Tag Archives: legislation

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...

Ron Burke to step down as head of Active Trans

Jun 17, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

After nearly nine years with the Active Transportation Alliance, Ron Burke will step down from his role as the organization’s executive director next month. During Burke’s tenure, Active Trans contributed to many victories, from the growth of Chicago’s advanced bike lane network and launch of Divvy bikeshare, to the creation of separate biking and walking trails on the lakefront, introduction of dedicated bus lanes, and expansion of suburban trails. Active Trans also had wins in Springfield during Burke’s tenure, including legislation requiring K-8 public schools to teach biking and walking education and the recent passage of a state capital bill that includes $50 million annually for walking and bicycling projects. "Under Ron’s leadership, Active Trans has become a more visible...

State bike/walk fund advances transportation equity

Jun 10, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

The new state money for walking and bicycling comes with reforms that make it easier for low-income communities to secure funding. Needless to say, we were thrilled to see our efforts pay off in creating better transportation equity in the state. For the first time ever, Illinois’ long-term capital program includes dedicated funding for walking and biking projects — $50 million annually. It also includes sustainable funding for public transit for the first time ever. The new biking and walking funding will be distributed via the state’s popular Illinois Transportation Enhancements grant Program (ITEP), but with some important changes that make it more accessible for low-income communities. Local matching funding shall be required according to a sliding scale based on...

Victory! Active Trans campaign for state walking and biking fund wins $50 million per year

Jun 3, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

For the first time ever, Illinois’ long-term capital program includes dedicated funding for walking and biking projects. Legislators passed a $33 billion, six-year transportation capital program in an extended session over the weekend. Gov. Pritzker has indicated he will sign the bill into law. The bill includes $50 million annually for walking and bicycling projects. Funds will be administered statewide through a competitive grant process using the existing Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP), which is currently entirely federally funded. The additional funds from the state will double the size of the program and could fund 125 new projects every year. Thanks to everyone who took action and the legislators who championed this issue in Springfield. Legislators told us this never...

Will you join Mayor Rockingham?

May 8, 2019 | by Ted Villaire

Mayor Leon Rockingham wants to see his city of North Chicago become a better place for walking and biking. He knows the residents of this Lake County community want safer streets and they want a healthier, cleaner place to live. And like any community that wants to see these changes, he relies on the state to help. The problem is that state lawmakers often seem to only care about people driving cars. As legislators in Springfield mull a capital bill, Mayor Rockingham has joined a call for lawmakers to ensure that the bill funds walking and biking infrastructure. While transportation projects will likely receive the lion’s share of the capital budget bill, early drafts of the bill don't include any...

Take action for safer streets and trails in Illinois

Apr 1, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

A bill that could boost funding for Illinois communities looking to be more bike- and walk-friendly passed out of committee in Springfield. Now we need your help to make sure it passes the Illinois General Assembly and is sent to the governor’s desk. Take action now for safer streets and trails in Illinois. Senate Bill 2016 (SB2016) establishes a Complete Streets and Trails Local Grant Program in Illinois. Local governments could apply for grants to build and extend trails or make street improvements for vulnerable users on foot and on bikes. Eligible projects would include pedestrian refuge islands, crosswalk countdown timers, pedestrian crossing signs, upgraded trail crossings and bike lanes that create orderly street space for all. Tell your state legislators...

Take action for safer biking and walking on state roads

Mar 13, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

A resolution calling for the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to better protect people biking and walking on state roads passed out of committee in Springfield. Now we need your help to make sure it passes the Illinois General Assembly and is sent to the governor's desk. Take action now for safer biking and walking on state roads. Senate Joint Resolution 24 (SJR24) calls for IDOT to update its policies and design guidelines to reflect the needs of everyone using the road. It resolves to make it easier for low-income communities to fund critical pedestrian safety improvements, and urges the state to implement outstanding action items from the Illinois 2012 bicycle plan, among other recommendations. In Illinois, serious and fatal traffic...

Rep. Mah takes on sustainable transportation issues

Mar 6, 2019 | by Maya Norris

Since being elected to the Illinois House of Representatives for the 2nd District in January 2017, Rep. Theresa Mah (D-Chicago) has actively pushed for legislation that improves walking, biking and public transit. The freshman lawmaker’s most recent win occurred when then Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the Bike Safety and Dutch Reach Act. The law adds bike safety to the state’s Rules of the Road manual and the driver’s license exam. They will include information about the Dutch Reach method, which encourages drivers and passengers to use their far hands and reach across their bodies to open car doors, forcing them to look back for approaching cyclists before exiting their cars. Mah worked with Active Trans to get the legislation written...