Strategy and Facilitation (aminnella@aurora-il.org or 630-256-3095)

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Regional Active Mobility Program

The Regional Active Mobility Program (RAMP) is a coalition of local and sub-regional partners to coordinate and increase opportunities and for bicycling and walking in the greater Fox River Valley region. The project envisions a diverse coalition of organizations guided by a core group of municipal and county governments, convention and visitors’ bureaus, park and conservation districts, advocacy organizations, private sector representatives. 

RAMP originated as an initiative of the Fox Valley Sustainability Network (FVSN).  The vision of the initiative was to expand the FVSN membership beyond the river valley proper, to include a broader range of potential partner organizations, and to focus efforts on the promotion and advancement of active mobility. The City of Aurora, on behalf of a group of initial partner agencies, applied to CMAP’s Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program and was awarded funding in late 2017. Bringing CMAP on board to convene and guide the coalition in its early stages was seen as a way to bring a regional perspective to the group and provide key resources and expertise in multi-jurisdictional coordination, collaboration, and outreach and active transportation.

While RAMP’s overall purpose will be formalize efforts to work collectively – across jurisdictions, departments, agencies, and sectors – on improving conditions and increasing bicycling and walking regionally, three main focus areas have been identified where potential economies of scale and initial partner interests overlap:  bikeshare, wayfinding, and eco- or active tourism.

Bike share

The City of Aurora launched a small bikeshare program in 2016.  The ‘hybrid’ system currently has three dock locations and eighteen bicycles. McHenry County and Visit McHenry recently initiated an effort to implement a county-wide bike share program, which is targeting spring-summer 2019 for program launch. Kane County DOT is also considering issuing an RFP for county-wide bike share.

Expansion of the existing bikeshare programs across a broader geographic area – along the Fox River Valley and beyond – is seen as the backbone of RAMP.  When considering the expansion of bikeshare, RAMP may explore a regional membership approach, in order to streamline the expansion process, facilitate contracting, and ultimately, maximize integration, functionality, and usage of bikeshare.

Wayfinding

In order to support and encourage active transportation and recreation by bikeshare users, runners, walkers, bicyclists, and visitors to the Fox River Valley area, RAMP envisions a collaborative, interagency effort to develop and implement a regional wayfinding program that is consistent throughout all member communities and jurisdictions.  Such a program would likely include traditional, static signage, along with digital information, printed materials, and customer service, which together form a suite of wayfinding tools.

Active Tourism

The Fox River Valley and surrounding areas are well-positioned to advance and benefit from active tourism. The Fox Valley Sustainability Network formed a Bicycle Ecotourism Group, which has identified opportunities and advantages the region enjoys. These include the Fox River Valley’s location within a population center of eight million residents, its accessibility by several Metra rail lines, the natural beauty of the river and river valley, nearby parks and preserves, and, above all, the 43-mile long Fox River Trail (as along with other nearby/connected trails and bikeways). 

In order to draw substantially more visitors and help fuel sustainable, environmentally-friendly economic growth, the advantages of the Fox River region must be combined with investments in high-quality bicycle and walking infrastructure and promoted by coordinated marketing and publicity through an active tourism program. RAMP’s efforts in the first two focus areas – expanding bikeshare and developing a regional wayfinding program – will provide a strong foundation and catalyst for the third:  growing active mobility-based eco-tourism and commerce          

Public Engagement

Stakeholder engagement, outreach, and agency coordination comprises the primary activity and central purpose of RAMP. Outreach and engagement for the project will focus on advancing cooperation, rapport, and collaboration between coalition members and key partners. 

Contacts

John O’Neal, CMAP, Project Manager, Transportation Planner (joneal@cmap.illinois.gov or 312-386-88822)

Jane Grover, CMAP, Outreach Principal (jgrover@cmap.illinois.gov or 312-386-8802)

Alex Minnella, City of Aurora, Planner, Development Strategy and Facilitation (aminnella@aurora-il.org or 630-256-3095)

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