Tag Archives: Walking

A new trail to connect Lake Calumet area

Sep 14, 2021 | by Active Trans

Chicago’s Far South Side is an area rich in historical, cultural, and open space destinations. From Pullman National Monument to Big Marsh Park and the Ford Calumet Environmental Center, the area has no shortage of popular spots for Chicagoans to visit and enjoy. Unfortunately, a lack of safe walking and biking connections to these spots makes accessing them difficult for many residents who can’t or don’t drive. The geography, infrastructure, and heavy industry in the area present many significant obstacles, including large arterial roadways, active railroad lines, and waterways — all of which cut off many residents and visitors from easily and safely accessing these destinations and neighboring communities. The good news is the Active Trans has been working closely...

Bill eliminating local match for walk/bike infrastructure becomes law

Aug 31, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

Illinois law now requires the state to cover 100 percent of the cost of walking and biking infrastructure when it's needed on state roads. Illinois House Bill 270 took effect on Tuesday, August 30, after it passed the legislature in May with strong bipartisan majorities. Active Transportation Alliance championed the legislation along with Ride Illinois and Metropolitan Planning Council. Until now, Illinois policy dictated that when a state road is getting rebuilt, municipalities had to cover 20 percent of the cost of needed walking and biking infrastructure. This resulted in critical elements like sidewalks and bike lanes getting stripped out of the final design because towns couldn't afford the match — especially low-income communities. Now, thanks to the efforts of...

Rep. Moeller plays key role in passing bill to improve walking & biking

Jul 29, 2021 | by Ted Villaire

Getting the Illinois Department of Transportation to eliminate its 20 percent local match requirement for walking and biking improvements on state roads was a long and arduous battle. It required months of work on the part of advocates and lawmakers across Illinois. Thankfully, all the effort paid off. IDOT has always covered all costs for motor vehicle infrastructure on state roads. Now, thanks to this legislation that Active Trans spearheaded, IDOT must also cover all the costs for walking and biking improvements on these roads. This means we'll see safer street designs — particularly in lower-income communities. The bill, which passed with strong bipartisan majorities in both chambers, is expected to be signed into law soon by Gov. J.B. Pritzker....

Join us for a vigil honoring Kevin Clark’s life and legacy

Jun 3, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

The family of Kevin Clark is hosting a vigil and press conference on Saturday, June 12, at 10 a.m. at the Logan Square Monument. Kevin was tragically hit and killed in May while riding his bike near Logan Boulevard and Western Avenue. Speakers will remember Kevin’s life and legacy and call for improving bicycling safety in Logan Square and neighborhoods throughout Chicago. We will also install a ghost bike memorial for Kevin near the crash site. Kevin was a drummer and music educator well known for his role in the 2003 School of Rock film starring Jack Black. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP to the Facebook event. When: Saturday, June 12, 10 a.m. Where: Logan Square Monument Hosts: Kevin’s Clark's Family, Active Transportation Alliance, and Chicago Ride...

Victory! Illinois legislators eliminate local match for walk/bike infrastructure

Jun 1, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

Update (8/30/21): Illinois House Bill 270 is now law. Effective August 30th, the state will cover 100 percent of the cost of walking and biking infrastructure on state roads. After many months of effort from advocates and legislators, the Illinois House and Senate passed a bill mandating that the state cover 100 percent of the cost of walking and biking infrastructure on state roads, just like they do for cars and trucks.  Active Trans championed the legislation along with Ride Illinois and the Metropolitan Planning Council. The bill is now being sent to Governor Pritzker’s desk and should be signed into law this summer. It passed with strong bipartisan majorities in both chambers.  HOW IT HAPPENED  Advocates from across Illinois stepped up...

Why Illinois should eliminate the local match for walking and biking infrastructure

May 20, 2021 | by Active Trans

The following post is excerpted from George Fero's recent testimony before the Illinois Senate Transportation Committee about House Bill 270, which eliminates the 20 percent local cost share for walking and biking infrastructure. Fero serves as an alderman on the city council in Lebanon, a Southern Illinois town with about 4,500 residents. He also serves on the board of the statewide bike advocacy organization Ride Illinois and is vice-president of Gateway East Trails, his local walking and biking advocacy group. ___________________________________________________ The City of Lebanon, with a population of just under 5,000, is located at the eastern edge of metropolitan St. Louis, at the crossroads of US highway 50 and Illinois Route 4. Both highways are maintained by IDOT. We...

Take action now for more sidewalks and bike lanes on state roads

May 17, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

After passing in the Illinois House of Representatives last month, our bill — HB 270 — to eliminate the local cost share for walking and biking infrastructure on state roads has now passed out of committee in the Illinois Senate. But there's only two weeks left in the legislative session and we need to make sure it's called to the floor for a vote. ___________________________________________________ Please ask your senator to co-sponsor HB 270 and vote for it when it's called on the floor.  ____________________________________________________ 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...

Now is the time for a transformative capital plan

Apr 26, 2021 | by Jim Merrell

The just-announced Chicago Works Five Year Capital Plan offers Chicago an extraordinary opportunity to show how walking, biking, and transit can help spark and sustain an equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan highlights a number of inspiring and potentially transformational projects, including $159.2 million dedicated to the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) in 2021 and 2022 for Complete Streets improvements — like protected bike lanes and dedicated bus lanes. Unfortunately, the plan also risks missing out on some enormous benefits by taking a business-as-usual approach to transportation. The approach risks letting politically popular projects like car-centric re-paving beat out smart, long-term planning and investment in cleaner, healthier, and safer modes of transportation. The plan lacks details on how Complete Streets investments will...

Give your advocacy skills a boost with these virtual workshops

Apr 5, 2021 | by Maggie Melin Czerwinski

Ever wondered about the best time for advocates to get involved in a new transportation project? Or maybe you’ve been stumped about the most effective way to gather input about transportation projects from a wide range of people in your community? These are just a couple of the thorny questions addressed in a series of workshops held during Active Trans’ Suburban Action Week. The event, which included more than 35 speakers, enabled Active Trans to put together an extensive collection of resources intended to help community members successfully advocate for walking, biking, and transit. Some of the discussions focused on specific advocacy efforts while other presentations focused on walking, biking, and transit projects underway at the county level. Some presentations...

Get the latest on projects underway in your suburban community

Apr 2, 2021 | by Maggie Melin Czerwinski

Wondering about walking-, biking-, and transit-related projects currently underway in Chicagoland’s suburban communities? Well, here’s your chance to find out what’s happening. During our recent Suburban Action Week event, we heard directly from county staff in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties. Staff from county departments of transportation, councils of mayors, forest preserves, and other agencies shared overviews of current and upcoming walking, biking, and transit projects in each county. Additionally, staff from Pace Bus and Metra Rail each discussed how they’re navigating COVID-19 and what’s in store for the future of suburban transit. Check out recordings of these talks below!   COOK COUNTY Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways staff — Beth Davis, Benet Haller,...