Tag Archives: Bicycling

Making the case for bike rooms 

Nov 14, 2022 | by Maya Norris

More people than ever are bicycling around Chicago, thanks to the bicycling boom that emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic enticing people to hop on two wheels. But how do we maintain that momentum? One way to keep people on their bikes is to have secure, accessible, and functional bike rooms in commercial and residential buildings—a key piece of infrastructure that may make the difference as to whether these new riders stick with cycling in the long term. As more people take up bicycling for recreation and as their primary mode of transportation for commuting and errands, the need for enclosed bike rooms and bike parking grows. “It’s a good idea to have secure indoor bike storage for commercial and residential...

A triumph for safe biking: City commits to concrete protected bike lanes

Jun 29, 2022 | by Jim Merrell

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Transportation announced plans to upgrade all existing protected bike lanes with new concrete curbs by the end of 2023, a big step toward creating a connected and protected bike network for Chicago.  The announcement comes after years of grassroots advocacy calling for more robust barriers for Chicago’s bikeways, as well as recent mobilization efforts in response to a devastating string of fatal crashes, including four that tragically took the lives of children.   “On behalf of our members and supporters, we would like to thank the mayor and Chicago Department of Transportation leadership for taking this important step,” said Amy Rynell, executive director of Active Transportation Alliance. “These upgrades will significantly improve...

City must act now to fix dangerous streets for people walking and biking

Jun 14, 2022 | by Active Trans

Over the weekend, more than 300 people took to the streets to honor two young children recently killed by drivers on Chicago’s North Side. The memorial event — held for Raphael “Rafi” Cardenas and Elizabeth “Lily” Grace Shambrook — was attended by people who were demanding that the city take action to make our streets safe places to walk and bike. These recent tragedies, combined with the increasing number of people getting killed by drivers while walking and biking in Chicago, prompted the Active Transportation Alliance to issue an urgent message to city leaders. We sent the following letter today to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Gia Biagi. _______________________________________________________ Dear Mayor Lightfoot and Commissioner Biagi,...

Illinois must seize opportunity to move beyond car-centric transportation system

Jun 8, 2022 | by Kyle Whitehead

Thanks to an unprecedented level of federal and state transportation funding, Illinois’ next governor and general assembly will have the ability to transform streets and trails in communities across the state.  If they are willing to confront the failing status quo, the next governor and general assembly will have the opportunity to re-orient the state’s transportation system around safety, sustainability, and racial equity.  Active Transportation Alliance's 2022 Illinois Sustainable Transportation Platform provides a roadmap for state leaders to dramatically improve mobility over the next five years. The platform features specific action items on three core goals:  Elevate sustainability and racial equity in transportation decision making. Strengthen funding and regulations to support public transit. Make state roads safer for walking and...

See where candidates for secretary of state stand

Jun 3, 2022 | by Kyle Whitehead

With early voting underway in Illinois' primary elections and Election Day approaching, the Active Transportation Alliance has released its 2022 Sustainable Transportation Voter Guide for the race to be secretary of state. Six candidates — four Democrats and two Republicans — are vying for the opportunity to replace outgoing Secretary of State Jesse White, who is retiring after 23 years in office. The secretary oversees Illinois' Rules of the Road, driver education services and exam, and various traffic safety initiatives. The Active Transportation Alliance, Ride Illinois, and Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) jointly created a questionnaire that was sent to all candidates. The voter guide is comprised of the candidates' responses. As non-partisan 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organizations, Active Trans, Ride...

How can Chicago suburbs become more walkable and bike-friendly?

Apr 13, 2022 | by Kyle Whitehead

With gas prices surging and climate threats getting worse, many towns across the Chicago region are trying to do more to support walking and biking as transportation options. But they often struggle to figure out what policies and projects to prioritize, and what makes a real difference in promoting alternatives to driving.   Help is on the way. Active Trans is excited to co-host a new event series, Taking Climate Action by Prioritizing Walking, Biking, and Transit, along with the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and Metropolitan Planning Council. The series seeks to educate communities, inspire municipal action, and cultivate local champions to move our region toward a more walkable, bikeable, and sustainable future.  The project is designed to support goals from the...

Chicago should pair trails vision with plan for safe, connected bikeways on streets

Apr 5, 2022 | by Active Trans

Last week Mayor Lori Lightfoot released a citywide vision of trails and open space projects that she said would promote the health and well-being of all Chicago residents and visitors.  The new map provides a compelling vision that opens the door to funding many high-impact projects that community leaders have fought for over many years. But by itself it will not make a meaningful difference in advancing the city’s climate, equity, and safety goals. Chicago still needs a safe, connected on-street bikeways network.  TRAILS VISION NEEDS MORE DETAIL  Walking and biking trails are hugely popular and can help improve community health and sustainability. When informed by strong community input, they can increase access to open space and help fill gaps...

Illinois is missing a big part of the long-term solution to high gas prices

Mar 23, 2022 | by Kyle Whitehead

With gas prices surging, Mayor Lightfoot and Governor Pritzker need to step up and make it safer and easier for people to walk, bike, and ride public transit. The media is saturated with stories of outrage about the cost of gasoline and official proposals to lower prices. This way of looking at the issue inevitably ignores how the intentional development of our car-centric, sprawling region contributed to this problem – and how alternative forms of transportation can be part of the solution. It’s on all of us as transportation equity and sustainability advocates to demand a better approach.  WHAT’S HAPPENING  The average price of gas in metro Chicago is heading toward $5 per gallon and is expected to continue to...

Congressional leaders urge state to consider climate and equity impacts

Mar 16, 2022 | by Kyle Whitehead

A group of eight Chicago area Congressional leaders sent a strong message to Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) about how to spend newly available federal funds: factor climate change and racial equity into all of your funding decisions. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García led the effort behind the letter delivered to Gov. Pritzker and IDOT. It was co-signed by Reps. Sean Casten, Danny Davis, Marie Newman, Mike Quigley, Bobby Rush, Jan Schakowsky, and Brad Schneider. Active Trans and seven other regional advocacy groups provided support to the letter. All of these leaders worked hard to develop and pass last year's $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law. Now they want to make sure their legislation has the intended impact...

Ralph Banasiak’s second act as a bicycling advocate

Mar 9, 2022 | by Maya Norris

Renowned novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote, “There are no second acts in American lives.” Ralph Banasiak is proving him wrong. The retired math teacher is staging his second act as a bicycling advocate. As a bicycling columnist and an active member of the Bike Palatine Club, Banasiak is working to make bicycling safe and encourage more people to take up cycling — earning him the Public Service Award from the Active Transportation Alliance. Even before he retired in 2018, Banasiak has long championed bicycling in Palatine, the suburb northwest of Chicago where he lives. It all started in 2008 when Banasiak, an avid bicyclist, was recruited to join the Greater Palatine Bicycle Task Force, which consisted of a volunteer...