Tomorrow (Tuesday), the Senate Transportation Committee is hearing HB 43, the pedestrian safety bill. As you might recall, HB 43 passed the House on a narrow 60-54 vote. We need your help to ensure victory in the Senate.
HB 43 will change Illinois law to require drivers to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, rather than yield. This law will help reduce the more than 6,000 crashes that occur each year in Illinois involving pedestrians.
Please call members of the Senate Transportation Committee and ask them to vote for HB 43.
Chairman Martin Sandoval 217-782-5304
Senator Michael Bond 217-782-7353
Senator Gary Forby 217-782-5509
Senator Toi Hutchinson 217-782-7419
Senator David Koehler 217-782-8250
Senator John Sullivan 217-782-2479
Senator AJ Wilhelmi 217-782-8800
Senator Larry Bomke 217-782-0228
Senator Gary Dahl 217-782-3840
Senator John Millner 217-782-8192
Senator Dale Risinger 217-782-1942
Active Trans is looking for you to help us study the way people get around.
And all we need is one hour of your time.
Show up at any of these Walgreens and CVS locations between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. this Saturday and study people leaving the store for one hour. Your job is to tally how each person leaves the store: on foot, bike, in a car or on transit.
We will supply the very easy-to-use count template and show you how to accurately track people. If you are interested in helping, please contact Tom Armstrong at Tom@activetrans.org 312.427.3325 x 227.
Walgreens 1711 W Campbell St Arlington Heights
Walgreens 212 N Lake Street Aurora
CVS 101 S Northwest Hwy Barrington
CVS 20 E Dundee Rd Buffalo Grove
Walgreens 7410 N Clark St Chicago
Walgreens 5627 N Lincoln Ave Chicago
Walgreens 1500 W Wilson Ave Chicago
Walgreens 4010 W Lawrence Ave Chicago
Walgreens 5650 W Belmont Ave Chicago
CVS 2815 N Western Ave Chicago
Walgreens 4225 W Armitage Ave Chicago
CVS 2414 N Lincoln Ave Chicago
CVS 771 N Ogden Ave Chicago
Walgreens 3401 W Roosevelt Rd Chicago
CVS 1713 S Ashland Ave Chicago
Walgreens 5435 S Kedzie Ave Chicago
Walgreens 1554 E 55th St Chicago
Walgreens 6016 W 63rd St Chicago
Walgreens 6330 S King Dr Chicago
Walgreens 6200 S Western Ave Chicago
Walgreens 7109 S Jeffery Blvd Chicago
Walgreens 9434 S Halsted St Chicago
CVS 11055 S Western Ave Chicago
Walgreens 1616 E 87th St Chicago
Walgreens 151 W Northwest Hwy Crystal Lake
CVS 1305 RANDALL ROAD Crystal Lake
Walgreens 21 Rand Rd Des Plaines
CVS 110 W North Ave Elmhurst
Walgreens 9554 E Lincoln Hwy Frankfort
Walgreens 7209 W Lincoln Hwy Frankfort
Walgreens 11200 W Laraway Rd Frankfort
Walgreens 9695 Grand Ave Franklin Park
Walgreens 820 183rd St Homewood
Walgreens 1325 E Irving Park Rd Itasca
Walgreens 1163 W Jefferson St Joliet
Walgreens 3564 Ridge Rd Lansing
Walgreens 1770 N Milwaukee Ave Libertyville
Walgreens 2719 Hassert Blvd Naperville
Walgreens 1117 Briarwood Ln Northbrook
Walgreens 5525 W. 159th St Oak Forest
Walgreens 4740 W 95th St Oak Lawn
Walgreens 916 Madison St Oak Park
CVS 9835 W 151st St Orland Park
Walgreens 15 S Orchard Dr Park Forest
CVS 250 W 144th St Riverdale
Walgreens 2751 E Main Street Saint Charles
CVS 1855 W Irving Park Rd Schaumburg
CVS 3434 Dempster St Skokie
Walgreens 390 E 162nd St South Holland
Walgreens 709 N. Greenbay Rd. Waukegan
CVS 3001 W. Washington Waukegan
Walgreens 10345 W Roosevelt Rd Westchester
CVS 1400 E Roosevelt Rd Wheaton
Walgreens 501 Plainfield Rd Willowbrook
From Saturday's Washington Post: Pushing Virginia Suburbs Toward More Intuitive Design
By Roger K. Lewis
Saturday, April 4, 2009; Page F03
Suburban planning in Virginia soon will take a long overdue step toward rationality, thanks to the commonwealth's new Secondary Street Acceptance Requirements, which attempt to reduce reliance on cul-de-sacs in new suburbs.
