Volunteers Needed for Outreach Tent During Bike the Drive, May 30

We are seeking volunteers to help staff an Active Trans tent at the post-ride festival at Bike the Drive on May 30. Opportunities include helping to sign up new members and sell merchandise and assisting with a bicycle-powered smoothie machine. It’ll be a fun place to be during the festival!

The cut-off time for entering Lake Shore Drive on your bike is 9 AM if you plan on riding. The festival is officially open 8 – noon. Below are the volunteer shifts for the outreach tent.

6:30 - 8:30 AM (set-up)
8:30 - 10:30 AM (festival) - most in need for this shift!
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM (festival)
12:30 – 2:00 PM (break-down)

Please contact Lee Crandell at lee@activetrans.org or 312-427-3325 x294 if you’d like to volunteer.


That was Barbara's response to my question, "Besides tired, how do you feel?" Barbara, who is in her 70s, and I were returning to Turtle Head parking lot today in the Palos Forest Preserve after a seven-mile tour of the Tinley Creek Trail and Orland's new-ish spur down the Com-Ed easement south of 135th Street. Having ridden her bike everywhere as a kid, Barbara was returning to cycling after decades.

I was leading a ride for Trinity Christian College's Senior Academy of Learning at Trinity (SALT) program, which offers a catalog of activities for seniors like Barbara.  Five seniors had signed up for three cycling classes - one instructional, two riding - taught/led by me and fellow League of American Bicyclist  (LAB) instructor Larry Mysz. Save for breaking the elbow of Trinity's librarian (who's also a friend of mine - it wasn't my fault!), the classes were just gobs of fun. At the first class, I gave students $5 coupons for new helmets from Richard's Cycles (119th Street and Harlem Avenue). Barbara and her friend Jean, also in the class, were both sporting sleek new Giro lids today, well-fitted by the Richard's staff.

Barbara drove to Palos from near Crown Point, Ind. to take the classes with Jean. She knew of no other opportunities for her to get back into biking. That's a clarion call: Her generation is the advance force of what will be divisions of seniors moving into or maintaining physically active lives over the next 20 years. The communities where trails, programs like Trinity's SALT, and experts like Active Trans & LAB intersect are where senior cycling will flourish. Looking at our region and that towering demographic wave, I can tell you we do not have enough of them.

But ask me how I feel about today.


Good News on Pedestrian Safety

The Chicago Department of Transportation and the Chicago Police Department announced that for the third year in a row they are conducing a pedestrian safety crackdown.  It starts out in Lakeview/Wrigleyville.  We applaud these efforts and encourage other municipalities to get on the safety bandwagon.  Thank you!

Read and see more.

For more info from CDOT on the campaign, go here.

Community Rally and Team effort in Pilsen

I am so excited about the weekend. I am preparing to present at the community rally and team effort that the Martha Gonzalez Memorial Committee has put together for this Saturday, May 15th at 11am at Kristoffer's Cafe at the corner of 18th and Halsted.

Martha Gonzalez, as you may remember from our previous blog entries was a resident of Pilsen who was killed by a hit-and-run driver on Tuesday October 13, 2009. This tragic event has galvanized her family and the wider community to work towards making the intersection of the incident, 18th and Halsted, a safer place for pedestrians and all residents.

This Saturday is a multi-layered community Team Effort that will:

  • Further publicize the reward for information that leads to the conviction of the hit and run driver.
  • Directly involve concerned members of the community in giving feedback to make the intersection a safer place where everyone can be active and enjoy their neighborhood. This will be done through a walkability assessment led by our Better Blocks program here at Active Transportation in collaboration with Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC)
  • Include a drive to collect signatures on the petition to designat 17th Place after “Martha Gonzalez.”

There’s lots of good work to do. All volunteers are welcome and the media has been invited to attend.

Coffee and pastries will be provided at Kristoffer’s Café at 11:00am.

If you have any further questions please contact me at migdalia@activetrans.org or Andrew Kudelka at mnemonicist@hotmail.com

I hope to see you there!


2nd Annual Back of the Yards Community BIke Day

This year’s community bike day is just around the corner. I'm excited and sad at the same time about this event, why? Last year we had over 250 families show up to this event in which 150 of them had broken bikes (this is the sad part).This event shows how important it is to have these types of resource available in the community. That’s when my work come in to place, as we help advocate for these issues.

