Tag Archives: Trails

I&M Canal Trail completion gains momentum

Nov 18, 2019 | by Matt Gomez

Would you like the opportunity to bike on a seamless trail from Chicago to Starved Rock and Matthiessen State Parks? The I&M Canal Trail and the Centennial Trail run from the southwest suburbs of Chicago to the downstate parks. However, as riders of those trails know, major gaps exist in the trails that restrict users from staying on the same trail to make that journey. Instead, during those gaps, riders need to find their own alternative routes to safely make the trip. Due to the nature of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal and the heavy industrial users along the canal in the near southwest suburbs, a large gap exists in the I&M Canal Trail from the Chicago Portage National...

Enhancing Lake Calumet area connections

Jun 25, 2019 | by Matt Gomez

Getting around in the communities surrounding Lake Calumet on Chicago's Far South Side is an enormous challenge without a car. A lack of public transit options, few bicycle trails, and inadequate pedestrian infrastructure make traveling without a car between communities like Riverdale, Roseland, and Pullman frustrating and often risky. Obstacles like heavy industry, highways, rail tracks, and waterways cut off most of these neighborhoods from neighboring communities. The good news is that solid ideas have been developed for improving the walking, biking, and transit connections between these places. Improving these connections would not only boost transportation and recreation options for residents, but also would advance economic development by attracting tourism and connecting people to new commercial centers. Earlier this month,...

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...

Mayor Lightfoot can reduce Chicago’s car dependency

May 20, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

To tackle traffic congestion and make transportation more affordable, healthy, and equitable, Chicago must make it easier to get around without a car. During the campaign, Mayor Lightfoot and many council members supported strategies to move Chicago in this direction, including increasing transportation options in the city’s transit deserts and reducing serious traffic crashes that are concentrated on the city’s South and West Sides. They recognized that urban transportation is changing, and cities must adapt to remain competitive in attracting new businesses and residents. Now it’s time to get to work and move Chicago past decades of car dependency and into a new mobility future. During the campaign, Active Transportation NOW — a 501(c)4 affiliate of Active Trans — and...

Chicago needs more bikeways

May 10, 2019 | by Jim Merrell

As a new mayor and city council prepare to take office, we need to ensure that Chicago builds upon its success by creating more bikeways for all ages and abilities and ensure that they are accessible to all Chicagoans. The transition to a new administration provides a natural opportunity to reflect on recent progress and future opportunities to improve our network of bikeways. That’s why we’ve called on the city to build 100 miles of new bikeways by 2023. Mayor Lightfoot and 24 members of city council have already endorsed this goal. Since 2011, Chicago’s bike network has grown rapidly, adding nearly 150 new miles of bikeways. Despite this progress, 60 percent of Chicagoans still do not have access to...

Villa Park advocates build support for safer biking

Mar 12, 2019 | by Maggie Melin

Advocate and Village Trustee Bob Wagner is working with a core group of volunteers in the Village of Villa Park to promote bicycle safety and increase public awareness of the village’s recently-developed Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. Active Trans partnered with the village to lead the effort in developing the master plan, which has three main goals: ⇒ Create better connections between the Illinois Prairie Path, Great Western Trail, Salt Creek Trail and other local destinations ⇒ Improve sidewalks and intersections for pedestrians ⇒ Develop a bicycle network with a focus on north/south connections As part of the community engagement process, a 16-member steering committee was formed that consisted of village staff, elected officials, local business owners and residents. Eager...