Our RL villages ought to get together, along with the Round Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, to think about the marketing potential of a professionally-produced “Bike-to-Metra Guide” for our villages, especially in light of the Millennium Trail passing through RL & RLB.
From the League of Illinois Bicyclists:
“From 1998-2008, there was a tripling of Chicago area residents riding to and parking their bikes at their local Metra commuter rail stations, as part of their work commute. Others not only bike to Metra, but also bring their bikes on-board during reverse commute and off-peak hours. And, the bike + transit option is not just great for commuting; trails, shopping centers, museums, sporting venues and other popular destinations around the region are located within easy biking distance of a Metra station.”
Also from the site: “Status (Dec 2013) – We still have grant money available for 4-5 towns’ guides, to be developed in early 2014.”
Since there’s not much PR for our area, this could be a great (i.e.: mostly subsidized!) way to let recreational cyclists and day-hikers know about opportunities and connections we offer, and others who want to learn more about our area, esp. the wonderful access to the Lake County Forest Preserves.
If you’re a typically car-dependent couch-potato, this might not seem enticing (or even logical) to you, but a growing number of people are looking for opportunities to visit other communities, and to walk / shop / hike / cycle without having to endure traffic and a lengthy drive to get there.
It works the other way too: in our group members use a Metra $7 Unlimited Weekend Pass to do things like ride up to the VFW in Lake Villa, enjoy downtown Antioch and Libertyville, and Deerfield for restaurants, shopping trips, and more. You can bring your bike onboard the train and enjoy riding around these other villages as well!
BTW… we know several moms-of-toddlers who are looking forward to taking “field trips” by train from RLB up to Lake Villa to visit the Busy Brains Children’s Museum when it opens.
This may sound like we’re recruiting you to go everywhere BUT our Round Lake area; what it’s TRYING to say is how accessible a lot of pedestrian-friendly places are using Metra from Round Lake Beach. Even the best-planned, most-complete town can’t contain EVERYTHING for its residents. It’s not an “us-versus-them” all-or-nothing situation… part of what makes a community appealing is its proximity to desireable areas and activities.