Tag Archives: Bicycling

Chicago must advance equity and sustainability with new federal transportation funds

Nov 22, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

The Infrastructure Investment in Jobs Act (IIJA) provides a historic opportunity for the Chicago area to move beyond car-centric planning and advance racial and environmental justice through transportation investments.  Now we need to make sure regional leaders take advantage of this opportunity. We can’t afford to see these funds go to wasteful roadway projects that only worsen the inequity in our regional transportation system.  This week Active Trans joined a coalition of 12 civic and environmental advocates that is calling for our transportation agencies in the region to develop an inclusive and transparent approach in determining which projects to put forward for newly available federal funds. This inclusive and transparent approach should center the projects' impacts on racial equity and climate change.  Following are excerpts from the letter, which was...

Ald. La Spata makes sustainable transportation a priority

Oct 28, 2021 | by Maya Norris

As alderman for Chicago’s 1st Ward, Daniel La Spata has only been on the job for two years. But in that short time, he has already made significant strides enhancing sustainable transportation on the Northwest Side. The longtime community organizer and public policy expert has been pushing for infrastructure and legislation that improves walking, bicycling, and public transit opportunities that not only create safe and accessible sustainable transportation options, but also ultimately enhance the quality of life in the communities he represents. “Non-automobile transportation needs to be safe, effective, sustainable, affordable, and comfortable. The problem is we neither have the infrastructure nor do we tend to make the investments to make that a priority,” La Spata says. “That’s a big...

Suburban advocates demand better walking and biking infrastructure

Oct 25, 2021 | by Maggie Melin Czerwinski

The fight for safer streets for people walking and biking in Chicago’s suburbs has gained strength during the pandemic. Groups and individuals have been organizing local bike rides and walks, creating petitions to improve traffic safety, launching new websites, forming as non-profits, and building support from elected officials to invest in walking and biking infrastructure. To recognize their dedication and to help support their ongoing work, Active Trans awarded small stipends to a handful of advocacy groups and communities. Learn more below about how each group is making our region a better place to walk, bike, and live. There's also information about how you can get involved. ACTIVE TRANS SUBURBAN ADVOCACY 2021 AWARDEES Bike Walk Oak Park is working on...

Chicago needs more safe places to ride bikes and scooters on city streets

Oct 13, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

Update (10/14/21): Chicago City Council passed the e-scooter ordinance. The program is expected to launch in Spring 2022. As Chicago City Council considers an ordinance establishing a long-term e-scooter sharing program, Active Transportation Alliance submitted a letter in support of the ordinance to the Transportation and Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Committees. Following are excerpts from the letter: Active Transportation Alliance supports a long-term e-scooter sharing program for Chicago because it would give people another option to get around other than driving or hailing a car. This program should complement – not compete with – the city’s publicly owned, thriving and expanding Divvy bikeshare system.  As neighborhood air quality gets worse and we continue to experience the heightened effects of climate change, Chicago officials must invest in a safer, healthier,...

Action alert: Help save the e-bike benefit in Congressional budget bill

Sep 23, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

The U.S. Senate is currently deciding what stays and what gets dropped from the budget bill, and unfortunately, some important biking provisions are on the chopping block. We need your help to make sure our Senators fight to keep these critical bike components in the bill. Specifically, the latest draft includes a tax rebate for e-bikes and a bicycle commuter benefit. Both elements would help enable more people to replace car trips with bike trips and reduce our overall carbon footprint. They will also help make biking more accessible, affordable, and attainable. In the U.S. House, the e-bike benefit was already weakened significantly relative to the rebate for electric cars. The House legislation includes credits of up to $12,500 for...

A new trail to connect Lake Calumet area

Sep 14, 2021 | by Active Trans

Chicago’s Far South Side is an area rich in historical, cultural, and open space destinations. From Pullman National Monument to Big Marsh Park and the Ford Calumet Environmental Center, the area has no shortage of popular spots for Chicagoans to visit and enjoy. Unfortunately, a lack of safe walking and biking connections to these spots makes accessing them difficult for many residents who can’t or don’t drive. The geography, infrastructure, and heavy industry in the area present many significant obstacles, including large arterial roadways, active railroad lines, and waterways — all of which cut off many residents and visitors from easily and safely accessing these destinations and neighboring communities. The good news is that Active Trans has been working closely...

Protected bike lanes coming to Logan/Western area

Sep 2, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

The area where Kevin Clark and Tyler Fabeck were tragically killed while riding their bikes in recent years is slated to finally receive long overdue safety upgrades. Active Trans worked with Kevin Clark's family and 1st Ward Ald. Daniel La Spata to push for improvements at the intersection of W. Logan Blvd. and N. Western Ave. after 32-year-old Kevin was hit and killed while riding his bike through the intersection in May. Kevin was a drummer and music educator well known for his role in the 2003 School of Rock film, starring Jack Black. IMPROVEMENTS COMING THIS FALL The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) will install protected bike lanes on Logan in both directions between N. Campbell and W. Diversey....

Bill eliminating local match for walk/bike infrastructure becomes law

Aug 31, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

Illinois law now requires the state to cover 100 percent of the cost of walking and biking infrastructure when it's needed on state roads. Illinois House Bill 270 took effect on Tuesday, August 30, after it passed the legislature in May with strong bipartisan majorities. Active Transportation Alliance championed the legislation along with Ride Illinois and Metropolitan Planning Council. Until now, Illinois policy dictated that when a state road is getting rebuilt, municipalities had to cover 20 percent of the cost of needed walking and biking infrastructure. This resulted in critical elements like sidewalks and bike lanes getting stripped out of the final design because towns couldn't afford the match — especially low-income communities. Now, thanks to the efforts of...

Rep. Moeller plays key role in passing bill to improve walking & biking

Jul 29, 2021 | by Ted Villaire

Getting the Illinois Department of Transportation to eliminate its 20 percent local match requirement for walking and biking improvements on state roads was a long and arduous battle. It required months of work on the part of advocates and lawmakers across Illinois. Thankfully, all the effort paid off. IDOT has always covered all costs for motor vehicle infrastructure on state roads. Now, thanks to this legislation that Active Trans spearheaded, IDOT must also cover all the costs for walking and biking improvements on these roads. This means we'll see safer street designs — particularly in lower-income communities. The bill, which passed with strong bipartisan majorities in both chambers, is expected to be signed into law soon by Gov. J.B. Pritzker....

Chicago ranked near bottom of list of bike-friendly big cities

Jul 9, 2021 | by Maggie Melin Czerwinski

With high speed limits and few low-stress bike routes, Chicago and its largest suburbs score poorly in a new international ratings program designed to evaluate a city’s level of safety and comfort for people biking. The City Ratings program was developed by People for Bikes, a national non-profit bicycle advocacy group. It ranks cities based on the quality and connectivity of their bicycle networks, and includes 21 cities in the Chicago region. Cities that rose to the top of the rating system were those with safe, comfortable bike networks intentionally built for people of all ages and abilities. Chicago received a score of 16 out of 100, ranking it in the bottom 10 percent of all cities evaluated (698th out...