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Did You Know?

A bicycle commuter who rides four miles to work, five days a week, avoids 2,000 miles of driving and about 2,000 pounds of CO2 emissions each year.

How to get money for biking and walking fixes in Chicago

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If you’ve been walking around your neighborhood lately thinking of all the ways walking or biking could be improved, now is a good time to contact your alderman and propose these changes.

Every year the City of Chicago allocates $1.32 million dollars in “menu money” to each alderman for use on capital improvements in their ward.

This budget is a primary source of funding for critical biking and walking improvements, using simple and elaborate solutions, ranging from in-road pedestrian stop signs, countdown crosswalk signals, bike lanes, new traffic lights and more. 

Aldermen receive recommendations from the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Department of Water Management on how to prioritize the menu budget, but they also depend on people like you to suggest projects that would improve your neighborhood.

Download our new guide on how to talk to your Alderman about using menu money to improve biking and walking in your neighborhood.

A growing number of Chicago wards use Participatory Budgeting to allocate menu money via a democratic, community-led process. Find a complete list of wards that use Participatory Budgeting and learn more about the process here.

Not sure what ward you are in or how to contact your alderman? Ward and contact information for all 50 members of the City Council can be found at ChicagoElections.com.

Download our new guide on how to talk to your Alderman about using menu money to improve biking and walking in your neighborhood.

This blog was contributed by Active Trans Advocacy Intern Andrew Hertzberg.