Bicycling
Bicyclists, welcome aboard. Champaign-Urbana residents already think outside the four-door box. In the 2000 US Census, the percentage of workers walking, biking, and taking the bus was 25 percent in Champaign-Urbana. And thanks to these multi-modal transit folks, our community has a reputation for being less congested than other downstate cities.
Since 2000, MTD has been working to encourage biking and walking conditions in the Champaign-Urbana community. One major step in this initiative was adding bike racks to all MTD buses, making it easier for those with longer commutes to incorporate green solutions into their daily routine. MTD is working along with the cities, county, and school districts to make walking and biking safer and easier in our community.
Bikes on Buses
According to the American Public Transportation Authority (APTA), the portion of transit buses equipped with bike racks has increased from 32 percent in 2001 to 74 percent in 2011. One hundred percent of MTD vehicles are equipped with easy-to-use bike racks to make multimodal bus/bike trips as easy as possible. Each bike rack can accommodate two bikes. If yours is the first being loaded, please use the space closest to the vehicle. The Bikes on Buses brochure includes detailed instructions and photographs to walk you through the process of loading and unloading your bike. The rack will accommodate most bikes but especially large or small (i.e. children’s) bikes will not fit. The rack accommodates tire sizes from 20" to 29"/700c and up to a 44" wheel base, which fits the majority of commonly used bikes.

Folding bicycles (a bike with a frame that folds and two wheels that come together) are permitted on MTD vehicles under the following conditions:
The folding bicycle must be folded prior to boarding.
The folding bicycle must not block the aisle or doors.
Passengers shall have priority for seating over a folded bicycle.
The cyclist is responsible for their own bicycle and all actions, injuries, losses and/or damages related to their bicycle on MTD vehicles.
MTD Cycling Programs and Support
Illinois Terminal loves our community bikers. We’ve installed 68 bicycle parking spots around the property, which equates to one bike parking space per three car spaces. The bicycle parking design also adheres to guidelines established by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals. North of Illinois Terminal, in the center of the Chester Street viaduct are six bike lockers available to rent monthly, quarterly, or yearly. Bike locker reservations can be made by calling Illinois Terminal at 217.384.3577. These lockers are large enough for not only a bike but for safety gear and repair equipment like an air pump. Pretty groovy, huh?

MTD makes partnerships with community organizations, like Champaign County Bikes and The Bike Project, to promote environmentally-positive activities. MTD donated bus space for the creation of the "Share the Road Bus." When the Champaign County Bikes and the League of Illinois Bicyclists created a bicycle routes map for the C-U area, MTD signed on as a sponsor. The map features routes that are rated by level of "cycling comfort" and are colored green, yellow or orange, depending on the road compatibility for cyclists. The map also provides safety information, a MTD system map, and details on riding MTD with a bike.

As co-chair of the Safe Routes to School Project, MTD brings awareness and provides resources to the community for year-round events. Get your school involved inevents like Walk and Bike to School Day.
Silver Bicycle Friendly Business
The League of American Bicyclists announced MTD as a Silver Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB), in a diverse and groundbreaking number of 111 new BFBs. The variety in the type and size of businesses applying for the BFB award shows the many different ways to create a Bicycle Friendly Business. MTD applied for the higher designation and has worked hard to increase bicycle friendliness in the workplace to raise itself from the Bronze designation they previously had. There are 252 BFBs in the United States.

"We are happy to recognize CUMTD for their investment in bicycling as a vehicle for improved employee health, social responsibility and economic growth," said League president, Andy Clarke. "Some of the most successful companies in the world are showing that investing in bicycling is not only good for health and sustainability but also the bottom line."

CUMTD tirelessly supports and advocates for safe and accessible bicycling and pedestrian travel in our communities. CUMTD encourages bicycling as an easy option for transportation and provides amenities at the workplace such as a bike repair station.

"We are proud of the roadmap that the Bicycle Friendly Business program provides and how CUMTD used it to transform into a Silver BFB," said Bill Nesper, Director of the League’s Bicycle Friendly America program.

CUMTD and the accompanying Fall 2011 BFBs have taken advantage of the free tools and technical assistance that the League offers. The League guides companies through many simple, effective and creative ways to get businesses and their employees biking and encouraging bicycling in the workplace. When our employees bike, great things happen: reduced heath care costs, connections to the community, and a fun and healthy work culture.

To apply or learn more about the free BFB program, visit the League online.

