Author Archives: Maya Norris

What’s happening with the remaining section of the Weber Spur Trail?

The Weber Spur Trail on Chicago’s Northwest Side has been subject to a series of starts and stops over the last decade, resulting in slow, sporadic progress for the rails-to-trails project.

But the trail may finally be making some progress as the North Branch Trail Alliance re-engages local communities and stakeholders and works to ensure the project is top of mind with elected officials and government agencies.

The Weber Spur is a 2.7-mile trail that starts at Touhy Avenue in Lincolnwood,

Surveys help refine DuPage County Trails Plan

The DuPage County Department of Transportation recently completed a survey that will help inform a trails plan that is expected to be approved this year.

The new trails plan, which has been in development for several years, will focus on the maintenance and operations of nearly 100 miles of trails, including the Illinois Prairie Path, Great Western Trail and Southern DuPage County Regional Trail.

Sid Kenyon, a senior transportation planner for DuDOT,

North Shore Channel Trail extensions would bridge trail gaps

Walking and biking trails are dotted throughout Evanston. While many of Evanston’s residents take advantage of those trails, they also find them frustrating.

Many of the trails don’t connect to other local and regional trails, forcing people to walk and bike along dangerous and stressful roadways if they want to move from one trail to another.

But that may change if the Evanston Transit Alliance has its way.

The advocacy group is making progress on connecting the North Shore Channel Trail in Skokie to trails north of Evanston,

Community spirit pushes the Great Western Trail forward

The Great Western Trail, a 30-mile path tracing the legacy of the Chicago Great Western Railway, stands as a testament to advocacy and perseverance.

Broken into two segments due to geographical hurdles, this trail is a labor of love, continuously championed by the Friends of the Great Western Trail.

The newer of the two sections is 12.7 miles and runs between Villa Park and West Chicago in DuPage County,.

The older,

Illinois Prairie Path continues to grow and improve

Since its inception in the 1960s, Illinois Prairie Path has woven itself through DuPage, Kane, and Cook Counties. As one of the nation’s pioneering rail trail projects, this 61-mile trail network offers plenty for Chicagoland residents to be proud of.

From the beginning and continuing on to this day, advocacy and collaboration have been crucial to the success of this trail that serves as the centerpiece for Chicagoland rail trails.

In 1963,

The community drive behind the East Branch DuPage River Trail

In central DuPage County, a vision took root in the 1980s for a 28-mile regional trail meant to link communities and allow access to the natural environment west of I-355.

But progress on the trail was sluggish for many years.

Then trail development kicked into a higher gear when a group formed that was dedicated to completing the trail.

This north-south trail was originally conceptualized as an off-street non-motorized path for DuPage County residents west of I-355,

South suburban trails are about to get more connected

An expanded and more connected trail system is taking shape in the south suburbs.

We recently hosted a webinar that explored how the Cal-Sag Trail, Old Plank Road Trail, Illinois & Michigan Canal Trail, and Centennial Trail are improving their connectivity — expanding opportunities for nearby communities to reap the benefits of recreation, healthy lifestyles, and economic development.

Here’s what we learned.



Built almost entirely along the banks of the Cal-Sag Channel and the Calumet River,

Fare program helps commuters save on public transit costs

Good news for commuters. New legislation will enable more public transportation users to save on their daily commuting costs, making transit more affordable and accessible in metropolitan Chicago.

On July 28, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the Transportation Benefits Program Act into law. It expands the Regional Transportation Authority Transit Benefit Fare Program, which allows people to pay for transit and parking using pre-tax dollars. The legislation mandates employers with 50 or more full-time employees and located within 1 mile of a fixed-route transit service,

Chicago’s landmark ETOD ordinance marks one-year anniversary

Chicago is about to get an influx of affordable housing and businesses around mass transit over the next few years with help from the Connected Communities ordinance, which marks its one-year anniversary this month.

Elevated Chicago joined forces with Chicago Housing Commissioner Marisa Novara to successfully push for passage of this sweeping legislation that addresses racial inequity by catalyzing economic development near public transportation.

Elevated Chicago, a coalition of community organizations,

Walking and biking top Ald. Matt Martin’s agenda for the 47th Ward and beyond

The 47th Ward in Chicago has made significant progress in advancing pedestrian and bicycling safety over the last few years, thanks to the proactive efforts of Alderman Matt Martin.

And Martin says more is on the way as he continues to champion walking- and cycling-friendly infrastructure and policies that will benefit the constituents of his ward and beyond.

His steadfast commitment to making walking and bicycling safer in Chicago has earned Martin Active Transportation Alliance’s Safe Streets Champion award,