Author Archives: Maggie Melin Czerwinski

Mobility in the time of COVID-19 in the south suburbs

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of what we perceive and know about mobility and transportation.

In recent months, Active Trans met with more than 100 stakeholders who are invested in our work. We spoke with community partners, elected officials, department of transportation and transit agency officials, municipal staff, and residents across the city and suburbs.

As part of this process,

Additional walking and biking guidance during COVID-19

Earlier this spring when the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Active Transportation Alliance worked with Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) to develop a shareable infographic offering advice on how to stay safe while walking and biking.

Now that our state has reached Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan, which allows for physically-distanced and masked gatherings of up to 100 people in outdoor spaces, many have asked if walking and biking in small groups is considered safe.

Mobility justice resources for Chicago Bike Week and beyond

During this year’s Chicago Bike Week and Bike Challenge, we have an additional challenge for you: Get informed! Bike Week is a perfect time to inform yourself about the role biking plays in mobility and racial justice.

How can we ensure that our streets and public spaces feel safe and are safe for everyone? How can we ensure that our advocacy efforts for better biking center the voices of Black and Brown people and those who have experienced violence on our streets?

Exploring open streets during COVID-19

In response to the challenges of COVID-19, many cities around the country opted to close streets to cars or reconfigure traffic lanes to create more dedicated space for walking and biking.

While more information is needed to understand the true impact of these initiatives, many are wondering if this is a viable and safe strategy that could work for all communities in our region.

We believe streets should prioritize people over cars and have long advocated for solutions like open streets,

Safe walking and biking during COVID-19

The COVID-19 public health crisis and the current stay at home order are directly impacting the way most of us move on a daily basis. Many questions have arisen over what this means for walking and biking and how to safely navigate sidewalks, streets, and trails.

During this time, it is important to follow public health guidelines. Although it seems to conflict with our mission as a transportation advocacy group to say, please stay home as much as you can.

Fun walking and biking resources for kids

With schools closed and Governor Pritzker’s “stay at home” order extended through April, some of you may now find yourself at home with young children, juggling work and other responsibilities while keeping your kids occupied and entertained.

If you’re looking for ways to engage their minds, why not add some interactive, online walking and biking safety education to the mix?

Here are a few recommended resources that can help prepare kids of all ages with street smarts and safety skills:

Illinois Bike Safety Quiz is an online resource developed by Ride Illinois that teaches kids,

Chicago is falling behind on sustainable transportation

According to our new report, Chicago is falling behind in the number of people choosing to commute on foot, on bike, or on public transit.

This was just one of the findings of our regularly published Regional Mode Share Report, which compiles and analyzes mode share and travel data for the Chicagoland region.

Here are a few highlights from our 2020 report:

Compared to our peer cities,

Let’s re-envision Route 53 extension

After nearly six decades of debate over the highly controversial Route 53 highway expansion project, victory was finally declared for walking, biking, and transit in Lake County last summer.

Recognizing the $3 billion project would not relieve congestion problems, in July of 2019, the Lake County Board unanimously voted to remove support for the Route 53 highway extension from its strategic plan.

A day later, the Illinois Tollway announced that it would cease work on a multi-million dollar environmental impact study of the extension.

Advocacy needed for the Skokie Valley Trail extension

The Skokie Valley Trail extension project needs your support!

If completed, the trail would fill a 4.5-mile gap through the Villages of Skokie, Northfield, Glenview, and Wilmette to create a continuous trail from Lake Bluff to Chicago (see map, gap shown in red).

This regional trail opportunity is a top priority for the Active Transportation Alliance. The connection could provide many north suburban families and residents with a low-stress,

Villa Park advocates build support for safer biking

Advocate and Village Trustee Bob Wagner is working with a core group of volunteers in the Village of Villa Park to promote bicycle safety and increase public awareness of the village’s recently-developed Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.

Active Trans partnered with the village to lead the effort in developing the master plan, which has three main goals:

⇒ Create better connections between the Illinois Prairie Path, Great Western Trail,