Youth scholarships available for car-free bike ride

The ninth annual MB Financial Bank Bike the Drive is May 30, 2010 and the Active Transportation Alliance is offering scholarships for 200 outstanding youth group and youth organization members to participate in the event.

MB Financial Bank Bike the Drive provides hours of uninterrupted, leisurely, car-free biking on the entire 15 miles of Chicago’s famous Lake Shore Drive. This scholarship allows you to kick off your Chicago summer in style. Visit to learn more about this exciting event.

Anyone, age 17 or under, with a demonstrated passion for biking as an energy-efficient, economical, nonpolluting form of transportation and who enjoys a good spin around the neighborhood on their bike, should apply for this scholarship.

Applicants must write a one-page letter explaining why they believe they deserve the scholarship. The letter should demonstrate participation in previous cycling events and/or extra-curricular activities as well as how you plan on becoming active in the Chicagoland cycling community.

Groups may submit their applications together. Groups can include either 8 youths and 2 adults or 16 youths and 4 adults.

All applications must be submitted by Wednesday, May 12, 2010. The recipients of the scholarship will be notified by Friday, May 21, 2010.

Please submit all applications to Events/Marketing Intern, Cory Miller, at

Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Today, the Illinois House of Representatives adopted HR 1090 which declares April to be Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

Last year the Illinois General Assembly adopted two bills championed by Active Trans to end distracted driving. As of Jan. 1 2010 it is illegal in Illinois to text message while driving, and illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone in school or highway construction zones.

Thank you Illinois legislators for helping make the roads safer for everyone.

Still Seeking Volunteers for MB Financial Bank Bike the Drive!

We are only 32 days away from the MB Financial Bank Bike the Drive and are still seeking volunteers for the day of event! Volunteers are especially needed to direct riders along the route, register new riders, help keep our festival fun and organized, and distribute rider packets before the event. 

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

Questions? Contact Margaret Kushiner, Volunteer Coordinator, at 312-427-3325, ext 297 or via email at




Apollo School Crossing Guards Go Above and Beyond

The Apollo School’s Safe Routes to School program is blossoming. School staff were concerned about students’ physical activity levels, and decided to encourage students to walk more often by hosting a Walk and Roll to School Day event in the fall, participating in Walk Across Illinois and organizing Walking Wednesdays in the Spring. The school is also adding Crossing Guard Appreciation Day to the list of events this year.

When the school gym teacher and Safe Routes champion, Carolyn Kosiba, heard about Crossing Guard Appreciation Day, she knew just what to do – lead a walking school bus and have the kids present Lee and Arlene, the school’s two crossing guards, with flowers and balloons. The reason? Their crossing guards man two high traffic intersections that sever the student population from their school. The Apollo School crossing guards go beyond ensuring safe crossings. This winter, Arlene, who has worked the intersection at Dee and Golf Roads for 30 years, knit 15 pairs of mittens for students  who would have otherwise gone without.

Crossing guards keep us safe everyday and deserve a big thank you on Crossing Guard Appreciation Day. What are you planning to do on Tuesday, May 4? Active Trans has a number of ways you can celebrate. Also, we want to hear why is your crossing guard special. Nominate your crossing guard, and we will feature them in our newsletter.

Red Light Camera Bill Passes

Yesterday, the Illinois General Assembly passed SB 935. This bill will protect the right of municipalities to use red light cameras for safer roads. It also requires a second independent review of any ticket as a way to safeguard against unfair ticketing.

Red light cameras curb dangerous behaviors – red light running and speeding - that lead to serious or fatal crashes. Bicyclists and pedestrians in particular are most vulnerable to traffic crashes since they do not have the protection of an air bag, seat belt or steel frame.

Active Transportation Alliance supports red light cameras and encourages municpalities to direct camera revenue to traffic safety projects.



How Ahmedabad Brought Bus Rapid Transit to the People

Meena Kadri of Random Specific reports on the process and benefits of initiating bus rapid transit in Ahmedabad, India:

People's Way: Urban Mobility in Ahmedabad

Go Green Go Dutch Go Bike!

Registration is still open for our May 8 bike ride with the Netherlands Consulate General for Go Green Go Dutch Go Bike!

Registration includes a chance to win a super hot bike! Increase your chances by buying more raffle tickets.

On-site registration will be available, but that's no reason to wait. Register today!

"It's just a tool. You never wash your hammer."

Slate has a very entertaining article on the failure of irony in expression among young adults in China, and with that the failure of hipsterism and its accoutrement of the day, fixie culture.

But fixies as fixtures of hipsterism might be failing here, too. It'll be okay; the Flying Pigeon is ready to swoop into the vacuum. It can carry a ton of irony.

Springfield Update - It's all good news

On Wednesday, the Illinois General Assembly passed two initiative championed by Active Transportation Alliance. Both bills now go to Gov. Pat Quinn for his likely signature. 

SB 2951 will create a new crime for motorists who drive to close to, toward or near cyclists and pedestrians. The bill will give policy a new tool to help ensure safer roads for everyone. Thank you to Sen. Silverstein and Rep. Sente for sponsoring this bill. This marks freshmen Rep. Carol Sente's first bill adopted. Congrats Representative! We look forward to a long partnership. 

The General Assembly also passed SB 2804. This bill, a joint initiative with Illinois Municipal League, will allow many suburbs to lower speed limits on residential streets. Thank you to the overwhelming bi-partisan coalition that supposed SB 2804. 

For more information on Active Trans' legislative agenda go to

Dead Man Driving

Men's Health ran a chilling anatomy of the forces at work during a car crash on the car...and on the person:

"There are three big impacts in any crash, says Stitzel. “The vehicle hits the other vehicle; the occupant loads the restraint system; and then the occupant’s internal organs load the inner chest wall or the inside of the skull.”

Read more, or not.

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