Tag Archives: biking

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...

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...

Input needed on 78 and Lincoln Yards

Jan 6, 2020 | by Julia Gerasimenko

The 78 and Lincoln Yards are two megadevelopments that are being built in Chicago that undoubtedly will have major impacts on the city at large and neighboring communities. Unfortunately, both projects currently lack a good vision for transit, biking, and walking access. Without a coherent plan for good transportation options, these developments inevitably will be a hindrance to building livable, equitable, and healthy communities. The good news is that you now have an opportunity to provide direct input on the details of these developments, including walking, transit, and biking infrastructure. If you live in the vicinity of either development, you can apply to serve on the 78 Community Advisory Council or the Lincoln Yards Advisory Council. The community advisory councils...

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...

A new, signature attraction along Chicago River

Nov 25, 2019 | by Steve Simmons

The Chicago River gained an awe-inspiring addition with the recent opening of the Riverview Bridge on the North Branch, now the longest pedestrian and bike bridge in the city. The Riverview Bridge runs for roughly a thousand feet north and south of Addison Street and crosses over the river connecting Clark and California Parks, providing a safe off-street connection with breathtaking urban and natural views. The bridge soars eighteen feet above the Chicago River and is sixteen-feet wide. It ducks under the Addison Bridge, offering people on bike and foot the ultimate low-stress route to bypass heavy traffic unimpeded. It's exciting the city has taken another major step towards a continuous Chicago River Trail. Adding a second major trail in...

Why Chicago needs a Safe Streets Fund

Nov 20, 2019 | by Julia Gerasimenko

Every life lost is a tragedy. We can't help but be overwhelmed when we think about the 78 lives lost in Chicago so far this year as a result of traumatic traffic crashes. But we mustn't become numb to these terrible events. For the 2019 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims event, which took place earlier this week, organizers lined up 78 pairs of white shoes in the Thompson Center. The shoes remind us of the people who will not feel the joy of walking down a tree-lined street in their neighborhood on their way home. The shoes represent people who will never again feel the wind on their face while riding their bike to meet up with...