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Did You Know?

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

Transport Chicago to feature bus & river trail campaigns

If you’d like to see better walking, biking, and public transit options in Chicago and its suburbs, you might be interested in joining the Transport Chicago conference on June 14 at the Merchandise Mart.

This one-day event is a great opportunity to speak with transportation professionals, learn more about a variety of initiatives, and speak up for healthy and sustainable transportation.

Toward that end, we’re excited to be leading two sessions on the agenda featuring our Back on the Bus and Chicago River Trail campaigns.

For our presentation called Back on the Bus: A Campaign for Transit Priority Streets (held 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.), we’ll explain why buses deserve priority on Chicago streets with dedicated bus lanes, and why they need priority at traffic signals and faster boarding.

As part of our Back on the Bus campaign, We’d like to see Mayor Lightfoot and City Council fund improvements on at least three high-ridership bus routes every year beginning in 2020. We’re also asking the new administration to get behind building at least 50 miles of new transit-priority streets with dedicated bus lanes and bus priority at traffic signals.

In this presentation, you’ll learn about Active Trans’ Bus Friendly Streets Report Cards, the equity impacts of lower quality bus service, and solutions for increasing the speed and reliability of CTA buses. Our partners will also discuss the important role bus service plays in the lives of neighborhood residents.

Our Perspectives on Rails-to-Trails Projects in Chicago presentation (2:45 to 3:45 p.m.) will feature updates on plans for the Englewood Line, El Paseo in Pilsen and Little Village, and the Weber Spur Trail on Chicago’s Northwest Side.

These trails would make it easier to walk and bike in several neighborhoods across the city and provide important connections to a continuous 27-mile Chicago River Trail. A complete trail would transform areas around the river into vibrant open space and connect people to jobs, shopping districts, and recreation opportunities.

During the presentation, we also will be discussing the important equity concerns raised by neighbors about environmental conditions and impacts of trails on local neighborhoods. Our community partners will discuss the specific opportunities and challenges presented by each project.

Because of the many public benefits a river trail would create, we’re callling on the City of Chicago to develop a comprehensive plan for trail completion by February of 2020, with the goal of a complete trail by 2025.

We hope to see you in the audience at Transport Chicago on June 14. You can register for the conference and view the agenda.

Active Trans is a sponsor of Transport Chicago; our staff serves on the planning committee.

If you’d like more information about the Back on the Bus and newly-launched Fair Fares campaigns, please contact Julia Gerasimenko, julia@activetrans.org.

To receive the latest news as well as opportunities to get involved, please join the Chicago River Trail campaign.