Some good news came out today from our partners at CLOCC. On March 16, CLOCC released new prevalance data for Chicago children that indicate a reduction in obesity for children at school entry - from 24% to 22% - from 2003 - 2008. In addition, CLOCC released the first-ever data on Chicago children entering sixth grade and found an obesity rate of 28% for this age group. The full press release is available here. Data around the country has shown a leveling off, but this is the first community around the nation that is showing a reduction. Congratulations to CLOCC and all of its many partners! We're proud to be a founding member. Find out more about CLOCC at clocc.net
From our Board President Jane Healy
Our talented and dedicated director, Rob Sadowsky, announced today that he will leave Chicago in June to serve as the executive director of Oregon’s Bicycle Transportation Alliance.
Rob has served the Active Transportation Alliance for nine years – three years on our board and the last six as executive director.
We are excited for Rob and wish him success on the West Coast, a place he has dreamed of returning since childhood.
During this tenure, Rob has led the organization to impressive victories: three Open Streets events, Complete Streets policies, new relationships with the U.S. Department of Transportation, and a more effective advocate than ever before.
Active Trans is a remarkable organization and its board is ready to support and grow the organization. It will undoubtedly attract the most qualified candidates for a director who can further Active Trans’ reputation as a first-rate advocate and expert.
Thank you for continuing to support us as we transition to a new leader. Our members and partners fuel us to reach beyond what so many think is possible. Your support keeps us moving and keeps us excited about making Chicagoland a safe and healthy place to live, work and play.
Active Trans and the City of Oak Forest closed Cicero Avenue two hours before its 2010 Irish Parade for a mile of whatever one wanted, as long it was motor-free. The pictures are up on Facebook. The bars opened at 8 AM, but that's not what made Cicero Ave between 159th St. and 151st St. a street one enjoyed traveling, for once.
The joy comes from realizing that Cicero's characteristics - a big Strategic Regional Arterial carrying 40,000 cars a day at 40 MPH - don't emerge from the natural order of things. That was just a decision. Made by people.
And when people decide, those cars have to stop. Cicero's frustrating to drive, horrible to bike-on, unpleasant to walk along. To realize that people have power over all of that, that's one hell of a shift in perspective.
It was a CRAPPY morning weather wise - very Irish, just not green. More like Mud Brown Isle. Still, I estimate that a thousand people and maybe 30 dogs took to Cicero between 9 AM and 10:30 AM. More people walking than biking, and more kids biking than adults. Everyone wide eyed and smiling.
The Active Trans tent did a lot of business. Folks on Spokes, Chicago Cycling Club, Oak Lawn Bike Psychos, Major Taylor Cycling Club Chicago, Joliet Bicycle Club, League of Illinois Bicyclists, and Friends of the Calumet-Sag Trail joined our barely-big-enough tent, signing up people for rides and membership, and we gave most of our stuff away before it got soaked.
We're enamored with Open Streets. And I want to do more. You got a parade, or a street festival? Give me two hours, and we'll create a happy traffic jam. For once.
I recommend everyone reading the following blog entry from our US Department of Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood. This is big news, announcing a "a sea change. People across America who value bicycling should have a voice when it comes to transportation planning. This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized."
Read the full announcement right here.
Now that spring has sprung the city of Chicago will likely start filling potholes soon. Just a reminder that you should report any major potholes that you encounter while cycling by dialing 311.
They will ask you for the exact address, the size and shape of the pothole, and whether it is in a "travel lane" (say yes).
MAN, is my Irish up! Just in time too - OPEN STREETS OAK FOREST tomorrow (get the flyer), 9 am - 10:30 am, kicking off the Oak Forest Fleadh festival. Active Trans tent will be up at Waverly & Cicero, just north of the train viaduct - a bunch of area clubs will be with us to do sign ups for their rides and new members. THE DEAL: sign up on the spot as a new member of ActiveTrans OR for any of the clubs or their rides, and I'll give you a ride on Cicero on my FreeLoader. (If you're over 200 lbs, you're riding me or someone else smaller than 200 lbs.) YOU WILL NEVER AGAIN GET TO FEEL THAT COOL. Contact me with questions or to practice your Irish brogue.
DePaul University is hosting a competition for new business ventures. One student has concepted a bike-related business that promotes a healthier and "greener" lifestyle and they are seeking feedback from bicyclists about it's feasibilty. If you are into bikes and interested in helping out, there is a brief survey you can take.