Please join us on May 19, 2010 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm at Sherman Park, 1301 W. 52nd St.. There will be:

  • Age group racing
  • Activity station for kids and adults
  • Free bike fixing
  • Raffle, bike giveaways, helmets, light, locks etc.
  • Bike Education


Free Lunchtime Event Thursday for Those Who Enjoy Exploring the Region by Bike, Foot and Transit

Ever wanted to escape for a walk in the woods, but couldn’t figure out where to go or how to get there without a car? In a city with a million carless residents, you’re probably not alone. The Chicago region is filled with exciting places that you can explore by bike, by foot and by public transit. As warmer weather approaches, learn what the region has to offer and how you can get there before you strike out on your summer day trips. You won’t need a car to reach these treasured places, from calming parks and forest preserves to historic neighborhoods.

Creative Living in the City Lecture: Treasured Chicago Destinations by Foot, Bike and Public Transit
Where: Claudia Cassidy Theater, 2nd Floor, Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington Blvd., Chicago, IL
When: Thursday, May 13, 2010, 12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.
Cost: Free and open to the public

Erma Tranter, President of Friends of the Parks, will offer a visual tour of great parks you can escape to by public transportation.

Jason Rothstein, author of the new book Carless in Chicago, will offer tips for your carless explorations and suggestions for some other easy-to-reach destinations. Jason currently works full time at the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where the pro-pedestrian messages come fast and furious. He holds a BA in psychology from Antioch College and an MPH in heath policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Presented by the Active Transportation Alliance and Friends of the Parks as part of the Chicago Cultural Center’s Creative Living in the City lecture series.

Walk and Roll to School Day Mini Grant Program!

Join schools around the world in celebrating International Walk to School Day on Oct. 6!

Schools are invited to apply for Walk and Roll to School Day minigrants that include $500 in cash, promotional items (banners, signs and mile markers), Clif bars and a $100 credit toward training and equipment for AAA's School Safety Patrol Program. The minigrant program is sponsored by the Active Transportation Alliance along with other partner organizations.

Applications are available at www.activetrans.org/walkand roll and are due by July 2, 2010. Schools in Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kane, Kendall, McHenry and Will are eligible to apply.

This program provides resources for schools to execute high quality Walk and Roll to School Day festivities, and promote walking and biking to school as safe, popular modes of transportation throughout the year. Visit www.activetrans.org/walkandroll to download a copy of the application.

Adding Active Transportation Instructions to Websites

I got an email today from my favorite local theater confirming a reservation and I found it interesting that their email stated the following:  "That's near the intersection of Addison, Kedzie, and Elston. CTA: Get there via the Addison bus or the Addison stop on the blue line. Driving: There is plentiful street parking along Elston."  Close, but I'd take it a step farther and encourage all forms of active transportation.  I sent them an email and I'm asking you to do the same for your favorite places that need to get on the active trans bandwagon:

"I respectfully suggest that you add the following: We'd love to have you join us by using active transportation by biking, walking or taking transit. Go to http://www.goroo.com and you can select what your best travel options are to plan your trip."

Bike events in Arlington Heights

Mark your calendar for these events in Arlington Heights

Plan ahead now for the Arlington 500 Invitational Bike Ride on Sunday May 16
The Arlington 500 follows lightly traveled roads in Lake County, Illinois and is designed for the recreational bicyclist. 2010 is the 31st year for this popular ride which attracts cyclists from Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa. The ride features a choice of 4 routes with distances of 30, 44, 54, or 68 miles. The longest route, 68 miles, is slightly longer than 500 furlongs. The ride begins and ends at Barrington High School, West Parking Lot, 616 W. Main Street, Barrington Illinois. Details at www.cyclearlington.com or email 500@cyclearlington.com



International Ride of Silence on Wednesday May 19
Ride of Silence is an international event to honor those who have been injured or killed while bicycling on public roadways. All cyclists are encouraged to participate. The Ride Of Silence is a free ride that asks its cyclists to ride no faster than 12 mph and remain silent during the ride. There is no brochure, no sponsors, no registration fees and no t-shirt. The ride, which is held during Bike Safety month, aims to raise the awareness of motorists, police and city officials that cyclists have a legal right to the public roadways. Hundreds of locations around the world at 7PM www.rideofsilence.org Locally rides are planned for Chicago, Arlington Heights, Evanston, Joliet. Details at www.rideofsilence.org/chicago or email rideofsilence@gmail.com (Chicago) rideofsilence@cyclearlington.com (Arlington Heights) sjbriese@yahoo.com (Joliet)

Vote for board members

Active Transportation Alliance Board Election May 30, 2010, 10:30 a.m.
Butler Field in Grant Park, Chicago, IL

The Active Transportation Alliance will conduct its annual board election at 10:30 a.m., Sunday, May 30, 2010, at Butler Field in Grant Park. Current Active Trans members can vote on a proposed slate of board candidates to govern the organization. The board candidates' bios will be available at the Active Trans tent.


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