Tag Archives: Bicycling

New Uber, Lyft fees should be step toward congestion pricing

Jan 23, 2020 | by Kyle Whitehead

Starting January 6, the fee on solo Uber and Lyft trips citywide increased from 72 cents to $1.25 and the fee on shared trips decreased from 72 cents to 65 cents. Trips that start or end in a new “downtown congestion zone” are charged an additional surcharge ($1.75 for solo trips and 65 cents for shared trips). A portion of the new revenue goes to the city’s Bus Priority Zones initiative that seeks to make bus service faster and more reliable. These new fees championed by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot could be a precursor to a broader congestion pricing approach. Active Trans lobbied in favor of the fees because of their potential to reduce driving and spur public transit use...

Top 10 walking, biking, and transit stories of 2019

Dec 16, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

There were plenty of attention-grabbing developments among the top active transportation stories of 2019. Some of these developments helped make our streets safer and more inviting for people using active transportation, while others were intended to give more people access to better transportation options. Here they are. If we missed an important story, please let us know. 1. State dedicates funds to walking, biking, and public transit. For the first time ever, Illinois’ long-term capital program includes dedicated funding — $50 million annually — for walking and biking projects. The capital bill also includes sustainable funding for public transit for the first time ever. Active Trans championed both initiatives with a bipartisan group of legislators in the Illinois State House...

Brother of crash victim advocates for safer streets

Nov 20, 2019 | by Maya Norris

Andrew DeMott is channeling his family’s tragedy into a catalyst for change. Since his brother was killed in a car crash while bicycling home early this year, DeMott has been advocating to improve the walking and bicycling infrastructure in Tinley Park, where his brother was killed. On Oct. 27, his family held a ghost bike ceremony as a memorial to his brother, Douglas DeMott, 52, near the crash site where his brother was struck by a car on Jan. 24. Instead of giving flowers as a memorial, DeMott’s family generously asked that donations be made to Active Trans. Douglas Demott was bicycling home along Harlem Avenue just north of I-80 in Tinley Park at about 5:30 p.m. when a 93-year-old...

How Carol Maher became a cycling advocate

Oct 15, 2019 | by Maya Norris

Carol Maher came to bicycling relatively late in life. But the 58-year-old retired IT project manager has certainly made up for lost time. Since she took up cycling four years ago, Maher has ditched her car in favor of cruising around Chicago on two wheels full-time and has become a sustainable transportation advocate. Maher credits a program called Go Albany Park for sparking her love of cycling in 2015. A collaboration between the Chicago Department of Transportation, Alta Planning and Design, and Active Transportation Alliance, the Go programs encouraged residents of Albany Park, Bronzeville, and other neighborhoods to walk, bike, and ride public transportation more frequently. Maher participated in the program as part of her block club, helping to create...

Chicago should keep e-scooter sharing program

Oct 14, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

During the past four months while the City of Chicago's e-scooter sharing pilot program has been underway, Active Trans has been busy gathering information — online and in-person — from hundreds of Active Trans members, supporters, and residents. Many of the people who provided feedback live or work in the West Side pilot area. We wanted to hear what people thought about the pilot program and their general thoughts about e-scooters. As the pilot program wraps up this week, Active Trans is sharing a set of policy recommendations based on the collected feedback as well as input from other cities and transportation professionals. Overall, we found that the pilot program shows shared electric scooters can help get people out of...

Palatine bike club rolls out the racks

Oct 11, 2019 | by Active Trans

Installing a new rack for bike parking may seem like a modest contribution to a community. But the reality is that it can a big difference in people’s lives — especially for people with limited transportation options who rely on bikes to get around. Getting more bike racks in the community has been one of the recent goals of the Palatine Bike Club. With the September installation of a bike parking rack at St. Joseph’s Home for the Elderly in Palatine (see photo), the Bike Palatine Club has now donated five bike racks in three locations as part of its initiative to encourage cycling in the community. According to Development Director of St. Joseph’s Home, Diana Olson, many volunteers, employees,...

Taking the safe streets fight to D.C.

Sep 10, 2019 | by Barb Cornew

While transportation may not be the biggest issue in national politics this year, members of Congress do understand how important it is for their constituents to be able to get where they need to go. Active Trans worked with advocates from across the Chicago region to meet with their members of Congress during the summer recess. We discussed how to work together on a national agenda for safer streets and more reliable public transit. Personal connections and local stories go a long way with elected officials in D.C. Citizens from Park Ridge, Evanston, Des Plaines, Chicago, Elk Grove, Schaumburg, Elgin, Downers Grove and Wheaton met with U.S. Representatives Jan Schakowsky, Chuy Garcia, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Mike Quigley, Sean Casten, and Brad...

Hamilton left an indelible mark on Chicago’s transportation scene

Sep 10, 2019 | by Active Trans

When Luann Hamilton joined Chicago’s Public Works Department — the predecessor to the Chicago Department of Transportation — in 1985, cars were the only transportation mode given consideration on our streets. Hamilton (pictured left) knew she would be in for an uphill battle pushing for projects that prioritized walking, biking, and public transit. But that didn’t stop the sustainable transportation advocate. Over the next 34 years, she adeptly navigated the rocky and nuanced terrain of Chicago’s transportation and urban planning sectors. Hamilton and her colleagues successfully transformed the region with seminal walking, biking, and public transit projects that are now synonymous with the city, while she rose through the ranks of the agency, becoming deputy commissioner at CDOT in 2005....

Breaking the cycle of ugly public meetings

Sep 6, 2019 | by Jim Merrell

A proposed project to make a street safer for people walking and biking sparks backlash. A contentious public meeting is held. Arguments based on emotion and anecdotal experience are hurled about. People are frustrated. Rinse. Repeat. Maybe the project moves forward, or gets watered down, or nixed entirely. Who knows? The outcome depends on a completely opaque process and constantly shifting set of criteria. Chicago: This is why we can’t have nice things. The dust up over proposed pedestrian and bicycle improvements to Dickens Avenue in Lincoln Park is just the most recent in a long line of public processes that leave everyone frustrated. To advocates who understand the urgent need to cure our city of its addiction to car...

Tell us what you think about e-scooters

Sep 4, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

As a full-fledged e-scooter sharing program in Chicago starts to take shape, we want to hear from you about what the future of scooters in Chicagoland should look like. Chicago’s e-scooter pilot ends October 15. In coming weeks, Active Trans is collecting feedback on the Chicago pilot from residents, community-based organizations, and elected officials as we determine how to advocate around e-scooter policy. We plan to release a policy report in mid-October. Chicago officials say no decisions have been made about a long-term e-scooter program, and some suburbs are considering e-scooter policy questions. You can help by joining Active Trans and our community partners in any of the following activities. POLICY SURVEY Share your views about e-scooter policy in a...