Author Archives: Active Trans

Developing a holistic city-wide mobility platform for the Chicago election

In preparation for the coming election, Active Transportation Alliance held a series of focus groups in neighborhoods around the city to ask residents about their transportation challenges when walking, biking, or using transit.

Over and over, we heard about frustrations with CTA’s reliability and that people were often feeling unsafe, whether they were riding CTA, walking, or biking.

The feedback from the focus groups helped inform the citywide platform on walking,

Uncleared snow makes sidewalks treacherous for the most vulnerable people

Winter in Chicagoland means clearing those sidewalks of snow so that pedestrians have safe walkways to traverse during the winter.

Shoveling sidewalks is not only the neighborly thing to do, but it’s also the law in some places, including Chicago.

While we strongly support the effort to make sidewalk snow removal in Chicago a municipal service, snow removal—for now—continues to be the responsibility of the property owner.

According to Chicago’s municipal code,

Red Line Extension takes major step forward

This week a key hurdle has been cleared to bring high-quality rapid transit to Chicago’s far South Side.

Chicago City Council’s approval was nearly unanimous for a “transit TIF” that leverages the property value realized from investments already made in places like the South Loop and Chinatown.

This local TIF (tax increment financing) funding provides the match funding needed to unlock the investments from federal sources.

Once completed, Chicago’s major north-south L line will extend to the southernmost neighborhoods and fulfill a decades-old promise.

Sidewalk snow removal should be a municipal service

For many people, snow and ice on sidewalks is more than an inconvenience, it can shut down daily life.

That’s why our friends at Better Streets Chicago, with the support of their partners Access Living, are making the case for municipally-funded sidewalk snow plowing in Chicago.

Chicago has a century-and-a-half old policy that requires residents, business owners, and property managers to keep their sidewalks clear of snow and ice during the winter.

Let’s move ahead with the Red Line Extension Transit TIF  

For decades, people on the far South Side have heard promises about the extension of the Red Line. Now, finally, we’re thrilled to see the plan moving forward.

There is broad community support for the project. Extending CTA’s L system to the far South Side will improve residents’ access to education, employment, healthcare, and other crucial services. The Red Line Extension will also attract construction jobs and future development along the proposed corridor.

21st annual bike ride on DuSable Lake Shore Drive on Sept. 4



Clare McDermott, Active Transportation Alliance
(312) 216-0466

Emma Bolech, Fifth Third Bank


Active Transportation Alliance and Fifth Third Bank team up for 21st annual bike ride on DuSable Lake Shore Drive
20,000+ people on bikes to wrap up summer at one of the nation’s best bike rides


More transit oriented development coming to South and West Sides

In recent weeks, Chicago City Council passed an ordinance that will promote more affordable housing near transit within the city’s South and West Side neighborhoods and improve safety for pedestrians and other road users.

Among benefits will be new approaches toward development near transit, including reducing parking minimums, increasing density/height limits (including bus lines), and increasing affordable and accessible housing options.

In 2021, 83 people were killed by car crashes within a half mile of  rail stations,

Community comes together in Palatine for bike giveaway and safety checks

If you recall the New Testament story of the loaves and fishes, you’d suspect a similar miracle happened in Palatine in early June, only this time involving bicycles and related gear.

Local community groups, led by the Bike Palatine Club and the Palatine Partners for Our Communities (POC), came together for a mini workshop teaching kids the basics of safety checks for their bikes before rolling out for many days of summertime riding.

City must act now to fix dangerous streets for people walking and biking

Over the weekend, more than 300 people took to the streets to honor two young children recently killed by drivers on Chicago’s North Side.

The memorial event — held for Raphael “Rafi” Cardenas and Elizabeth “Lily” Grace Shambrook — was attended by people who were demanding that the city take action to make our streets safe places to walk and bike.

These recent tragedies, combined with the increasing number of people getting killed by drivers while walking and biking in Chicago,

Chicago needs to get on board with dedicated bus lanes 

As the city of Chicago develops a plan for improving its bus service, let’s ensure they’re laying groundwork for what we desperately need: fast and reliable bus service



How often have you had this maddening experience?

You’re on a Chicago bus and running late for an appointment. Thanks to heavy traffic, the bus is creeping along from one backed up traffic light to the next.