Urge your congressperson to use the federal stimulus package for biking, walking and transit projects.
Remember: A hand-written or hand-signed letter mailed to your congressperson is the most effective way to reach him or her. Find out who represents you at www.ILGA.gov.
Here is an example letter you can send your congressperson:
Dear [your congressperson],
Money is coming in from the federal stimulus package, and you will be asked to vote on how it is spent. I urge you to demand that biking, walking and transit projects are appropriately funded.
These are projects in Chicagoland that are eligible for stimulus package funding:
Sidewalk and ADA curb ramp improvements (all communities)
Bike boulevards and bike lanes (all communities)
Green and bike-friendly buses (CTA and Pace)
Bus rapid transit (CTA)
Eliminate slow zones (CTA)
Burnham Greenway (South Cook County)
Deerfield Road Bike Path (Lake County)
Safe Routes to School Will-Center Road sidewalk (Monee)
Illinois Prairie Path Bridge over EJ&E Railroad (DuPage County)
Stearns Road Bridge at Fox River (Kane County)
Chicago Avenue streetscape (Evanston)
Let us know who you contact. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for advocating!
With the swearing in of Governor Pat Quinn on Thursday, January 29, 2009, we are hopeful that we are ushering a new era for active transportation in the State of Illinois. Gov. Quinn has long been a supporter of our work, from helping to push the successful Bikes on Metra program to being a champion for Safe Routes to School. He launched Walk Across Illinois, a program that we now manage. He is a walker, a bicyclist and a transit rider. He will forgo private planes to take Amtrak. And he belives in a government that works for the people.
I don't expect miracles, especially given the financial state that our economy is in. What I expect is consistent leadership on the issues that are important to our members. I expect attention being spent to important funding programs such as Transportation Enahncements and Safe Routes to School. He needs support to make this happen. Support from leadership in the General Assembly and support from constituents. We will keep our readers and members aware of opportunities to voice this support.
So good luck Governor Quinn, we look forward to partnering with you and your administration over the next two years.
I rode the Trail from 31st Street to Ardmore at around 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday . There was considerably less salt on the Trail south of Grant Park so there was more spotty snow on the Trail from Grant Park to 31st Street. Still the trail was certainly rideable in that area. There was also some drifting snow from the Museum Campus to the south side of the McCormick Center. Again, rideable but not in the best shape.
Through Grant Park to Ohio Street the Trail was clear with some additional snow on the south side of the bridge over the Chicago River. I took the sidewalk just to the south of LSD at Grand to Ohio Street to Inner Lake Shore Drive (didn't even attempt the Trail between Ohio and Oak Street).
The Oak Street Underpass, while not in great shape was rideable. Conditions were worse on the west side of LSD. Salt had been laid down on the pavement on the east side of LSD. I did not have to dismount in this section.
From Oak Street to Ardmore the Trail was in good shape except, of course, for the section just south of Fullerton but the dirt trail was rideable in that area. There was a little bit of drifting snow near the totem pole but so much that you can not ride in this area.
Today, the House approved the Nadler Amendment to the federal economic stimulus bill on a voice vote. The Amendment restores $1.5 billion for the transit capital formula program and $1.5 billion for New Starts (new transit services).
For more information about the Nadler Amendment, see yesterday's blog posting.
The House also rejected a proposed amendment to strip funding for Amtrak.
These two votes are a big victory for the Chicago area.
The House is expected to approve the full stimulus bill later today.
Congress is voting in the next day on the Nadler Amendment to the federal economic stimulus bill. It would add $3 billion to the transit funding in the bill. In Illinois, these funds would help eliminate all slow zones on the CTA rail lines, and help CTA and Pace purchase new green and bike-friendly buses. Please make a commitment to active transportation and support the Nadler Amendment.
Today, Active Trans sent a Open Letter to the Illinois Congressional Delegation urging support for the Nadler Amendment. A copy of the letter is attached.
Please call your Representatives and urge a vote yes for the Nadler Amendment.
|Open Letter to Congress.pdf||69.57 KB|
I live in the suburbs. I'm in my 20s. I'm excited about bikes. Though I'm not apologetic about each of these things individually, I feel like an unlikely person to be a player in grown-up decision making whenever I show up at a village hall meeting.
This weekend I went to a townhall meeting on infrastructure improvements. Sewer and roads commanded a lot of attention. Bicycle and pedestrian facilities were not even included in the proposed outlays. When I went up to speak my share, I identified myself as a fan of a comprehensive plan but pointed out that I was troubled by what was not included in this plan. To my surprise, the next woman to speak stood up and agreed with me and even made a joke about me running for office.
While running for office is not what I had in mind, the woman was right about my intention to build a constituency. In discussion about what should be on the menu, I am unashamedly for bicycles. I suspect that you are too. If you are anything like me though, going to public meetings is scary. I go because I feel that I might be effective, and sometimes, like this week, I get some support. Other times, the results are not immediate.
Recently, I heard a rebroadcast of an interview of Martin Luther King, Jr., by Studs Terkel. In the conversation, King pointed out that everyone is a fanatic for something in his life--the question is not are you a fanatic but are you a fanatic for something positive? King identified Jesus as a fanatic for love, Ghandi as a fanatic for justice, etc. In the context of municipal infrastructure discussions, bicycle facilities are small potatoes compared to sewers. At the same time, I draw strength from my conviction that speaking up for bicycling improvements is in its own small way being a fanatic for something positive. I hope that other Active Trans members will find themselves surprised by the unlikely support they get when they speak up.
Think Redmoon Theater meets Rat Patrol, hyped up on all that cool San Fran energy...
the perfect mix of BikeLove and Junkyard Joy...
We all know Mayor Daley has an important job and an office downtown, and probably his own personal keys to the pedway, but did you know that he has his own Safe Routes Ambassadors? Mayor Daley’s Safe Routes Ambassadors are the Chicago Department of Transportation’s bike and pedestrian safety education and outreach team, and they have probably visited an elementary school near you. The SRAs have a great message about walking and biking to school safely, and on January 27th, Somilia Smith, Program Coordinator for Mayor Daley’s Safe Routes Ambassadors, will be presenting a web-based seminar for anyone interested in learning more about the education and encouragement components of Safe Routes to School. To find out more about the webinar, click here. To learn about Mayor Daley’s Safe Routes Ambassadors, click here. To learn more about Safe Routes to School in Chicagoland and around the world, click here, or call Owen Read at 312.427.3325 x 236!
I was listening to a recent podcast of one of my favorite radio shows, Re:sound produced by Third Coast International on WBEZ. The show aired on January 10, 2009 (#107 -- The Music of Everyday Things Show) and featured a duet of instrumentalists entitled Schwinntonation. They use everyday parts of a bicycle to create sounds and music. It was a delightful show and you too can listen at:
As of 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 20, the Lakefront Trail had a fesh covering of 3 or so inches of new snow. Bicycling was still pretty easy, however, as the Trail was dry before the fresh snow. The Park District should have plowed around 6:00 a.m. which should improve conditions considerably.