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Imagine a community where you never have to own a car again. A place free of rush hour woes, where every convenience is within a short walk, bike ride or transit trip. Now imagine dec. 810, 2010 that we could realize that future here and now.


The places that thrive today are those with the highest velocity of ideas and the highest density of talented people. We know that 25-34 year-olds have shown an increasing propensity to live within a 3-mile radius of central business districts and by 2000 were 33 percent more likely than other Americans to live in close-in neighborhoods that are compact, multi-functional and offer alternatives to the car as a way to get around.

Players working on these projects include

Active Transportation Alliance [ActiveTrans]

Bike 2015 Plan chicago department of Transportation [cdOT] chicago department of Transportation [cdOT] civic consulting Alliance [ccA] chicago climate Action Plan [ccAP] chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning [cMAP] chicago Transit Authority [cTA] Metropolis 2020 Metropolitan Mayors caucus Metropolitan Planning council [MPc] Neighborhood capital Institute [NcI] Regional Transportation Authority [RTA], including Pace Suburban Bus Service and Metra Rail

Planners now project that 86 percent of the growth in new households will be single people or couples without children at home and neither group wants to live in remote suburbs or in houses surrounded by big lawns. Four cars in every garage may have once been the dream of americans, but its now clear that not only is that timeconsuming and isolating; not only does it undermine the natural advantages of cities, but it is also expensive. a key advantage of cities is their intrinsic sustainability: they require less car travel, use less energy and generate fewer emissions per capita than more sprawling areas. alternative forms of transportation (transit, walking and cycling) enable city-dwellers to recapture income otherwise spent on cars and gasoline money that quickly leaves the local economy and redistribute it in their local economies. ceos for cities has calculated that by reducing vehicle miles traveled by one mile per person per day in just the nations top 51 metro areas, the U.S. could realize a $29 billion green Dividend. therefore, a critical strategy for promoting true sustainability environmental and economic is to reduce vehicle miles traveled. and the best way to reduce vehicle miles traveled is through genuine urbanism.

every day, chicagoans travel to a variety of places they commute to work, drive to the store, go to the doctor, make a trip to the health club, go out for dinner. currently 21 percent of the citys greenhouse gas emissions are produced by cars, trucks, buses and trains. to lower emissions, a high-quality transportation system must include a mix of public transit, bicycling, walking, car sharing, energy-efficient vehicles and the development of transit-oriented neighborhoods. chicagoans have many places to go, and they need a variety of convenient, energy-efficient ways to get there. this is a look at current and near-term projects underway or proposed by various chicago organizations that could help make it possible for chicagoans to go where they need to go without owning a car. it is by no means a comprehensive list of projects, it is weighted heavily to the near-term, and there is some overlap (a good thing!) among agencies strategies. this is only the barest introduction to one of the nations most robust transit systems. it is showing its age in many ways, but it serves chicagoans far better than transit systems in most other U.S. cities.

aUto oPtionS

Dense, mixed-use neighborhoods can make it possible for people to go where they need to go without owning a car. These neighborhoods have access to safe biking areas, frequent taxis, car-sharing locations and other transportation options for those trips that cannot be taken care of with public transit or walking.




ccA & cdOT

Make parking harder. Zoning requires developers to provide a minimum number of parking spots for housing and retail. change zoning to specify a maximum number of parking spots. eliminate incentives for people to drive. Some downtown companies provide employees subsidies to park in downtown garages, reducing the prospect of taking transit to work. charge drivers the full cost of driving by increasing the gas tax.
Innovative uses of mobile technology including Zipcars mobile reservation system allow users to easily reserve cars for specific situations in which a car is necessary.

execute parking strategies to discourage driving, including pricing, improved information on parking availability, and reforming ordinances to reduce parking requirements for new developments.

