Distracted Driving Bills

Yesterday Gov. Pat Quinn signed two bills into law that aim to reduce distracted driving crashes. HB 71 and 72 will ban text messaging while driving, and operating a mobile phone while driving in a school or highway construction zone. This legislation was championed by Secretary of State Jesse White and his Distracted Driving Task Force.

Illinois has one of the highest pedestrian crash rates in the nation. HB 71 and 72 are a great start to preventing more pedestrian crashes. Active Trans also calls upon the Illinois State Senate to give final approval to HB 43 which will require drivers to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.

For more information on Active Trans' legsislative agenda, visit www.activetrans.org/legislation.

Monee kids can walk to school

Every child attending Monee Elementary School is bused. Monee Elementary School was built at the edge of town without sidewalks connecting the subdivision to the school property. A total of 500 feet.

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced the 2009 federal Safe Routes to School slate of funded projects and The Village of Monee was awarded funding for this 500 feet of sidewalk.

Installation of this sidewalk will allow 110 students that are currently bussed to have the option of active transportation, most of which live within a half mile of the school. This sidewalk will also eliminate two bus routes and the emissions that go with them.

Crete-Monee School District 201U and the Village of Monee have been getting the community ready for this day. Last October 450 students, parents, police, and school staff participated in International Walk to School Day. The lack of sidewalks didn’t stop them! They simply closed the street to traffic and walked to school.

I’ve spoken with everyone on the Monee SRTS Team and we can’t wait for the groundbreaking! We are ready for the kids to be active, connect the community, and even shovel in the winter!

A big CONGRATULATIONS to the Village of Monee and Crete-Monee 201U! I’m very happy for you!

Want a free ticket to the Bicycle Film Festival??

You can get one when you sign up or renew an Active Transportation Alliance premium membership by Monday, August 10.

Your $30 supports our mission and vision (http://www.activetrans.org/mission-vision) and you'll get one free ticket to the Bicycle Film Festival Aug 12-15!

Only 30 tix available, other membership benefits include:

Awesome Chicagoland bike map ($7 value)
Discounts at events like Bike the Drive
Discounts at bike shops and businesses
Great newsletter and legislative action alerts

Sign up here: http://www.activetrans.org/membership

Use coupon code FILMFEST when checking out.

We will email you about collecting your Bicycle Film Festival ticket...tell your friends!

Feds talk distracted driving

Good news -- the feds are paying attention.

"The Transportation Department will convene a meeting of safety experts and others concerned about the dangers of text-messaging and cell phone use while driving, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said on Tuesday."


Red light cameras...they work!

Looks like Naperville gets it. Red lights cameras work.

"Much of the debate over traffic cameras centers on whether they are genuine safety devices or money-raising gimmicks for municipalities. But a 2005 Federal Highway Administration study found they were more effective at curbing potentially dangerous incidents of red-light running if drivers heading into town were put on notice that somewhere down the road a traffic camera might be lurking."

Get a limited edition t-shirt when you join at Open Streets

This Saturday, August 1, Active Transportation Alliance will be working the crowd at Open Streets. In addition to being one of the partner organizations that produces Open Streets, Active Trans will have tents set up at Palmer Square. With a blender bike from Uptown Bikes and a produce donation from Green Grocer, we’re offering pedal-powered smoothies to all who visit the tent. Sign up for Active Transportation Alliance membership at Open Streets and get a limited edition t-shirt donated by Tattooed Tees. Look hip and celebrate your ride! Premium membership is only $30.

Lakefront Trail Activities July 31-Aug 2

Activities that may affect your use of the Lakefront Trail July 31-Aug 2 weekend

Friday, July 31

No activities reported

Saturday, August 1

South Shore Triathlon & Tri-Masters Invitational, 63rd Street Beach house, 6am-Noon

Players Sports Group Beach Volleyball Tourn, North Avenue Beach, 7am-7pm

Sunday, August 2

Rock N Roll Chicago Half Marathon, Grant Park, 5am-Noon

The North Ave. Beach Ball, North Avenue Beach, 9:30am-7pm

Really Distracted Driving

I've seen a lot of crazy things people do while driving.  You know the typical stuff like talking on the phone, donning makeup, reading, drinking, eating, texting, etc.  The other afternoon I was riding home from the Garfield Park Conservatory and a van pulls up beside me -- not a mini-van, an old-school tricked up van with airbrushed art on the side.  I look to my left through the passenger window and the driver has got a skilsaw out in his right hand and he's operating it while driving.  I'm a bit stunned, but I get my wits to say "Excuse me but could you focus on one thing at a time, and I'd prefer it to be driving".  He simply laughs it off, but his passenger punched him in the arm and said, "I told you!"  Wish I had a camera at the time.

Thank God for Open Streets!

I think the most exciting part of Open Street is the location.  Open Streets (from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow) will stretch from Logan Squre to Little Village. It is a free event where people can walk, bike, dance and be physically active!


Chicago remains a space where there are many communities that do not necessarily interact with each other. Open Streets will connect several diverse communities so they can explore each other’s neighborhoods in a fun physical way.

In the underserved community you find a lot of liquor stores, fast food restaurants, garbage and vacant lots. Missing are bike lanes, parks, and people being physically active.

Although the community is underserved. There are still good values and family that makes the community feel more welcoming. At Open Streets each community will have activities along the route that represent what the community is like. You will find everything from salsa to hip-hop, jazz and even gospel, to biking and dog-walking (it’s really a diverse crowd).

In particular North Lawndale, Garfield Park and Humboldt Park are the communities with the highest rate of obesity, and diabetes. So this event is really needed.

Despite all the negatives, we do have something special to look forward to and that’s Open Streets. On this day, we will reclaim our streets and become one community. The event is completely free and it is for anyone and everyone.

Open Streets is a kick-off event to transform communities to be more livable. It will be a day where no garbage is around and where people interact with each other in a safe, clean environment.

See you there!

Open Streets... Come!.. Play!... VOLUNTEER!!

Bust out the sunscreen and snacks - Open Streets is just around the corner.. this Saturday, August 1

first of all - we hope to see you there! It's sure to be a BIG don't miss day filled with every sport you can imagine, loads of music and dancing, and a constant stream of community members enjoying themselves and their neighbors.

second of all - we hope you volunteer! There are a few more leadership positions available for folks interested in pitching in. We hope that you're really proud to take such an integral role!! Please email me at jody@activetrans.org if you're interested.

We look forward to seeing you Saturday!



Course Marshal Team Leaders:
Arrive earlier and work the duration of the event, taking on a leadership role. Team leaders meet event staff at check-in locations to recieve their supplies and help set up. Once Course Marshals arrive, they gather their team (usually about 10 volunteers) and work to assign specific intersection locations.
Team Leaders then walk/bike/skate with their volunteers to be sure everyone has the materials they need and barricades are in place. Team Leaders will communicate with the rest of the staff via radio.
The duration of the event is spent patrolling your section of the route to be sure all Course Mashals and barricades are in place, communicating with other team leaders.
A bike or skates are highly reccomended for this position.
There is a 'shift change' midday where this is repeated. At the end of the event, Course Marshals are asked to return all supplies to thier check-in locations and assist with tear down.

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