Category Archives: Blog

A bus ride with 5th Ward alderperson candidate, Tina Hone

Mar 22, 2023 | by Courtney Cobbs

Safe Streets for All is a non-partisan campaign focused on engaging Chicago’s alderperson and mayoral candidates around significantly reducing traffic crashes, creating safe cycling and walking infrastructure, and improving public transportation in Chicago. As part of this campaign, we’ve been asking candidates to ride public transit with us and discuss these topics.   I recently had the opportunity to take a bus ride with Tina Hone, candidate for 5th Ward alderperson. The 5th Ward includes parts of Hyde Park, Woodlawn, and South Shore on Chicago’s South Side. Ald. Leslie Hairston served as 5th Ward alderperson since 1999 but decided not to run for reelection. Emerging from a field of 11 candidates, Tina Hone and Desmon Yancy were the top two...

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Chicago takes steps towards making our streets safer and buses faster

Mar 17, 2023 | by Julia Gerasimenko

Wednesday, March 15 marked a successful day in the fight for safer streets. Two important ordinances — the Complete Streets Ordinance and the Safe Streets Pilots Ordinance — were approved by Chicago City Council. But that’s not all. The Plow the Sidewalks ordinance was also introduced to city council and will be assigned to a committee as a next step towards a municipal sidewalk snow clearing pilot program.   These wins took years of organizing and agitation from advocates, activists, and elected officials alike. This victory was made possible by each person who emailed their alderperson, shared feedback on frustrating and unsafe experiences on the road, and testified in front of city council. While we still have a long way to...

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Take action now for intersections designed for people, not trucks

Mar 16, 2023 | by Ted Villaire

New legislation now being considered by the Illinois Senate would give local communities the ability to build intersections that are safer for people walking and biking. Now is your opportunity to let state lawmakers know that we have too many dangerous oversized intersections that often act as a barrier -- and a danger -- for people getting around without a car. Currently, local communities are required to build intersections that will accommodate the turning of a 65-foot truck, which means there’s no space left for people-friendly design features at the intersection. SB 2278 will address this shortcoming in Illinois law by allowing cities and towns to protect their residents by building safer intersections. Take action to ask your Illinois State...

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Bold solutions needed from state to address serious transit problems

Mar 15, 2023 | by Ted Villaire

At a recent hearing held by the Illinois Senate, the Active Transportation Alliance and other advocates urged lawmakers to step up with needed support for a host of transit problems, including a looming funding cliff and the need for better governance for the transit agencies. “The impending transit funding cliff forces us to ask hard questions about the structure of our future transit system,” said Audrey Wennink, senior director of transportation at Metropolitan Planning Council, in her testimony at the hearing. “In the next year legislators are going to be asked to make some important and tough decisions. Now is the time to be preparing for that.” During the hearing, Illinois Senate committee members heard from the leaders of the...

Groundwork begins for an e-bike incentive program

Mar 9, 2023 | by Maya Norris

Electric bicycles could have the potential to encourage more people to hop on two wheels as their primary mode of transportation, but their high costs remain a deterrent for many. That’s why Active Transportation Alliance and Ride Illinois are advocating for an e-bike incentive program in Illinois — the first type of program in the state that would offset the cost of purchasing an e-bike. Such a program could go a long way in harnessing the rising popularity of e-bikes and reaping the benefits of reducing greenhouse gases and other pollutants, reducing traffic congestion, and offering healthy, affordable mobility. Given the growing popularity of e-bikes, right now is a good time for exploring an incentive program: E-bikes outsold cars 2:1...

Progress made in Springfield for safer streets

Mar 7, 2023 | by Ted Villaire

This week state lawmakers considered several important bills that would make streets safer for people walking and biking. Thanks to quick responses from supporters like you, we made progress with moving some of the bills forward. A special thanks to Metropolitan Planning Council, Ride Illinois, and Chicago, Bike Grid Now! Here are the bills and where they currently stand.   LOWERING DEFAULT SPEED LIMIT IN ILLINOIS URBAN AREAS The committee asked for amendments to be made to HB 3530, and once amended, it will return to committee, likely within the next two weeks. Details about the bill Given that excessive speed is the most common factor in serious and fatal crashes, we know that one of the best ways to...

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Take action for safer streets and faster buses

Mar 2, 2023 | by Ted Villaire

Want to see speedier buses in Chicago and streets that are safer for people walking and biking? Now is your chance to get involved! A couple of ordinances up for a vote in Chicago City Council on Wednesday, March 15 would expand the infrastructure for people walking and biking and would help address the long-standing problem of drivers blocking bus lanes and bike lanes. These are the ordinances up for city council vote: Complete Streets Ordinance: When the department of transportation is resurfacing arterial streets, they would be required to make safety improvements for people walking, biking, and using transit. Safe Streets Pilots Ordinance: Would allow automated ticketing for drivers parked in bike lanes, bus-only lanes, bus stops, and crosswalks...

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Developing a holistic city-wide mobility platform for the Chicago election

Feb 23, 2023 | by Active Trans

In preparation for the coming election, Active Transportation Alliance held a series of focus groups in neighborhoods around the city to ask residents about their transportation challenges when walking, biking, or using transit. Over and over, we heard about frustrations with CTA's reliability and that people were often feeling unsafe, whether they were riding CTA, walking, or biking. The feedback from the focus groups helped inform the citywide platform on walking, biking, and public transportation that was developed by the Safe Streets for All coalition – a diverse group of organizations and voices. Valuable input for the platform also came from organizations like Chicago Family Biking, Commuters Take Action, and Chicago, Bike Grid Now! In addition to the input on...

Better bus service is a crucial election issue

Feb 14, 2023 | by Courtney Cobbs

The Active Transportation Alliance is part of the Safe Streets for All, Transit That Works coalition that is working to educate Chicago voters for the municipal elections on February 28 and April 4. The coalition developed a platform based on concerns and wishes for Chicago’s transportation landscape. While the platform covers a range of topics surrounding sustainable transportation, two of the top concerns of the platform are unreliable bus and rail service and slow bus service. Given the CTA operator shortage, it’s crucial for the CTA to attract and retain new transit operators. The Safe Streets for All, Transit That Works election platform recommends better compensation and schedules that allow for operators to have a healthier work-life balance. Providing restrooms...

Chicago, Bike Grid Now! pushes for easy-to-implement bicycle infrastructure

Feb 11, 2023 | by Maya Norris

Creating bicycle friendly infrastructure can often take years due to a lack of political will, scarcity of funding and frustrating government bureaucracy. But it doesn’t have to be that convoluted, according to Chicago, Bike Grid Now! The bicycle advocacy group is pushing for bicycle friendly, traffic-calmed streets that it says can be achieved sooner rather than later with minimal effort. Active Transportation Alliance recognized the impact that Chicago Bike Grid Now! has made in shining a light on the need for safer streets and successfully mobilizing residents to its cause by honoring the group with its Advocate of the Year Award at Active Trans’ annual member meeting in December. Chicago, Bike Grid Now! is advocating for 10 percent of Chicago...

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