The Slow Streets movement is picking up speed, but Chicago is getting left behind

Streetsblog Chicago | April 28, 2020

The open streets and Slow Streets movement to provide space for safe, socially-distanced sustainable walking and biking, along with general calls to make it safer and easier for people to get fresh air and exercise during the COVID-19 crisis, are catching on like wildfire across the country and around the globe. So much is happening that it’s hard to keep up with it all, so I’m going to throw a bunch of links at you that you can check out at your leisure.

But first, to get up to speed on what’s been going on in Chicago, including Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s closures of key bike commuting routes and parks, as well as the Active Transportation Alliance’s decision to essentially oppose open streets, read the new Chicago Reader article on the subject by Streetsblog’s Courtney Cobbs and myself. One of Active Trans’ chief stated reasons for not supporting open streets is “In conversations with community partners serving Latinx, Black, and Asian communities, nobody pointed to open streets as an immediate need.” The advocacy group declined to tell us which community partners they were talking about.

So we asked dozens of community organizations, aldermen, and transportation advocates in communities of color whether they thought piloting an Oakland-style Slow Streets program, banning through traffic on a network of side streets, could be beneficial in Chicago during the pandemic. We found that there’s quite a bit of support for the idea, including from heavy-hitters like Democratic Socialist alderman Carlos-Ramirez Rosa, and local planning and advocacy legend Jacky Grimshaw.

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Latest CNT Press Release

May 21, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Chicago, IL, May 21, 2019)

The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) announces that its founder and long-time visionary leader, Scott Bernstein, is stepping down from the organization effective September 30, 2019.

“Scott has had tremendous influence in making cities more equitable and more sustainable,” said CNT Board Chair Robert Henderson. “From his innovative ideas for handling water, energy, transportation, and other critical urban systems, to his collaboration with CNT staff in pioneering data analysis of underlying environmental and economic patterns in order to find sustainable solutions – in these and many other ways Scott has helped change the way cities function today, for all of us. Like so many others on the CNT board and staff, I am grateful for his extraordinary contributions.”

“I continue to believe in the importance of pursuing environmental sustainability and urban equity simultaneously, and I look... Read the rest of this Press Release »