Tag Archives: Chicago

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...

Winter Bike Challenge, presented by Keating Law Offices, wraps up

Mar 5, 2021 | by Clare McDermott

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and brutal February weather, nearly 350 people suited up and participated in the 2021 Winter Bike Challenge, presented by Keating Law Offices. Overall, riders logged nearly 2,000 miles over the course of 300 trips. During the two-week challenge, riders saw all types of cold weather thrown at them, including one day with over ten inches of snow in the Chicago-area. Despite the snow that day, eight winter riders still got out and logged miles. Impressive! Active Trans is hopeful that we’ll return to hosting a live Winter Bike Rally in Daley Plaza in 2022 and may even bring back the Challenge component again for next year. In the meantime, we are hopeful that our largest fundraising...

Report shows mayor, police drove decisions to shut down transit, raise bridges

Feb 24, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

A new report from Chicago’s Inspector General (IG) finds police and emergency management personnel had outsize influence on decisions to shut down transit and raise bridges during last summer’s protests following George Floyd’s murder. These decisions had major transportation impacts on thousands of city residents, particularly our most vulnerable neighbors such as people with disabilities and low-income essential workers. Yet the report finds the city’s transit leaders who know their systems best often weren’t at the table when these calls were made.  REPORT FINDINGS  On decisions to shut down transit: “CTA personnel expressed doubts as to whether CPD command staff knew the CTA system well enough to know what service changes would achieve the desired crowd control objectives.” (p. 43) On downtown stop closures: “The decision to bypass downtown CTA stops was made by the Mayor’s Office at the...

Join us at the Chicago Food Justice Summit

Feb 24, 2021 | by Active Trans

As part of the 16th Annual Chicago Food Justice Summit, Active Transportation Alliance is excited to help lead a discussion about how food access is linked to transportation issues.  The virtual event, which is focusing on the theme of "radical re-imagination," is sponsored by the Chicago Food Policy Action Council (CFPAC). The CFPAC is an organization that works to improve food access for Chicago residents and ensure that the food is culturally appropriate, healthy, affordable, and is grown through environmentally sustainable practices.  The summit serves as an opportunity to connect food workers, farmers, vendors, and local leaders in order to discuss food policy and other critical issues involving climate change, labor, food access, and urban farming.  Registration is free and open to the public. Spanish translation will be...

Belmont Cragin youth urge CTA board to upgrade bus service  

Feb 16, 2021 | by Active Trans

Two community youth leaders pressed the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) board at the February meeting on service and cleanliness issues, earning commitments from CTA leadership that they would work to address their concerns. Minerva Garcia and Yalinette Rivera are youth organizers from the Belmont Cragin Youth Leadership Council, a part of the Northwest Side Housing Center. Both Minerva and Yalinette testified at CTA’s February board meeting. Minerva is a junior at Northside College Prep and Yalinette is a junior at Lincoln Park High School. They both face long commutes on transit to reach their schools from their homes in Belmont Cragin. Belmont Cragin is a working-class community with a majority Latinx population that includes many immigrants and one of the highest ratios of youth compared to...

Chicago celebrates Transit Equity Day with Reps. Garcia and Kelly

Feb 11, 2021 | by Active Trans

Hundreds of advocates and community leaders joined Congressman Chuy Garcia and Congresswoman Robin Kelly in Chicago’s first celebration of National Transit Equity Day on February 4.  Transit Equity Day serves as a national day of action that commemorates the birthday of Rosa Parks while reminding us that public transit is a civil right. It was started four years ago by a network of transit rider unions, community organizations, environmental advocates, and labor unions.  Chicago’s celebration focused on the challenges Black and Brown communities face with inadequate public transit and how federal funding can help address this problem. Active Trans, Chicago Jobs with Justice, and Metropolitan Planning Council co-hosted the virtual event.  REP. ROBIN KELLY In her speaking segment, Rep. Kelly discussed how decades of structural racism...

Veteran advocate brings equity, affordability to the region’s transportation system

Feb 8, 2021 | by Maya Norris

Jacky Grimshaw has made an indelible mark on the transportation scene in metropolitan Chicago. The longtime sustainable transportation advocate has spent the last 30 years working to improve walking, bicycling, and public transit conditions in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. She’s been a prominent, influential force that has helped to shape and advance an equitable, affordable, and sustainable transportation system in the region. Her impressive achievements in the sector have earned her Active Transportation Alliance’s Visionary Leadership Award, which Active Trans will present to her at its 35th Anniversary E-Bash in March (please consider joining Active Trans for this free event on March 24). Grimshaw began her career as a sustainable transportation advocate when she joined the Center for Neighborhood...

Top 10 walking, biking, and transit stories of 2020

Jan 11, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

2020 was a challenging year on many fronts. The coronavirus devastated communities across Chicagoland in 2020 and the transportation impacts will be felt for years to come.  Throughout the year, the Active Transportation Alliance continued to do the important work of fighting for clean and equitable transportation. Here’s a look back at 10 of the most important walking, biking, and transit stories and advocacy victories of the year.  1. COVID changes how Chicagoans get around. From staying at home in March through spending the holidays at home in December, many residents traveled far less in 2020. Car traffic and transit ridership plummeted while walking and biking spiked. Over the summer, Active Trans spoke with more than 100 community leaders in the city and suburbs about...

Cameras can help Chicago slow down cars but must be deployed fairly

Oct 27, 2020 | by Kyle Whitehead

During a difficult Chicago budget season, Mayor Lori Lightfoot is proposing changes to the city’s speed camera program that would lower the speed at which residents are ticketed.  State law allows Chicago officials to ticket people driving when they’re captured on camera going 6 mph or more above the posted limit. However, to date the city has only ticketed residents for going 10 mph or more above limit.   Last week Mayor Lightfoot proposed lowering the ticketing threshold to 6 mph. In support of the proposal, the mayor pointed to camera data showing increases in speeding near parks and schools during the pandemic.   This proposal rightly shines a light on the danger of speeding on city streets and the harm it causes. But the timing and penalty structure raise concerns about the program’s impact on racial and social equity, especially...

Advocates call for keeping transit running during any post-election protests

Oct 13, 2020 | by Kyle Whitehead

UPDATE (10/14/20): In response to the petition, Mayor Lightfoot's Office said in a statement to WTTW that they will work with city officials, community leaders, and other stakeholders to “avoid any shutdown of transit options in the future.” A coalition of advocates is calling on Mayor Lightfoot and Chicago-area transit agencies to keep our buses, trains, paratransit, and bike sharing running during future periods of civil unrest in the city.   The group’s petition states that “transit is a public good and a necessity at all times.” It calls for the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra, Pace Suburban Bus, and Divvy to make public commitments to remain in operation during times of protest so people can get where they need to go.  The group says this request is urgent given the potential for unrest following major upcoming...