Illinois Capital Bill

On Monday, Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a $31 billion capital bill. Funded through a variety of taxes and new legalized gambling, the bill is the first comprehensive construction bill in a decade.

The bill includes more than $14 billion for roadwork and bridge repair. There is an additional $7 billion for non-road transportation projects, $1.5 billion for higher education facilities and $3.6 billion for K-12 educational facilities.

The new funding for school construction represents an opportunity to build schools that are accessible to bicyclists, pedestrians and public transit riders. Active Transportation Alliance also is working with the Illinois Department of Transportation to ensure new road construction incorporates Complete Streets principles and policies.

 

Lakefront Trail Activities July 17-19

Activities that may affect your use of the Lakefront Trail for this weekend:

Friday, July 17

IIDA/ASID/AIA Kickball Tournament, Grant Park-Lower Hutchinson, Noon-8pm

Saturday, July 18

Zion CDC Bike/Walkathon, Grant Park-Lower Hutchinson, 8am-Noon

Swim Across America, Lincoln Park-Ohio Street Beach, 7am-Noon

19th Annual Chicago Pro Am, Lincoln Park-North Avenue Beach, 7am-7pm

Women's Health "Are You Game?", Lincoln Park-North Avenue Beach, 10am-7pm

Sunday, July 19

Fleet Feet Sports Women's 5k, 10k, Festival, Lincoln Park-Foster to Addison, 7-10am

Veggie Bike & Dine: 5 spots left!

This is your last chance to register for Veggie Bike & Dine on August 15! Veggie Bike & Dine celebrates sustainable living, bicycling, and the wonder of new neighborhods. You'll be delighted by new community gardens through our partnership with NeighborSpace Chicago, and Charlie Trotter's To Go tops the list of chic eats for the special day. From Howard Area Community Garden to the Old Town Triangle, this is a lively urban ride for those who love great food, camaraderie with like-minded friends, and historic architecture highlights. Enjoy! $50 for members at www.activetrans.org/veggierides !

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Bike to the 'Bolts update - How to get the bell, the free ride, the bike lights

New developments for July 23's Bike to the 'Bolts - car-free baseball, baby! - in south suburban Oak Forest [Click for calendar listing]:

1. The game is ours - ActiveTrans's Footprints has signed on as the small business sponsor of this showdown between the 1st place O'Fallon, MO Rascals and our beloved 'Bolts, back-to-back Frontier League champs.

2. You can go for free - Be one of the first 10 riders to join or renew your ActiveTrans membership at the Premium level or higher and receive $5 off your membership, a tech-fabric shirt, plus you Bike to the 'Bolts for FREE. Bring a check or cash to the ride, or pre-pay on-line: http://activetrans.org/membership and use coupon code TGSAVE5.)

3. Awwww - You can borrow the cutest little lights you ever did see for the return ride after the game, Planet Bikes' Spoks, courtesy of Footprints sponsor Planet Bike and south suburban bike shops. Only to borrow - you give them back after the ride. We have 25 head/tail light sets, first come first served [got lights? Bring your own!]

4. Ring our bells - wear a bicycle jersey or bike-themed hat or shirt and receive a free bicycle bell! Ring your bell when game announcers give us a shout out! Ring your bell everytime the ‘Bolts score! Ring your bell to get the beer vendor’s attention!

Remember: RSVP strictly required by July 21, 5 p.m. to footprints@activetrans.org, or 312/427-3325x266, or RSVP on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/bikebolts.

Waiting on the platform? Find out when your train is coming!

It’s the same internal debate every time I wait for transit: When is the train/bus coming? Is it faster to wait or walk?

Making a decision may be easier now that Clever Commute has come to Chicago. As the Chicago Tribune reports, Clever Commute lets people sign up to receive e-mails or texts from other transit riders on the status of their train or bus.

It looks like parts of the website are still in progress for bus routes, but it does have options for the El and Metra. You can also check out the CTA Tattler blog, run by local transit advocates.

 

Biking to the 'Bolts a huge success!

Don't miss this opportunity for a car-free night of bicycling to baseball. Cheer on the hometeam, and reduce your carbon footprint. I calculate an air pollution savings of 15.65 pounds for this 2.5 mile round trip sans-car for every cyclist who would have driven alone this distance. That's quite a savings!

