ShoreBank will present Active Trans with its Green Neighbor award tonight.
"A century ago Daniel Burnham’s “big plans” brought beauty and order to Chicago. Today, a local nonprofit’s commitment to encouraging a multitude of eco-friendly transportation options is enabling more people to experience the city’s notable architecture and cultural diversity while making it a better place to work, live and play," ShoreBank said in a news release. "In recognition of their leadership demonstrating how environmentally clean and physically active transportation---walking, bicycling, public transit---and economic development can be achieved together, ShoreBank presented the 2009 Green Neighbor Award to the Active Transportation Alliance and its executive director, Rob Sadowsky. "
We are honored and proud of the recognition. Thank you to ShoreBank!
There will be a run on the North Side of the Lakefront Trail on Saturday, April 25th. Expect congestion due to the run from 8:00 a.m. to noon.
As part of our bikeways planning process Steve Buchtel and I lead a bike tour of proposed bikeway facilities around the villages/cities where we have contracts. The ride occurs about halfway through the planning process and incorporates the suggested routes from the public meeting as well as the recommendations that Steve and I develop during our fieldwork. This gives the stakeholders and municipal staff of the community an opportunity to see first hand what the proposed routes look and feel like as cyclists. We are currently working on several bike plans in the southland including Alsip, Oak Forest, Palos Park and Oak Lawn.
Oak Lawn facilities tour, April 18
We led two amazing bike tours last week – one in Oak Lawn on April 17 and one in Palos Park on April 18. We had beautiful weather and great turn out for both rides. The Oak Lawn ride was predominantly composed of city staff including the Village Manager Larry Deetjen and the Village Engineer Jack Gallagher. The Palos Park ride was a broader mix of village residents and village staff including Mayor John Mahoney. Special thanks to Active Trans member Rich Ferrin for leading the Family Fun ride to Lake Catherine on the 18th!
Palos Park facilities tour, April 18
Each group was able to see and gain a better understanding of the barriers and challenges in their communities as well as the overwhelming potential for bicycle improvements and connectivity.
Dozens of Tyler Fabeck's friends and family gathered last night to mark one year since his death. Twenty-two year old Tyler was traveling on his bicycle when he was killed by a car at the Logan and Western intersection on April 20, 2008.
At the event, Ald. Flores announced that a corner of the intersection will be dedicated to Tyler. The alderman also made it clear that he is committed to making changes to the intersection so that it is safer for all road users. Flores has made requests to the city about the intersection, and has not been pleased with the response.
The event first gathered amig rain and hail in the green space at Logan and Campbell, just west of the intersection where Tyler was fatally struck. Tyler's dad, Danny Fabeck, greeted attendees and told stories about Tyler: the time he cut his dreadlocks and how much he loved the rain. Alderman Flores and Rob Sadowsky, Active Trans executive director, each spoke about how to improve the intersection and why the improvements are so important. "Don't say that we can't fix Western Avenue. Don't say that there's nothing we can do about Logan Boulevard. We can make the changes and we have to," said Rob.
Participants then walked, with the Fabeck family and Ald. Flores leading, to the intersection where Tyler's ghost bike is installed. Tyler's mom set flowers by the bike and carefully wiped off the sign attached to the bike. This is the point at which I broke into tears. I had prepared myself for the event to be emotional, but I had to hold my emotions together since I was coordinating the speakers and giving directions to the group. Watching Mary Pat clean off the sign in such a tender way reminded me of the way parents lovingly wipe hair out of their kids' eyes.
The Western and Logan intersection has always been a scary place for me to walk or ride my bike. Other people in the neighborhood complain about it, too. Many cyclists I know will go to great lengths to avoid it entirely. It clearly has a lot of problems that need to be fixed. The Fabeck family is working with Active Trans and 1st Ward Ald.Manny Flores to make the Logan and Western intersection safer so that we don't lose anyone there ever again.
