Did You Know?

Although people of color make up about one third of the population, they make up 46.1 percent of pedestrian deaths.

Learn the ins and outs of improving transportation in your suburb

Join us in February for a week-long mobilization event aimed at creating better walking, biking, and transit in Chicagoland’s suburban communities.

Suburban Action Week, taking place February 15 – 20, will feature a series of short online talks and workshops with advocates, county staff, and community leaders from the region.

Whether you are new to advocacy, a seasoned leader, or anywhere in between, if you are interested in seeing improved transportation options in your community, we encourage you to register and attend the free virtual event.

Throughout Suburban Action Week, you can participate in a variety of sessions:

  • County updates. Hear about recent and upcoming walking, biking, trail, and transit projects happening in your county directly from county departments of transportation, councils of mayors, forest preserves, and other agencies.
  • Advocacy advice. Get tips and advice on best practices from advocates who have carried out campaigns to improve walking, biking and transit in their communities. Hear from several successful groups, including one that helped secure $150,000 in funding for a trail and another that helped its village launch a slow streets pilot program during the pandemic.
  • Trainings & workshops. Attend workshops aimed at increasing your capacity and effectiveness as an advocate. Workshop topics include promoting pedestrian and bicyclist safety through public art, creating an inclusive community engagement plan, and learning the ins-and-outs of how a project gets engineered and built.

For those new to transportation advocacy or for those interested in building a campaign from scratch, on Saturday, February 20th, we will be hosting an Advocacy Training 101 workshop. The session will provide step-by-step instructions on how to build a base of supporters from the community, how to activate this base, and how to engage elected officials to make positive change happen.

Following the advocacy training on Saturday, we will close out the week with an afternoon call to action that will include advocates from around the region, with updates from Ride Illinois, Active Trans, and other attendees.

The full program for the week is below. By registering, you’ll receive links to all of the sessions and you can choose what to attend. If you are unable to attend a session you are interested in, we will be recording all presentations and sharing them afterwards.

Each county update and advocacy talk is expected to run approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Most workshops and trainings on Saturday, February 20, will each run about one hour in length.

Suburban Action Week Program (all sessions are virtual)

Monday, February 15

  • Noon. Pace Bus Update
  • 2 p.m. Q&A with Daily Herald Biking Columnist Ralph Banasiak 
  • 3 p.m. Coffee Chat with Suburban Community Leaders Alderwoman Abby Beck and Mayor Sergio Rodriguez

Tuesday, February 16

  • 10 a.m. Will County Update
  • Noon. Advocacy Talk: Cycle Brookfield
  • 1 p.m. Advocacy Talk: Elgin Community Bikes 

Wednesday, February 17

  • 9 a.m. Coffee Chat with Executive Directors Amy Rynell (Active Trans) and Dave Simmons (Ride Illinois)
  • 11:30 a.m. DuPage County Update
  • 2 p.m. McHenry County Update
  • 3 p.m. Lake County Update
  • 7:30 p.m. Advocacy Talk: East Branch DuPage River Trail

Thursday, February 18

  • Noon. Advocacy Talk: Midwest Sustainability Group (Lake County)
  • 2 p.m. Advocacy Talk: McHenry County Bicycling Advocates
  • 2:15 p.m. Advocacy Talk: Cycling Without Age
  • 3 p.m. Cook County Bike Plan Update
  • 7:30 p.m. Advocacy Talk: Bike Walk Oak Park

Friday, February 19

  • 11 a.m. Kane and Kendall Counties Update
  • Noon. Ask an Artist: Promoting Pedestrian & Cyclist Safety through Public Art
  • 2 p.m. Metra Rail Update
  • 3 p.m. Advocacy Talk: Coalition for a Modern Metra Electric
  • 4 p.m. Cook County Transit Plan Update 

Saturday, February 20

  • 10 a.m. to noon. Suburban Advocacy Training 101
  • 1 p.m. to 1:50 p.m. Inclusive Community Engagement Workshop
  • 2 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. Ask an Engineer: How Projects Get Built with Christopher B. Burke Engineering
  • 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. General Gathering + Call to Action with Active Trans & Ride Illinois

Suburban Action Week speaker line-up

  • Alderwoman Abby Beck, City of Batavia
  • Amy Rynell, Executive Director, Active Transportation Alliance
  • Andrea Reed, Executive Director, Greater Roseland Chamber of Commerce & Co-chair, Coalition for a Better Metra Electric
  • Alex Perez, Advocacy Manager, Active Transportation Alliance
  • Barbara Klipp, Executive Director, Midwest Sustainability Group
  • Benet Haller, Transit Manager, Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways
  • Charlotte O’Donnell Obodzinski, Department Manager, Priority Project Management Office, Pace Bus
  • Chris Valadez, Cycle Brookfield
  • Cori Crawford, Planning Coordinator, Will County Forest Preserve
  • Dave Simmons, Executive Director, Ride Illinois
  • Eberhard Viet, President, McHenry County Bicycling Advocates
  • Elaine Bottomley, Director of Transportation, Will County Governmental League
  • Emily Daucher, Planning Liaison, McHenry County Council of Mayors and Division of Transportation
  • Ginger Wheeler, Friends of the East Branch DuPage River Trail
  • Greg Glover, Cycling Without Age
  • Jackie Forbes, Chief of Planning and Programming & Council Director, Kane County Division of Transportation and Kane/Kendall Council of Mayors
  • Jim Merrell, Managing Director of Advocacy, Active Transportation Alliance
  • Kevin Carrier, Director of Planning and Programming, Lake County Division of Transportation
  • Libby A’Hearn Gilmore, Friends of the East Branch DuPage River Trail
  • Linda Thisted, Co-chair, Coalition for a Better Metra Electric
  • Maggie Czerwinski, Advocacy Manager, Active Transportation Alliance
  • Maggie Daly Skogsbakken, Chief Communication Officer, Pace Bus
  • Mary Fedorowski, Chicago Artist, Founder, Overbite Studio
  • Michael Gillis, Director of Communications, Metra
  • Mike Kerr, President, Christopher B. Burke Engineering
  • Parker Thompson, Elgin Community Bikes
  • Ralph Banasiak, Daily Herald Biking Columnist, Along for the Ride
  • Randy Seebach, Director of Planning and Land Preservation, Lake County Forest Preserves
  • Ryan Peterson, Transportation Planner, McHenry County Division of Transportation
  • President Sergio Rodriguez, Village of Summit
  • Sid Kenyon, Senior Transportation Planner, DuPage County Division of Transportation
  • Steve Johnson, Friends of the East Branch DuPage River Trail
  • Sylvia Schweri, Bike Walk Oak Park
  • Terri Rivera, Cycle Brookfield
  • Tomo Music, Transportation Planner, Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways
  • Troy Simpson, Regional Planning Liaison/Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator, Kane/Kendall Council of Mayors and Kane County Division of Transportation

Suburban Action Week is part of our Bike Walk Every Town suburban advocacy program, which is dedicated to supporting the efforts of suburban advocates interested in improving walking, biking, and transit in their communities. Contact Maggie Czerwinski at with questions or check out our suburban advocacy webpage for resources, tips, tools, webinar recordings, and more.