Shout it Out Loud!
MTD participates in and promotes bicycle awareness events and activities all year round to encourage bicycle riding and safety. Some of the happenings include:
Conduct Bike Rodeos to teach children safe cycling skills and rules
Workshops, trainings, and clinics to improve safety for children walking and biking to school
Campaign to raise awareness of roadway safety issues
How bikeable is our community?
Use this Checklist to examine solutions to Champaign-Urbana's potential bike-blocks. Examine a route you frequent and use the Checklist to identify problem areas and things to change. We all must take heart in improving our sidewalks, roads, and paths. There are always improvements that can be made!
Bike Lane Etiquette 101
C-U Sharing the Road.
14 min, 1 sec
The Champaign-Urbana area is an ideal community for bicycle commuting. A bicycle lane is a portion of a roadway which has been marked by striping, signing and pavement markings for the use of bicyclists. Bike lanes are one-way facilities that carry bike traffic in the same direction as adjacent motor vehicle traffic.
Bike lanes provide novice and casual cyclists with a safe and comfortable place to ride on city streets.
Bike lanes add visual definition and clarity to the roadway making it easier for motorists and cyclists to share the road.
Bike lane markings can increase a bicyclist’s confidence in motorists not straying into their path of travel.
Passing motorists are less likely to swerve out of their lane to avoid bicyclists.
Illinois St. between Goodwin and Lincoln Avenues was resurfaced in summer 2007. As part of the restriping of the street, bike lanes were added.

What should I do as a motorist?
Motor vehicles are not allowed to drive, park, or stop in a bike lane at any time.
Be careful to check the bike lane before opening a car door.
If you have to pass through a bike lane to park, enter or leave a driveway, or make a right-turn, check the lane for bicyclists. If a bicycle is present, the motorist must yield.
When making a right-turn, do not turn in front of a bicyclist in the bike lane. Slow down, wait for the bicyclist to clear the intersection, and pass behind them.
What should I do as a bicyclist?
Follow all traffic laws. Every person riding a bicycle is granted rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle (Illinois Vehicle Code 5/11-1502.)
It is important to watch for opening car doors and debris on the edge of the roadway. You may need to leave the bike lane to avoid these hazards.
If a bike lane ends, use hand signals to merge into a lane to continue your path.
Stay as far to the right as is safe to allow cars to pass.
Bike lanes become dashed when a lane ends.
  • Dashed lines indicate that vehicles may be crossing the bike lane to either continue straight or to make a right hand turn. If you are turning right, signal your intentions and merge into the furthest right lane. If you are continuing straight, be aware of vehicles on your left, look back, use hand signals, and merge into the right-hand lane. If you are turning left, approximately 1/2 block before the bike lane ends begin looking back for a gap in traffic. When an acceptable gap is available, signal your intentions, and merge into the furthest left lane.
You may also encounter dashed bike lanes at a bus stop. These dashed lines indicate that buses may be crossing the bike lane to pick-up and drop-off passengers.
  • The bus should not pass and turn in front of you, but should slow down and wait for you to pass before pulling out of traffic. However, always be aware when you are near a bus stop. Depending on the width of the bus pull-off area, the bus may hang over into the bike lane. In this case, you should look back and merge into the vehicle lane to get around the bus. Once you are around the bus, you may merge back into the bike lane.
For more information, see the Illinois Department of Transportation’s publication Safe Bicycling in Illinois
Bike Sharing Program
MTD is exploring the possibility of co-sponsoring a community bike-share program. Through this program, racks with quality bikes would be set up at high-activity hubs and businesses on campus and in the downtown areas of C-U.

Students, faculty, local community members, and visitors would swipe an identification card to unlock a bike and use it for up to a day. Purchasing a bi-annual or one-day membership to this program would provide a convenient, healthy transit alternative to run errands, make it to class on time, or simply sight-see. On a larger scale, the availability of public bikes would offset the costs of car pollution, parking lot use, add convenience to multimodal travel, and strengthen the local culture of health and environmental sustainability. MTD is working with bike and sustainability experts from the University of Illinois, cities of Urbana and Champaign, and various private businesses to realize this program.

The University’s Student Sustainability Committee funded a Bike Sharing Feasibility Study in 2011. The study assessed whether a bicycle sharing program would be feasible and desirable at the Urbana-Champaign campus. Learn about the study’s conclusions at the Illinois Climate Action Plan Portal.
Other Links for Bike Geeks
Greenways and Trails maps show shared-use paths, bike paths, bike lanes, parks, open spaces, and places of interest in Champaign, Urbana, Savoy, Mahomet, Rantoul, and Champaign County. Detailed maps of four of the county's forest preserves are also available, as well as trail distances in Champaign, Urbana, and Savoy. Maps are available and free to the public at the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission, 1776 E. Washington Street, Urbana. If you would like a map sent to you, please contact Gabe Lewis at (217) 328-3313 or glewis@ccrpc.org
This club advocates for bicycling in the county. Learn about upcoming events from their monthly newsletter and regular rider announcements.
Encourages and facilitates bicycling as transportation, recreation, and promotes public awareness of bicycling benefits. Visit the website for maps, news articles, calendars of upcoming events, and more.
Seeks to change the way communities are planned, designed, and managed to ensure that people of all ages and abilities can walk and bike easily, safely, and regularly.
The League of Illinois Bicyclists is the statewide advocate for all Illinois bicyclists, promoting bicycle access, education, and safety
Many bicycle accidents happen during dusk or at night due to rush hour traffic and poor overall visibility. This article from Livestrong offers some suggestions to minimize risk as well as links to other safety tips.