Author Archives: Kyle Whitehead

Illinois is missing a big part of the long-term solution to high gas prices

With gas prices surging, Mayor Lightfoot and Governor Pritzker need to step up and make it safer and easier for people to walk, bike, and ride public transit.

The media is saturated with stories of outrage about the cost of gasoline and official proposals to lower prices. This way of looking at the issue inevitably ignores how the intentional development of our car-centric, sprawling region contributed to this problem – and how alternative forms of transportation can be part of the solution.

Congressional leaders urge state to consider climate and equity impacts

A group of eight Chicago area Congressional leaders sent a strong message to Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) about how to spend newly available federal funds: factor climate change and racial equity into all of your funding decisions.

Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García led the effort behind the letter delivered to Gov. Pritzker and IDOT. It was co-signed by Reps. Sean Casten, Danny Davis, Marie Newman, Mike Quigley, Bobby Rush,

Advocates call on RTA to step up engagement on strategic plan

With the Chicago area’s public transit system in crisis, advocates say the Regional Transportation Authority’s (RTA) ongoing strategic planning process has thus far failed to meet the needs of this historic moment.

Active Trans joined six other regional advocacy groups in sending a letter to the RTA Board of Directors highlighting how the plan is falling short and what’s needed to get the transit system through this crisis and,

Top 10 walking, biking, and transit stories of 2021

In year two of the coronavirus pandemic, Chicago area residents continued to adapt to a changing world and adjusted their transportation habits and expectations for this new reality.

Through it all, the Active Transportation Alliance worked with our community partners and legislative allies to fight for more residents to have access to safe, convenient, affordable, and sustainable transportation options.

Here’s a look back at 10 of the most important walking, biking,

Chicago must advance equity and sustainability with new federal transportation funds

The Infrastructure Investment in Jobs Act (IIJA) provides a historic opportunity for the Chicago area to move beyond car-centric planning and advance racial and environmental justice through transportation investments. 

Now we need to make sure regional leaders take advantage of this opportunity. We can’t afford to see these funds go to wasteful roadway projects that only worsen the inequity in our regional transportation system. 

This week Active Trans joined a coalition of 12 civic and environmental advocates that is calling for our transportation agencies in the region to develop an inclusive and transparent approach in determining which projects to put forward for newly available federal funds.

Join a virtual town hall on CTA bus electrification

47th Ward Ald. Matt Martin and 1st Ward Ald. Daniel LaSpata are teaming to host a virtual discussion on Chicago’s progress toward electrifying its bus fleet.

The event, which is open to the public, takes place on Wednesday, November 17 at 7 p.m.

Staff from Chicago Transit Authority will provide an update on the agency’s electrification plans and answer questions from the council members and attendees.

In 2019, the Chicago City Council approved a resolution to support transitioning CTA’s bus fleet to 100 percent electric by 2040.

Take action! Build Back Better Act needed to fix flaws in infrastructure bill 

Congress passed a historic infrastructure bill that could help get more people walking, biking, and riding transit in the Chicago area, but more action is needed to strengthen the bill’s positive impact on climate- and equity-related concerns. 

Take action asking your members of Congress to support a pro-transit reconciliation bill. 

For more than two years, Active Trans worked with our partners in communities across the region making the case for a sustainable and equitable federal infrastructure bill.  

Chicago needs more safe places to ride bikes and scooters on city streets

Update (10/14/21): Chicago City Council passed the e-scooter ordinance. The program is expected to launch in Spring 2022.

As Chicago City Council considers an ordinance establishing a long-term e-scooter sharing program, Active Transportation Alliance submitted a letter in support of the ordinance to the Transportation and Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Committees.

Following are excerpts from the letter:

Active Transportation Alliance supports a long-term e-scooter sharing program for Chicago because it would give people another option to get around other than driving or hailing a car.

Action alert: Help save the e-bike benefit in Congressional budget bill

The U.S. Senate is currently deciding what stays and what gets dropped from the budget bill, and unfortunately, some important biking provisions are on the chopping block.

We need your help to make sure our Senators fight to keep these critical bike components in the bill.

Specifically, the latest draft includes a tax rebate for e-bikes and a bicycle commuter benefit. Both elements would help enable more people to replace car trips with bike trips and reduce our overall carbon footprint.

Chicago adds protected bike lanes, updates bike network strategy

Chicago announced what it’s calling the “biggest bike lane expansion in the city’s history” this week, saying the new lanes will improve resident health and safety and help build stronger, cleaner, and more resilient neighborhoods. 

The news comes thanks to $17 million in new funding in 2021 and 2022 from Mayor Lightfoot’s Chicago Works capital plan. This will fund 100 miles of “new and upgraded” bike lanes over two years,