Tag Archives: Walking

Top 10 walking, biking, and transit stories of 2020

Jan 11, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

2020 was a challenging year on many fronts. The coronavirus devastated communities across Chicagoland in 2020 and the transportation impacts will be felt for years to come.  Throughout the year, the Active Transportation Alliance continued to do the important work of fighting for clean and equitable transportation. Here’s a look back at 10 of the most important walking, biking, and transit stories and advocacy victories of the year.  1. COVID changes how Chicagoans get around. From staying at home in March through spending the holidays at home in December, many residents traveled far less in 2020. Car traffic and transit ridership plummeted while walking and biking spiked. Over the summer, Active Trans spoke with more than 100 community leaders in the city and suburbs about...

Two key funding sources for projects in your community

Jan 6, 2021 | by Maggie Melin Czerwinski

The walking and biking boom during the pandemic has accelerated community interest in funding bike and pedestrian projects. For decades, these types of projects have proven to make our streets safer for all users while boosting community health, equity, and sustainability. Yet, finding funding can be surprisingly difficult, especially for low-income, rural, and Black and Brown communities. Fortunately, new funding opportunities have recently emerged thanks to advocacy from Active Trans and our partners across the state. Both the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP) and Surface Transportation Program (STP) Shared Fund have been recently improved and expanded to help communities build safe walking and biking networks. Here’s a quick summary of how each program can help your community fund walking and...

Closing the door on the Route 53 extension

Nov 24, 2020 | by Maggie Melin Czerwinski

Highway expansion has a long history of encouraging more people to drive, intensifying congestion, displacing low-income communities, and harming the environment. For all these reasons, we were delighted to see progress made in putting to rest once and for all the controversial Route 53 highway expansion in Lake County. An important step in preventing the project from easily getting reactivated in the future is re-envisioning the land that was acquired when the project was under consideration. A task force is proposed This re-envisioning work would be done by a task force that was proposed in legislation introduced by the Illinois Senate and House and then approved by the Lake County Board. Originally introduced in early 2020, the senate bill is...

Advocate works to make Des Plaines better for walking, biking

Nov 18, 2020 | by Maya Norris

Wharton Sinkler is on a mission. As the president of the Des Plaines Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Sinkler wants to pave the way to better walking and biking conditions in Des Plaines. He and his fellow DPBPAC members advocate for infrastructure projects in Des Plaines that allow people walking and biking to navigate the northwest suburb safely and easily. For his outstanding advocacy work over the years, Sinkler and two other local advocates — Romina Castillo and Pha'Tal Perkins — will be receiving Advocate of the Year awards at the Active Trans Annual Meeting on December 2. You're welcome to join this online event as we celebrate the great work these individuals are doing in their communities. Founded in...

Virtual town hall: Advancing walking and biking projects during COVID-19

Nov 6, 2020 | by Active Trans

Join Active Transportation Alliance on Wednesday, November 11, 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., for a virtual town hall with State Representative Theresa Mah (2nd District) and Alderman Andre Vasquez (40th Ward). You can register for the free event today. Rep. Mah and Ald. Vasquez will discuss how they have been working with residents in their districts to advance walking and biking projects during COVID-19. Also joining the conversation will be leaders from local community groups who are addressing these issues. As with many other critical public systems, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the underlying inequities in Chicago’s transportation network. Structural racism and white supremacy have led to stark racial and economic segregation in the Chicago region. Years of disinvestment mean...

Cameras can help Chicago slow down cars but must be deployed fairly

Oct 27, 2020 | by Kyle Whitehead

During a difficult Chicago budget season, Mayor Lori Lightfoot is proposing changes to the city’s speed camera program that would lower the speed at which residents are ticketed.  State law allows Chicago officials to ticket people driving when they’re captured on camera going 6 mph or more above the posted limit. However, to date the city has only ticketed residents for going 10 mph or more above limit.   Last week Mayor Lightfoot proposed lowering the ticketing threshold to 6 mph. In support of the proposal, the mayor pointed to camera data showing increases in speeding near parks and schools during the pandemic.   This proposal rightly shines a light on the danger of speeding on city streets and the harm it causes. But the timing and penalty structure raise concerns about the program’s impact on racial and social equity, especially...

The stress and uncertainty surrounding transportation

Sep 2, 2020 | by Active Trans

At Active Trans, there’s been a lot to learn as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Every day we’re fine-tuning our work so that we can better address the challenges people face while walking, biking, and using public transit during the pandemic. We’ve known that COVID-19 has altered walking, biking, and public transit, but we’ve been struggling to understand how different parts of the region and individual communities have been affected. In order to get a better grasp of the widespread impact of this crisis, we decided to conduct a listening tour of the region. As part of the tour, Active Trans met via Zoom with more than 100 individuals and organizations that are invested in our work. We spoke with...

Mobility and essential travel during COVID-19

Aug 21, 2020 | by Alex Perez

When COVID-19 cases and deaths were rising in Chicago in March and April, the pandemic hit communities of color on the South and West Sides of Chicago at disproportionate rates. People in communities of color were already facing disparities in income, employment, health, traffic safety, and economic disinvestment before the COVID-19 outbreak. When the pandemic hit, Black people started dying at 2-3 times the rate of the city's White residents. In order to gain a better understanding of the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Black and Brown communities in Chicago, we wanted to look at transportation patterns among communities that were hit hardest. We also wanted to look at where essential workers live and how travel behavior changed...

Mobility in the time of COVID-19 in the north and west suburbs

Aug 20, 2020 | by Maggie Melin Czerwinski

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, municipal staff, and elected officials in the north and west suburbs. Though not all encompassing, here is a glimpse of what residents are experiencing. During the course of 14 conversations, we spoke with community members, municipal staff, and elected officials representing Des Plaines, Elgin, Highland Park, Skokie, Waukegan, DuPage...

Mobility in the time of COVID-19 in the south suburbs

Aug 18, 2020 | by Maggie Melin Czerwinski

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, municipal staff, 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 in southern Cook County and Will County. Though not all encompassing, here is a glimpse of what residents in the south and southwest suburbs are experiencing. During the course of 14 conversations, we spoke with community members, municipal staff, and elected officials representing Blue Island, Calumet City,...