The posting below is from my sister Lisa who lives in a suburb just outside of Las Vegas and works on the Strip. After hearing about her amazing experience I asked her to write something to share on our blog. Her story is exciting because she is a first time commuter in a city with less-than-ideal conditions who took the plunge and rode home from work, even when all of her coworkers called her crazy.
Yesterday was my first bike ride home from work. It was a 9.5 mile journey that I have been building up to. My sister, Katherine, has inspired me to start riding again. I honestly have not ridden my bike since high school. But, with the way economy is and my love for health and fitness I decided it was time to start riding again.
For my birthday I decided to buy myself and my husband bikes, nice little cruisers, so we could start riding together. We started our bike rides down this nicely paved path by our house. We were a little shaky at first, but it all came back to us after a few rides. Once we felt comfortable on it, we decided to start riding to the gym which is about 2.5 miles from our house. My husband and I will even ride our bikes to go grab a bite to eat. It is so much more economical and saves just that little bit of gas that you probably don’t even think about and really doesn’t take much more time to ride than drive.
I’ve been doing this now for about 3 months and decided that I wanted to try riding my bike to work before the Las Vegas summer heat kicks in. It took a little while for me to build up the courage to ride the streets of Vegas, but I mapped out a pretty good route and it worked! I put my bike in the back of my car and rode home from work. I figured this way I could see how long it would take and how I would feel before attempting to bike the 9.5 miles to work for the first time. What is usually a 30-35 minute drive home in traffic, took me about 50 minutes to ride home. Let me tell you I was so high on endorphins when I got home. I was so giggly and hyper, it felt great!!!
Las Vegas, NV
Recent news has been very good for transit in our region and beyond:
Pace is going to run an express bus on the shoulder of I-55, and it is planning express on I-355 and I-290 in the near future. Read more in the Chicago Sun-Times story, “Pace buses to use shoulder of I-55.”
In other news… high speed rail lines could be coming to the region in the next few years, linking Chicago with Milwaukee, Madison, Detroit and Pontiac, and later, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Louisville and other cities. Read more in the Chicago Tribune story, “Obama’s $8 billion plan would dramatically shorten trips from Chicago to other Midwest cities.”
They keep children and adults safe in some of the most dangerous streets and intersections, and now there’s a chance to thank your favorite crossing guard – by nominating her or him in the comment section below.
The nominations honor Crossing Guard Appreciation Day, May 5, 2009, which celebrates and thanks the important work of crossing guards in helping make bicycling and walking easy and safe in our communities.
Here are five more ways you can appreciate your crossing guards every day:
1) Say thank you! Crossing guards put their lives on the line daily to protect us, our children, older adults and people with disabilities. A simple 'thanks' can go a long way toward acknowledging their dedication and making them feel appreciated.
2) Respect their authority. Crossing guards work hard to create the needed gaps in traffic to provide safe opportunities for people to cross the street. Make their jobs easier by following their lead - wait when asked to wait, and don't dally when directed to cross.
3) Stop for pedestrians. When we obey speed limits, stop signs and traffic signals, we protect the lives of our crossing guards and those they assist. When driving or biking, stop completely for crossing guards and pedestrians in crosswalks. Stop with plenty of room – at least one car-length away. Don't breeze by (in your car or on your bike) when a crossing guard is stepping into traffic. Trying to hurry past will only put people crossing at risk.
4) Hang up the phone. Crossing a busy street can be a complex situation, requiring all of our attention. If you need to talk or text, don't do it while crossing a street on foot, and NEVER use a phone while driving or biking.
5) Advocate for their work. Depending upon your community, crossing guard programs may be supported through a police department, a school district or general municipal funds. Let your local officials know how important crossing guards are in your community by speaking up at public meetings or writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.
Let's put aside for a moment all the possible arguments for or against this contraption in terms of urban transportation issues--easy fodder.
I'm focused on those tiny little "safety wheels" in the front and back, suggesting this thing can't necessarily be depended on to balance on two wheels....sorta like training wheels.
This vehicle shrieks "look at our engineering prowess: two people, two wheels," but it whispers "just another kind of car."
The designers of this vehicle do NOT have the courage of their convictions.