Tag Archives: legislation

Action alert: More senators needed to co-sponsor bill to make state roads safer

Mar 26, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

The Illinois House is advancing Active Trans' bill to eliminate the local share of the costs for walking and biking infrastructure on state roads, but the state senate has yet to take action on it. We need your help to make sure the senate takes action. One way to show broad support is to recruit more co-sponsors of the legislation. Under current law, when the state of Illinois is rebuilding a road, the state covers 100 percent of the cost of infrastructure for cars and trucks, such as travel lanes and road markings. But if the state’s analysis determines a sidewalk, side path, or bike lane should be added and there’s community support for it, then the local community is...

Action Alert: Help make state roads safer for people walking and biking

Feb 25, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

The transportation committee in the Illinois State House is considering a bill that would make roads safer for vulnerable users, and we need your help to make sure it passes. House Bill 270 eliminates the 20 percent local cost share for walking and biking infrastructure on state roads. The bill is scheduled to be called in committee on Monday, March 3, at noon. Under current law, when the state is rebuilding a road, the state covers 100 percent of the cost of infrastructure for car and trucks, such as travel lanes and markings. But if the state’s analysis determines a sidewalk, side path, or bike lane should be added and there’s community support for it, then the local community is...

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...

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...

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...

Reform – don’t ban – red light camera programs

Mar 17, 2020 | by Melody Geraci

As legislators in Springfield consider legislation to ban red light cameras in many Illinois communities, it’s important to recognize the proven safety benefits. When used fairly and effectively, research shows that red light cameras make our streets safer for everybody. In 2017 researchers at the Northwestern University Transportation Center found that Chicago’s red-light camera program delivers significant safety benefits. The study discovered that serious right-angle and turning crashes decreased by 19 percent at intersections with cameras, and injury-producing crashes dropped by 10 percent. Research has also found evidence of a “spillover effect,” which has lead to safety benefits and crash reductions at intersections and streets without cameras. The Federal Highway Administration first recognized the proven safety benefits of photo enforcement...

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...

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...

Taking the safe streets fight to D.C.

Sep 10, 2019 | by Barb Cornew

While transportation may not be the biggest issue in national politics this year, members of Congress do understand how important it is for their constituents to be able to get where they need to go. Active Trans worked with advocates from across the Chicago region to meet with their members of Congress during the summer recess. We discussed how to work together on a national agenda for safer streets and more reliable public transit. Personal connections and local stories go a long way with elected officials in D.C. Citizens from Park Ridge, Evanston, Des Plaines, Chicago, Elk Grove, Schaumburg, Elgin, Downers Grove and Wheaton met with U.S. Representatives Jan Schakowsky, Chuy Garcia, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Mike Quigley, Sean Casten, and Brad...