22
October , 2018
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Chicagoans are hopeful Loop Link will improve mobility across the Loop


CHICAGO, IL – The challenge of moving east or west across the Loop is familiar to anyone who has ever battled the daily congestion downtown, particularly during the morning and evening rush.

“Whether you’re riding transit, walking or riding your bike, getting across the Loop can be frustratingly slow,” said Ron Burke, executive director of the Active Transportation Alliance. “The Loop Link will make those trips faster, safer and more convenient for the thousands of Chicagoans who move through the Loop every day, and it’s a great step forward in continuing to improve and expand our rapid transit system.”

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Chicago Transportation Authority (CTA) unveiled the branding for the Loop Link today, and released a construction schedule for the new rapid transit corridor scheduled to be completed in 2015. Features include dedicated bus lanes on Washington and Madison, and connections to Ogilvie and Union Stations in the West Loop.

Construction is scheduled to begin March 16th and prep work is already underway. Active Trans will continue to advocate for CDOT and CTA to efficiently proceed with construction so the corridor is operational as soon possible, and work to ensure the final project delivers the results promised to people riding transit, walking and riding bikes across the Loop.

People walking and riding bikes will also benefit from the new corridor, with new protected bike lanes going in on Randolph and Washington, and more sidewalk space as a result of relocating bus shelters to the corridor.

The data shows the vast majority of people are riding transit, walking or biking to get around the Loop. Buses carry nearly half of all travelers in vehicles on Washington and Madison, yet travel as slow as 3mph during rush hour, or walking speed.

Active Trans spoke with transit riders from neighborhoods throughout Chicago who are excited about the potential benefits of the new corridor. To speak with any of the riders whose stories are highlighted below, please contact Communications Director Ted Villaire or Campaign Director Kyle Whitehead at kyle@activetrans.org or 312-216-0473.

Courtney Cobbs, 24-year-old social worker from Edgewater
“I ride the 20-Madison bus often and always add at least 20 to 30 minutes to the estimated travel time due to the congestion. The city needs to continue to invest more in transit to attract millennials, save money and improve access to jobs.”

Ian Adams, 29-year-old Ukrainian Village resident who works in the Loop
“Getting to the Loop is pretty straightforward but transit within the loop is really lacking. I’ll likely ride the bus more often with the new corridor and ride my bike in the new protected bike lanes when the weather is good. I’m in business school in Streeterville and need to get across the Loop in the evenings when the streets are totally jammed.”

John Aquilina, 64-year-old architecture and construction project manager
“I often need to make east-west trips across the Loop on a tight schedule and will likely ride the bus more often with the new corridor. Sometimes I avoid the Loop during rush hour because the congestion is so bad.”

Curtis Kuhn, 36-year-old consultant from Edgewater
“I never take the bus across the Loop because I can walk faster. If the bus was faster and more consistent, I’d be much more likely to consider it.”

Matt Carley, 27-year old Lakeview resident
“I frequently travel to Ogilvie and Union Stations to ride Metra to the suburbs to visit family and friends and the dedicated bus lanes will save me time. I don’t have a car and rely on public transit and my bicycle to get around and truly experience the city.

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 supported by more than 7,000 members and 1,000 volunteers. For more information about the Active Transportation Alliance, visit www.activetrans.org or call 312.427.3325.

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