Let's ensure suburban candidates support biking, walking and transit

As voters in Chicago prepare to vote in runoff elections on April 7 for mayor and 19 city council seats, suburban voters will go to the polls that same day to elect leaders with the potential to shape the future of biking, walking and public transit in the suburbs.

Based on input from our members and supporters throughout the region, we have released our 2015 Suburban Active Transportation Platform.

Like our city platform, the suburban platform urges candidates to support building safer streets and trails for everyone, and promoting safe and responsible among all users of the road.

Specific action items include the following:

  • Develop and implement bike plans that give priority to networks of family friendly bikeways, such as protected bike lanes, bike boulevards, sidepaths and off-street trails.
  • Commit to making pedestrian safety improvements a priority at the most dangerous intersections and crossings.
  • Support regional efforts to identify new revenue sources to support maintenance and expansion of public transit.
  • Identify targeted funding for police to increase education and enforcement around distracted driving and Illinois’ must stop for pedestrian law.

While Active Trans does not endorse candidates, we encourage suburban members and supporters to talk to members of their communities about these critical bike/walk/transit issues and ask candidates to share their views.

Social media and your local bike shops and clubs can be great venues to connect with members and supporters in your community.

We’ve compiled the following list of possible questions for suburban candidates as a guide, and we urge you to develop your own based on local insight and information.

  • Do you support the development of a community bike network that is safe and comfortable for all to use?
  • Do you support prioritizing pedestrian safety improvements at our most dangerous intersections?
  • Do you support efforts to increase regional investment in new public transit infrastructure?
  • Do you support increased enforcement of traffic laws, including photo/video enforcement?
  • Do you support efforts to encourage children to bike and walk to school through education and infrastructure improvements?

You can register to vote or update your registration on the State Board of Elections website until Tuesday, March 7, and grace period registration continues through April 4.

More information about your local suburban election can be found on your county board of election website: suburban Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will.

Photo courtesy of bikepedimages.org; Dan Burden. 

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