I rode the Lakefront Trail from Ardmore to North Ave. this Friday (1/8) afternoon. The Trail was plowed and salted for the duration. There is still a bit of spotty ice north of Foster but, in general, the Trail is in good shape. The North Avenue underpass has not been plowed or salted. I was able to ride through the underpass but took LaSalle Street to the Trail on my return trip.
Help us grow our movement for better biking, walking and transit! Active Trans has booths at two upcoming bike swaps, and we're looking for volunteers to help work the booths. Working the booth involves promoting our work, as well as pitching and collecting Active Trans memberships. It'll be a fun time with other volunteers gawking at the bike gear. Please contact us if you're able to work one of the shifts below.
Sat., Jan. 16
9:00am - 12:30pm
12:30pm - 3:30pm
Winter Bike Swap
Harper College, 1200 West Algonquin Road, Palatine, http://www.chicagowinterbikeswap.com
* We could really use someone with a car for this event to help us transport supplies.
Contact: Lee Crandell, firstname.lastname@example.org, 312.427.3325 x294
Sat., Feb. 6
Bike Winter Swap and Urban Bicycle Expo
11:00am - 2:30pm
2:30pm - 6:00pm
Jak's Tap, 901 W. Jackson, Chicago
Contact: Ethan Spotts, email@example.com, 312.427.3325 x287
The New Year is off to a great start for vulnerable road users concerned about drivers whose growing use of mobile phones for communication, email and text messaging put themselves and others at risk. In fact, 80% of all crashes are related to driver inattention and this risk is only growing as the technology of mobile devices expands.
On Tuesday, January 5, 2010 the Human Services Committee of Evanston passed Ordinance 3-O-10 which proposes to expand the Evanston City Code to ban the use of cell phones while driving. The ordinance will now move to Evanston’s City Council for final consideration. Active Trans assisted in this effort by presenting data and regional context during the Committee session to advocate for the passing of the ordinance.
Kudos to the Evanston community and Alderman Jane Grover for being at the forefront of this growing movement to curb distracted driving and the expanding use of mobile phones while driving. Hopefully this ordinance will be put officially into the city’s code and serve as an example for other Chicagoland communities!
Yesterday, a class action lawsuit was filed claiming that the funding formula for transit in our region is so broken that it has a racist impact. This lawsuit and how it gets sorted out can have far reaching consequences as well as opportunities for our region. After all, the funding formula is inherently unfair to the core urban region.
From the CTA: “The current funding formula was established by the General Assembly in 1983. It determines funding levels based on geographic boundaries and retail spending rather than ridership, service provided or other transit performance criteria. Most fundamentally, it does not sufficiently fund transit services. Funding erosion has contributed to difficult budget decisions year after year...with each new budget year, it has been harder to find ways to reduce costs without impacting customers and service levels”.
The thing is, we’ve been talking and talking about this for years. Perhaps it will take a lawsuit to push changes, but it will take years for this work out if the case is even heard by the judge.
I’d also like to echo something the Metropolitan Planning Council said on their blog way back in 2005: “No funding formula should last 22 years without review. What might have been appropriate in 1983 isn’t necessarily what we need today. Good public policy would argue that any public funding formula should have a sunset clause so that it can be reviewed as circumstances and needs change. A new funding formula should be based on system performance measures such as number of trips, length of trips, safety goals, or population served, rather than the arbitrary geography of where the taxes have been collected.”
I’m excited to represent the Active Transportation Alliance as we work holistically to create livable communities. Funding is at the core of the improvements. I’ll watch this case carefully, not just for the legal implications but for what might result in terms of policy change.
Did you see the news over the holidays? There were too many stories about pedestrians and bicyclists that had been killed or seriously injured by drivers.
One, two, three, four, five...too many. Too many real people who are no longer with us or whose lives and health have been forever changed. Our thoughts go out to family and friends of those people who were killed or hurt.
Please drive safely. Be aware that you are responsible for vulnerable users.
The United States scrapped 14 million vehicles last year while buying only 10 million new ones, dropping the nation's fleet from an all-time high of 250 million to 246 million, according to the Earth Policy Institute. "Perhaps the most fundamental social trend affecting the future of the automobile is the declining interest in cars among young people," said the author, Lester Brown. "Many of today's young people living in a more urban society learn to live without cars. They socialize on the Internet and on smart phones, not in cars."
So while the recession played a role, Brown suggests that this is a turning point in a "cultural shift" away from automobiles and that sales will level out at 10 million to 14 million cars sold per year.Learn more here.
WGN's official weather center is predicting 6-9 inches of snow Wednesday.
Don't forget to clear those sidewalks! You can remind your neighbors with these free, downloadable fliers. We can make sure our communities are safe and easy for walking. Shoveling is the neighborly thing to do, and in many places (like Chicago), it's the law. So get the salt, get the snow blower, get the shovel...just clear those sidewalks so everyone can get around safely and easily.
Read more about Active Trans' snow-shoveling campaign here.
I rode the Lakefront Trail this Monday afternoon from Ardmore to Jackson. From Ardmore to Foster the Trail has spots with ice but is passable with caution. From Foster to Oak Street, the trail has dry pavement.
The Oak Street Bend is covered with snow and ice. I took the Oak St. underpass to Inner Lakeshore Drive to the Ohio St. underpass. Both underpasses were in good shape. The Trail south of Randolph has some sections of ice that were also passable with caution.