About one-third of all work trips in Chicago are comprised of people biking, walking or riding public transit.
The South Suburbs include south suburban Cook County, Will County, as well as Lake and Porter counties in Northwest Indiana.
Get the latest updates on active transportation issues in the South Suburbs below and make sure to join our In Your Community: South Suburbs e-newsletter list. The e-newsletter comes out quarterly and offers a quick read on issues related to bicycling, walking and transit in your area.
If you are interested in learning more about any of the information provided on this page, please feel free to contact Maggie Melin at Maggie@activetrans.org or 312-427-0475.
Local Advocacy Groups & Bike Clubs
Teaching safe cycling a passion for Chicago Heights resident
As a bicycle advocate and educator over the last two decades, , inspiring many to seriously consider the bicycle as a mode of transportation for everyday use, even in the suburbs.Hear his story and learn about his involvement in connecting Chicagoland residents to instructors and bicycle safety classes.
Sign the petition to improve the Metra Electric
Tired of slow buses and high Metra Electric fares? Sick of living in a transit desert? Want transit justice for residents of the South Side and south suburbs? The Coalition for a Modern Metra Electric is a group of Chicagoland residents and organizations that want improved service and connections on the Metra Electric. .
Trail funding coming to the south suburbs
Nearly $1.6 million from the federal government's Recreational Trails Program (RTP) has been awarded for recreational trail development projects in 11 Illinois communities. Projects include repairs to the underpass at 119th and LaGrange Road and repair of the adjacent trail in Palos Hills. The Village of Tinley Park will receive funds to address maintenance needs of an existing 2.5-mile multiuse trail, and Prairie State College District 515 will use its funds to develop a 1-mile walking trail in a 30-acre nature preserve.
CMAP regional travel survey — earn $50
The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) wants to understand how Chicago-area residents get from place to place – whether on foot or by car, bus, train or bike. CMAP is asking residents to take the to help the organization figure out the best use of future transportation investments. Each household can earn $50 for completing the survey.
Bike Walk Education Act: Help us get resources to your local schools
In August, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the Bike Walk Education in Schools Act () into law, which now requires that every K-8 public school in Illinois provide walking and bicycling safety education. Active Trans worked with the Illinois Association of School Boards to compile a and share it directly with school districts. We need your help sharing these resources with your school board! Email if you’re willing to get in touch with your local school district.
Governor signs Dutch Reach bike safety bill
Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the Dutch Reach bike safety bill into law in August. The bill adds the Dutch Reach method to Illinois’ Rules of the Road manual and bike safety questions to the state driver’s license exam.
Sign the petition to get a fair share for biking and walking
Join us in the . It would fund biking and walking projects on corridors where the most crashes occur, many of which are located in low-income communities and communities of color. In October, 27 CEOs sent a letter to Gov. Bruce Rauner and gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker asking them to support this fund. You can help, too — and share with your friends and family.
Congressional candidates share views on transportation issues
To educate candidates and voters about federal transportation priorities for the next Congress, Active Trans partnered with the League of American Bicyclists on a seven-question candidate questionnaire. The questionnaire was sent to all candidates in the Chicago region that will appear on the November ballot.
Kids on Wheels fleet provides on-bike education to youth
once again traveled the region this summer to provide on-bike education opportunities for youth. This season, Active Trans worked with partner organizations to bring the Kids on Wheels caravan to communities from the northern suburbs to the Southland in addition to Chicago neighborhoods.
Regional Mode Share Report released
The Active Transportation Alliance released its , which breaks down mode share by transportation type between the suburbs and Chicago. According to report, the Chicago region has grown more car dependent since 1980, with driving growing approximately four times faster than the population. The data illustrates the region's inability to build its way out of traffic congestion through highway expansion.
Advocacy training webinars
As part of our Bike Walk Every Town suburban advocacy program, Active Trans hosts lunch time webinars on how you can organize and create change in your community. Check out these recordings of our most recent webinars:
Bike Walk Education in Schools Act passes the Illinois House and Senate
We’re happy to report that the Illinois House and Senate passed the Illinois Bike Walk Education in Schools Act. This bill would add biking and walking safety education to the school curriculum in Illinois. Next, the bill moves to Gov. Bruce Rauner for his signature. Thank you to the hundreds of supporters who contacted their legislators to push for passage of this bill. Stay tuned for more opportunities to take action.
Bike rodeo tips from Chicago Heights
Organizing fun and engaging community events is a fantastic way to build awareness for a campaign or project you’d like to see supported by your elected officials. For example, south suburban resident Jessica Mancina organizes Chicago Height’s annual bike rodeo, an event that promotes the benefits of cycling and teaches kids bike safety skills. Check out her tips and best practices for pulling off this event every year. Save the date for this year’s rodeo on June 30.
Kids ride free on Metra this summer
Metra is now offering free rides to children age 11 and under who are accompanied by an adult between now and Labor Day. Check out the Metra website for a list of fun events and activities that you and your family can reach by train in June.
‘Tis the season to enjoy the outdoors!
Local advocacy groups, bike clubs, schools, towns and Active Trans are organizing fun biking and walking events around the region:
· June 10: Active Transportation Alliance’s Executive Director Ron Burke will lead the Chicagoland’s MOST Scenic Trail Ride from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Starting in Lemont, Illinois, the 25-mile, easy-pace ride will include waterfalls, native prairie, bluffs, bogs and hidden lakes.
· June 15-29: During the Bike Commuter Challenge workplaces across the region compete to get the most employees biking to work. Both new and experienced riders are encouraged to participate.
· June 30: Participate in the Chicago Heights Bike Rodeo at Commissioner’s Park.
· And in case you missed it, check out photos from MB Bike the Drive!
We’re looking for Active Trans Ambassadors from the suburbs
Want to represent Active Trans at future suburban events and help us spread the message about the importance of walking, biking and transit to residents throughout the region? We’re training volunteers interested in becoming Active Trans Ambassadors. Those who complete the training sessions will receive special, limited-edition Active Trans Ambassador T-shirts. If you’re interested in learning more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Photo credit: James Lamb.
Advocacy training webinars
As part of our Bike Walk Every Town advocacy program, we host lunch time webinars on how you can organize and create change in your community. Visit activetrans.org/bikewalkeverytown to register for our upcoming trainings, including our June 21 webinar on event organizing ideas and tips. Check out the recordings of our recent webinars:
Local Community Resources
Trails Map: Google Map of planned and completed trails in Northwest Indiana and Will County