Tag Archives: biking

How can Chicago suburbs become more walkable and bike-friendly?

Apr 13, 2022 | by Kyle Whitehead

With gas prices surging and climate threats getting worse, many towns across the Chicago region are trying to do more to support walking and biking as transportation options. But they often struggle to figure out what policies and projects to prioritize, and what makes a real difference in promoting alternatives to driving.   Help is on the way. Active Trans is excited to co-host a new event series, Taking Climate Action by Prioritizing Walking, Biking, and Transit, along with the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and Metropolitan Planning Council. The series seeks to educate communities, inspire municipal action, and cultivate local champions to move our region toward a more walkable, bikeable, and sustainable future.  The project is designed to support goals from the...

New Chicago scooter program heightens need for more protected bike lanes

Apr 7, 2022 | by Kyle Whitehead

Mayor Lightfoot announced Chicago’s first multi-year electric scooter sharing program will launch in early May, introducing 4,000 new micromobility vehicles to city streets and bike lanes. The new program adds to the urgency for city officials to plan and build a citywide network of protected bike lanes so people on bikes and scooters have safe places to ride. With gas prices surging, shared bikes and scooters could provide needed alternatives to driving — but only if people feel safe and comfortable riding them.  SCOOTERS TO BE ROLLED OUT CITYWIDE  After two geographically limited pilot programs over the past few years, the new two-year program will bring shared scooters to all Chicago neighborhoods. The city announced permits for companies Lime, Bird, and SuperPedestrian...

Chicago should pair trails vision with plan for safe, connected bikeways on streets

Apr 5, 2022 | by Active Trans

Last week Mayor Lori Lightfoot released a citywide vision of trails and open space projects that she said would promote the health and well-being of all Chicago residents and visitors.  The new map provides a compelling vision that opens the door to funding many high-impact projects that community leaders have fought for over many years. But by itself it will not make a meaningful difference in advancing the city’s climate, equity, and safety goals. Chicago still needs a safe, connected on-street bikeways network.  TRAILS VISION NEEDS MORE DETAIL  Walking and biking trails are hugely popular and can help improve community health and sustainability. When informed by strong community input, they can increase access to open space and help fill gaps...

Action alert! Tell Chicago to make climate action plan stronger on transportation

Mar 28, 2022 | by Kyle Whitehead

Chicago is working on a climate action plan featuring ambitious goals to reduce driving and get more people walking, biking, and riding public transit. But the current draft lacks firm commitments to redesign city streets and invest in the hard infrastructure needed to support this shift to non-car alternatives. Without these commitments, Chicagoans will not be able track progress on the plan and hold city officials accountable. Now we need your help to improve the plan. Review the draft plan on the city’s website and submit a comment by Monday, April 4. The sections most relevant to walking, biking, and transit fall under Pillar 3: Enable Personal Mobility and Improve Air Quality: Strategy 1 to grow CTA ridership Strategy 4...

Illinois is missing a big part of the long-term solution to high gas prices

Mar 23, 2022 | by Kyle Whitehead

With gas prices surging, Mayor Lightfoot and Governor Pritzker need to step up and make it safer and easier for people to walk, bike, and ride public transit. The media is saturated with stories of outrage about the cost of gasoline and official proposals to lower prices. This way of looking at the issue inevitably ignores how the intentional development of our car-centric, sprawling region contributed to this problem – and how alternative forms of transportation can be part of the solution. It’s on all of us as transportation equity and sustainability advocates to demand a better approach.  WHAT’S HAPPENING  The average price of gas in metro Chicago is heading toward $5 per gallon and is expected to continue to...

Congressional leaders urge state to consider climate and equity impacts

Mar 16, 2022 | by Kyle Whitehead

A group of eight Chicago area Congressional leaders sent a strong message to Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) about how to spend newly available federal funds: factor climate change and racial equity into all of your funding decisions. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García led the effort behind the letter delivered to Gov. Pritzker and IDOT. It was co-signed by Reps. Sean Casten, Danny Davis, Marie Newman, Mike Quigley, Bobby Rush, Jan Schakowsky, and Brad Schneider. Active Trans and seven other regional advocacy groups provided support to the letter. All of these leaders worked hard to develop and pass last year's $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law. Now they want to make sure their legislation has the intended impact...

Longtime planner looks back on her remarkable career at Active Trans

Feb 25, 2022 | by Maya Norris

It’s the end of an era. After a decade of service to Active Transportation Alliance, Senior Transportation Planner Heather Schady is moving on, leaving behind a legacy that showcases the transformational power of walking, bicycling, and public transit in metropolitan Chicago. Schady joined Active Trans in 2009 as its transportation planner. She worked with Active Trans until 2012 and then rejoined the organization in 2014. As an expert in active transportation policy and design, Schady managed planning and design projects that supported pedestrian, bicycle, and public transit advocacy. She conducted policy and design research and analysis for legislative campaigns. And she provided technical assistance and consulting services to local communities seeking to improve their walking, bicycling, and public transit conditions....

Top 10 walking, biking, and transit stories of 2021

Dec 16, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

In year two of the coronavirus pandemic, Chicago area residents continued to adapt to a changing world and adjusted their transportation habits and expectations for this new reality. Through it all, the Active Transportation Alliance worked with our community partners and legislative allies to fight for more residents to have access to safe, convenient, affordable, and sustainable transportation options. Here’s a look back at 10 of the most important walking, biking, and transit stories and advocacy victories of the year. 1. FEDERAL INFRASTRUCTURE BILL DELIVERS BILLIONS TO CHICAGO AREA In November President Biden signed into law a historic national infrastructure bill that includes unprecedented levels of funding for public transit, walking, and biking. While the bill was being developed, Active Trans and...

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...

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,...