Tag Archives: Advocacy

River trail coalition supports connected South Branch

Jul 17, 2019 | by Steve Simmons

The Chicago River Trail coalition is making sure local partners shape plans for better walking, biking and access to transit along the South Branch. Active Trans' campaign for a continuous river trail relies on the expertise of local partners to determine the location of trails and safe access points for people walking and biking. During a recent gathering at the Eleanor Street Boathouse (pictured) in Bridgeport, coalition members got behind a vision for safe walking and biking advanced by the South Branch Framework Plan, a year-long initiative led by the South Branch Park Advisory Council. We're excited the plan highlights several neighborhood-backed concepts that'll improve walking and biking between Pilsen, Bridgeport, and McKinley Park. Adding a riverfront trail that connects...

Take our survey to connect Belmont to Diversey via trail

Jul 10, 2019 | by Steve Simmons

Because trails are emerging quickly along the Chicago River, it's urgent we push for connections between them now so they will link people to jobs, shopping districts, and recreational opportunities. One place we're working to extend the Chicago River Trail is on the North Side between Belmont and Diversey Avenues. Two riverfront paths are on the verge of being completed here: the 312 RiverRun (see photo left) and Lathrop Homes trail. However, a one-mile gap between them will exist after these trails are built. And if you've ever walked or biked along Belmont Avenue near the river, you know how treacherous it can be for people walking and biking. It's inevitable that the number of people walking and biking in...

Advocates urge Lightfoot to explore congestion pricing

Jul 2, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

Active Trans joined a coalition of advocates in calling on Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to make the city’s ride-hailing fee more equitable and analyze possible congestion pricing options. In a letter sent to Mayor Lightfoot and relevant committee chairs, the group argues that changes to the fee structure would encourage more people using sustainable transportation options, such as shared rides, walking, bicycling, and public transit. Transportation is the leading contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the country. In Illinois, more than half of all emissions come from the Chicago area. Also signing the letter was the Metropolitan Planning Council, Center for Neighborhood Technology, Shared-Use Mobility Center, Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development, and Via ride-share service. HOW TO REFORM RIDE-HAILING AND...

Lincoln Park resident works for a safer Dickens Ave.

Jun 26, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

Stephanie Sims, a Lincoln Park resident and Active Trans Ambassador, is using her training to rally her neighbors to support the proposed Dickens Neighborhood Greenway. Sims is circulating a petition urging 43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith to make the project a top priority. When Sims was recently trained to be an Active Trans Ambassador, she learned the ins and outs of organizing support for walking, bicycling, and public transit improvements in her neighborhood. If you live in the 43rd Ward, you can sign Stephanie's petition today. Use Active Trans' legislator lookup tool to confirm you ward. Interested in becoming an Active Trans Ambassador in your community? Sign up for our last training of the summer on July 24. Neighborhood greenways...

Enhancing Lake Calumet area connections

Jun 25, 2019 | by Matt Gomez

Getting around in the communities surrounding Lake Calumet on Chicago's Far South Side is an enormous challenge without a car. A lack of public transit options, few bicycle trails, and inadequate pedestrian infrastructure make traveling without a car between communities like Riverdale, Roseland, and Pullman frustrating and often risky. Obstacles like heavy industry, highways, rail tracks, and waterways cut off most of these neighborhoods from neighboring communities. The good news is that solid ideas have been developed for improving the walking, biking, and transit connections between these places. Improving these connections would not only boost transportation and recreation options for residents, but also would advance economic development by attracting tourism and connecting people to new commercial centers. Earlier this month,...

Ron Burke to step down as head of Active Trans

Jun 17, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

After nearly nine years with the Active Transportation Alliance, Ron Burke will step down from his role as the organization’s executive director next month. During Burke’s tenure, Active Trans contributed to many victories, from the growth of Chicago’s advanced bike lane network and launch of Divvy bikeshare, to the creation of separate biking and walking trails on the lakefront, introduction of dedicated bus lanes, and expansion of suburban trails. Active Trans also had wins in Springfield during Burke’s tenure, including legislation requiring K-8 public schools to teach biking and walking education and the recent passage of a state capital bill that includes $50 million annually for walking and bicycling projects. "Under Ron’s leadership, Active Trans has become a more visible...

State bike/walk fund advances transportation equity

Jun 10, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

The new state money for walking and bicycling comes with reforms that make it easier for low-income communities to secure funding. Needless to say, we were thrilled to see our efforts pay off in creating better transportation equity in the state. For the first time ever, Illinois’ long-term capital program includes dedicated funding for walking and biking projects — $50 million annually. It also includes sustainable funding for public transit for the first time ever. The new biking and walking funding will be distributed via the state’s popular Illinois Transportation Enhancements grant Program (ITEP), but with some important changes that make it more accessible for low-income communities. Local matching funding shall be required according to a sliding scale based on...

Transport Chicago to feature bus & river trail campaigns

Jun 7, 2019 | by Steve Simmons

If you'd like to see better walking, biking, and public transit options in Chicago and its suburbs, you might be interested in joining the Transport Chicago conference on June 14 at the Merchandise Mart. This one-day event is a great opportunity to speak with transportation professionals, learn more about a variety of initiatives, and speak up for healthy and sustainable transportation. Toward that end, we're excited to be leading two sessions on the agenda featuring our Back on the Bus and Chicago River Trail campaigns. For our presentation called Back on the Bus: A Campaign for Transit Priority Streets (held 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.), we'll explain why buses deserve priority on Chicago streets with dedicated bus lanes, and why...

Victory! Active Trans campaign for state walking and biking fund wins $50 million per year

Jun 3, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

For the first time ever, Illinois’ long-term capital program includes dedicated funding for walking and biking projects. Legislators passed a $33 billion, six-year transportation capital program in an extended session over the weekend. Gov. Pritzker has indicated he will sign the bill into law. The bill includes $50 million annually for walking and bicycling projects. Funds will be administered statewide through a competitive grant process using the existing Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP), which is currently entirely federally funded. The additional funds from the state will double the size of the program and could fund 125 new projects every year. Thanks to everyone who took action and the legislators who championed this issue in Springfield. Legislators told us this never...

Salt District adds flavor to Chicago River Trail

May 29, 2019 | by Steve Simmons

Walking, biking, and running along the Chicago River near Goose Island is about to become more attractive with the redevelopment of the Morton Salt facility on Elston Avenue. A well-known landmark on the North Side, Morton Salt has long occupied a 4.25-acre property located on the west bank of the Chicago River — running south from Blackhawk Street on Elston Avenue. Led by developer R2 Companies, the project will turn the site into a mixed-use office, retail, and entertainment complex, providing another attractive destination along a continuous Chicago River Trail. The so-called Salt District is expected to be completed in 2020. We're pleased the plan includes separated paths for people walking and biking, adding more trails along the North Branch....