State Street Going Car-Free for Open Streets Oct. 1

by crandell | 09/06/2011

What happens when people are freed from the confines of cars and crowded sidewalks and invited to take over the street? You can find out October 1 at Open Streets on State Street!

Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA), in partnership with Active Transportation Alliance (Active Trans), will transform a seven-block stretch of State Street, from Lake to Van Buren, into the ultimate urban playground for all ages, Saturday, October 1, from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Why the New South Shore Line Tourism Initiative Falls Short

by studenkov | 06/03/2011

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A couple of weeks ago, the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, the public agency that runs the South Shore Line, announced that it will be launching a new website that would promote the line to off-peak riders.

The South Shore Line is a century-old rail service that runs (roughly) along Lake Michigan between Chicago and South Bend, Indiana. It is something of an oddity in Midwestern public transit - it provides regular commuter-style service beyond Chicago commuter suburbs, extending into villages and cities that are separated  by miles of woods and cornfields. Another thing that makes it peculiar is that it's electrically powered - something that's common on the East Coast but relatively rare in the Chicago area.

CTA's Least Walkable Train Stations

by crandell | 02/05/2011

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Chicago has an incredible train system with 144 stations providing access to many great walkable neighborhoods, and that's not even counting Metra stations. The combination of walking to transit is what allows city residents to be less dependent on their cars. But there are also stations in not-so-walkable areas, surrounded by freeways, vacant lots or suburban-style development. I took a look at the Carfree Chicago Train Stop Guide to find the CTA's ten least walkable stations. The Train Stop Guide lists Walk Scores for each train station, which gives a sense of whether the station has lots of people and activity within convenient walking distance. Below are the least walkable stations listed with Walk Scores.

Bike the Drive Is Just Over a Week Away!

by crandell | 05/20/2011

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Next Sunday, May 29, the Active Transportation Alliance will transform Lake Shore Drive into a bicycle nirvana. Don't miss this once-a-year chance to experience the joys of a carfree lakefront. Kick off your summer with tens of thousands of other cyclists enjoying a leisurely ride with great views of the lake and skyline. The forecast is even predicting perfect weather for the day. Registering for Bike the Drive also supports important advocacy to improve conditions for biking, walking and transit in the region.

Register today at http://www.bikethedrive.org . Carfree Chicago readers can save $5 with coupon code SMASHING5.

Looking for your help - Bike outings near Metra UP NW Line

by Just off the Tracks | 04/21/2011

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We, at Just off the Tracks.com (things to see & do off the Metra rail lines) are adding bike outings to our site this spring, and we are looking for your expertise.
Give us the Inside Track on your favorite trails or routes that are easily accessible from the Metra stops. Include approximate time and difficulty and let us know why you enjoy this route.
The train lines that we are currently working on are the UP Northwest and the Milwaukee District North Lines, but we will take information on any of lines for future reference. We would love to post your Top Ten Bike Routes - off the Rails and who better than You to know. Some for beginners and families, some for the sightseers, some for difficulty, and some for the best food, the reasons could be endless. If you have pictures, please include your 3 favorites.

CTA Red and Purple Line Modernization wants your thoughts today!

by hsmith | 02/18/2011

Today February 18, 2011 is the deadline to submit comments on the CTA Red and Purple line modernization scenarios. Take a look at the page for more information. Email comments to RPM@transitchicago.com .

Glen Ellyn

by twinkler | 10/11/2010

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“This is what America is all about!” a Glen Ellyn resident and book store owner exclaimed. While I do not doubt her patriotism, I would say that downtown Glen Ellyn is what suburbs should be all about. The stores are densely huddled together, the sidewalks are wide and welcoming, and Main Street is decorated with colorful awnings with tempting windows below. The entire area, encompassing little more than three or four blocks, is extremely pedestrian friendly and while small, gives all that you could ask for.
Getting there is an easy thirty to fifty minute trip from Ogilvie Transportation Center traveling on the Union Pacific West. Once you get off the train the downtown is not immediately apparent. Follow the train west for a block and you will arrive at Main Street. To your left and right is the heart of Glen Ellyn.

Car Free Day: Rally and Ride

by Break the Gridlock | 09/21/2010

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Greetings, Carfree Chicago!

Hooray! Tomorrow, Wednesday Sept 22, is World Car Free Day. Break the Gridlock is celebrating with a rally and bike ride tomorrow night. The ride leaves at 6pm sharp from Daley Plaza and ends at 7pm at the Bike Winter kick-off meeting at the Billy Goat on Madison (1535 W.)

The idea is that we spread love and thanks for walkers, bikers, skaters, bladers, transit users, etc. downtown... and encourage the drivers hitting the highway ramps to join us next time. If you are feeling creative and/or loud, come prepared with your best car-freedom costumes and slogans.

Also, please take the Active Trans' car-free pledge. Even if you are already car-free, it is good to be counted. When you take the pledge, you show support for a less car-dependent future. http://www.activetrans.org/carfree.

Excursions from -Just off the Tracks.com

by Just off the Tracks | 09/13/2010

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Check out www.justoffthetracks.com a guide of things to see & do within walking distance of the Metra Train Stations. We have started with the Northwest Pacific line and are expanding to include all lines. Here is a sample excursion-

Progressive Dinner in Woodstock

Start you evening at the Woodstock Public House, minutes from the Metra Station. There is a short flight of steps down to the restaurant. We suggest grabbing one of the tables in the bar area. The atmosphere is warm and inviting and the servers are friendly. The menu features a nice array of starters and seasonal appetizers you will not want to overlook. There is a great selection of draft beers to choose from. The Public House also offers over 30 types of martinis. To get to the Woodstock Public House head west on West Church Street, and left on Main Street. The restaurant will be on the right.

228 Main Street Woodstock, IL 60098 815-337-9100

You're already an Active Trans member at heart. Become a member in action!

by crandell | 09/03/2010

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You want safer streets in your community so you can cross the road without worrying about getting hit. You wish the Chicago region had more bike lanes and trails so you would feel more comfortable biking to work or visiting the park with your family. And you wish you had reliable and affordable transit options that were easy to get to and easy to use.

Even though you might not realize it, you're probably already an Active Transportation Alliance member at heart. And Active Trans is already working on your behalf to improve conditions for biking, walking and transit. But by becoming a member in action, you can put more power behind their vision of a Chicagoland with half as many crashes and where half of all trips are made by biking, walking and transit. Active Trans is at a critical point on the road to making its vision a reality, and they need support from people like you to make it happen. Your support is the strength behind the movement!