Tag Archives: Advocacy

Join us for a vigil honoring Kevin Clark’s life and legacy

Jun 3, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

The family of Kevin Clark is hosting a vigil and press conference on Saturday, June 12, at 10 a.m. at the Logan Square Monument. Kevin was tragically hit and killed in May while riding his bike near Logan Boulevard and Western Avenue. Speakers will remember Kevin’s life and legacy and call for improving bicycling safety in Logan Square and neighborhoods throughout Chicago. We will also install a ghost bike memorial for Kevin near the crash site. Kevin was a drummer and music educator well known for his role in the 2003 School of Rock film starring Jack Black. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP to the Facebook event. When: Saturday, June 12, 10 a.m. Where: Logan Square Monument Hosts: Kevin’s Clark's Family, Active Transportation Alliance, and Chicago Ride...

Victory! Illinois legislators eliminate local match for walk/bike infrastructure

Jun 1, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

After many months of effort from advocates and legislators, the Illinois House and Senate passed a bill mandating that the state cover 100 percent of the cost of walking and biking infrastructure on state roads, just like they do for cars and trucks.  Active Trans championed the legislation along with Ride Illinois and the Metropolitan Planning Council. The bill is now being sent to Governor Pritzker’s desk and should be signed into law this summer. It passed with strong bipartisan majorities in both chambers.  HOW IT HAPPENED  Advocates from across Illinois stepped up to fight for this bill. Supporters filed more than 900 witness slips in advance of the bill being called in the house and more than 1,000 before the senate...

Why Illinois should eliminate the local match for walking and biking infrastructure

May 20, 2021 | by Active Trans

The following post is excerpted from George Fero's recent testimony before the Illinois Senate Transportation Committee about House Bill 270, which eliminates the 20 percent local cost share for walking and biking infrastructure. Fero serves as an alderman on the city council in Lebanon, a Southern Illinois town with about 4,500 residents. He also serves on the board of the statewide bike advocacy organization Ride Illinois and is vice-president of Gateway East Trails, his local walking and biking advocacy group. ___________________________________________________ The City of Lebanon, with a population of just under 5,000, is located at the eastern edge of metropolitan St. Louis, at the crossroads of US highway 50 and Illinois Route 4. Both highways are maintained by IDOT. We...

Take action now for more sidewalks and bike lanes on state roads

May 17, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

After passing in the Illinois House of Representatives last month, our bill — HB 270 — to eliminate the local cost share for walking and biking infrastructure on state roads has now passed out of committee in the Illinois Senate. But there's only two weeks left in the legislative session and we need to make sure it's called to the floor for a vote. ___________________________________________________ Please ask your senator to co-sponsor HB 270 and vote for it when it's called on the floor.  ____________________________________________________ Under current law, when the state is rebuilding a road, the state covers 100 percent of the cost of infrastructure for car and trucks, such as travel lanes and markings. But if the state’s analysis determines...

Rep. Buckner files bill to stop public financing of One Central development

May 10, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

The proposed One Central tower and transit hub on Chicago’s South Side is poorly conceived and wouldn’t increase transit access for the city’s highest need residents. Thankfully, State Rep. Kam Buckner has introduced a bill (House Bill 4075) to ensure the project doesn’t receive $6.5 billion in public funds. Buckner, whose district includes the site, says he’s heard from constituents opposed to the project and he’s angry that it was “rammed through without real conversations” with people who represent the area. WHAT IS ONE CENTRAL?  First proposed in 2019, the megadevelopment features a residential and commercial high-rise just west of Soldier Field on 31 acres decked over Lake Shore Drive and the Metra Electric tracks. It also would serve as a transit center with stops for Metra...

Suburban Chicagoland transit leaders prepare to change 

Apr 16, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

The heads of Metra commuter rail and Pace Suburban Bus agree the pandemic has changed suburban transit forever.   Now they’re preparing to adapt how they deliver service to the meet the new reality.  Metra CEO Jim Derwinski and Pace Executive Director Rocky Donahue spoke with Active Trans Executive Director Amy Rynell in our Transit Justice Forum on the Future of Suburban Transit. Leanne Redden, head of the Regional Transportation Authority that oversees Metra and Pace, presented about the approach the region is taking to this period of change. They were joined by U.S. Rep. Marie Newman to talk about the federal government’s role.  Alfred White also spoke, a suburban warehouse worker who struggles to access his job from his South Side home.  Watch the full recording and see highlights...

Inspiration and guidance for advocates in suburban communities

Mar 30, 2021 | by Maggie Melin Czerwinski

If you’ve ever considered pursuing a walking, biking, or public transit improvement project in your suburban community, you’ll find this series of videos to be a treasure trove of information. The Active Transportation Alliance recently hosted its first-ever virtual Suburban Action Week, featuring 25 short online talks and workshops with advocates, county staff, and community leaders throughout the region. Ten of the sessions focus on successful suburban campaigns to improve walking, biking and transit – from Elgin to Roseland to Brookfield and beyond. Advocates share advice on how to build relationships within a community, how to work effectively with elected officials, and how individuals can make a difference in their own towns. They describe their on-the-ground strategies for creating slow...

Action alert: More senators needed to co-sponsor bill to make state roads safer

Mar 26, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

The Illinois House is advancing Active Trans' bill to eliminate the local share of the costs for walking and biking infrastructure on state roads, but the state senate has yet to take action on it. We need your help to make sure the senate takes action. One way to show broad support is to recruit more co-sponsors of the legislation. Under current law, when the state of Illinois is rebuilding a road, the state covers 100 percent of the cost of infrastructure for cars and trucks, such as travel lanes and road markings. But if the state’s analysis determines a sidewalk, side path, or bike lane should be added and there’s community support for it, then the local community is...

Longtime staffer reflects on Active Trans’ achievements over the last 35 years

Mar 18, 2021 | by Maya Norris

2021 marks a historic milestone for the Active Transportation Alliance. The nonprofit celebrates its 35th anniversary this year in leading the charge to create a sustainable transportation landscape in Chicagoland that emphasizes safety and health. Active Trans has come a long way since it was founded in 1985 as the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation by a small group of advocates looking for ways to make bicycling safe and easier. Over the next 23 years, CBF grew into one of the largest and most prominent bicycle advocacy organizations in the country. In 2008, the organization took an important step forward by expanding its mission to include pedestrian and transit advocacy. As a result, it changed its name to Active Transportation Alliance. Longtime...

Action Alert: Help make state roads safer for people walking and biking

Feb 25, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

The transportation committee in the Illinois State House is considering a bill that would make roads safer for vulnerable users, and we need your help to make sure it passes. House Bill 270 eliminates the 20 percent local cost share for walking and biking infrastructure on state roads. The bill is scheduled to be called in committee on Monday, March 3, at noon. Under current law, when the state is rebuilding a road, the state covers 100 percent of the cost of infrastructure for car and trucks, such as travel lanes and markings. But if the state’s analysis determines a sidewalk, side path, or bike lane should be added and there’s community support for it, then the local community is...