Category Archives: News Release

The community drive behind the East Branch DuPage River Trail

Dec 6, 2023 | by Maya Norris

In central DuPage County, a vision took root in the 1980s for a 28-mile regional trail meant to link communities and allow access to the natural environment west of I-355. But progress on the trail was sluggish for many years. Then trail development kicked into a higher gear when a group formed that was dedicated to completing the trail. This north-south trail was originally conceptualized as an off-street non-motorized path for DuPage County residents west of I-355, roughly running between Lombard and Glen Ellyn and connecting isolated pockets of forest preserves with parks, waterways and several municipalities. After a series of starts and stops over the last 20 years, the trail project gained momentum when Ginger Wheeler and Libby Ahern...


Celebrating progress at the annual member party

Dec 1, 2023 | by Ted Villaire

The Active Transportation Alliance's annual member party isn't just a gathering; it's a celebration of our community and our accomplishments, allowing us a moment to pause and renew our dedication to transforming Chicagoland into a hub for sustainable transportation. This year's event brought more than 100 individuals to the Revolution Brewing Taproom eager to laud the year's victories, forge new connections, and honor the efforts of advocates and volunteers. The volunteer awards showcased the outstanding contributions of people so generous with their time and energy. Kudos to the following people awarded for their volunteerism: Faraz Hussain: Volunteer Co-Manager of Volunteer Accommodations at Fifth Third Bike the Drive Kailen Lee: Set-up Super Volunteer for Fifth Third Bike the Drive Michael Schra:...


Protected bike lanes on the rise

Nov 30, 2023 | by Alex Perez

While Chicago still has a long way to go before it has a citywide, connected network of protected bike lakes (PBLs), it’s certainly making progress. In the past year, Chicago streets have benefited from a surge in the number of protected bike lanes. This not only boosts safety for everyone on the road, but also gets us closer to a future where biking becomes an inviting, stress-free experience for everyone, irrespective of age or ability. The rise in crashes involving people walking and biking across Chicago has triggered more awareness of the need for safer infrastructure on our streets. PBLs provide much-needed protection, but, unfortunately, the problem is that most PBLs have been built in short sections and fail to...


Fighting for a robust transit system, now and for decades to come 

Nov 13, 2023 | by Active Trans

Our region’s transit system is facing a pivotal moment.  While ridership is on the rebound from pandemic lows, service is not meeting rider needs and the system is heading towards a significant fiscal cliff. If you’re frustrated with transit service now, be warned that it will be far worse if this funding gap is not addressed. If we don’t intervene, our local transit systems will need to make drastic cuts that could be along the lines of: Four out of eight CTA train lines. 90 out of 129 CTA bus routes. 70 out of 210 Pace bus routes. Six out of 11 Metra lines. And we have to keep front and center the reality that if the region’s transit system...

Tired of waiting for a CTA train or bus? Take action for more service!

Nov 7, 2023 | by Julia Gerasimenko

We've long championed robust public transit as the backbone of urban sustainability and accessibility. Unfortunately, recent trends in service by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) present a worrying picture, not just for transit advocates but for every resident relying on public transportation. A concerning chart below from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) illustrates a stark reality: Overall transit service levels have been on the decline even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. CMAP data shows a staggering 29 percent reduction in CTA bus service since 2007. The local advocacy group Commuters Take Action found that CTA has reduced rail service 24 percent and bus service 13 percent since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This decline is more pronounced...


South suburban trails are about to get more connected

Nov 2, 2023 | by Maya Norris

An expanded and more connected trail system is taking shape in the south suburbs. We recently hosted a webinar that explored how the Cal-Sag Trail, Old Plank Road Trail, Illinois & Michigan Canal Trail, and Centennial Trail are improving their connectivity — expanding opportunities for nearby communities to reap the benefits of recreation, healthy lifestyles, and economic development. Here's what we learned.   CAL-SAG TRAIL Built almost entirely along the banks of the Cal-Sag Channel and the Calumet River, the Cal-Sag Trail stretches from Lemont in the west to Burnham in the east near the Indiana border. While most of the Cal-Sag trail is up and running, two segments are still incomplete. One unfinished section is located between Cicero Avenue...


IDOT asked to create a bold walking and biking plan

Oct 12, 2023 | by Maggie Melin Czerwinski

As the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) develops its state-wide plan for improving walking and biking, dozens of organizations and municipalities are urging the state to take a bold approach with the plan. Active Transportation Alliance has rallied together 69 organizations and municipalities that have expressed their support for a series of recommended policies and programs for IDOT to consider while developing its plan. Here are a few examples of policies and programs that could have a positive impact on active transportation projects throughout the state: Encourage IDOT to formerly endorse the National Association of City Transportation Officials' Urban Street Design Guide, which provides essential design principles for creating safe, multi-modal streets in urban areas. Provide communities with comprehensive grant...


New law requires CDOT to identify contributing factors in fatal crashes

Oct 5, 2023 | by Jim Merrell

The Chicago City Council recently adopted an ordinance outlining strengthened requirements for the city’s reporting on fatal crashes.   Spearheaded by 50th Ward Alderperson Debra Silverstein, the Fatal Crash Legacy Ordinance will require a detailed investigation after a fatal crash to identify contributing factors. The law requires Chicago Department of Transportation to develop a list of recommended safety improvements that can address any identified contributing factors.  This means survivors and advocates will have access to more detailed information as well as actionable steps on how to address underlying unsafe conditions on our roadways.   The ordinance also sets out requirements for citywide reporting on fatal crashes on both a monthly and annual basis.  Active Transportation Alliance was honored to provide expert testimony...

South Side trail updates and improvements

Sep 14, 2023 | by Olivia Borowiak

The South Side of Chicago has long suffered from a dearth of trails and green space. Thankfully, it's an issue that's getting more attention. Local community groups and government agencies are revitalizing vacant community spaces to create new trails and enhance existing trails as they seek to bring sustainable transportation options to these historically disinvested neighborhoods. Recently, Active Transportation Alliance hosted a webinar exploring the exciting improvements and new projects coming to these trails that will create long-overdue sustainable transportation options. Here are some of the projects highlighted in the webinar:   COOK COUNTY BIKE PLAN This year Cook County released its first-ever bike plan, which focuses on equitable investments to make bicycling more convenient and comfortable across the county....


Long-awaited Red Line Extension moves closer to reality

Sep 14, 2023 | by David Powe

After decades of anticipation, the CTA Red Line Extension (RLE) project is set to receive a nearly $2 billion injection of federal funding. The RLE will be a 5.6-mile expansion of CTA’s Red Line from 95th Street  to 130th Street on Chicago’s Far South Side. The project aims to foster thriving communities by connecting Far South Side residents to essential opportunities like education, employment, and healthcare. The Federal Transit Administration recently pledged a remarkable $1.973 billion through the New Starts program. The project can now move forward to the engineering phase (see timeline below). “Today is a great day for the South Side of Chicago,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “The Far South Side has been promised for...