chicago climate Action Plan ccAP

The chicago climate Action Plan is a project of the chicago climate Task Force, which engaged dozens of experts, leading scientists and a nationally recognized research advisory committee to outline scenarios for chicagos climate future and how they would impact life in the city. The results of the research clearly demonstrate that our current trajectory poses risks to our economy and health. every chicago resident and business has a role to play in implementing the chicago climate Action Plan, which will not only ensure a more liveable climate for the world, but also for the city. The chicago climate Action Plan details steps for organizations of all kinds and suggests actions for every individual. As new technologies and options emerge, actions may change. The goal, however, remains the same: to reduce our emissions and prepare for change.




ensure neighborhoods have access to other transportation options for trips that cannot be served conveniently by public transit or walking. People often need a vehicle to go farther distances to a particular store, visit family in the suburbs, or just access to a car for moving heavier objects.

Pilot a $1 million individualized marketing campaign in 2011 to encourage people to replace their automobile trips with bicycling, walking, and transit.


Boost car sharing, carpooling and vanpooling Improve the energy efficiency of fleets in chicago, including buses and taxis to make them more cost competitive and more attractive to residents.

Boosting car sharing, carpooling and vanpooling = .5 MMTCO2e reduction

EMISSIONS MITIGATION STRATEGY from the Chicago Climate Action Plan


Neighborhoods defined as livable communities in CMAPs new GO TO 2040 plan provide choices for residents that are healthy, safe and walkable. Transportation choices include walking, biking and access to public transportation, thus providing timely access to schools, jobs, services and basic needs.


Active Transportation Alliance AcTIVe TRANS

The Active Transportation Alliance is the countrys largest member-based nonprofit organization advocating for better biking, walking and transit. The mission of ActiveTrans is 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. We advocate for transportation that encourages and promotes safety, physical activity, health, recreation, social interaction, equity, environmental stewardship and resource conservation. We envision a region where 50 percent of the population is easily able to choose walking, bicycling and utilizing mass transit. We envision a 50 percent reduction in current levels of crashes and crash fatalities. We envision streets and trails safely filled with people choosing transportation that creates healthy lifestyles, reduces damage to the environment and cultivates communities.


livability can often be supported by denser, mixed-use development. the definition of mixed-use varies between communities, sometimes referring to a combination of land uses (e.g., residential, office or retail) within a single structure or on the same block, while at other times referring simply to connections between residential and commercial areas of a community. the definition of denser development also differs widely, but it generally means densities that are somewhat higher than prevailing patters of development in that area. the use of high-quality design principles to guide denser development is critically important to ensure a proper fit within communities.

Creating more livable communities does not equate to eliminating cars or not allowing our residents the choice of owning a car. Livable communities are imbued with strength and vitality, features that emerge from preserving the unique characteristics that give our diverse communities a sense of place.
with regard to transportation options, supportive land use and walkability are critically important to public transit, and transit access and options are critical to functioning without the use of a car.


ideal neighborhoods have necessities within walking distance such as grocery stores, schools, restaurants, and similar types of services. having easy access to these services eliminates the need for a car for daily needs. there are neighborhoods, particularly in the south side, that have all the necessary elements for not requiring a car except grocery stores within walking distance.




complete 24 Better Blocks workshops in 7 target communities. Focus on schools, parks and residential blocks in seven target communities with 24 Better Blocks workshops with residents to change streets and sidewalks so they are safer and more inviting pedestrians.


Make walking and bicycling easier with a goal of one million walking and biking trips a year.

civic consulting Alliance ccA

Our primary goal is to implement the transportation strategy of the chicago climate Action Plan. To that end, we are pursuing 14 priority initiatives to make progress on reducing emissions from the transportation sector and encouraging more efficient modes. One area we think is particularly promising for chicago is providing commuting alternatives to employees as part of employer programs. This approach has been successful elsewhere and could yield both short-term and long-term results for reducing congestion and improving the economy.




