Tag Archives: Walking

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...

Transport Chicago to feature bus & river trail campaigns

Jun 7, 2019 | by Steve Simmons

If you'd like to see better walking, biking, and public transit options in Chicago and its suburbs, you might be interested in joining the Transport Chicago conference on June 14 at the Merchandise Mart. This one-day event is a great opportunity to speak with transportation professionals, learn more about a variety of initiatives, and speak up for healthy and sustainable transportation. Toward that end, we're excited to be leading two sessions on the agenda featuring our Back on the Bus and Chicago River Trail campaigns. For our presentation called Back on the Bus: A Campaign for Transit Priority Streets (held 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.), we'll explain why buses deserve priority on Chicago streets with dedicated bus lanes, and why...

Victory! Active Trans campaign for state walking and biking fund wins $50 million per year

Jun 3, 2019 | by Kyle Whitehead

For the first time ever, Illinois’ long-term capital program includes dedicated funding for walking and biking projects. Legislators passed a $33 billion, six-year transportation capital program in an extended session over the weekend. Gov. Pritzker has indicated he will sign the bill into law. The bill includes $50 million annually for walking and bicycling projects. Funds will be administered statewide through a competitive grant process using the existing Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP), which is currently entirely federally funded. The additional funds from the state will double the size of the program and could fund 125 new projects every year. Thanks to everyone who took action and the legislators who championed this issue in Springfield. Legislators told us this never...

Common sense approach needed for bikes on Riverwalk

May 30, 2019 | by Jim Merrell

UPDATE (6/25/19): According to the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), bicycling is allowed on the path when the Riverwalk is not congested. Reports indicate security guards are no longer asking people biking to dismount. Learn the latest on the issue and Active Trans' advocacy efforts in the Chicago Reader.  -- A lack of transparency and mixed messages has led to widespread confusion and frustration about biking on the Riverwalk along the Main Branch of the Chicago River. Currently, security guards are enforcing an all-out ban on bike traffic after 9 a.m., even when conditions allow for people to safely ride on the Riverwalk. We are urging the city and 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly to work with Active Trans, our...

Salt District adds flavor to Chicago River Trail

May 29, 2019 | by Steve Simmons

Walking, biking, and running along the Chicago River near Goose Island is about to become more attractive with the redevelopment of the Morton Salt facility on Elston Avenue. A well-known landmark on the North Side, Morton Salt has long occupied a 4.25-acre property located on the west bank of the Chicago River — running south from Blackhawk Street on Elston Avenue. Led by developer R2 Companies, the project will turn the site into a mixed-use office, retail, and entertainment complex, providing another attractive destination along a continuous Chicago River Trail. The so-called Salt District is expected to be completed in 2020. We're pleased the plan includes separated paths for people walking and biking, adding more trails along the North Branch....

Better walking & biking on Riverwalk & Wacker Dr.

May 20, 2019 | by Steve Simmons

If you've ever walked or biked along the Riverwalk on the Main Branch of the Chicago River — especially during summer months — then you know it's both a dynamic public space and a challenge to navigate on foot and bike. The Chicago River will only grow in popularity in the coming years as one of the city's premier destinations to work, play, and live. For this reason, it's time to improve walking and biking along the river so all Chicagoans can enjoy it. To build support for improvements, Active Trans is spearheading a project to develop concepts for addressing congestion experienced by people walking and biking along the Riverwalk and Upper Wacker Drive (pictured). The project is part of...

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...

Lathrop Homes path adds to growing Chicago River Trail

May 13, 2019 | by Steve Simmons

Biking, walking and access to the local bus route is about to get easier at Lathrop Homes with the expected completion of a riverfront path this summer. Lathrop Homes, a housing development north and south of Diversey Avenue along the Chicago River's North Branch, includes a new half-mile long trail that runs alongside the housing development on the east side of the Chicago River. The path ducks under the Diversey bridge and features a decked trail in the river south of Diversey (see below). It's exciting to see another section of the river trail opening soon, moving the city closer to a continuous 27-mile Chicago River Trail. A complete Chicago River trail would promote walking and biking and support healthy...

Will you join Mayor Rockingham?

May 8, 2019 | by Ted Villaire

Mayor Leon Rockingham wants to see his city of North Chicago become a better place for walking and biking. He knows the residents of this Lake County community want safer streets and they want a healthier, cleaner place to live. And like any community that wants to see these changes, he relies on the state to help. The problem is that state lawmakers often seem to only care about people driving cars. As legislators in Springfield mull a capital bill, Mayor Rockingham has joined a call for lawmakers to ensure that the bill funds walking and biking infrastructure. While transportation projects will likely receive the lion’s share of the capital budget bill, early drafts of the bill don't include any...