Did You Know?

While the Chicago region’s population grew by 18 percent since 1980, the traffic increased by 66 percent in the same period.

Will you join Mayor Rockingham?

Mayor Leon Rockingham wants to see his city of North Chicago become a better place for walking and biking.

He knows the residents of this Lake County community want safer streets and they want a healthier, cleaner place to live.

And like any community that wants to see these changes, he relies on the state to help.

The problem is that state lawmakers often seem to only care about people driving cars.

As legislators in Springfield mull a capital bill, Mayor Rockingham has joined a call for lawmakers to ensure that the bill funds walking and biking infrastructure.

While transportation projects will likely receive the lion’s share of the capital budget bill, early drafts of the bill don’t include any dedicated funding for walking and biking.

Rockingham makes his voice heard

“The City of North Chicago is geographically compact enough to be efficiently navigated by cycling or walking, provided that proper facilities and improvements are available,” Mayor Rockingham (pictured above) wrote in his recent testimony on the bill.

Providing funding in the bill for walking and biking projects, he explained, will “help communities, like North Chicago, build safer streets and trails [and] help lower transportation costs by providing individuals and families with options other than driving.”

Will you please join Mayor Rockingham in asking state lawmakers to include walking and biking projects in the capital bill? Already, state lawmakers have received more than 1,000 letters in support. It’s crucial that this initiative has support from people like you.

Your chance to boost walking & biking throughout the state

Out of what will likely be a multi-billion dollar bill, we’re asking that $50 million of the bill — a drop in the bucket — would go for walking and biking improvements. This tiny sliver of the budget would allow for building and extending biking and walking trails, creating pedestrian islands on busy streets and building bike lanes. Local governments could apply for grants to build and extend trails or make street improvements for vulnerable users on foot and on bikes.

Like many other local leaders, Mayor Rockingham knows that investing in trails and safe streets will make his city healthier, cleaner and more equitable. While cutting down on pollution and sedentary behavior, investing in walking and biking can lift the local economy and improve residents’ quality of life.

“To move away from the narrow perspectives of the past, it is essential to build and maintain our roads for healthy business districts, vibrant neighborhoods and high quality of life,” writes Rockingham in his testimony. “More importantly, we must remember to measure success on safety, choices and livability.”

Become a champion for safer, more convenient and more connected walking and biking options in Illinois. Let your elected officials know that any capital bill must include $50 million annually for safe streets and better trails.

Please act now: Gov. Pritzker and legislative leaders say they want to pass a major capital bill by the end of the current legislative session, May 31.