Did You Know?

Chicago’s first protected bike lane on Kinzie St. increased ridership by 55 percent without increasing traffic congestion for cars.

Mayor Johnson’s transition report includes strong vision for walking, biking, and transit 

Mayor Brandon Johnson’s administration has an unprecedented opportunity to improve the lives of Chicagoans by expanding access to healthy, sustainable, and equitable transportation options.

Thoughtful, community-led policies, plans, and projects that make walking, biking, and public transit safer and easier can bring transformational impact to communities across the city.

During the 2023 municipal election cycle, Active Trans worked with dozens of civic and community partners to develop a shared vision for transportation equity in Chicago.

The Safe Streets for All – Transit that Works platform reflects conversations and listening sessions with dozens of residents from all walks of life, including seniors, young people, expectant mothers, and other populations poorly served by the current transportation system. You can learn more about how this agenda was put together here.

Recently, Mayor Johnson’s transition team released its report of policy recommendations for the new administration, including a section devoted to transportation.

Several members of the Safe Streets for All coalition participated on the transition’s transportation sub-committee, including Active Transportation Alliance, Access Living, and Better Streets Chicago.

We’re pleased to see many of the Safe Streets for All – Transit That Works priorities included in the transition committee’s report, including:

  • Developing a citywide network of bus rapid transit and dedicated bus lanes
  • Lowering speed limits to 20 mph on arterial streets and 10 mph on residential streets
  • Restricting right turns on red lights
  • Creating a connected and protected bike network
  • Developing a network of neighborhood slow streets
  • Creating a multi-disciplinary response to support the safety, health, and housing needs of people on transit
  • Working towards a municipal Plow the Sidewalks program
  • Limiting commercial traffic on residential streets
  • Citywide curb management program that addresses needs for deliveries, drop-offs, and accessibility
  • Adding new customer support personnel such as “transit ambassadors” to CTA’s staff
  • Better coordination among transportation agencies at different levels of government

The report also includes other important recommendations around equitable development along transit corridors (eTOD), a key tool for making our public transit system serve the people who need it the most.

These and other proposals in the report represent a bold departure from the inequitable and unsustainable path the car-centric status quo has led us down.

As we celebrate this important affirmation of our movement’s agenda, our work is truly just beginning.

Translating these recommendations into actual policies, plans, and projects will take persistent pressure from all of us. However, the transition report provides a strong foundation from which those of us fighting for equitable and sustainable transportation can build a cleaner and healthier future.

Learn more about how to get involved in Active Trans’ work to bring healthy, sustainable, and equitable transportation options to Chicago in our City Advocacy Webinar Friday, July 14.