The emphasis is on "acceptance." The Virginia Department of Transportation will only accept and maintain roads in future subdivisions if their street networks connect to street networks in abutting subdivisions or adjacent commercial developments. This is a big change from current neighborhood layout rules. "Virginia is taking aim at one of the most enduring symbols of suburbia: the cul-de-sac," a recent Washington Post article observed.
The regulation also requires that future subdivision streets be designed to accommodate pedestrians and minimize environmental impact. Proposed by Gov. Tim Kaine (D) and unanimously adopted in 2007 by the Virginia General Assembly, the long overdue requirements went into effect this month. After July 1, all new subdivision plans in the state must comply.
Urban designers for decades have extolled the functional and aesthetic value of street connectivity, advocating street networks designed as lattices or grids while criticizing cul-de-sacs. Criticism focused on planning that produces overly wide, dead-end streets within subdivisions accessible only via a single intersection with a commuter road.
The shortcomings of such patterns include lack of optional paths of travel in and out of the subdivision, thereby guaranteeing congestion on the overloaded main road; excessively long drives between homes and nearby destinations; navigational challenges for visitors and emergency vehicles within the enclave; inefficiency of movement and higher cost of maintenance, such as snow and trash removal, on long, dead-end streets; and enclave-induced social separation and isolation.
Those who have challenged conventional suburban development patterns undoubtedly feel vindicated by Virginia's new regulations, which were motivated in part by the state's desire to reduce both traffic congestion and road maintenance costs.
Of course, many Virginia home builders, along with some homeowners, are opposed to the anti-cul-de-sac policy. They contend that cul-de-sacs are desirable: lack of traffic improves safety for children and pedestrians; fewer outsiders wandering around improves security; and living in a physically circumscribed enclave fosters strong a neighborhood identity.
But the perception that cul-de-sac homes are safer and more secure is a suburban myth, not reality.
Most U.S. homes are not on cul-de-sacs. They sit on blocks in towns, cities and suburbs defined by rational street grids. Residents of these safe and secure neighborhoods, interconnected with other neighborhoods, enjoy a sense of community thanks to interactions enabled by their shared streetscapes.
Crime and traffic accident statistics comparing such neighborhoods with cul-de-sac enclaves probably would show little difference. When differences exist, they likely reflect socioeconomic problems or indicate how well a community's street system is engineered, maintained and policed.
The new Virginia rules address not only network layout but also street design, with attention to pedestrians as well as cars. Sidewalks are required on one or both sides of residential subdivision streets, depending on density. Even rural areas or very low density subdivisions must be served by trails.
Secondary residential streets are to be substantially narrower than in the past. Instead of streets typically 40 feet or more wide, which encourage drivers to speed, the state will accept curb-to-curb widths of 24 feet and 29 feet.
Building narrower streets with less paving is a fundamental sustainability strategy. It reduces impervious surface area and storm water runoff while increasing groundwater absorption and retention. And narrower streets, while still allowing curbside parking, measurably slow traffic and, with sidewalks, reduce risks for pedestrians.
The new regulations anticipate the need for variances, recognizing that not every subdivision street can connect to streets outside the subdivision. Cul-de-sacs may be justifiable for parts of a subdivision because of conditions such as awkward parcel configuration, steep topography, problematic soils, constraining wetlands or bodies of water.
The Post article noted that Montgomery County intends to adopt new street connectivity and street design standards. Perhaps Maryland will emulate Virginia and do likewise for the entire state. In fact, it's time to embrace this prudent policy in every state.
Roger K. Lewis is a practicing architect and a professor emeritus of architecture at the University of Maryland.
Yesterday, Metra announced it will accept credit cards for ticket purchases starting next year. Credit cards will be accepted at all staffed ticket counters. Metra now becomes the last of the nation's ten largest commuter rail agencies to accept credit cards.
Metra's action was prompted by SB 577, a bill introduced by Sen. Michael Bond (D-Grayslake) and Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Evanston) that would have required this action. SB 577 unanimously passed the Senate and was scheduled for a House vote.
Don't forget bikes ride free (but you still pay) on Metra on all non-peak trains. You can explore more than 200 communities using Metra.
As part of it's recently adopted new strategic plan for transit, Active Transportation Alliance is advocating for the adoption of a universal fare card. This is the next step to creating a seamless travel experience across the metropolitan region.
