News for November, 2009
Wednesday, November 25th, 2009
Despite recent announcements from the Senate leadership that climate change legislation will be put off until spring of 2010 and questions about the fate of the international climate negotiations in Copenhagen, CNT is not discouraged about the future of climate action in the U.S. Yes, it is frustrating that Senate action may not occur until a year after the House passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act in June 2009, and that the Copenhagen talks may result in just an agreement to create a future agreement—rather than binding targets. But global warming is a problem we have created over many years and we are not going to solve it overnight.
CNT has been directly working on climate change issues for a decade and a half and indirectly working to address the problems that impact climate for our entire 31-year history as an organization. Despite recent setbacks, climate action is more on track today that it has been at any time since the Kyoto Protocol was signed (and maybe even before then, since the U.S. never ratified Kyoto).
Why such climate optimism despite the doom and gloom in the news? Many positive advancements are occurring that are not necessarily making the headlines. These examples are paving the way to not only a more definitive climate policy but to a broader awareness to the behavior changes we must take to reduce our greenhouse gas impact.
Read more »
Monday, November 23rd, 2009
JPMorgan Chase’s charitable arm has pledged to dole out $5-million to grass-roots charities chosen by Facebook users, USA Today reports.
Participants in the Chase Community Giving contest can vote through December 11 for an eligible nonprofit group and encourage other users of the social-media site to follow suit. The top vote-getter will be awarded $1-million, with five runners-up getting $100,000 each and 100 other finalists receiving $25,000 apiece.
Please consider supporting CNT through the Chase Community Giving contest! And as always, you can also support CNT with a secure online donation!
Monday, November 16th, 2009
We at CNT are stunned and deeply saddened by the death of Michael Scott. He was a remarkable civic leader who cared greatly for the disadvantaged, especially children—whether residents of Lawndale or students at Fenger High School.
Michael’s early leadership helping to develop the Lawndale community led to his interest in, and the subsequent founding of, CNT. He served on our board for more than 10 years, holding the position of President twice.
He was a strong supporter of innovation who was never satisfied with the status quo and who will be dearly missed by CNT, as well as the broader Chicago community. Our thoughts and condolences are with Michael’s family and close friends.
Thursday, November 12th, 2009
Advocates, elected officials and residents gathered today to demand safer streets and legislation that protects pedestrians in Chicagoland.
Representatives from the Active Transportation Alliance, the Center for Neighborhood Technology, the 25th Ward, the 10th Police District and Rep. Luis Arroyo came together at 18th and Halsted streets in Chicago—the site of one of three recent pedestrian fatalities—to call on our leaders to act now.
“This is a time for our leaders to commit to prioritizing people and ensuring their safety when they choose to walk and bike,” said Rob Sadowsky, executive director at the Active Transportation Alliance. “It is not acceptable that we fear for our lives when we walk or bike in our neighborhoods.”
The event comes a day after Transportation for America, a national campaign for balanced transportation options, released Dangerous by Design, which outlines pedestrian crash rates in major metropolitan areas, the causes of those crashes and how they can be prevented.
Chicagoland, according the report, ranks 41st on a list of the 50 most dangerous metropolitan areas. Within Illinois, it ranks eighth among Illinois’ major metropolitan areas, with a pedestrian danger index of 39.3 and 235 pedestrian fatalities from 2007-2008.
The report found that last year alone, 312 pedestrians were killed in Illinois. That translates into other striking realities: On average, about 11.8 percent of all fatal crashes involved pedestrians in the United States. Illinois’ percentage is 13.6 percent. The report also details pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people. The U.S. average is 1.53 and the Illinois’ is 1.21.
The Illinois Department of Transportation reports that 6,000 pedestrians are hit every year in Illinois. In Chicago, that translates to one death per week.
At 18th and Halsted streets in Chicago, advocates called on leaders to improve road design, increase funding and support legislation like the Complete Streets bill and House Bill 43 that ensure safer roads and clarify drivers’ responsibilities.
