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 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.

Chicago to Bourbanais - By bike, bus & train

An update from Footprints Coach Mary Lynn Wilson:

Back in the “day” when I worked in advertising, when an ad came in that we didn’t sell, we said it came in over the transom. Well, I got an interesting Footprints route request “over the transom”. It came through Active Trans from Aimee. She’s going to travel from Chicago to Bourbonnais via Metra/bus/bike.

I remember seeing a bus at the University Park Metra station for the River Valley Metro when I went out to the Plum Creek Nature Center in Will County. It turns out you can catch the bus in University Park and it will take you to several locations in Bourbonnais, Manteno and Kankakee.

I took a look at riding from the station. It’s not that long of a ride but it’s a desolate one. I remember riding to Plum Creek in Beecher. What I thought it would be a quick 45 minute ride turned into 2 hours because of an incredible headwind. I ran out of water and had no food. I kept thinking I’d hit a gas station at the next intersection but there never was one! For a direct route to Bourbonnais there are a lot of country roads but you don’t hit many of the towns.

The same goes for taking the Wauponsee Glacial Trail from Joliet. It will take you down to Kankakee State Park but I’ve read some blogs that warn you to have plenty of food and water because there isn’t much after Manhattan.

Aimee and I talked a lot about lights, gear and how to carry books and a laptop. I admire Amiee’s determination to use a train and bike for commuting. It will be interesting to hear how it goes. Maybe her desire to be car-free will get more people thinking about doing the same for their much shorter commute. I’ll think of her next time I get one of those “but a car would be so much faster” thoughts.

Mary-Lynn Wilson

Legislative Update

On Friday, July 24, 2009, Governor Pat Quinn signed SB 75 into law. This bill, introduced by Sen. Michael Bond and Rep. Robert Pritchard grants school districts more flexibility in their use of revenue from fines of speeding violations in school zones. Specifically, the bill allows school districts to use the funding for Safe Routes to School and School Safety Block Grant activities. For more information on Active Trans' legislative agenda, visit

Lakefront Trail Activities July 25 and 26

Activities that may affect your use of the Lakefront Trail July 25 and 26.

Saturday, July 25

Corona Wide Open - Lincoln Park, North Avenue Beach - 6am-8pm

Chicago Beach Soccer Tournament - Lincoln Park, Montrose Beach - 7am-7pm

Sunday, July 26

Chicago Criterium - Grant Park - 7am-4pm


Rascals, global warming take one on the nose

 'Bolts won! Stretched a 4th inning run into a 3-2 victory over those rotten Rascals, who are also rascally. 13 bike bells ringing clearly rattled the Rascals's batters.

Footprints was a hit at the game too - coaches collected travel surveys and doled out local trail and bike club info. A perfect game for Footprints [with a nod here to Mark Buehrle].

Small events are wonderful ways to open a world of enjoyable bike riding for folks, right where they live, and break down the idea that bikes are only for biking. They're great tools for living, too. And living well.

Pictures are up here.

Have a small biking or walking event idea? Or a place you know would be fabulous to bike to? Let a Footprints coach know by filling out the survey

Ask Footprints: Biking to the Ball Park

Hey Footprints: how might one ride from, say, Food4Less in Oak Forest to the 'Bolts stadium in Crestwood? Like tonight, for instance?

Glad you asked:

Footprints coaches are expert route finders, adding experience to whatever whiz-bang algorithms on-line stuff uses [and confuses!]. And boy, does experience make a difference. Get your own Southland routes: ask for one at

View Larger Map

Recent comments

Copyright © 2014 Active Transportation Alliance | All Rights Reserved | Privacy policy