Tag Archives: biking

Transportation issues on the city’s Southwest Side during COVID-19

Jul 28, 2020 | by Lynda Lopez

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, 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 and two elected officials on the city’s Southwest Side. Though not all-encompassing, here’s a glimpse of what residents on the Southwest Side are experiencing. MOBILITY FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES As our mobility in the city adapts to the changing circumstances of the pandemic, people with disabilities have experienced...

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...

Additional walking and biking guidance during COVID-19

Jul 17, 2020 | by Maggie Melin

Earlier this spring when the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Active Transportation Alliance worked with Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) to develop a shareable infographic offering advice on how to stay safe while walking and biking. Now that our state has reached Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan, which allows for physically-distanced and masked gatherings of up to 100 people in outdoor spaces, many have asked if walking and biking in small groups is considered safe. We consulted with subject matter experts from CCDPH for advice. In general, if you go on a walk or bike ride by yourself or with anyone from within or outside of your household, always take the proper precautions. Public health guidelines still recommend keeping 6-feet of physical...

Illinois lags other states in walking and biking policy

Jul 10, 2020 | by Kyle Whitehead

Illinois is becoming a more walk- and bike-friendly state, but it still has a long way to go to catch up with national leaders, according to a new report from the Safe Routes Partnership.  The partnership, a national nonprofit working to advance safe walking and biking to schools and other everyday destinations, recently released its 2020 State Report Cards. Illinois scored a 92 out of 200 points, putting it in the second-lowest tier. The state earned 74 points in 2018.  California and Massachusetts are national leaders with more than 150 points.    STATE FUNDING The best news comes in the funding category where Illinois scored 10 out of 10 for dedicating state funding to walking and biking. Active Trans worked with legislators, partner organizations, and supporters across...

Take action to restore Chicago transit and Divvy service

Jun 2, 2020 | by Active Trans

As Chicago grapples with social unrest and an unprecedented global pandemic, we need reliable transportation options more than ever. But CTA service is suspended again Monday evening. And Metra and Divvy remain out of service. Sign a letter to Mayor Lightfoot and your alderman urging them to restore transit service. We appreciate the unprecedented position Chicago’s leaders are in at this moment. Balancing the need to maintain public safety while protecting the rights of residents is a complex task under normal circumstances, let alone during a global pandemic. However, we urge the City of Chicago and transit agencies work to fully restore transit and Divvy service immediately. In the event services need temporary rerouting or temporary suspensions due to safety,...

A few questions for Amy Rynell

May 22, 2020 | by Maya Norris

Amy Rynell joined Active Trans as its new executive director in March. An experienced nonprofit leader with a deep commitment to social justice and human rights, Rynell comes to Active Trans having served in various research and policy roles at Chicago-based Heartland Alliance over the last 22 years, most recently serving as director of research and policy. Amy shared her thoughts about what it’s been like to lead the organization through the COVID-19 crisis, how she plans to advance Active Trans’ mission, and how she uses sustainable transportation in her own life. What attracted you to Active Trans? Amy: Transportation access and safety can make or break someone’s ability to succeed economically. As someone who has worked on social justice...

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...

Make Illinois state roads safer and more accessible for all

Mar 10, 2020 | by Kyle Whitehead

Legislation currently moving through Springfield provides a rare opportunity to make walking and biking safety improvements to state roads in Illinois. Tell your state legislators you support safer state roads. State roads are often major streets that provide sole access to retail and service industry jobs, grocery stores, doctors’ offices, pharmacies, and other important destinations. For many people, sidewalks provide the only option for safely accessing these key places. And this is especially true for older adults and people with disabilities. Currently, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) requires that local communities cover 20 percent of the cost when IDOT includes infrastructure for people walking and bicycling to construction projects on state roads. Yet the state typically covers 100 percent...

Support funding for walking and biking projects in low-income communities

Feb 12, 2020 | by Kyle Whitehead

Last year, Active Trans and hundreds of supporters made our voices heard to ensure that dedicated funding for walking and biking projects would be included in the state's capital bill. As a result, for the first time ever, Illinois' long-term capital plan includes dedicated funding for walking and bicycling projects. Now we need your help to make sure the program is successful. As the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) began moving ahead with the program, it’s become evident that the current language of the legislation lacks clarity on two key points. 1. How often IDOT should set aside the $50 million in new state funds for the walking and biking grant program. What we want: Every year — not every other...

Will you help make Chicago’s streets safer?

Feb 4, 2020 | by Julia Gerasimenko

Do you want to see better streets for biking in your Chicago neighborhood and throughout the city? Would you like to learn how to be an effective advocate? Well, here's your chance to get directly involved in making a difference. Here's your chance to help create better walking and biking infrastructure in Chicago and help to hold Mayor Lightfoot accountable to her campaign promise to build 100 miles of new bikeways by 2023. Given that construction of new bikeways has slowed in Chicago, we need people like you getting involved. Will you join the effort to reverse this trend? If this sounds appealing, you'll want to join us for the Safer Streets campaign training on Saturday, March 14. During this...