49th Ward Residents Have Opportunity Tomorrow to Vote for Better Biking, Walking and Transit!

The 49th Ward is ripe with opportunities to make your neighborhood better for biking, walking and transit.

Ald. Joe Moore is using a participatory budgeting process to decide how to allocate $1.2 million in aldermanic menu money this year. This money can be spent on infrastructure improvements such as bike lanes, sidewalks, train station shelter and street safety improvements.

That means that 49th Ward residents will have a say in which projects get funding. If you live in the ward, you can speak up on behalf of cyclists, pedestrians and transit riders to make your neighborhood a better place to live, work and play.

The Voting Assembly is Saturday, April 10.

Learn more about the projects on the ballot and the voting process at http://participatorybudgeting49.wordpress.com/

Sierra Club Transportation Symposium this Saturday

Our good friends are hosting a symposium entitled "Transportation, Community and Climate Change: Seizing the Opportunities" this Saturday, April 10. And for $25, you won't find a better bargain for a unique collaboration opportunity. Details below.

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Moving to a low carbon transportation future that helps reduce our dependence on oil requires concerted efforts to interrelate planning, land use, and transit.

Join Sierra Club's Building Healthy Communities Team for "Transportation, Community and Climate Change: Seizing the Opportunities" on April 10. We will address how we can plan for vibrant communities that create a sense of place, allow for many transportation choices, and protect lands from development.

Here are the details:

What: A one day symposium brought to you by the Sierra Club's Green Transportation Campaign and Building Healthy Communities Team

When: Saturday, April 10, 2010, 10am – 5pm

Where: Catalyst Ranch, 656 W. Randolph, Suite 3W, Chicago, IL

Click here to sign up today for a vibrant discussion of topics like: transportation effects on climate change and dependence on oil; designing out carbon: the connection between smart growth and green building; using the regional planning process to get more transportation options; high speed rail; the future of the automobile; and much more!


 

CDOT looking for Bicycle Program intern

Chicago's Department of Transportation is looking for an intern to work in the Bicycle Program

Duties include:

  • Conducting field surveys to collect data needed for new bike lane designs;
  • Preparing pavement marking plans;
  • Implementing one or two priority strategies in Chicago’s Bike 2015 Plan; and
  • Assisting staff with other tasks.

Students enrolled in an engineering, graduate urban planning, or marketing program will be given preference. Students interested in making bicycling an integral part of daily life in Chicago are encouraged to apply. Applicants must be Chicago residents.

This internship will be for a 12 – 14 week period beginning in May or early June. E-mail resume with a cover letter to Rena McGowan, the Chicago Department of Transportation’s Student Intern Coordinator, at rmcgowan@cityofchicago.org by April 15, 2010. Reference Bicycling Intern - TC 0404 in the subject line of the e-mail. Refer to the full intern job notice at www.ChicagoBikes.org, Recent News section, for more information.
 

Free Lunchtime Lecture Tomorrow on Walkable Urbanism and the Green Future of Cities

Active Trans is excited to offer the public an opportunity to see two national leaders in the sustainable cities movement speak at a free lunchtime lecture tomorrow. Come learn about the connection between transportation, urban planning and sustainability.

“Sustainability points us toward a future lived locally in one's neighborhood -- getting around on foot, bike and transit.” This quote from Doug Farr in the Chicago Tribune last year gives us a peek at his deep understanding of the Active Trans vision. Doug Farr is the founding principal and president of Farr Associates, an award-wining architecture and urban planning firm with the distinction of being the first in the world to have designed three LEED Platinum buildings. Farr Associates is also a past winner in the Bike to Work Week commuter challenge.

Carol Coletta is president and CEO of CEOs for Cities, a national network of urban leaders co-founded by Mayor Richard Daley and headquartered in Chicago. She also brings a great perspective to our vision, shedding light on the economic and environmental benefits of livable communities that encourage walking, biking and transit.

Walkable Urbanism and the Green Future of Cities
Claudia Cassidy Theater, 2nd Floor, Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington Blvd., Chicago, IL
April 8, 2010, 12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.
Free and open to the public

As America struggles with sustainability, cities can play a central role in reducing our carbon emissions. Discover the importance of healthy urban places that enable residents to walk, bike and take transit. Learn how cities are going green with high-performance infrastructure and buildings combined with planning strategies that reduce driving. Doug Farr and Carol Coletta will address why urbanism is a key solution and how cities and urban planners are building a greener future.

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.

Where would you put a bike boulevard?

The City of Chicago is interested in piloting a bike boulevard and the Chicago Department of Transportation is asking for input and suggestions on locations.

Bike boulevards are roads that are made comfortable for all bicyclists by slowing car traffic and reducing the amount of car traffic on the street. That might be through speed bumps, traffic diverters or signs. Local traffic can still maneuver, but high-speed cut-through traffic is discouraged.
Bike boulevards are usually parallel to arterial roads and oftentimes become major thoroughfares for bicyclists and havens for families to walk and play.

Here is an example of one in Portland

We’ve been asked to reach out to our members and to collect feedback. So we want to hear your suggestions for specific street locations that would be a good fit for a bike boulevard in Chicago. Keep these criteria in mind:

  • Minimum one-mile stretch
  • Controlled crossing at all intersections – stop sign or traffic light
  • Residential roadway
  • Low motor vehicle traffic
  • High number of cyclists using the route and in the neighborhood
  • Aldermanic support

Send us your ideas to adolfo@activetrans.org by Friday April 9 with "Bike Boulevard" in the subject line.

