Author Archives: Active Trans

Chicago’s bike touring legend George Christensen will be honored at Ride of Silence

Chicago’s bicycling community lost a champion last month.

George Christensen, a former bike courier who rode thousands of miles each year and traversed entire continents by bike, eloquently chronicling his adventures along the way, was tragically killed while riding in South Carolina. He was 73.

On Monday, April 22, Christensen was on his latest epic bike trip, traveling up the Atlantic coast from Orlando, Florida and visiting Carnegie libraries – another one of his many passions – along the way.

Bike racks find a new home thanks to local partnerships

It was an early holiday surprise in mid-December when the residents of Baldwin-Green apartment complex in Palatine acquired six bike racks valued at $3,000.

The bike racks, which were being discarded by the Chicago Botanic Garden, initially didn’t have a new home.

Then the Chicago Botanic Garden reached out to the Chicago Tool Library to offer the racks as a donation.

Active Transportation Alliance got involved,

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,

Fighting for a robust transit system, now and for decades to come 

Our region’s transit system is facing a pivotal moment. 

While ridership is on the rebound from pandemic lows, service is not meeting rider needs and the system is heading towards a significant fiscal cliff.

If you’re frustrated with transit service now, be warned that it will be far worse if this funding gap is not addressed. If we don’t intervene, our local transit systems will need to make drastic cuts that could be along the lines of:

  • Four out of eight CTA train lines.

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,

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,