“Passing the Complete Streets bill was a victory for everyone in Illinois. But it was only one landmark on a long path. The challenge now is getting the Illinois Department of Transportation to follow that law and make every street in the state safe for walkers, bikers and drivers alike. In doing so, IDOT can provide the leadership for county and municipalities to implement Complete Streets as well,” said Jacky Grimshaw, vice president for policy and the Center for Neighborhood Technology.
House Bill 43, which would clarify state law and require drivers to stop—instead of yield—would remarkably improve pedestrian safety.
“We have the data and we have the tools,” Sadowsky said. “Now is the time to make pedestrian safety a priority on our streets.”
Tuesday, November 10th, 2009
On Tuesday, from a South Side intersection where a young woman was killed recently by a hit-and-run driver, CNT joined voices with community leaders and lawmakers to call for safer roads for pedestrians.
“We are standing here today because of a failure to make our roads safe,” said Jacky Grimshaw, CNT’s Vice President for Policy.
The bereaved family of the young woman, Martha Gonzalez, stood alongside CNT, the Active Transportation Alliance, a representative from the 25th Ward and officers from the 10th police district in calls to pass and implement legislation that would stop pedestrian fatalities in Illinois.
Read more »
Friday, November 6th, 2009
WHAT: The Active Transportation Alliance, alongside the Center for Neighborhood Technology, Representative Luis Arroyo, the 10th Police District, and members of the 25th Ward will gather at the site of one of three recent deadly pedestrian crashes to demand better protection for the most vulnerable road users. Three pedestrians – Martha Gonzalez, Rachel Gilliam and Kim Brown – have been killed by drivers in Chicago in a span of less than a month. Advocates will call on our leaders to design safer streets and support legislation that protects pedestrians. They will also discuss a report issued by Transportation for America, which ranks the safety of metropolitan areas, including Chicagoland. Representatives from the Chicago Department of Transportation have also been invited.
WHEN: 11 a.m. Tuesday Nov. 10, 2009
WHERE: Halsted and 18th streets in Chicago
ABOUT THE ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION ALLIANCE
The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that works to make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel. The organization builds a movement around active transportation, encourages physical activity, increases safety and builds a world-class transportation network. Formerly the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, the Active Transportation Alliance is North America’s largest transportation advocacy organization, supported by more than 6,000 members, 1,000 volunteers and 35 full-time staff. For more information on the Active Transportation Alliance, visit www.activetrans.org or call 312.427.3325.
ABOUT CENTER FOR NEIGHBORHOOD TECHNOLOGY
Since 1978, the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) has been a leader in promoting urban sustainability – the more effective use of existing resources and community assets to improve the health of natural systems and the wealth of people, today and in the future. CNT is a creative think-and-do tank that combines rigorous research with effective solutions. We have tackled a wide range of issues, always with an eye toward simultaneously improving the environment, strengthening the economy, and advancing equity. We work across disciplines and issues, including transportation and community development, energy, natural resources, and climate change. CNT is one of eight nonprofits selected from around the world to be recognized by a 2009 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. More information is available at www.cnt.org.
Wednesday, November 4th, 2009
Today, the Urban Land Institute’s Terwilliger Center for Workforce Housing released Bay Area Burden, which found that after their combined housing and transportation expenditures, San Francisco Bay Area workers are left with insufficient resources to meet their basic needs. The research by CNT, Center for Housing Policy and ULI, shows that the average Bay Area household spends more than $41,000 a year—nearly 60 percent of their income—on transportation and housing costs alone.
Bay Area Burden provides a comprehensive analysis of the “cost of place” in nine counties located throughout the San Francisco region by examining the costs and impacts of housing and transportation on residents, their neighborhoods and the environment.
Read more »
Monday, November 2nd, 2009
CNT applauds Governor Pat Quinn’s creation of Economic Recovery Commission, a panel charged with providing guidance for dealing with the current economic downturn while also preparing plans to ensure the long-term health and prosperity of Illinois’ economy.
“It is the best way to be ready and smart about upcoming economic opportunities to address the state’s unemployment rate and to accelerate the recovery and make it work for all communities and residents of Illinois,” stated CNT’s President Scott Bernstein who was appointed to the Commission. “We can take a leadership role in a 21st century approach that makes Illinois and its communities leaders in taking on tough economic and environmental issues simultaneously.” Read more »