Tag Archives: Advocacy

Better walking & biking on Riverwalk & Wacker Dr.

May 20, 2019 | by Steve Simmons

If you've ever walked or biked along the Riverwalk on the Main Branch of the Chicago River — especially during summer months — then you know it's both a dynamic public space and a challenge to navigate on foot and bike. The Chicago River will only grow in popularity in the coming years as one of the city's premier destinations to work, play, and live. For this reason, it's time to improve walking and biking along the river so all Chicagoans can enjoy it. To build support for improvements, Active Trans is spearheading a project to develop concepts for addressing congestion experienced by people walking and biking along the Riverwalk and Upper Wacker Drive (pictured). The project is part of...

Mayor Lightfoot can reduce Chicago’s car dependency

May 20, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

To tackle traffic congestion and make transportation more affordable, healthy, and equitable, Chicago must make it easier to get around without a car. During the campaign, Mayor Lightfoot and many council members supported strategies to move Chicago in this direction, including increasing transportation options in the city’s transit deserts and reducing serious traffic crashes that are concentrated on the city’s South and West Sides. They recognized that urban transportation is changing, and cities must adapt to remain competitive in attracting new businesses and residents. Now it’s time to get to work and move Chicago past decades of car dependency and into a new mobility future. During the campaign, Active Transportation NOW — a 501(c)4 affiliate of Active Trans — and...

Lathrop Homes path adds to growing Chicago River Trail

May 13, 2019 | by Steve Simmons

Biking, walking and access to the local bus route is about to get easier at Lathrop Homes with the expected completion of a riverfront path this summer. Lathrop Homes, a housing development north and south of Diversey Avenue along the Chicago River's North Branch, includes a new half-mile long trail that runs alongside the housing development on the east side of the Chicago River. The path ducks under the Diversey bridge and features a decked trail in the river south of Diversey (see below). It's exciting to see another section of the river trail opening soon, moving the city closer to a continuous 27-mile Chicago River Trail. A complete Chicago River trail would promote walking and biking and support healthy...

Connecting the 312 RiverRun to Lathrop Homes trail

May 6, 2019 | by Steve Simmons

As exciting as it is to see new trails emerging along the Chicago River, it's important to keep in mind that trails return the greatest public benefits when they are connected, linking people to jobs, shopping districts and recreational opportunities. One area that offers a prime opportunity to connect trails is from the end of the 312 RiverRun Trail at Belmont Avenue south to the path at Lathrop Homes (pictured), a housing development that runs north and south of Diversey Avenue. Adding a trail along this one-mile stretch of the river would create a continuous path from Diversey Avenue north to Lawrence Avenue. To build momentum for this connection, we've recently started facilitating a community-led project that'll develop a vision...

Elgin legislators support funding trails and safe streets

Apr 22, 2019 | by Barb Cornew

On a recent beautiful Friday afternoon along the Fox River Trail in Elgin, State Senator Cristina Castro and State Representative Anna Moeller said they will advocate for funding projects in a capital bill that will make the city safer and more friendly to people walking and biking. This is good news for Active Trans and partners across the state who are calling for state legislators to dedicate $50 million annually to safe streets and trails projects in a capital bill. The Elgin event brought together various supporters in the area, including Elgin Bike Hub, Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin, members of Elgin City Council and longtime bicycling advocate Tom Armstrong. See coverage of the event in the Daily Herald. The...

Rush hour bus lanes coming to Chicago Avenue

Apr 19, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a new Bus Priority Zones program featuring upgrades to several of the busiest routes in the city, including Chicago Avenue, 79th Street and Western Avenue. The upgrades include rush hour bus lanes on Chicago from Larrabee to Michigan Avenue — through the heart of the River North area where congestion routinely slows down packed buses traveling to the West Side. Other investments include a new cul-de-sac at the Chicago/Milwaukee/Ogden intersection and traffic signal optimization on several routes. The initiative aims to boost bus speed and reliability, and ultimately increase ridership. Mayor Emanuel linked the program to the city's climate goals to reduce carbon emissions and a new policy to support transit-oriented development (TOD) along bus...

Support Emmett St. affordable housing project

Apr 18, 2019 | by Steve Simmons

The high cost of housing near sustainable transportation options — CTA train stations in particular — is a major barrier to our vision for Chicago in which all residents can easily walk, bike and take public transportation. That's why we hope to see the proposed affordable housing project on Emmett Street (pictured) in Logan Square get built. Many of our partners, including Logan Square Neighborhood Association and Metropolitan Planning Council, have worked for years to advance this proposal. It's great to see it moving forward with strong community support at the same time there's tremendous demand for affordable housing. Our mission is to promote walking, biking and public transportation so that we can create healthy, sustainable and equitable communities. We...

Mayor-elect Lightfoot can create safer streets for all

Apr 3, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

The election is over and Mayor-elect Lightfoot must quickly get to work building a transportation network in which everyone can get where they need to go. As mayor, Lori Lightfoot can reduce traffic crashes and ease congestion by making it easier to get around without driving or riding alone in a car. Lightfoot supports upgrading Chicago’s transportation network with more bus lanes, bike lanes and off-street trails – all of which have proven to boost the health, sustainability and equity of Chicago neighborhoods. She says progress on safe streets has slowed in recent years and she would “redouble Chicago’s efforts,” citing declines in the number of bump-outs, enhanced crosswalks and bike lanes relative to peer cities. Lightfoot says she will...

Take action for safer streets and trails in Illinois

Apr 1, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

A bill that could boost funding for Illinois communities looking to be more bike- and walk-friendly passed out of committee in Springfield. Now we need your help to make sure it passes the Illinois General Assembly and is sent to the governor’s desk. Take action now for safer streets and trails in Illinois. Senate Bill 2016 (SB2016) establishes a Complete Streets and Trails Local Grant Program in Illinois. Local governments could apply for grants to build and extend trails or make street improvements for vulnerable users on foot and on bikes. Eligible projects would include pedestrian refuge islands, crosswalk countdown timers, pedestrian crossing signs, upgraded trail crossings and bike lanes that create orderly street space for all. Tell your state legislators...

39th Ward candidates support river trail initiatives

Mar 29, 2019 | by Steve Simmons

The final two candidates for alderman in the 39th Ward runoff election — Robert Murphy and Samantha Nugent — support trail projects that would move the city closer to a continuous Chicago River Trail. The 39th Ward is on Chicago's Northwest Side and includes all or parts of Albany Park, North Park, Hollywood Park, Mayfair, Sauganash, Edgebrook, Old Edgebrook, Gladstone Park, Indian Woods and Forest Glen. Recently, Active Trans and our partners joined each candidate for a walk in Gompers Park to advocate for two key priorities that would be major steps toward a continuous Chicago River Trail: The Weber Spur Trail (pictured left) would create the ultimate low-stress connection for people walking and biking between the North Branch, Sauganash...