Did You Know?

Half of school children walked or biked to school in 1969, but only 13 percent were doing it in 2009.

In the news


A big part of the work we do at the Active Transportation Alliance involves educating the public about our goals of better biking, walking and transit.

We're a trusted local authority on these issues, and that's reflected by the media coverage about our campaigns, advocacy work and events.

By getting the word out in local media, we invite more people to understand and support our mission.


Check out some of the recent coverage


Newsviews: Dockless bicycles in Chicago (ABC 7; May 2018)
Active Trans Deputy Executive Director Melody Geraci talks about what the dockless bikes pilot program could mean for the neighborhoods on Chicago's South Side.


Letter: Chicago must do more to prevent pedestrian deaths (Chicago Tribune; March 2018)
Active Trans Executive Director Ron Burke writes that one of the most effective ways to prevent crashes and save lives is to redesign streets with safety infrastructure, such as high-visibility crosswalks, refuge islands and bike lanes.


A Look At Active Trans' Transportation Platform for the 2018 Illinois Election (Streetsblog Chicago; February 2018)
Active Trans' 2018 Illinois Sustainable Transportation Platform reflects the group's efforts to shift state priorities from maintaining the car-oriented status quo to making positive changes for a safer, healthier, more sustainable and more equitable future.


Ride-sharing surges in Chicago, raising congestion worries (Chicago Tribune; February 2018)
Active Trans Executive Director Ron Burke is concerned that the growth in ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft may be increasing congestion on Chicago streets while cutting into public transit use.


How Should Chicago Spend Its Uber Tax? (City Lab; November 2017)
Since the Chicago City Council approved a 15-cent increase to each ride-sharing trip, Active Trans Government Relations Director Kyle Whitehead suggests that the Chicago Transit Authority use the money to improve bus service to reach more riders and make it a competitive mode of transportation.


Pedestrian advocacy group says city has no business fining pedestrians (Chicago Sun-Times; November 2017)
Active Trans Executive Director Ron Burke urges the City Council to create a Vision Zero Fund to bankroll street improvements that would discourage dangerous driving and protect pedestrians instead of enacting legislation that would fine people crossing the street while they are texting, reading emails, playing video games or talking on their cell phones.


As buses slow and ridership sinks, advocates look for ways to lure commuters back (Chicago Tribune; November 2017)
With bus ridership declining in Chicago, Active Trans released a new report on to how to get riders back on the bus, offering solutions such as prepaid boarding, bus-only lanes and giving buses traffic signal priority.


Letter: Want to curb traffic? Stop adding more highway lanes (Chicago Tribune; November 2017)
Active Trans Government Relations Director Kyle Whitehead writes that adding highway lanes may seem like a good idea to reduce traffic, but research and experience shows it only makes traffic congestion worse in the long run by inducing more people to drive.


Could legislation curb displacement along the 606? (Chicago Reader; August 2017)
Active Trans supports legislation that will prevent displacing low-income residents who live along the 606 trail, where rising property values, property taxes and rents are changing the demographics of the area. The legislation includes levying stiff fees on developers who demolish existing housing along the trail to make room for new buildings. The ordinance is part of a larger dialogue about how to holistically plan trails and transit-oriented development that include measures to prevent displacement and preserve affordable housing.


Chicago's Dearborn & Randolph Protected Intersection (Streetfilms; July 2017)
Active Trans Government Relations Director Kyle Whitehead talks about how the innovative features of the protected intersection at Dearborn and Randolph Streets will make it safer for pedestrians and bicyclists who traverse this busy corridor of Chicago's business district.


Cyclists face barriers in car-centric Chicago suburbs: study (Chicago Tribune; July 2017)
While Bicycling magazine named Chicago the most bike-friendly U.S. city in 2016, the car-centric Chicago suburbs still have a ways to go to encourage both cycling and walking. A report from Active Trans identified five problems for suburban cyclists, including that few suburbs have bike- and pedestrian-friendly policies in place and large gaps in the regional trail network.


