Tag Archives: Bicycling

Chicago launches Our Streets as part of COVID-19 response

May 29, 2020 | by Active Trans

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a new program to create more space for people walking and biking during the COVID-19 pandemic.  According to the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), the Our Streets initiative “invites Chicago neighborhoods to request that local roads be converted into corridors for improved, safe travel and healthy activity.”   This includes designating some residential streets as “shared streets” by adding traffic barriers and limiting through traffic to allow for physically distanced walking and biking. The list of streets is still in development, although 47th Ward Alderman Matt Martin announced Leland Avenue in his North Side ward will be the city’s first COVID-19 shared street starting Friday.  Shared streets are a first step to help Chicagoans feel safe walking and biking during the pandemic, but much more needs to be done. To date, the city’s plans fail to address the mobility...

Open streets and Chicagoland’s transportation recovery planning

May 6, 2020 | by Jim Merrell

We’ve been listening to feedback from our supporters about open streets and want to respond in order to clarify some important points. We also want to continue to share how we are developing our overall response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We do not oppose open streets. By raising concerns about potential harms to public health and urging that any initiative be community-informed, we regret that some supporters got the impression we’re against any changes to street design during the pandemic. We appreciate everyone engaging with us and look forward to continuing the conversations. Amidst all of this, we cannot lose sight of the immense human and economic toll befalling communities across our region, in particular among Black and Brown people....

Exploring open streets during COVID-19

Apr 30, 2020 | by Maggie Melin

In response to the challenges of COVID-19, many cities around the country opted to close streets to cars or reconfigure traffic lanes to create more dedicated space for walking and biking. While more information is needed to understand the true impact of these initiatives, many are wondering if this is a viable and safe strategy that could work for all communities in our region. We believe streets should prioritize people over cars and have long advocated for solutions like open streets, greenways, and protected bike lanes. We are excited to see these concepts being adopted by more people and places. It's critical, though, that when considering open streets and lane reconfigurations that a thoughtful, local approach is taken — an...

Active Trans endorses Fair Tax ballot initiative

Apr 29, 2020 | by Kyle Whitehead

A progressive state income tax would advance our mission to create more healthy, sustainable, and equitable communities in the Chicago region.  WHAT IS THE FAIR TAX?  The Fair Tax constitutional amendment would change the state constitution by eliminating the requirement that says the state of Illinois must tax income at a single rate. Passing the Fair Tax amendment would allow for higher taxation rates for higher incomes and lower taxation rates for people with low and moderate incomes, as the federal income tax is structured.  After legislators voted in 2019 to put this question before voters, it will appear on Illinois’ November 2020 general election ballot. A "yes" vote of more than 50 percent of those voting in the election or more than 60 percent of...

COVID-19 resources and information from Active Trans

Apr 23, 2020 | by Ted Villaire

As we address the global pandemic, the Active Transportation Alliance is adapting and responding — and continuing to do the important work of fighting for clean and equitable transportation. Linked below are tips and resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as information about our current work. If you use Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, please consider sharing our safe walking and biking shareable infographic as well as our sharaeble social media graphics.    Responding to the pandemic Public engagement needed around Metra’s off peak service cuts (May 20) Tips for transit riders during COVID-19 (May 20, 2020) Open streets and Chicagoland’s transportation recovery planning (May 6, 2020) Exploring open streets during COVID-19 (April 30, 2020) Safe walking and biking...

Safe walking and biking during COVID-19

Apr 20, 2020 | by Maggie Melin

The COVID-19 public health crisis and the current stay at home order are directly impacting the way most of us move on a daily basis. Many questions have arisen over what this means for walking and biking and how to safely navigate sidewalks, streets, and trails. During this time, it is important to follow public health guidelines. Although it seems to conflict with our mission as a transportation advocacy group to say, please stay home as much as you can. We're confident it will help save lives and prioritize our streets for essential workers who are on the frontlines serving all of us. If you do need to go outside for an essential walking or biking trip, or a brief...

Lessons in walking and biking safety

Apr 15, 2020 | by Maya Norris

Did you know that Active Trans has an assortment of resources that advocates, teachers, and parents can use to educate children about walking and biking safety both inside and outside the classroom? With parents and teachers looking for walking and biking education ideas for their kids during the “stay-at-home” order, we wanted to share some of our resources. Last year Active Trans worked with other advocates to pass the Illinois Bike Walk Education in Schools Act, legislation requiring that K-8 public schools teach biking and walking safety to students. To encourage districts to comply with the new law, Active Trans helped develop complete lesson plans that cover bicycle and pedestrian safety. The lesson books include best practices for walking and...

John LaPlante’s Complete Streets legacy

Apr 8, 2020 | by Active Trans

It was a great loss to the world of sustainable transportation when John LaPlante died in March of COVID-19. As someone who worked with John over a number of years, I wanted to provide a more detailed account of his impact locally and nationally. You might not realize it, but you’ve likely benefited from John's efforts to improve street design and safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users. And the effects of his work can be felt not just in Chicago. After earning transportation engineering degrees from IIT and Northwestern, John started out as a summer intern in the Chicago Department of Public Works Bureau of Street Traffic in the early 1960s. He was a multimodal planner before it was...

Supporting the transportation needs of essential workers

Apr 7, 2020 | by Lynda Lopez

As an organization that advocates for walking, biking, and public transit to create healthy, sustainable, and equitable communities, this moment necessitates rethinking and adapting to changing needs. This means not necessarily supporting policies or ideas that we embrace in the non-COVID-19 world. We believe in the ability for people to travel freely, but we know this moment requires taking a step back and adjusting that lens we normally use for viewing these issues. We want to see policies that enhance safety for essential workers but do not have the potential to worsen the public health crisis. It is at that intersection that we must view our decisions as mobility and transit advocates. This week, we learned that 70 percent of...

Essential travel must take priority during COVID-19 crisis

Mar 26, 2020 | by Kyle Whitehead

As we're all now facing new anxieties and disruptions to our daily lives as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, taking a break outdoors may serve as a needed relief. We remind people to be thoughtful of others when choosing to spend time in public spaces. On Thursday Mayor Lightfoot announced the closure of the Lakefront Trail, 606, Riverwalk, and associated parks. This is part of a broader "Stay Home, Save Lives" campaign to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The movement of people who are essential workers and others doing necessary travel must take priority during this unprecedented time. We understand the Mayor’s decision to close the Lakefront, 606, and Riverwalk to protect our public health. Chicagoans should stay home...