Sixty degrees & sunny for Folks on Spokes Easter Ride on Sunday

The Easter Ride has had a stormy relationship with April over its 28 years, and while the farm roads of Will County and NW Indiana are beautiful cycling under blue skies, no scenery can overcome sheets of chilling rain, 20 mph winds and a 25 degree wind chill. (Hello 2009! Or good riddance, rather.)

Forecast for the 2010 Easter Ride: Weather Underground reports sun and 60 degrees. Register here, pump up the tires and go bike with the Bunny. You'll be juiced to get on with your cycling season, including events like the MB Financial Bank Bike the Drive, or that one ride along the lakefront, or that big Chicago ride that's during the day, or that thing your brother-in-law was blabbing about being so cool.

Speed, get a ticket. Don't speed, get a Lotto ticket

 The Nudge blog hit upon a Volkswagen-sponsored contest to find ways to use fun to change behavior. The winning idea might point toward a solution for Illinois' red light camera whining: speed past a traffic camera, and you pay a fine which goes into a pot. Obey the speed limit, and the camera enters you into a lottery to win the pot. A message sign flashes the pot amount as you drive lawfully by.

The speed limit: Stay within it to win it.

Nominate your crossing guard!

May 4 is Crossing Guard Appreciation Day and we want to hear which crossing guards make the difference for you. Nominate one you know here and we will feature them in our newsletter! Plus, learn about ways you can celebrate your crossing guard on your own.

Get dirty this summer

A guest post by Chicago-area dirtbagging advocates, The Bonebell:

Mountain bike racing in Chicago?  Of course!  If you live in the Chicago metro area and would like to give racing on dirt trails a try (yes, including hills!), look no further than your own backyard.  In fact there’s scores of riders doing just that, who'd love to show you the where, how, what and when (we all know why)!

There are some mighty fine trails to be tasted anywhere from 10 to 90 miles from downtown Chicago. Of course, you'll miss the 40-minute climbs up switchbacks cutting into oxygen-depleted air, leading to shear cliffs overlooking majestic mesas filled with suguaro cacti to the horizon, but you will be amazed at how close these sweet these trail systems and race series are to a day's drive.

Here’s a few resources that will have your chain smoking and knobbies shredding in no time!

The (aforementioned) Bonebell - the four that make up this group will bend over backwards to get you riding/racing on the dirt. Give them a holler anytime via the website

CAMBR - Chicago Area Mountain BikeRsThis mountain biking club is the backbone of lobbying for and maintaining the most delicious trails in the area. They also put on a top-notch local race, the infamous Palos Meltdown.

WORS - Wisconsin Off Road Series; the nation’s largest attended mountain bike race series. Top notch.

WEMBS - These guys want you to go long. Endurance cross country. 3-, 6-, and 12-hour race options.

Chicago Cross Cup

- don't let the end of summer spoil your fun...fall means cyclocross!  Check back with these guys early and often.



Rogers Park residents get biking, walking and transit improvements

Alderman Joe Moore of the 49th ward went out on a limb this year and asked his constituents how they would spend the $1.3 million ward infrastructure budget for community improvements. This democratic and community involved process is called participatory budgeting.

There were committees for Streets, Traffic Safety, Parks & Environment, Transportation, Art & Other Projects, and Public Safety. At a series of public meetings, projects were presented to these committees and potentially adopted for the ballot.

Residents were able to vote at the ward office all week and on Saturday at the Chicago Math & Science Academy where each project had a poster with all the relevant information and committee members to answer questions. Residents could vote for eight projects and the projects with the most votes adding up to $1.3 million would get funded.

In the end, it looks like 14 projects will be funded (see photo)!

Active Trans has been communicating with our members in the Ward about this opportunity and many of the selected projects will benefit biking, walking and transit (sidewalk repairs, bike lanes, murals under CTA and Metra underpasses, benches and shelters on CTA 'L platforms, artistic bike racks, street resurfacing, traffic signals, etc.).

I live in Rogers Park and was very impressed with the entire process. My wife and I really felt like we had input, understood what the options were and how the process worked. We truly had the opportunity to shape how the budget was spent and all of the funded projects will help improve the livability and safety of our neighborhood.

Thank you, Alderman Moore for being the first leader in the United States to try this...from one of you constituents, please know that it was worth it.


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

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.


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 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, 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 by Friday April 9 with "Bike Boulevard" in the subject line.

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

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