Key Safety Changes Planned for Busy Milwaukee Ave Corridor In Wicker Park, But Barely Any Bike Lanes (Chicagoist; July 2017)
The Chicago Department of Transportation plans to revamp the busy intersection at Milwaukee, Damen and North Avenues to make it safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. Advocates and residents agree that the plan is a strong introductory initiative, but they want to see a commitment to more high-quality protected bike lanes sooner rather than later. It's a great first step, said Jim Merrell, advocacy director for Active Trans. We think it's a great platform for us to stand on moving forward to secure the bigger capital improvements sooner than five or 10 years down the road — because those crashes are happening today on the corridor.


City trucks will install guards to protect bicyclists, pedestrians: Rahm (DNAinfo; June 2017)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel supports a measure that requires large trucks working on big projects for the city to install side guards in an effort to prevent pedestrians and bicyclists from being run over by the truck's rear wheels. Active Trans is pleased with the ordinance, but is disappointed it won't be fully in place until 2021. In the meantime, Active Trans will continue to work with city officials to encourage private firms to install the guards and convex mirrors, which studies show help reduce the risk of fatal and serious injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists.


Steve Dale's Other World: Buses, Trains, Bikes and Legs (WGN Radio; June 2017)
Active Trans Government Relations Director Kyle Whitehead spoke with WGN's Steve Dale aboout the best ways to get more people to walk, ride bicycles and take public transit.  


City releases Vision Zero plan aimed at preventing roadway deaths, injuries (Chicago Tribune; June 2017)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel released Chicago's long-awaited three-year Vision Zero plan, with the goal of reducing roadway crashes and ultimately eliminating traffic deaths over the next decade. Active Trans Executive Director Ron Burke praised Vision Zero for laying a strong foundation for making real progress. Active Trans consulted with the city on the plan.   


$4 billion plan to widen Tri-State won't require tax money, toll hike: officials (Chicago Tribune; April 2017)
The Illinois Tollway Board voted in favor to widen the busy central Tri-State, an amibitious $4 billion project the agency says can be funded without tax money and without increasing tolls. Active Trans Executive Director Ron Burke questioned the need for the expansion. Research shows that new and widened roads in urban areas exacerbate traffic congestion in the long term by inducing more driving that over time fills in the additional space, according to Burke.  


'Biking while black': Chicago minority areas see the most bike tickets (Chicago Tribune; March 2017)
As Chicago police ramp up their ticketing of bicyclists, more than twice as many citations are being written in African-American communities than in white or Latino areas, according to a Chicago Tribune review of police statistics.   


What's Wrong with the Bus? New Campaign Underway to Stop Ridership Decline (DNAinfo; March 2017)
With a $150,000 grant from the New York-based nonprofit Transit Center, Active Trans has launched the Speeding Up Chicago Buses campaign to increase bus ridership in the city.   


ATA Blasts Outrageously Weak Cann Sentence, Launches Petition Drive (Streetsblog Chicago; January 2017)
Active Trans and other safe streets advocates have voiced frustration with the mere 10-day jail sentence given to driver Ryne San Hamel, who killed fallen cyclist Bobby Cann in May 2013 while speeding and drunk. In response, Active Trans launched a petition drive. The nonprofit is asking Cann family supporters and Active Trans members to sign a letter to local law enforcement officials and judges, calling on them to do more to hold reckless and drunk drivers accountable.   


Creating separate bike, pedestrian lakefront paths may be tricky in spots (Chicago Tribune; January 2017)
Separation of the 18-mile Chicago Lakefront Trail into separate bicycle and pedestrian paths will raise its own design puzzles. That's because parts of the lakefront are more pinched than others. It will take ingenuity and compromise to create separate paths.     


