Active Transportation Alliance – “Chicagoland’s voice for better biking, walking, and transit.”
The Active Transportation Alliance strives to make bicycling, walking, and public transportation safe, fun, and convenient. The organization, formerly known as the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, is based in Chicago and has been in existence for 25 years.
On October 29, 2010, Just off the Tracks interviewed Ethan Spotts, the Director of Marketing and Communications for Active Transportation Alliance, about the roll the organization plays in improving transportation in Chicagoland.
Can you tell us about the Active Transportation Alliance and its primary goals?
The Alliance is a non-profit organization that advocates alternative forms of transportation. We strive to increase biking, walking, and mass transit. We envision half as many crashes and where half of all trips are made by walking, biking and transit in the Chicago Land Area.
How do you hope to accomplish those goals?
The Alliance hopes to accomplish those goals by creating awareness through education programs and sponsored events. In addition, we are responsible for programs and legislation such as “Bikes on Trains” and “Complete Streets.” The agency also provides consultant services for communities wishing to improve their non-motorized plans such as pedestrian and bicycle master planning where routes, train connections, and bike parking plans are reviewed, bicycle and pedestrian safety, and bicycle education, etc.
You mentioned Bikes on Trains, can you expound on that program?
The Bikes on Trains Program allows cyclists to transport their bikes on Metra trains during off-peak hours when they are properly secured with a bungee cord. We continue our legislative efforts to make improvements such as lessening the number of blackout dates and increasing the number of bikes per train.
Just Off the Tracks encourages everyone to review the following link to see complete list of guidelines concerning the Bikes on Trains Program. http://metrarail.com/metra/en/home/utility_landing/riding_metra/riding_metra.html
What are some of the events the Alliance promotes?
There are a lot of great events such as Bike the Drive, an annual event where Lakeshore Drive is closed to motorists, so bicyclists can enjoy their morning ride/commute without vehicles. We also promote Chicagoland Car-Free Day encouraging everyone to seek alternative forms of transportation. One of my favorites is the Boulevard Lakefront Tour. Participants can enjoy a 16, 32, or 62-mile ride through Chicago neighborhoods complete with a ride guide, event T-shirt, and post ride festivities.
A complete list of events is listed on the Active Transportation Alliance website. http://www.activetrans.org/
How can our readers become members?
Registration is available online with several levels of membership starting at only $30.00. Some of the membership privileges include discounts at many Chicago area bike shops, an online newsletter, and a 7 county bike map. There is also a no-charge Chicago specific bicycle route map that riders can pick up at their local bike shop.
Active Transportation Alliance
9 West Hubbard Street
Chicago, IL 60654