Author Archives: David Powe

Long-awaited Red Line Extension moves closer to reality

After decades of anticipation, the CTA Red Line Extension (RLE) project is set to receive a nearly $2 billion injection of federal funding.

The RLE will be a 5.6-mile expansion of CTA’s Red Line from 95th Street  to 130th Street on Chicago’s Far South Side.

The project aims to foster thriving communities by connecting Far South Side residents to essential opportunities like education, employment, and healthcare.

The Federal Transit Administration recently pledged a remarkable $1.973 billion through the New Starts program.

CTA takes a step toward greater transparency  

We commend CTA’s recent initiatives to improve service and elevate transparency with the launch of an even more robust interactive performance dashboard, as part of its “Meeting the Moment” plan.  

This forward-thinking initiative responds to the calls from riders and advocates for more transparency and reliable service.  

As a part of its Meeting the Moment plan, CTA’s performance metrics report has evolved into an info-packed interactive visual dashboard that is updated monthly.  

Agreement is a step toward safer streets

This week, Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) came to a new agreement that aims to streamline the building of safer streets and intersections across Chicago.

The Active Transportation Alliance is hopeful about the potential this new agreement has for making our roadways safer and more hospitable to people walking, biking, and using transit.

Countless activists, organizations, and elected officials across Chicago have been working for decades to push IDOT for safer design standards.

RTA’s plan for the future needs more details

The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) recently released its draft strategic plan, Transit is the Answer, for public comment.  

The RTA coordinates the Chicago region’s transit system (CTA, Pace, and Metra), oversees its financing, and coordinates regional planning for public transportation in Northeastern Illinois. 

Active Transportation Alliance joined forces with a handful of local nonprofits to send a letter to the RTA on ways to improve the 80-plus page draft plan.

Speak up for a greener, safer, more equitable Grant Park

Last year, the Chicago Park District began developing its 2023 Grant Park Framework Plan.

The plan seeks to define Grant Park’s role as a neighborhood park, a key destination, and as a public space, and it will outline next steps in the park’s development.

The park district is hosting a series of public meetings to share updates on the design process and allow the public to ask questions. There are three in-person opportunities to learn more about the project and provide feedback.

Bus priority zones needed near the planned casino

Bally’s Corporation, an international gambling company, is planning to build a $1.7 billion casino on the southeast corner of Chicago Ave. and Halsted St.

The City of Chicago is currently in the process of gathering community feedback on this massive project that promises to dramatically increase vehicular traffic on two of the city’s busiest bus routes and along major bike and pedestrian corridors.   

Many people in service industries depend on transit to commute to their jobs in this area.

Regional planning agency ignores destructive effects of road expansion projects

Despite nearly 450 people speaking out against a series of roadway expansion projects, leadership at our regional planning agency approved plans to add nearly 300 lane miles to our region’s roadways. 

As roadway expansion plans are being stopped in the name of racial equity, climate change, safety, and fiscal responsibility, it was disheartening to see the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) give the green light to local road expansion projects as part of its updated regional plan.

CMAP’s road expansion plans contradict its own policies

In recent months, the Active Transportation Alliance has been urging our regional planning agency to stop giving the green light to road expansion projects that are intended to alleviate congestion, yet end up worsening not just congestion, but climate change, safety, and equity.

At a recent hearing held by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), Active Transportation Alliance’s Director of Planning David Powe provided testimony on behalf of more than 400 people who responded to an action alert asking leaders to oppose the harmful and destructive roadway expansion plans.

Chicagoland leaders need to halt roadway expansion plans NOW

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), which is responsible for comprehensive transportation planning in northeastern Illinois, is currently updating its list of regionally significant projects that are eligible for federal funding.

Unfortunately, the proposed list includes projects that would add nearly 300 miles of lanes to our region’s expressways and arterial streets, leading to a substantial increase in driving, millions of tons of additional CO2 emissions, and decreased safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.