Finally, CDOT plans safer cycling access to Big Marsh (Chicago Reader; December 2016)
Transportation advocacy groups, including Active Trans, applauded the Chicago Department of Transportation's announcement that it will install bike lanes on some key roadways leading to Big Marsh, the 278-acre Southeast Side nature reserve and bike park. Cycling advocates are generally thrilled with Big Marsh, but they have repeatedly expressed concerns about how dangerous it can be to cycle to the park because nearby roads have high-speed traffic and large numbers of trucks.     


Ambitious proposal would make Chicago River the city's new backyard (Chicago Tribune; October 2016)
Active Trans lays out a bold vision in a report suggesting ways to make a continuous bike and pedestrian trail along the entire 27-mile Chicago River by 2030. The nonprofit contends that off-road trails are the best way to get people to consider getting around by biking or walking. In addition, a trail along the whole river would benefit tourism, the local economy, public health and the environment. About 35 percent of the city's population, or 945,000 people, live within a mile of the river.    


Floating Trail System Could Help Create 27-Mile Chicago River Path By 2030 (DNAinfo; October 2016)
Active Trans' newly released RIver Trail Action Plan envisions the development of a continuous 27-mile riverfront trail along the Chicago River by 2030. A continuous river trail would spur economic development, create opportunities for recreation and transportation, and connect neighborhoods to one another.  


Active Trans Wins $150K Grant to Help Accelerate Slow Chicago Bus Service (Streetsblog Chicago; October 2016)
Transit Center, a New York-based foundation dedicated to improving urban mobility, awarded Active Trans a $!50,000 grant to fund its Speeding Up Buses campaign. The project involves Active Trans working with the CTA and the Chicago Department of Transportation to eliminate some of the roadblocks to faster transit and higher ridership on the city's buses.  


Chicago Ranked Most Bike-Friendly City in U.S. (CBS Chicago; September 2016)
Chicago earned the top spot as the most bike-friendly city on Bicycling magazine's annual list. The magazine cited the city's growing network of protected bike lanes and its expansion of the Divvy bike-sharing program into low-income neighborhoods in the South and West Sides.  


New Illinois Bike Law Gives Bicyclists Same Rights as Drivers (DNAinfo; August 2016)
The Illinois Legislature passed a bill strengthening the rights of bicyclists by clarifying that cyclists have the same right-of-way traffic rights as drivers of cars and trucks.  


New Campaign Aims to Curb Dangerous Bike Lane Blockers (Chicagoist; August 2016)
Active Trans launches the Clear the Way campaign, urging Chicagoans to call 311 and send photos and a brief description to Active Trans when they encounter dangerous blockages on bike lanes and sidewalks.  


What should we do when bike lanes are modified? (WGN Radio; August 2016)
Active Trans Executive Director Ron Burke spoke to WGN Radio about improving bike safety, what should be done when bike lanes are changed because of construction, and how education can lead to fewer crashes and fatalities.  


South Side Lakefront To Get Separate Paths For Bikes, Pedestrians (CBS Chicago; August 2016)
Active Trans Executive Director Ron Burke lauds the city for creating separate lakfefront paths for bicyclists and pedestrians on the South Side. The project will relieve congestion on the paths and help prevent collisions between joggers and cyclists.  


Seeking a bigger voice on transit, freight issues, Cook offers transportation plan (Chicago Tribune; July 2016)
Active Trans Executive Director Ron Burke praises Cook County's new transportation plan for giving priority to walking, biking and public transit and recognizing those modes of transportation as crucial to the county's long-term future.  


All New Cars To Have Significant Autonomous Vehicle Technology (Forbes; June 2016)
Active Trans hosts a forum examining the impact of driverless cars on walking, biking, public transit and suburban sprawl.    


Chicago Gears Up For Annual 'Bike Commuter Challenge' (WBEZ 91.5 Chicago; June 2016)
Active Trans Registration Manager Sean Blay promotes the Bike Commuter Challenge, the annual competition sponsored by Active Trans that encourages Chicago-area workplaces to get their employees to bike to work for bragging rights and prizes.  


