Tag Archives: Bicycling

CLIF Bar helps Active Trans get more people biking

Jun 25, 2019 | by Active Trans

Getting around Chicago on a bike is not as daunting as it seems. That’s what Linor Vaknin learned when she became involved in Active Trans’ annual Bike to Work competition (going on now and continuing until the end of the week). Prior to the event, biking on Chicago streets was out of the question for her. Too hectic, too scary. Then, during the Bike to Work competition in 2010, Linor (pictured left) saw throngs of people safely biking on Chicago’s streets. She met people who were having fun while contributing to a healthier, more sustainable city. “I remember feeling super-energized by the event,” said Linor, a marketing manager for Clif Bar. “People were cheering each other on. I felt a...

Cultivating the next generation of advocates

Jun 20, 2019 | by Maya Norris

Marco De La Rosa is making sure the voices of some of the youngest stakeholders in Active Transportation Alliance’s Chicago River Trail campaign are heard loud and clear. As club director of the Linda & Bill Gantz Boys & Girls Club of Chicago in Lathrop Homes on the North Side, De La Rosa is nurturing the advocacy and leadership skills of his students by having them take part in Active Trans’ efforts to push for a Chicago River Trail. By getting the kids involved in advocating for a river trail near the Lathrop Homes development they're getting valuable insight and firsthand experience about the importance of civic engagement. “I’m really big on involving our youth in [the civic engagement] process....

Ron Burke to step down as head of Active Trans

Jun 17, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

After nearly nine years with the Active Transportation Alliance, Ron Burke will step down from his role as the organization’s executive director next month. During Burke’s tenure, Active Trans contributed to many victories, from the growth of Chicago’s advanced bike lane network and launch of Divvy bikeshare, to the creation of separate biking and walking trails on the lakefront, introduction of dedicated bus lanes, and expansion of suburban trails. Active Trans also had wins in Springfield during Burke’s tenure, including legislation requiring K-8 public schools to teach biking and walking education and the recent passage of a state capital bill that includes $50 million annually for walking and bicycling projects. "Under Ron’s leadership, Active Trans has become a more visible...

State bike/walk fund advances transportation equity

Jun 10, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

The new state money for walking and bicycling comes with reforms that make it easier for low-income communities to secure funding. Needless to say, we were thrilled to see our efforts pay off in creating better transportation equity in the state. For the first time ever, Illinois’ long-term capital program includes dedicated funding for walking and biking projects — $50 million annually. It also includes sustainable funding for public transit for the first time ever. The new biking and walking funding will be distributed via the state’s popular Illinois Transportation Enhancements grant Program (ITEP), but with some important changes that make it more accessible for low-income communities. Local matching funding shall be required according to a sliding scale based on...

Victory! Active Trans campaign for state walking and biking fund wins $50 million per year

Jun 3, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

For the first time ever, Illinois’ long-term capital program includes dedicated funding for walking and biking projects. Legislators passed a $33 billion, six-year transportation capital program in an extended session over the weekend. Gov. Pritzker has indicated he will sign the bill into law. The bill includes $50 million annually for walking and bicycling projects. Funds will be administered statewide through a competitive grant process using the existing Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP), which is currently entirely federally funded. The additional funds from the state will double the size of the program and could fund 125 new projects every year. Thanks to everyone who took action and the legislators who championed this issue in Springfield. Legislators told us this never...

Common sense approach needed for bikes on Riverwalk

May 30, 2019 | by Jim Merrell

UPDATE (6/25/19): According to the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), bicycling is allowed on the path when the Riverwalk is not congested. Reports indicate security guards are no longer asking people biking to dismount. Learn the latest on the issue and Active Trans' advocacy efforts in the Chicago Reader.  -- A lack of transparency and mixed messages has led to widespread confusion and frustration about biking on the Riverwalk along the Main Branch of the Chicago River. Currently, security guards are enforcing an all-out ban on bike traffic after 9 a.m., even when conditions allow for people to safely ride on the Riverwalk. We are urging the city and 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly to work with Active Trans, our...

Support for biking to school pays off in Palatine

May 28, 2019 | by Active Trans

What started in Palatine with a single school and about 30 kids in 2003 is now an annual spring affair expanded to 13 public and private schools and 1,300 students. Bike to School Day, held the first Wednesday in May, is now a community-wide effort in Palatine. The success of the event is due to various groups — PTAs, a local bike shop, and school administrators — pulling together creatively to urge students to cycle and to do it safely. But much of the success is due to the work of the Bike Palatine Club over the years, and specifically the efforts of club vice-president Gail Artrip (pictured below). Gail initiated the event in 2003 at Pleasant Hill School, which...

Wheel & Sprocket’s ties to advocacy and community

May 24, 2019 | by Ami Schwartz

Since 1973, the Wheel & Sprocket has been benefiting the cycling community with a passion for fitting customers to the proper bike and encouraging safe biking. Wheel & Sprocket operates a number of bike shops in Wisconsin and has two shops in Illinois — in Evanston and in Oak Park. For 40 years, Chris Kegel brought his knowledge and excitement to Wheel & Sprocket. Kegel, who passed away in recent years, started as a bike mechanic at the shop and eventually became the owner, over time working at nearly every role in the shop. People around him say he had a strong desire to create an exciting and safe cycling community. Kegel’s passion for cycling and creating an encouraging community...

Des Plaines River Trail continues to improve

May 21, 2019 | by Matt Gomez

Users of the Des Plaines River Trail (DPRT) will be happy to hear that there are some exciting opportunities and improvements coming to the trail. For starters, the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and engineers from Terra Engineering hosted a public meeting last week to show people options for the trail to cross the Union Pacific railroad tracks between Golf and Central Roads near Oakton Community College. This presentation is part of a larger engineering effort — that Active Trans and nearby communities have been a part of — to identify the best way to cross the tracks. Last week, the engineers showed a bridge design that could get pedestrians and bicyclists safely across the tracks. From here, the...

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...