An average of nearly 125,000 daily bike trips are taken in Chicago, most of which — nearly 91,000 — are errand-related trips like going to the store or the library.
Over the years, we've been working tirelessly throughout the region to make it easier and safer to bike, walk and use public transit. Here are some of the great things we've been able to accomplishsince we started in 1985.
Chicagoland Bicycle Federation is born.
Volunteer-written “Safe Bicycling in Chicago” pamphlet attracts the attention of the Chicago Department of Transportation, which results in the first contract with the Chicago Department of Transportation. The Chicagoland Bicycle Federation goes on to win multiple consulting contracts, including projects related to bike parking and pedestrian safety.
The first Boulevard Lakefront Tour debuts and generates a new stream of revenue for the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation.
The first edition of Chicago’s Bike Map is produced completely by Chicagoland Bicycle Federation volunteers.
Chicagoland Bicycle Federation volunteers collect information about best routes in the region and submit it for publication in the Chicagoland Bicycle Map.
With an eye toward increasing the number of trips made by bicycle, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley unveils the Bike 2000 Plan, which is drafted by the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation and the newly created Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Council. For the subsequent Bike 2015 Plan, the city turns again to Chicagoland Bicycle Federation and hires it as a consultant.
Chicagoland Bicycle Federation’s Bicycle Commuter Challenge encourages employees to try cardio-commuting for one week in June.
The City of Chicago installs the first striped bike lane on Wells Street. Chicagoland Bicycle Federation applauds the effort.
Chicagoland Bicycle Federation member count: 1,956.
The map’s second edition benefits from professional cartography.
Chicago has installed 4,250 bike racks thanks to more than $1.5 million in Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funds.
Boub v. Wayne galvanizes the bicycle community to reverse a decision that creates liability concerns for governments wanting to build bicycle facilities. Chicagoland Bicycle Federation membership gets a big bump.
The City of Chicago’s Department of Transportation takes on the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation’s Bicycle Ambassador program. Mayor Daley’s Bicycling Ambassadors educate thousands of people who drive and bike each year.
The first Bike the Drive, organized and produced by the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, opens up Lake Shore Drive for bicyclists.
Evanston's bicycle plan is the first instance of bike lanes planned for a suburb.
Chicagoland Bicycle Federation member count: 5,112.
The Chicagoland Bicycle Federation’s Healthy Streets Campaign adds pedestrian planning into the mix of its advocacy work. Programs include Drive With Care, Go Healthy, Homezones, Safe Routes to School and Sunday Parkways.
The South Suburbs get a proposal and a sponsor for a Safe Routes to School program. The success of this homegrown program generates enthusiasm for a national Safe Routes to School Program.
The League of American Bicyclists designates Chicago and Schaumburg as Bicycle Friendly Communities.
Bikes on Metra graduates from one train per week to its current daily off-peak accommodation.
On the heels of a Chicago Ordinance, the Illinois General Assembly passes a Complete Streets law.
Chicagoland Bicycle Federation officially expands its mission to include pedestrian and transit advocacy. As a result, it changes its name to the Active Transportation Alliance.
The first Open Streets events in Chicago open up historic boulevards to non-motorized traffic. Active Trans goes on to organize more Open Streets events in Chicago in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Partnered with other organizations to pass the 3-foot passing law in Illinois.
Thanks to pressure from Active Trans, Mayor Rahm Emanuel agrees to build 100 miles of protected bike lanes during his first term in office.
Launched Crash Support Hotline to help pedestrian and bicycle crash survivors.
Passed Must Stop for Pedestrians state law.
Active Trans guides public process for Chicago’s Streets for Cycling 2020 plan, which lays out the vision for expanding bicycling throughout the city in the coming decade.
Active Trans delves deeper into the world of bike planning by producing or assisting with nearly 30 bike plans in suburban communities or regional corridors.
Successfully demanded that IDOT track dooring crashes
Mobilized more than 5,000 transit riders to push for better and faster transit
Secured 2,500 people to sign our petition in support of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on Ashland Ave and throughout Chicago
Updated, improved and performed a major overhaul of the Chicagoland Bike Map
The new protected bike lane on Dearborn Street is named the best in the nation by People for Bikes.
Large-scale bike sharing comes to Chicago, thanks in part to advocacy from Active Trans. Divvy starts off with 300 stations hosting 3,000 bicycles.
Chicago is ranked as the second most bike friendly city in the nation by the editors of Bicycling magazine.
Active Trans advocated for laws passed by both the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois that allow people riding bicycles to confidently pass slow-moving cars on the right side of the road.
We partnered with the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) to launch the Transit Future campaign to establish a dedicated source of revenue to fund the transit improvements and expansion in Cook County. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Mayor Rahm Emanuel spoke in favor of the Transit Future vision at the launch.
When a local alderman wanted to remove Chicago’s first protected bike on West Kinzie Street in River North, Active Trans successfully mobilized more than 1,400 people in opposition.
Working in tandem with other advocacy groups, Active Trans mobilized hundreds of members and supporters to successfully pressure the Northern Indiana Commuter Train District to allow people to bring their bikes on the South Shore Line.
In advance of the 2014 and 2015 state and municipal elections, Active Trans released a state and municipal policy platform outlining our top priorities. We also conducted our first-ever candidate questionnaire with Chicago City Council and mayoral candidates and published all the responses in full as part of our first Municipal Election Voter Guide.
After we launched a regional campaign to improve the safety of people walking and biking at 20 of the most dangerous intersections in the city and suburbs, we engaged decision makers and residents around all 20 intersections, securing commitments from five controlling bodies to go ahead with safety improvements.
Chicago took first place among best US cities for bicycling, moving up from #2 since Bicycling magazine’s last national ranking.