Why it's so hard to make bike trails (Daily Herald; June 2016)
Bike trails are difficult to build because they are expensive and require cooperation among various government agencies — a task Active Trans helps to facilitate as part of its mission.  


Big Marsh could be a terrific bike park, but it's not yet safe to pedal there (Chicago Reader; May 2016)
Because Big Marsh Bike Park is not easily accessible by walking, bicyclng and public transit, Active Trans collaborated with Slow Roll Chicago and the Pullman Porter Museum on an access study that recommends improvements such as installing bike lanes and adding wayfinding signs. 


Advocates Want A Bike Path To Connect The Chicago River's North And South Branches (Chicagoist; March 2016)
Active Trans Campaign Director Jim Merrell touts the benefits of building a bike path along the Chicago River.


Active Trans Celebrates 30 Years With a New Commitment to Healthy Streets (Streetsblog Chicago; February 2016)
Active Trans marks its 30th anniversary in February 2016 with a fundraiser at Germania Place, celebrating its achievements and outlining its vision for the future. 


Experts and Advocates Weigh in on Rauner's Proposal to Widen the Stevenson (Streetsblog Chicago; February 2016)
In the wake of Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposal to add new lanes to the Stevenson Expressway to ease traffic congestion, Active Trans Executive Director Ron Burke argues for investments that reduce car-dependent travel. 


Winter Bike to Work Day is Friday (Redeye; January 2016)
Active Trans encourages bicyclists to get their bikes out of storage and brave the cold for the annual Winter Bike to Work Day and Winter Bike Challenge. 


New Skokie policy sets 'Complete Streets' standards (Chicago Tribune; January 2016)
Active Trans is working with Skokie to develop the village's Complete Streets policy, which prioritizes the needs of pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users. 


Video: See Why Cycling in Chicago Without A Bike Light Is Dangerous (Chicagoist; October 2015)
Active Trans Education Specialist Jason Jenkins shares why bike lights are crucial safety devices for bicyclists riding at night and what to look for when buying bike lights. 


Build more and better bike lanes, cycling advocates urge Chicago (Chicago Tribune; October 2015)
Active Trans' report Bikeways for All proposes 180 miles of new low-stress bike routes. 


Active Trans offers freebies, not just deductions, if you donate your car (Chicago Sun-Times; September 2015)
Residents who donate their cars to Active Trans not only get a tax deduction but also receive free memberships to the Divvy bike share program and Enterprise CarShare program as well as other incentives.


Amtrak expands rails-to-trails service for cyclists (Chicago Tribune; September 2015)
Active Trans Deputy Executive Director Melody Geraci commends Amtrak for offering its roll-on, roll-off service, allowing bicyclists to easily walk their bikes on to the train and lock them on to a rack.


CDOT Says It Will Keep Kinzie Protected Bike Lanes in Place (Curbed Chicago; September 2015)
Active Trans successfully mobilized more than 1,400 people to contact the City Council to request that the protected bike lanes on Kinzie Street in the River West neighborhood remain in place.


Explore Chicago on the Boulevard Lakefront Tour (WGN Radio; August 2015)
WGN Radio interviewed Active Trans Executive Director Ron Burke about the recent bikes on trains victory with the South Shore Line commuter train. He also discusses our BLT ride.   


Tracing the Urban Transportation Revolution (Next City; July 2015)
Discussion of a new report that looks at the key role advocacy organizations like Active Trans play in spurring transportation innovations. 


Chicago’s shared streets, efforts to boost biking (WTTW's Chicago Tonight; July 2015)
Active Trans Executive Director Ron Burke participates in a panel discussion about the Argyle shared street project and other topics related to biking in Chicago.

Active Transportation Alliance: Allow bikes on South Shore Line (Chicago Sun-Times; June 2015)
Active Trans gave the agency that operates the South Shore Line the Broken Spoke Award for being the only commuter train in the nation that doesn't allow bikes on board. 