Bike to Work Week is June 13 - 19. Thus far, more than 120 companies have taken the challenge to make their office the greenest and healthiest in Chicagoland by registering for the Bike Commuter Challenge. And after June 19 the true winners will emerge. Battle tested on the region’s roads, the state’s streets, the toughest trails, and the best boulevards around- the true champions will be those that mobilized their office and got the highest percentage of employees to bike to work. These companies are walking the walk (or to be more accurate; pedaling the pedal) about active transportation.
All it takes is one little trip- any portion or all of your commute, one day that week, to make a difference. That one trip could push your team over the top (like a triple OT blocked shot by Derrick Rose) and send you on the bike path to victory. To register your office, or to see if your company is already signed up, go here The University of Illinois at Chicago already has six departments competing! Whether big (like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois- 4,000 employees) or small (like Spin Doctor Cycle Works- 6 employees), there is a category for your office.
As the mercury climbs up the thermometer ever so slightly each day- I’ve started to notice more and more bike commuters on the streets. Look around on your morning commute and you to will notice them. If you’re a recreational rider- Bike to Work Week is a great time to try biking to work. Now is a great time (before the weather gets any better!) to get your bike tuned up and in gear. I would hate to miss any more clear and sunny days in the saddle because I had waited to get my bike ready.
From our star volunteer John Salemi:
This week I sent e-mails to Active Trans members in my area asking them to request their local state senators to co-sponsor Illinois House (HB 43) (SB 30), Pedestrian Safety. The passing of this law is part of the Active Trans Legislative Agenda for 2009.
The current law is unclear on when exactly a driver must stop or when they can yield (or explain what actions are sufficient to constitute yielding).
The proposed law clarifies the responsibility of a driver to stop before approaching any pedestrian who has entered the roadway at a crosswalk. The bill will make it easier for both drivers and pedestrians to know their responsibilities to ensure the safety of all road users.
So this week I became interested in Pedestrian Crosswalks while bike riding and photographed two examples of signed crosswalks.
The first I photographed was in downtown Arlington Heights (my hometown). It has a pedestrian operated button which illuminates flashing yellow lights on two curb signs and flashing lights embedded in the street. A message above the pushbutton, as can be read in the photo inset, is a caution to pedestrians.
The second photograph shows a crosswalk was in Park Ridge. It t had two curb signs but no pushbuttons or lights. A third sign in the middle of the roadway appeared to be very effective.
There are more than 6,000 crashes each year in Illinois involving pedestrians. These crashes lead to more than 1,000 serious pedestrian injuries and 170 pedestrian fatalities each year.
Requiring cars to stop would be more effective (drivers seem to respond better to stop signs) and provide more clarity. I would rather have a stopped car at the crosswalk over a car doing a rolling yield toward the crosswalk and me!
West Town Bikes is celebrating the grand opening of their new location and storefront, Ciclo Urbano... with a huge party, complete with Mucca Pazza, Puerto Rican food, and Mmmm - BEER.
Why not step it up a notch by doing more than just partying, but also pitching in?!?! Interested in volunteering? Just email email@example.com - let her know when to expect you and/or if you'd like to offer special skills.
http://westtownbikes.org/GrandOpening - for more info
Friday, April 30 5pm-10pm, 2459 W Division St, Chicago IL 60622
ALSO - I'd be glad to lead a mini bike-parade from our office at State and Hubbard around 5pm. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be sure to wait for you.
Today, the Illinois General Assembly advanced several bills related to active transportation.
HJR 6 was introduced by Rep. Elaine Nekritz on behalf of Active Transportation Alliance. This resolution will create a task force to study the Illinois school transportation program. Each year, Illinois taxpayers spend more than $800 million to bus children to and from school. More than 157,000 students live within 1.5 miles of school and should be able to walk and bike to school. The School Transportation Task Force will suggest changes to make the Illinois school transportation program more efficient, and promote active transportation. HJR 6 passed out of the House Elementary Education Committee today.
The Illinois Senate Transportation Committee today advanced HB 71, which will ban most text messaging while driving. A key initiative of the Distracted Drivers Task Force, this bill is sponsored by Rep. John D'Amico and Sen. Martin Sandoval.
The House Vehicle Safety Committee advanced SB 236 today. This bill sponsored by Sen. Heather Steans and Rep. Greg Harris will clarify that cyclists riding on electric bikes are to be treated as bicyclists and not as drivers. This bill resulted from sporadic attempts by police to force electric bike riders to get drivers licenses.
Tomorrow, the House Mass Transit Committee will consider SB 577, a bill to require Metra to accept credit cards. This bill, an initiative of Sen. Michael Bond, previously passed out of the Senate without opposition.
Meanwhile, HB 43 the must stop for pedestrians bill will be coming up for a hearing next week. Please call your Senator and ask the Senator to co-sponsor HB 43.