Tag Archives: Walking

Transportation issues on the city’s Southwest Side during COVID-19

Jul 28, 2020 | by Lynda Lopez

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of what we perceive and know about mobility and transportation. In recent months, Active Trans met with more than 100 stakeholders who are invested in our work. We spoke with community partners, elected officials, department of transportation and transit agency officials, and residents across the city and suburbs. As part of this process, we held a series of small-group conversations and solo conversations with stakeholders and two elected officials on the city’s Southwest Side. Though not all-encompassing, here’s a glimpse of what residents on the Southwest Side are experiencing. MOBILITY FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES As our mobility in the city adapts to the changing circumstances of the pandemic, people with disabilities have experienced...

Chicago prepares second e-scooter pilot

Jul 27, 2020 | by Kyle Whitehead

The scooters are coming. Again.  Officials say four companies responded to the city’s request for applications for a second e-scooter sharing pilot this summer. Chicago selected Bird, Lime, and Spin to participate in this year's program, which launches August 12. 2020 PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS  The terms reflect many of the recommendations from Active Trans’ E-Scooter Policy Report, which was released following the 2019 pilot.  The companies can operate a combined 10,000 scooters in a geographic area that includes most of the city.  Scooters are not allowed downtown or on the Lakefront or 606 trails, as Active Trans and our partners recommended.   At least half of the scooters must be docked in low-income areas on the South and West Sides. We spoke with community leaders in these “priority zones” after the initial pilot and...

Transportation issues on the city’s West Side during COVID-19

Jul 23, 2020 | by Lynda Lopez

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of what we perceive and know about mobility and transportation. In recent months, Active Trans met with more than 100 stakeholders who are invested in our work. We spoke with community partners, elected officials, department of transportation and transit agency officials, and residents across the city and suburbs. As part of this process, we held a series of small-group conversations and solo conversations with stakeholders and an elected official on the city’s West Side. Though not all-encompassing, here’s a glimpse of what residents on the West Side are experiencing. TRANSIT As changes are made to public transit to accommodate the needs of public health, one of the top concerns we heard on the...

Additional walking and biking guidance during COVID-19

Jul 17, 2020 | by Maggie Melin

Earlier this spring when the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Active Transportation Alliance worked with Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) to develop a shareable infographic offering advice on how to stay safe while walking and biking. Now that our state has reached Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan, which allows for physically-distanced and masked gatherings of up to 100 people in outdoor spaces, many have asked if walking and biking in small groups is considered safe. We consulted with subject matter experts from CCDPH for advice. In general, if you go on a walk or bike ride by yourself or with anyone from within or outside of your household, always take the proper precautions. Public health guidelines still recommend keeping 6-feet of physical...

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 supporters across...

Mobility challenges in the time of COVID-19 on Chicago’s South Side

Jul 6, 2020 | by Julia Gerasimenko

COVID-19 has impacted transportation and mobility in profound ways. To better understand the transportation needs of the people and communities most impacted by the pandemic, Active Trans embarked on a listening tour of over 100 community leaders and public officials. This is part of a series of blog posts sharing what we learned. To learn more about the specific transportation and mobility challenges that people in Chicago face — particularly in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic — we held 11 conversations with community partners and elected officials on Chicago’s South Side. We spoke with two state elected officials, three aldermen, and several community partners and leaders from Bronzeville, Chatham, the East Side, Englewood, Hegewisch, Hyde Park, Riverdale, South Chicago,...

Mobility justice resources for Chicago Bike Week and beyond

Jun 29, 2020 | by Maggie Melin

During this year’s Chicago Bike Week and Bike Challenge, we have an additional challenge for you: Get informed! Bike Week is a perfect time to inform yourself about the role biking plays in mobility and racial justice. How can we ensure that our streets and public spaces feel safe and are safe for everyone? How can we ensure that our advocacy efforts for better biking center the voices of Black and Brown people and those who have experienced violence on our streets? How can our transportation systems better support and uplift the needs of those who have been historically marginalized and oppressed by systemic racism, white supremacy, and inequity? How can each of us as individuals do our part? One...

COVID-19 transportation listening tour

Jun 17, 2020 | by Lynda Lopez

In May 2020, Active Trans’ advocacy team embarked on a listening tour with more than 100 stakeholders who are invested in our work. We spoke with community partners, elected officials, department of transportation and transit agency officials, and residents across the city and suburbs. COVID-19 has impacted transportation and mobility in profound ways and these one-on-one and group conversations via Zoom were a way for our organization to have a more grounded understanding of the effects region-wide. These conversations will allow us to point to transportation priorities that are specific to different parts of the region. As part of this process, we will be sharing what we’ve learned in a series of posts on the Active Trans blog. While our...

Chicago launches Our Streets as part of COVID-19 response

May 29, 2020 | by Active Trans

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a new program to create more space for people walking and biking during the COVID-19 pandemic.  According to the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), the Our Streets initiative “invites Chicago neighborhoods to request that local roads be converted into corridors for improved, safe travel and healthy activity.”   This includes designating some residential streets as “shared streets” by adding traffic barriers and limiting through traffic to allow for physically distanced walking and biking. The list of streets is still in development, although 47th Ward Alderman Matt Martin announced Leland Avenue in his North Side ward will be the city’s first COVID-19 shared street starting Friday.  Shared streets are a first step to help Chicagoans feel safe walking and biking during the pandemic, but much more needs to be done. To date, the city’s plans fail to address the mobility...

A few questions for Amy Rynell

May 22, 2020 | by Maya Norris

Amy Rynell joined Active Trans as its new executive director in March. An experienced nonprofit leader with a deep commitment to social justice and human rights, Rynell comes to Active Trans having served in various research and policy roles at Chicago-based Heartland Alliance over the last 22 years, most recently serving as director of research and policy. Amy shared her thoughts about what it’s been like to lead the organization through the COVID-19 crisis, how she plans to advance Active Trans’ mission, and how she uses sustainable transportation in her own life. What attracted you to Active Trans? Amy: Transportation access and safety can make or break someone’s ability to succeed economically. As someone who has worked on social justice...