Work begins on Clybourn protected bike lanes
(NBC 5; June 2015)
Active Trans weighs in on the benefits of curb-protected bike lanes on Clybourn in Chicago. 

Can Six Corners become a more bike-friendly intersection? Plan underway
(DNAinfo; April 2015)
Active Trans is involved in the effort to make the Six Corners safer for pedestrians and a great shopping center once again.


Group seeks more money to protect kids from cars near schools (Chicago Sun-Times; April 2015
Active Trans is asking Illinois legislators to put more money into a program aiming to reduce the danger of children getting hit by cars within a block of schools.


Rauner's budget aims to run transit funding off the rails (Crain’s Chicago Business; March 2015)
Active Trans’ Executive Director Ron Burke tells us how Gov. Rauner’s new budget will hurt Illinoisans.


Why Chicago needs bus rapid transit on Ashland (Chicago Sun Times; March 2015)
Our own Ron Burke and Vice President for Policy at the Center for Neighborhood Technology Jacky Grimshaw discuss the benefits of having rapid transit on Ashland.


Active Transportation Alliance pushing back to save red-light cameras (Chicago Sun Times; March 2015)
We make the case that red light cameras can improve safety.


Bike Path Will Link Edgewater to Joliet, and Nearly All of It Is Off-Road (DNAinfo; April 2015)
The Lakefront Trail is about to be connected to several other bike paths that bring it to a total of 74 miles that end in Joliet.


Illiana opponents deliver petitions to the governor (Daily Southtown; February 2015)
Active Trans was among the groups that delivered 
boxes of petitions bearing 12,856 signatures to Gov. Bruce Rauner's Chicago office this week urging him to kill this project.


Active Trans Wants Candidates to Commit to Working for Safer Streets (StreetsBlog Chicago; January 2015)
We asked Chicago mayoral and aldermanic candidates to endorse a platform for making Chicago a better place for walking, biking and transit. 


It's on: Winter biking contest starts Saturday in Chicago (Redeye Chicago; January 2015)
Active Trans launches Chicago's first winter bike commuting competition. 


Lack of Sidewalks Makes Walk to Only Area Grocery Dangerous, Residents Say (DNAinfo; January 2015)
Active Trans is partnering up with Riverdale residents to encourage their alderman to provide safe sidewalks. 


Interview with Active Trans Deputy Director Melody Geraci and CDOT Commissioner Scheinfeld (WTTW's Chicago Tonight; January, 2015)
Geraci and Scheinfeld discuss the state of biking in Chicago and what can done to enhance bike safety.


Lakefront Trail Twitter Account Keeps Riders, Runners, Walkers Informed (; Februrary 2015)
Thanks to Active Trans, users of the country's busiest trail can follow trail news on Twitter. 


Chicago's most dangerous intersections for pedestrians (Chicago Tribune; October 2014)
As a part of the launch of our Safe Crossings pedestrian safety campaign, we released a list of 20 of the most dangerous intersections in Chicagoland.


Split lakefront path for cyclists, pedestrians: survey (RedEye; October 2014) 
Following a survey about ways to improve the Lakefront Trail, Active Trans says in this article that alternative modes of transportation are vital to the corridor.


Metra eases bike ban but still reserves right to boot cyclists (Chicago Sun-Times; September 2014)
This article highlights our work with Metra to loosen its bikes-on-trains policy, an issue we hear about often from members.



Despite 2009 law, pedestrians still in danger crossing streets (Daily Herald; September 2014) 
We studied 52 crosswalks throughout the region and found that most drivers don't stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, even though it's the law. 


Checkerboard City: South Siders need a sidewalk (New City; July 2014)
Highlights our work with a group of residents on the far south side of Chicago who are trying to get a badly needed sidewalk installed in their neighborhood. 


NewsViews: Active Transportation Alliance and AAA (ABC/Channel 7; June 2014)
ABC features our partnership with AAA to remind motorists and people on bikes to share the road and roll together.