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

Mayoral candidates talking up biking, transit

I think our efforts to persuade Chicago’s mayoral candidates to support Active Transportation are paying off as they are starting to talk about the importance of biking, walking and transit.

For example, yesterday Rahm Emanuel announced a modest plan to encourage city employees to bike, take transit and share cars. “I used to take the Brown Line from my home … when I was working downtown. I used to take the Blue Line in from the airport … when I was going to … and from Washington. I plan, as mayor, to continue periodically to take mass transit. I also will walk. I’m a big biker, too. You have to do it by example.”

Back in November, a Sun Times story described how Active Trans wants the next mayor to support and strengthen Mayor Daley’s efforts to promote biking and walking. Miguel del Valle responded by saying he wants Chicago to be one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the world.

Carol Mosely Braun’s web site says she supports measures to double bicycle usage and transit rider ship, although there aren’t many details.

Active Trans has asked each mayoral candidate to support the Sustainable Transportation Platform, which we released with ally groups before Christmas. You can read the Platform and urge the candidates to support it here. Please take a moment to add your name to the list of supporters! You can also help by attending candidate forums or other opportunities to meet the candidates and telling them you want better biking, walking and transit in Chicago.

We requested meetings with all of the official candidates, and to date have meetings scheduled with (in alphabetical order) Carol Mosely Braun, Miguel Del Valle, Rahm Emanuel, and Patricia Watkins. Other candidates include William Walls III and Gery Chico, according to the Chicago Board of Elections.

I am optimistic that we’ll see candidates proclaim support for the Platform.

Stay tuned.
 

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