Tag Archives: Advocacy

Mobility in the time of COVID-19 on Chicago’s North Side

Jul 31, 2020 | by Julia Gerasimenko

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of what we perceive and know about mobility and transportation. In recent months, Active Trans met with more than 100 stakeholders who are invested in our work. We spoke with community partners, elected officials, department of transportation and transit agency officials, and residents across the city and suburbs. As part of this process, we held a series of small-group conversations and solo conversations with stakeholders and elected officials on the city’s North Side. Though not all-encompassing, here’s a glimpse of what residents on the North Side are experiencing. During the course of 14 different conversations, we spoke with community members and elected officials representing Albany Park, Belmont Cragin, Edgewater, Hermosa, Lakeview, Logan Square, Lathrop...

State reverses decision to eliminate bus lanes as option for North LSD

Jul 31, 2020 | by Kyle Whitehead

Bus lanes are back on the table for the reconstruction of North Lake Shore Drive, but more work needs to be done to make sure they’re part of the final design.  This week state and local officials said they’ll carry forward the 3+1 bus only lane option to the next stage of the planning process. The transit-friendly design had been eliminated in June, despite opposition from the Chicago Transit Authority. Active Trans and other advocates came out strongly against the decision. More than 700 Chicagoans signed letters to Gov. Pritzker, Mayor Lightfoot, and the project team urging them to reverse course. Several community leaders on the project task force also spoke up. Your strong grassroots response clearly made a difference. It drew attention from decision makers and helped...

Illinois Bike Summit to focus on infrastructure, education, and inclusion

Jul 29, 2020 | by Active Trans

Local advocates, transportation planners, engineers, and anyone interested in making biking for recreation and transportation better on their block or in their community are invited to attend the Illinois Bike Summit on Tuesday, September 15. This online event is organized by Ride Illinois — the statewide, nonprofit, bike advocacy organization. The summit’s keynote speaker will be Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. The themes for the summit — infrastructure, education, and inclusion — will be woven into many of the presentations and breakout sessions. Several Active Transportation Alliance staff will moderate informal Coffee Talks at the start of the day and share their knowledge during breakout sessions. At the end of the day, there will be Q&A...

Chicago prepares second e-scooter pilot

Jul 27, 2020 | by Kyle Whitehead

The scooters are coming. Again.  Officials say four companies responded to the city’s request for applications for a second e-scooter sharing pilot this summer. Chicago selected Bird, Lime, and Spin to participate in this year's program, which launches August 12. 2020 PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS  The terms reflect many of the recommendations from Active Trans’ E-Scooter Policy Report, which was released following the 2019 pilot.  The companies can operate a combined 10,000 scooters in a geographic area that includes most of the city.  Scooters are not allowed downtown or on the Lakefront or 606 trails, as Active Trans and our partners recommended.   At least half of the scooters must be docked in low-income areas on the South and West Sides. We spoke with community leaders in these “priority zones” after the initial pilot and...

Bus Fellows deliver budget request to City Council

Jul 23, 2020 | by Julia Gerasimenko

Active Trans' Bus Organizing Fellows, Rylen Clark and Jamaine Alberto Gooding, submitted comments to July's Chicago City Council meeting. Jamaine was selected to provide oral comments before the full council while both Jamaine and Rylen submitted written comments. You can read Jamaine's comments in full here and Rylen's comments in full here. Below are excerpts from their testimonies:   To Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the members of Chicago City Council, My name is Rylen Clark. I am from Chicago and I have lived in the Chicagoland area for most of my life. I have extensive experience in peer-to-peer nonprofit organizations that primarily focus on at-risk youth at drop-in centers such as Center on Halsted and Broadway Youth Center in the...

Illinois lags other states in walking and biking policy

Jul 10, 2020 | by Kyle Whitehead

Illinois is becoming a more walk- and bike-friendly state, but it still has a long way to go to catch up with national leaders, according to a new report from the Safe Routes Partnership.  The partnership, a national nonprofit working to advance safe walking and biking to schools and other everyday destinations, recently released its 2020 State Report Cards. Illinois scored a 92 out of 200 points, putting it in the second-lowest tier. The state earned 74 points in 2018.  California and Massachusetts are national leaders with more than 150 points.    STATE FUNDING The best news comes in the funding category where Illinois scored 10 out of 10 for dedicating state funding to walking and biking. Active Trans worked with legislators, partner organizations, and supporters across...

Join us on July 20 for Transit Justice Talk: COVID-19 and Beyond

Jul 10, 2020 | by Active Trans

COVID-19 has had a major impact on transit in the short term, and the impact will likely continue in the long term. In a virtual conversation on Monday, July 20th, Active Transportation Alliance's Bus Organizing Fellows Rylen Clark and Jamaine Alberto Gooding will sit down with State Senator Robert Peters of the 13th District and Alderman Matt Martin of the 47th Ward to discuss their thoughts on transit, socioeconomic equity, and how they intersect.  RSVP today to join us for the conversation on July 20th. The Bus Organizing Fellows will give an overview of their recent outreach efforts, and then will facilitate a discussion with Senator Peters and Alderman Martin. The conversation will focus on the future of transit in...

Biking during the pandemic

Jul 7, 2020 | by Lynda Lopez

Biking has never been a neutral act. There are a lot of associations with riding a bike on the street and the power that comes with occupying that space. During the past few months, biking has taken on another role because of the pandemic. It is now increasingly being seen as a safe alternative to public transit and other forms of mobility. It has been a conflicting time for me as I process the world unfolding and how movement and our perception of movement shifts. I struggle with how to love biking and not perpetuate beliefs that may harm marginalized communities. As more people take up bikes in my community, many seemingly for recreational purposes, I am adamant not to...

Mobility justice resources for Chicago Bike Week and beyond

Jun 29, 2020 | by Maggie Melin

During this year’s Chicago Bike Week and Bike Challenge, we have an additional challenge for you: Get informed! Bike Week is a perfect time to inform yourself about the role biking plays in mobility and racial justice. How can we ensure that our streets and public spaces feel safe and are safe for everyone? How can we ensure that our advocacy efforts for better biking center the voices of Black and Brown people and those who have experienced violence on our streets? How can our transportation systems better support and uplift the needs of those who have been historically marginalized and oppressed by systemic racism, white supremacy, and inequity? How can each of us as individuals do our part? One...

More steps needed for safe, convenient bus service

Jun 3, 2020 | by Jamaine Gooding

Since March, the Active Trans Bus Organizing Fellows have been conducting online surveys with essential workers from historically marginalized communities who depend on public transit to get to their jobs. The survey examines the demographics of these workers, the condition of the buses, and the speed and reliability of the routes they take. This is one of a series of articles sharing the results of these surveys. To keep COVID-19 from spreading among CTA passengers and staff, the transit agency has been changing the way it operates during the pandemic. Buses in particular have some new procedures designed to prevent the spread of the disease. Some of the more visible changes are: Requiring rear door boarding for all riders except...