Model Communities Grantee

Northwest Municipal Conference

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Summary of Grantee

As one of the premier regional Councils of Government, the Northwest Municipal Conference (NWMC) represents over 1.3 million citizens residing in 41 municipalities. The membership area covers over 300 square miles in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties. The NWMC serves the needs of local governments through a variety of policy initiatives, programs and services that combine the resources of individual members to address regional issues. Members are leaders in advocating on behalf of local government self-sufficiency, regional planning, local control over local issues, and utilizing a cooperative approach to address regional issues. The NWMC is driven by the principles of furthering intergovernmental cooperation, fostering the exchange of information vital to the operation of local government and serving as a cooperative medium for addressing regional problems.

Policy, System and Environmental (PSE) Changes

In 2010, the NWMC adopted a regional bicycle plan that identified priority regional bicycle corridors. With the help of funds from the Model Communities program, the Conference is planning to take another step towards implementing important active transportation projects in Cook County by completing the following PSEs:

  • Adoption of a bicycle facilities plan for the Northwest Highway Corridor from Park Ridge to Barrington. The corridor contains municipal downtowns, commercial districts and transit stations making it a perfect candidate for a regional bicycle infrastructure to connect these destinations.
  • Adoption of a North and Northwest Cook County Bicycle Signage Plan. Guided by the regional bicycle corridors identified in the 2010 Bicycle Plan, NWMC aims to unite bicycle signage in the region and make it easier for cyclists to travel between communities and to regional destinations.

Highlights and Successes

  • NWMC has identified the preferred short-term and long-term infrastructure alignments in the Northwest Highway corridor and will adopt the bicycle facilities plan in February 2012.
  • NWMC, with the assistance of its member municipalities, has built an inventory of existing bicycle signage across north/northwest suburban Cook County and will adopt this plan in February 2012.

Sustainability of PSE changes

  • Both the Northwest Highway Bicycle Facilities Plan and Bicycle Signage Plan contain implementation plans, which outline estimated costs, funding sources and schedules so that these projects can easily be proposed to other funding entities.
  • NWMC has a standing Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee that is engaged in the implementation of these CPPW funded bicycle plans.

Contact Information:

Northwest Municipal Conference
1616 E. Golf Rd., Des Plaines, IL 60016
Contact: Michael Walczak
Phone: 847-296-9200, x34
Email: mwalczak@nwmc-cog.org - Program Manager for Transportation and Environment
Technical Assistance Partner: Active Transportation Alliance