Your voice strengthens the movement around active transportation. Thank you!

Calling All Volunteers!

The MB Financial Bank Bike the Drive is only 60 DAYS away and we need your help! Volunteers are needed before and the day of the event to help distribute rider packets, serve food to hungry riders, guide them along Lake Shore Drive, break down the event, and much more! Check out all of our volunteer opportunities at www.bikethedrive.org/volunteer.

Volunteering is fun and comes with great perks:

  • Day-of-event volunteers receive a pancake breakfast, t-shirt and raffle entry
  • Pre-event volunteers can trade six volunteer hours for an event registration
  • Groups of 15 or more volunteers may qualify for a $200 donation.
  • For more information and to register as a volunteer visit www.bikethedrive.org/volunteer

Questions? Contact Margaret Kushiner, Volunteer Coordinator, at 312-427-3325, ext 297 or via email at margaret@activetrans.org.

Legislative Update

The Illinois General Assembly is currently on a two-week recess. We are glad for the rest, as it has been a busy spring for the legislative team at Active Trans. The current status of our priority bills is:

Bike Helmet Law – thanks to our efforts a provision that would have prohibited most bike sharing programs (ala Paris) was stopped

Bike Harassment Bill – the Senate passed a bill to create a new crime for those motorists who drive to close to, toward or near a bicyclist or pedestrian. The House will consider the bill after the break.

Lowering Speed Limits – Active Trans and the Illinois Municipal League teamed up to champion a bill that would allow for lower speed limits in many suburbs. The bill passed the Senate and is pending in the House.

Red Light Cameras – a compromise bill passed the Senate that would allow for continued use of red light cameras to protect active transportation users coupled with more police oversight.

Must Stop for Pedestrians – Active Trans is championing HB 43 which would require motorists to stop, rather than yield, for pedestrians in crosswalks. The bill passed the House and is pending in the Senate.

For more information, please visit www.activetrans.org.

We welcome your thoughts on our legislative agenda. Please email questions and comments to info@activetrans.org.
 

Bike to Work Week registration is open!

Get your company healthy this year by signing up for Bike to Work Week, the annual contest that challenges Chicagoland businesses to get the most employees to take a two-wheeled commute during that week.

The Active Transportation Alliance’s Bike to Work Week, June 12-18, is an annual celebration of bike commuting. Last year more than 322 companies representing thousands of employees participated. Participating companies have included Google, WTTW, City of Aurora, Chicago Sun-Times, The Field Museum, Sen. Richard Durbin’s office and hundreds of others.

Here is how it works:

Team leaders sign up their company at www.activetrans.org/biketowork. Team leaders can be anyone – an administrator, staff, president, director, owner, manager – whoever! Choose the correct category for your business to you can compete against similar organizations.

That person encourages their team of co-workers to bike at least one trip during Bike to Work Week June 12-18. Team Leaders then collect the results and submit them online.

Active Trans will supply Team Leaders will all the tools they need to make biking an easy choice for their teammates – bike maps, how-to manuals and duel cards to challenge the competition. Team Leaders also get a free technical fabric T-shirt.

The companies with the highest percentage of bike commuters that week win! A luncheon following Bike to Work Week celebrates Team Leaders and honors the winning companies.

Sign up your company and see just how healthy our office can be. Register today!

Celebrate the bipedal commute next Friday

Tie up your laces for Walk to Work Day April 2. Meet Active Trans at locations near downtown Chicago next Friday to celebrate the bipedal commute! Groups will head to Daley Plaza and meet there at 8:30 before heading to work. Hope to see you there!

  • Roosevelt stop on Red/Green/Orange lines (meet outside Starbucks, southeast corner of State and Roosevelt at 7:50 a.m.)
  • Western & Belmont (meet at the southeast corner at 6:45 a.m.)
  • Union & Ogilvy stations (meet at 7:50 a.m. at southeast corner of Canal & Madison)
  • Grand stop on Blue Line (meet at northeast corner of Grand/Milwaukee/Halsted at 7:50 a.m)
  • Chicago stop for Brown/Purple lines (meet at Starbucks 750 N. Orleans, at 7:50 a.m.)
  • Chicago stop for Red line (meet in front of McDonald’s at 7:50 a.m.)

More information: www.activetrans.org/walktowork2010

 

Lakefront Trail Conditions 3/25

High winds are driving the waves over the Lakefront Trail in several places this Thursday night. I rode north from Illinois to Ardmore around 10:00 p.m. and was washed over by waves twice (up past my knees with the backwash) at the Oak Street Bend. The area just south of Fullerton is also washing over the trail. There is even some water on the Trail north of the Theater on the Lake!

There is a lot of debris on the Trail in many of the areas in which water is present. Bloweing sand is also a problem between North Ave. and Fullerton.

Please be careful of possible left over debris on Friday morning in the case that waves have subsided but the Park District may have not have thoroughly cleaned the Trail.

On the positive side, restrooms are now open along the Lakefront Trail. My understanding is that the designated date in the contract for the restrooms to be officially open isn't until May, so kudos to the Park District for making this happen this early in the year!

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