From our Footprints Coach Mike Erickson

Hello Cyclists in Blog-land!
Footprints (you may have heard of us) and the Active Transportation Alliance (you know them) are hosting a family-style bicycle ride to a family-style event, small town baseball...and you're invited! The ride leaves from and returns to Food4Less, 5556 159th St., in Oak Forest at 6pm., July 23, 2009. RSVP by July 21 at 5 pm. to footprints@activetrans.org, or 312/427-3325ext.266. Bring $6 for a ticket to the ride start; the baseball game's first pitch is at 7:05 pm.

The Windy City ThunderBolts, located in Crestwood at the Standard Bank Stadium, are the only Minor League Independent Professional baseball team in the Southland, and they are playing the River City Rascals of O'Fallon, Missouri. The ThunderBolts are 2007, and 2008, back to back Frontier League Champions, and the Rascals are leading the league this year, trying to rascal the crown away from the 'Bolts.

Family or no, your family to us (cyclist travel in packs), and we are going the cycle for the 'Bolts. We will lead a 2.5-mile bike ride along the pleasant back streets of Oak Forest and Midlothian to the stadium in Crestwood. We will provide free and secure valet bike parking. You must bring the helmet, the bike, the front white light and rear reflector, $6 bucks to get into the ballpark (1/3rd off), and maybe a few singles for $1 hotdogs, chips, popcorn, and drinks.

Don't miss this opportunity for a car-free night of bicycling to baseball. Cheer on the hometeam, and reduce your carbon footprint. I calculate an air pollution savings of 15.65 pounds for this 2.5 mile round trip sans-car for every cyclist who would have driven alone this distance. That's quite a savings!

Thanks for blogging.
Coach Mike
Footprints / Active Trans

Goroo.com is fine, but it ain't going to ride the bus with you

Paul Eisenburg in the SouthtownStar points out a nice feature of Footprints, the south suburban program to help people travel smarter: someone will actually talk with you. And ride bike - or the bus, or the train - with you. And prod you a little to make smart travel choices, because they're coaches after all and we all need a little prodding. Whatever it takes - Footprints coaches are committed to helping you reduce your carbon footprint and still get around.

Here's Paul's article.

And here's where you sign up to contact a Footprints coach

And if you're on Facebook...

Superweek begins tonight!

Superweek - one of the biggest events on the Midwest racing calendar - starts tonight, with the Beverly Pro-Am Criterium on the Southside.

Open events (all categories) begin tomorrow, July 11th, with the Blue Island Criterium in Blue Island, IL.  The racing will continue every day through July 26 with the Whitefish Bay Classic.  However, (wink wink) we all know you'll really be in downtown Chicago that day for the 2nd annual Chicago Criterium, which conflicts again with Superweek's final race.

Pre-registration is still open for the later events.

I will begin posting races in the events calendar today.  Stay tuned.

Bike to Homewood Days - Park it with Footprints

Homewood Days polls as a premier Southland community festival - you'll want to come. But you sure as shizzle will be sorry you drove - navigating a car through town and finding parking is like a poke in the eye, all the while dumping loads of carbon dioxide into the air.

Take your bike! The Footprints coaches of Active Transportation Alliance will valet park your and your family's bikes - in a supervised corral at Olive Rd. and Dixie Hwy, no lock required! - on Saturday from 10 AM to 8 PM. Look for the Footprints bike parking tent next to the SouthtownStar Stage at the south end of the event on Dixie.

Need a good route to get there? Our coaches hand them out like candy - start with the Footprints survey at http://activetrans.org/footprints, or write to footprints@activetrans.org.

Lead Footprints coach Mary-Lynn Wilson shopping by bike

Chicagoland ranks second-worst for congestion, second best for transit

The Chicago area and northwest Indiana is the second-worst area in the U.S. for congestion, according to a Texas Transportation Institute study and reported in the Chicago Tribune article, “Chicago traffic delays: A tiny break in the traffic logjam.”

Chicagoland’s ranking hurts more than our pride – congestion costs us $4.2 billion a year and wastes more than 129 million gallons of excess fuel a year.

Transit, on the other hand, saves us time and money:

“The expansive mass-transit network in the Chicago region contributes to about $1.1 billion worth of delay savings annually, ranking No. 2 in savings behind the New York City region, the study found. Put another way, it means public transit reduces delays by almost 49 million hours annually in the Chicago region.”

But we can’t just sit back in our bus seats. The study recommends investing in transit now to prepare for when the economy improves and congestion will likely increase:

“With congestion expected to come roaring back as the economy improves, the fallout will be the worst in regions of the country that have failed to invest in mass transit and roadway improvements, the study concluded.”

Among the study’s recommendations are transit improvements and transit-oriented development, where town centers and biking and walking facilities connect to transit.
 

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