Tag Archives: Walking

Top 10 walking, biking, and transit stories of 2021

Dec 16, 2021 | by Kyle Whitehead

In year two of the coronavirus pandemic, Chicago area residents continued to adapt to a changing world and adjusted their transportation habits and expectations for this new reality. Through it all, the Active Transportation Alliance worked with our community partners and legislative allies to fight for more residents to have access to safe, convenient, affordable, and sustainable transportation options. Here’s a look back at 10 of the most important walking, biking, and transit stories and advocacy victories of the year. 1. FEDERAL INFRASTRUCTURE BILL DELIVERS BILLIONS TO CHICAGO AREA In November President Biden signed into law a historic national infrastructure bill that includes unprecedented levels of funding for public transit, walking, and biking. While the bill was being developed, Active Trans and...

New law paves the way for more walking and cycling infrastructure

Dec 14, 2021 | by Maya Norris

Earlier this year, Illinois State Rep. Bob Morgan helped usher in new legislation that will allow more communities to build walking and biking infrastructure in the Chicago region. The bill that Rep. Morgan co-sponsored — HB 2950 — allows the state and collar counties to spend gas tax funds on walking and bicycling infrastructure like sidewalks and bike lanes. Before this bill, gas tax revenue only went toward new roads. Active Trans worked with Rep. Morgan, as well as other legislators and various county agencies, to score this legislative win. Active Trans testified before House and Senate committees and organized advocates to file witness slips before key votes. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the bill in late summer. Rep. Morgan represents...

Suburban advocates demand better walking and biking infrastructure

Oct 25, 2021 | by Maggie Melin Czerwinski

The fight for safer streets for people walking and biking in Chicago’s suburbs has gained strength during the pandemic. Groups and individuals have been organizing local bike rides and walks, creating petitions to improve traffic safety, launching new websites, forming as non-profits, and building support from elected officials to invest in walking and biking infrastructure. To recognize their dedication and to help support their ongoing work, Active Trans awarded small stipends to a handful of advocacy groups and communities. Learn more below about how each group is making our region a better place to walk, bike, and live. There's also information about how you can get involved. ACTIVE TRANS SUBURBAN ADVOCACY 2021 AWARDEES Bike Walk Oak Park is working on...

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 that 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...