Keep up with the latest news on Active Trans and topics that we care about in the region.

City council hearing puts CTA problems front and center

Sep 20, 2022 | by W. Robert Schultz III

Active Trans recently joined with allies to mobilize around a city council hearing that shined a light on CTA’s recent service shortcomings and reliability problems.

Before the hearing, a press conference was held by aldermen, transit worker unions, and several organizations, including the Active Transportation Alliance. The same day our allies at Commuters Take Action rallied outside the CTA board meeting.

All these efforts together resulted in greater visibility for the serious issues currently afflicting our transit system.

Brookfield showcases its efforts to improve walking and biking

Sep 7, 2022 | by Maya Norris

The residents of the Village of Brookfield and neighboring towns got the chance to learn about the village’s current and future pedestrian and bicycle improvements during a recent walking tour and discussion that Active Transportation Alliance helped organize.

During the tour, village staff, local leaders, and community advocates shared behind-the-scenes stories about planning, funding, and building support for various active transportation initiatives around Brookfield, including the village’s bicycle boulevard — the first in the western suburbs.


CMAP’s road expansion plans contradict its own policies

Sep 7, 2022 | by David Powe

In recent months, the Active Transportation Alliance has been urging our regional planning agency to stop giving the green light to road expansion projects that are intended to alleviate congestion, yet end up worsening not just congestion, but climate change, safety, and equity.

At a recent hearing held by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), Active Transportation Alliance’s Director of Planning David Powe provided testimony on behalf of more than 400 people who responded to an action alert asking leaders to oppose the harmful and destructive roadway expansion plans.

More transit oriented development coming to South and West Sides

Aug 9, 2022 | by Active Trans

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,

Chicagoland leaders need to halt roadway expansion plans NOW

Aug 3, 2022 | by David Powe

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), which is responsible for comprehensive transportation planning in northeastern Illinois, is currently updating its list of regionally significant projects that are eligible for federal funding.

Unfortunately, the proposed list includes projects that would add nearly 300 miles of lanes to our region’s expressways and arterial streets, leading to a substantial increase in driving, millions of tons of additional CO2 emissions, and decreased safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.


Bringing it all together

Aug 2, 2022 | by Maya Norris

Violeta Valadka faced a dilemma that many ardent supporters of Bike the Drive face. What to do with all those Bike the Drive T-shirts she has amassed over the years.

Her inventive solution: Create a quilt out of those collectible T-shirts as a lasting memento of one of her favorite bicycling events of the year.

Valadka (pictured left) has been riding in Bike the Drive every year since the event debuted in 2002.


Advocates for safer walking and biking prevail: Speed camera threshold stays in place

Jul 20, 2022 | by Jim Merrell

Thank you to the aldermen who voted to reject efforts to raise the threshold for automated speed enforcement, which would have enabled dangerous speeding and put vulnerable roadway users at risk.

On July 20, a majority of aldermen defeated a measure that would have raised the threshold for speed camera ticketing, making it legal to travel 10 mph above the speed limit near parks and schools — during a time when there’s been a traffic safety crisis on our streets.


Sustainable transportation expert brings vast planning experience to new role

Jul 18, 2022 | by Maya Norris

David Powe is a self-professed transportation nerd — a moniker he wears proudly. After all, he has devoted his entire career to sustainable transportation planning and activism, shaping walking, biking, and public transit conditions in various cities across the United States to help create equitable, healthy, and thriving communities.

And now he brings that vast experience and deep expertise to Active Transportation Alliance as its new director of planning and technical assistance.

Powe (pronounced “po”) joined the organization in March,


Community comes together in Palatine for bike giveaway and safety checks

Jul 7, 2022 | by Active Trans

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.


A triumph for safe biking: City commits to concrete protected bike lanes

Jun 29, 2022 | by Jim Merrell

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Transportation announced plans to upgrade all existing protected bike lanes with new concrete curbs by the end of 2023, a big step toward creating a connected and protected bike network for Chicago. 

The announcement comes after years of grassroots advocacy calling for more robust barriers for Chicago’s bikeways, as well as recent mobilization efforts in response to a devastating string of fatal crashes,