Tag Archives: Advocacy

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....

Des Plaines River Trail continues to improve

May 21, 2019 | by Matt Gomez

Users of the Des Plaines River Trail (DPRT) will be happy to hear that there are some exciting opportunities and improvements coming to the trail. For starters, the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and engineers from Terra Engineering hosted a public meeting last week to show people options for the trail to cross the Union Pacific railroad tracks between Golf and Central Roads near Oakton Community College. This presentation is part of a larger engineering effort — that Active Trans and nearby communities have been a part of — to identify the best way to cross the tracks. Last week, the engineers showed a bridge design that could get pedestrians and bicyclists safely across the tracks. From here, the...

Better walking & biking on Riverwalk & Wacker Dr.

May 20, 2019 | by Steve Simmons

If you've ever walked or biked along the Riverwalk on the Main Branch of the Chicago River — especially during summer months — then you know it's both a dynamic public space and a challenge to navigate on foot and bike. The Chicago River will only grow in popularity in the coming years as one of the city's premier destinations to work, play, and live. For this reason, it's time to improve walking and biking along the river so all Chicagoans can enjoy it. To build support for improvements, Active Trans is spearheading a project to develop concepts for addressing congestion experienced by people walking and biking along the Riverwalk and Upper Wacker Drive (pictured). The project is part of...

Mayor Lightfoot can reduce Chicago’s car dependency

May 20, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

To tackle traffic congestion and make transportation more affordable, healthy, and equitable, Chicago must make it easier to get around without a car. During the campaign, Mayor Lightfoot and many council members supported strategies to move Chicago in this direction, including increasing transportation options in the city’s transit deserts and reducing serious traffic crashes that are concentrated on the city’s South and West Sides. They recognized that urban transportation is changing, and cities must adapt to remain competitive in attracting new businesses and residents. Now it’s time to get to work and move Chicago past decades of car dependency and into a new mobility future. During the campaign, Active Transportation NOW — a 501(c)4 affiliate of Active Trans — and...

Lathrop Homes path adds to growing Chicago River Trail

May 13, 2019 | by Steve Simmons

Biking, walking and access to the local bus route is about to get easier at Lathrop Homes with the expected completion of a riverfront path this summer. Lathrop Homes, a housing development north and south of Diversey Avenue along the Chicago River's North Branch, includes a new half-mile long trail that runs alongside the housing development on the east side of the Chicago River. The path ducks under the Diversey bridge and features a decked trail in the river south of Diversey (see below). It's exciting to see another section of the river trail opening soon, moving the city closer to a continuous 27-mile Chicago River Trail. A complete Chicago River trail would promote walking and biking and support healthy...

Connecting the 312 RiverRun to Lathrop Homes trail

May 6, 2019 | by Steve Simmons

As exciting as it is to see new trails emerging along the Chicago River, it's important to keep in mind that trails return the greatest public benefits when they are connected, linking people to jobs, shopping districts and recreational opportunities. One area that offers a prime opportunity to connect trails is from the end of the 312 RiverRun Trail at Belmont Avenue south to the path at Lathrop Homes (pictured), a housing development that runs north and south of Diversey Avenue. Adding a trail along this one-mile stretch of the river would create a continuous path from Diversey Avenue north to Lawrence Avenue. To build momentum for this connection, we've recently started facilitating a community-led project that'll develop a vision...

Elgin legislators support funding trails and safe streets

Apr 22, 2019 | by Barb Cornew

On a recent beautiful Friday afternoon along the Fox River Trail in Elgin, State Senator Cristina Castro and State Representative Anna Moeller said they will advocate for funding projects in a capital bill that will make the city safer and more friendly to people walking and biking. This is good news for Active Trans and partners across the state who are calling for state legislators to dedicate $50 million annually to safe streets and trails projects in a capital bill. The Elgin event brought together various supporters in the area, including Elgin Bike Hub, Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin, members of Elgin City Council and longtime bicycling advocate Tom Armstrong. See coverage of the event in the Daily Herald. The...

Rush hour bus lanes coming to Chicago Avenue

Apr 19, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a new Bus Priority Zones program featuring upgrades to several of the busiest routes in the city, including Chicago Avenue, 79th Street and Western Avenue. The upgrades include rush hour bus lanes on Chicago from Larrabee to Michigan Avenue — through the heart of the River North area where congestion routinely slows down packed buses traveling to the West Side. Other investments include a new cul-de-sac at the Chicago/Milwaukee/Ogden intersection and traffic signal optimization on several routes. The initiative aims to boost bus speed and reliability, and ultimately increase ridership. Mayor Emanuel linked the program to the city's climate goals to reduce carbon emissions and a new policy to support transit-oriented development (TOD) along bus...