Category Archives: Blog

Chicago’s bike touring legend George Christensen will be honored at Ride of Silence

May 14, 2024 | by Active Trans

Chicago’s bicycling community lost a champion last month. George Christensen, a former bike courier who rode thousands of miles each year and traversed entire continents by bike, eloquently chronicling his adventures along the way, was tragically killed while riding in South Carolina. He was 73. On Monday, April 22, Christensen was on his latest epic bike trip, traveling up the Atlantic coast from Orlando, Florida and visiting Carnegie libraries – another one of his many passions – along the way. He was riding westbound on Highway 34, a few miles southeast of Ridgeway, South Carolina, when a semitruck driver, also traveling west, struck the back of his bike. Christensen died at the scene. The South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating the case. He will be commemorated this Wednesday,...


Join us May 15 for the Chicago Ride of Silence as we mourn lives lost

May 10, 2024 | by Ted Villaire

On Wednesday, May 15, all are invited to join a worldwide annual bicycle ride to honor the people killed while biking on public roadways. Rides will be held in Chicago, Downers Grove, Elgin, Elk Grove Village, Elmhurst, Evanston/Skokie, and Villa Park. See the full list of Illinois rides and details about how to participate. The event calls attention to the right of people to bike on the road and the urgent need for infrastructure that will make biking in Chicago safer and more welcoming for people of all ages and abilities. “These tragic deaths are preventable, especially on our neighborhood streets,” said Chicago Ride of Silence organizer Elizabeth Adamczyk. “This ride offers us a chance to mourn those who have...


State legislators introduce bill to transform Illinois transit 

Apr 30, 2024 | by Jim Merrell

Speaking at a press conference in the Great Hall of Chicago’s Union Station, Illinois State Senator Ram Villivalam and State Representative Eva-Dina Delgado unveiled a transformational package of legislation aimed at dramatically remaking how public transit is managed and funded in the state. Chief among the proposed reforms is combining the existing four regional transit agencies (the Regional Transit Authority, the Chicago Transit Authority, Pace, and Metra) into a new consolidated Metropolitan Mobility Authority. A companion appropriations bill would set aside a minimum of $1.5 billion each year from the State of Illinois in additional operating funds for Illinois transit agencies. “Sustainable public transportation supports livable, walkable communities, enables equitable and affordable access to opportunities, underpins a vibrant economy, and...

Tell city council: A lower speed limit in Chicago will save lives

Apr 23, 2024 | by Ted Villaire

Last year, 115 lives were tragically cut short in Chicago due to fatal car crashes. Excessive speed was a critical factor in nearly half of those incidents. With higher speeds, the likelihood of severe injuries or fatalities skyrockets. Because of the role speed plays in car crashes, lowering the speed limit even a small amount can have an outsized effect on road safety. (Please read our recent op-ed in the Chicago Sun-Times on this topic.) We are at a pivotal moment as local lawmakers consider reducing Chicago's default urban speed limit — a proven strategy that has made streets safer in cities around the nation. The Chicago City Council’s Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety will soon convene to discuss...


Make your voice heard for safer streets in Chicago

Apr 15, 2024 | by Ted Villaire

Over the past five years, the number of serious injuries and fatalities on our roadways has soared. Speed is typically a major culprit. If you want to see motorists traveling at safer speeds, please consider taking action by contacting your alderperson. Chicago City Council's Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety will hold a hearing on lowering the Chicago default speed limit on May 1. Please take a moment to urge your alderperson to support lower speed limits by sending them this action alert.   CHICAGO CITY COUNCIL HEARING ON REDUCING SPEED LIMITS The Chicago City Council hearing on May 1 will discuss lowering the citywide speed limit from the current 30 mph to 25 mph. It's an informational hearing and...


Celebrating progress at the Movers and Shakers Ball

Apr 12, 2024 | by Ted Villaire

The Active Transportation Alliance recently hosted an unforgettable evening that not only celebrated the strides we've made towards a more sustainable and accessible city but also set the stage for the transformative work ahead. The Movers and Shakers Ball — a gala event that brought together the city's most passionate advocates for walking, biking, and public transit — was a resounding success, thanks to the incredible support of our attendees and donors.   A CELEBRATION OF VISIONARY LEADERSHIP AND COMMITMENT The highlight of the event was presenting awards to three distinguished recipients, each of whom has made significant contributions to making our streets safer and our transit system more accessible.     7th District Illinois State Senator Mike Simmons (pictured...


Legislating for livable communities: Sen. Simmons to be honored for transportation leadership

Mar 26, 2024 | by Ted Villaire

State Senator Mike Simmons understands that improving transportation is about more than just getting from point A to point B; it's about transforming our communities into better places to live and work. By championing biking, walking, and public transit, Sen. Simmons is working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve public health, and save lives. It’s this commitment to enhancing our communities through healthy, equitable transportation that earned him the Visionary Leadership Award from the Active Transportation Alliance. The award will be presented to him at the Movers and Shakers Ball on April 4. Senator Simmons has enacted laws that prioritize sustainable transportation infrastructure and enhance public transit access for those who most need it. A perfect example of this is...


Bring Bike Month 2024 to your community!

Mar 26, 2024 | by Maggie Melin Czerwinski

Want to build more excitement for biking in your community? Last year, dozens of grassroots groups and towns celebrated Bike Month with fun bicycle-related events and activities. These groups infused their communities with the joy of biking through activities like community bike rides, social gatherings, and cookouts. Now you have the opportunity to do the same! Active Transportation Alliance is delighted to again offer a series of mini-stipends to support advocacy work and community-based events that celebrate biking during Bike Month in May 2024 — and beyond.   PROGRAM DETAILS This funding opportunity will award 10-15 stipends of $150 dollars each to advocates and organizations in the City of Chicago and the Chicago suburbs. Applicants are encouraged to organize inclusive...


Our journey towards better transit requires unity and action

Mar 19, 2024 | by Ted Villaire

As our region’s transit system faces unprecedented funding and service challenges, a powerful movement is underway, driven by the collective voices of those who know we deserve better service from our trains and buses. Our recent gathering at the Transit is Essential Town Hall, held at the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in the Douglas neighborhood, showed the transformative power of people connecting and sharing their stories. It was a moment when about 90 individuals from diverse walks of life—students, commuters, parents, and seniors—came together to hear about one another’s personal experiences and the challenges they face with our current transit system. The stories shared were poignant, painting vivid images of the struggles that come with unreliable public transportation.    ...

What’s happening with the remaining section of the Weber Spur Trail?

Mar 1, 2024 | by Maya Norris

The Weber Spur Trail on Chicago’s Northwest Side has been subject to a series of starts and stops over the last decade, resulting in slow, sporadic progress for the rails-to-trails project. But the trail may finally be making some progress as the North Branch Trail Alliance re-engages local communities and stakeholders and works to ensure the project is top of mind with elected officials and government agencies. The Weber Spur is a 2.7-mile trail that starts at Touhy Avenue in Lincolnwood, takes a southwestern route through LaBagh Woods and could connect to Elston Avenue’s bicycle lanes (see drone footage of the route). Suburban Lincolnwood built a one-mile stretch of the trail; now it’s up to the city of Chicago to...