Tag Archives: Bicycling

Moving beyond four main barriers to building protected bike lanes in Chicago

Sep 24, 2020 | by Kyle Whitehead

Protected bike lanes have been proven again and again as the best approach for making streets safe and comfortable for biking. People of all ages and abilities get excited about biking when they are physically protected from car traffic. This protected biking environment dramatically increases safety and comfort for people on two wheels while having limited negative impact on car and truck traffic. The key ingredient for a good protected bike lane (PBL) is a street with space that can be dedicated to bikes. While not all streets will work, there are more than enough streets in Chicago for a robust network of PBLs. In some cases adding a PBL requires re-allocating street space from cars, such as converting parking...

Ride the BLT—a socially distanced bike ride!

Sep 21, 2020 | by Kerry Holsinger

Looking for some socially distanced physical activity this fall? From the organization that brings you Fifth Third Bike the Drive,  Trans now brings you the Boulevard Lakefront Tour, the self-led bike ride edition! You choose a route and we'll send the map for you to ride on any date you choose. We have crafted (and tested!) FIVE unique bike routes to explore Chicago on two wheels. Whether it's a 30-mile ride through the North, West or South Sides, a 75-mile adventure through the entire city, or a short 8-mile family friendly bike ride, there is a route for everyone! Since biking is an activity that easily allows for social distancing, you can feel safe keeping six feet away from others!...

Support better transportation in Chicago’s 2021 budget

Sep 8, 2020 | by Kyle Whitehead

Chicago faces many challenges as officials prepare next year’s budget. Among those challenges is the need to improve mobility options while keeping the city's transportation system accessible to everyone. That's why we need to ensure that transportation issues and improvements are part of the city's budget conversation. You can help make sure this happens: If you're a Chicago resident, please take the city’s 2021 budget survey by Sunday, September 13.  As with many other critical public systems, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the underlying inequities in Chicago’s transportation network.  Decades of structural racism and disinvestment have meant that the Black and Latinx communities were already struggling with inadequate transportation options before the pandemic. Then, as COVID-19 hit, these Chicago communities faced even...

The stress and uncertainty surrounding transportation

Sep 2, 2020 | by Active Trans

At Active Trans, there’s been a lot to learn as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Every day we’re fine-tuning our work so that we can better address the challenges people face while walking, biking, and using public transit during the pandemic. We’ve known that COVID-19 has altered walking, biking, and public transit, but we’ve been struggling to understand how different parts of the region and individual communities have been affected. In order to get a better grasp of the widespread impact of this crisis, we decided to conduct a listening tour of the region. As part of the tour, Active Trans met via Zoom with more than 100 individuals and organizations that are invested in our work. We spoke with...

Founder Suzan Pinsof reflects on Active Trans’ origins

Aug 24, 2020 | by Maya Norris

Ever wonder how the Active Transportation Alliance got its start? Well, Suzan Pinsof can tell you firsthand. The retired urban planner and bicycling advocate was instrumental in creating the nonprofit organization that evolved into Active Trans more than 30 years ago, laying the foundation for the nonprofit’s bicycling advocacy and its success in creating safer conditions for people walking, biking, and using public transit in Chicagoland today. Pinsof played a critical role in Chicago’s bicycling movement in the early 1980s when she worked at the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission, the regional planning organization that was the precursor to today’s Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. She was tasked with promoting bicycling as a sustainable and alternative mode of transportation in support...

Chicago’s budget needs to advance bus and bike lanes

Aug 18, 2020 | by W. Robert Schultz III

Active Trans Campaign Organizer W. Robert Schultz III, a 31st Ward resident, provided testimony at a Chicago City Council hearing on the city's infrastructure needs on August 18. The following is an excerpt of his remarks. I have lived in Belmont Cragin, Logan Square, and Uptown. Over the 30 years that I lived in Chicago, I have worked in nearly every one of its 77 community areas, and my Chicago experiences started as a frequent visitor to Englewood in the 1960s. I chose to make Chicago home because I wanted to live a car free. This means walking to a Chicago Transit Authority bus stop if I am heading out for shopping or work, or recreational-, educational-, or health-related activities....

Mobility in the time of COVID-19 in the south suburbs

Aug 18, 2020 | by Maggie Melin Czerwinski

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, municipal staff, 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 in southern Cook County and Will County. Though not all encompassing, here is a glimpse of what residents in the south and southwest suburbs are experiencing. During the course of 14 conversations, we spoke with community members, municipal staff, and elected officials representing Blue Island, Calumet City,...

Take action now to stop public transit and Divvy shutdowns

Aug 14, 2020 | by Active Trans

The following is an organizational statement from Active Transportation Alliance Executive Director Amy Rynell. For more on the shutdowns, see Lynda Lopez's blog post, The needless harm done by shutting down public transit. Public transit provides access to opportunities for thousands of working-class Chicagoans. Buses, trains, paratransit, and bike share connect people to their jobs, healthcare appointments, grocery stores, and their families. When it's taken away, riders are cut off from where they need to go or forced to pay much more for a taxi or ride-hailing trip. The repeated evening and overnight shutdowns of CTA, Divvy, and paratransit service in the downtown area sets an alarming precedent. City officials are making this call without providing the public a clear...

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...