RPC Funded to Study Kickapoo Rail Trail Extension

A view of the proposed extension of the Kickapoo Rail Trail in downtown Urbana

How do you connect Urbana parks, homes, businesses, Carle Foundation Hospital, and the University of Illinois? The RPC is about to find out. As announced on Monday, July 16, federal funding will allow the RPC to study a proposed extension of the Kickapoo Rail Trail (KRT).

The $100,000 in federal funding was approved via the Illinois Department of Transportation Statewide Planning and Research Program, with the RPC writing the funding request. The RPC will conduct the planning study with participation by local stakeholders.

RPC CEO Dalitso Sulamoyo (third from right) at the announcement of the Kickapoo Rail Trail Extension Study on July 16, 2018

The announcement in downtown Urbana on July 16 included comments from Urbana Mayor Diane Marlin, RPC CEO Dalitso Sulamoyo, Carle president and CEO James Leonard, Urbana Park District executive director Timothy Bartlett, Champaign County Forest Preserve District Board of Commissioners vice president Sarah Livesay, and University of Illinois chancellor Robert Jones.

“The KRT extension to downtown Urbana and Carle Hospital will be an integral and hugely beneficial component of the Champaign-Urbana transportation network,” says Planning and Community Development Director Rita Morocoima-Black. “It should be embraced and expanded based on its benefits to the community including its potential to be an economic driver for downtown Urbana, reduce traffic, fight climate change through reduced vehicle emissions, and improve public health.”

The study area reaches from the current terminus of the KRT, near Walmart in east Urbana, and extends west to Lincoln Avenue. Carle will provide a $25,000 local match. Marlin recognized Carle for its support and thanked the Urbana Park District and the RPC for their efforts to bring the stakeholders together and apply for the federal funding.

Expected to last approximately two years, the planning efforts will result in a final report from the RPC that includes recommendations and design concepts. The KRT’s extension would enhance connectivity within Urbana and give people better access to parks, programs, and other recreational amenities. It is also expected to greatly improve access to downtown Urbana restaurants, activities, and services for those along the University Avenue corridor.


  1. Bridget Broihahn says:

    I just cannot wait for the study to be completed so we can get this EXTENSION STARTED!! What great news!! Thanks, CCRPC, Carle, CCFPD, UPD and Mayor Marlin of the City of Urbana!!

  2. Debbie Downer says:

    The recently published proposed rail trail to Lincoln Avenue is folly or worse guise.
    A bike path already exists on Main and Washington to the path leading to st. Joe and Down Town Urbana.
    This is SUSPECT.
    Is it to use bike path money to repair a sidewalk on university or offset massive drainage needs of Carle or more “million dollar giveaway development” like the project at Elm and Vine did?
    The other side houses transit with extremely busy driveways as in MTD.
    Notice possible racism not connecting Washington with its mass apartments to the path. Is this path just a few million to spend millions to avoid Washinton street?
    Note: Scottwood lacks side walks for the children walking to school on Washington.
    A path on Springfield is desparate needed between country fair and Staley. This would link bus service, jobs and multiple apartments.
    A path on High cross is desperately needed to connect to Windsor Road. This would make Riggs and schools accessible by bike to South Urbana’s Trails.
    Bike paths yes, pilfering public and donated funds in the name of bike paths no.

  3. Maurey Williamson says:

    The Urbana Kickapoo Rail Trail (KRT) Extension Study was funded by IDOT to study the area immediately surrounding the rail corridor. Recommendations for improvements to Washington Street, High Cross Road, and streets in the Scottswood subdivision are included in the following plans: Urbana Pedestrian Master Plan, Urbana Bicycle Master Plan, and Prairie Campus Safe Routes to School Plan. The City of Urbana is one of the agencies who will work on securing funding for these projects. The City of Champaign and IDOT will be responsible for funding improvements on Springfield Avenue between Country Fair and Staley. Thank you for your interest in this study.

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