Regional government officials are being encouraged to adopt a complete Streets policy, which requires new road projects and road repairs to accommodate all road users throughout the development process. incomplete streets make walking and biking inconvenient and dangerous. create continuous sidewalks and bike lanes. chicago has created many miles of bike lanes; however; these are not always continuous. Similarly, certain areas in the city do not have continuous sidewalks for people to walk safely.




ensure federal SRtS funding continues and the state distributes funds equitably and effectively. complete work of the Statewide School transportation task Force. SRtS is an international movement that focuses on making walking and bicycling to school a safe and valued activity. complete Safe Routes to School infrastructure designs and plans in 2011.


The Bike 2015 Plan is the


City of Chicagos vision to make bicycling an integral part of daily life in Chicago. The plan recommends projects, programs and policies for the next ten years to encourage use of this practical, non-polluting and affordable mode of transportation.

chicago department of Transportation cdOT

The cdOT is responsible for planning, design, construction, maintenance and management of public way infrastructure. This includes: street, alley, sidewalk, and curb and gutter construction and maintenance; bridge and viaduct construction and maintenance; public way inspections and permitting; signs and pavement markings; traffic signals and streetlights; red-light camera enforcement; traffic engineering; planter and median construction and maintenance; bicycle and pedestrian programs; and ground-transportation planning. The cdOT Bike 2015 Plan is the city of chicagos vision to make bicycling an integral part of daily life in chicago. The plan recommends projects, programs and policies for the next ten years to encourage use of this practical, non-polluting and affordable mode of transportation. The Bike 2015 Plan has two overall goals: to increase bicycle use, so that 5 percent of all trips less than five miles are by bicycle and to reduce the number of bicycle injuries by 50 percent from current levels.


There are two major goals for the region, which are explored through the strategies listed below. Those goals are:
50% reduction in all crashes 50% of populations mode share is walking, bicycling and mass transit


Increase bicycle use, so that 5 percent of all trips less than five miles are by bicycle. Reduce bicycle injuries by 50 percent from current levels. establish a Bikeway Network that serves all chicago residents and neighborhoods. Make all of chicagos streets safe and convenient for bicycling. Provide convenient and secure short-term and long-term bike parking throughout chicago. create convenient connections between bicycling and public transit. educate bicyclists, motorists, and the general public about bicycle safety and the benefits of bicycling. Increase bicycle use through targeted marketing and health promotion. Increase bicyclist safety through effective law enforcement and detailed crash analysis. expand the use of bicycle messengers and improve their workplace safety and public image.


Provide bicyclist and pedestrian crash support with hotline, crash support group and partnerships with local bike shops. Provide bicycle safety program to educate more than 50,000 people with programming on bicycle safety and how to share the road. complete a citywide crash analysis report. Secure adoption of the 2010 Bicycle Safety Ordinance.



Increase number of biking, walking and transit trips to 50 percent of all trips. currently, about 2 percent of trips are made by bicycle, 12 percent by walking and 17 percent by transit. Install 2400 bike racks (477 sites were approved for new bike racks in 2010; 287 bike racks to be relocated to underserved communities).


The essential economic and social purpose of cities is bringing people together, taking advantage of opportunities for interaction and agglomeration economies. The ability to bring people closer together through transit-oriented neighborhoods and better land-use policies and the ability to move easily from one point to another in a robust transit system is critical to the success of urban economies.

Metropolitan Planning council



The Metropolitan Planning council connects the dots between regional needs, challenges, and solutions, and among the individuals and organizations with the power and capacity to guide the growth of the everchanging chicago metropolitan region. As the region continues to grow and prosper, our mission is taking us beyond Illinois to work with partners and communities throughout the tri-state region. At MPc, we do our work in three phases: policy development, policy promotion, and policy implementation. Policy development is done through the use of models tested in communities around the region. Policy promotion is done through education and advocacy with policymakers at all levels of government. Policy implementation is done through the practical application of MPc-designed tools communities can use. Because policy change requires time and persistence, MPc often deploys all three of these strategies during the life cycle of an individual project, in different sequences and intensities.

a significant percentage of chicago households do not own a car; however, the important metric is those who can own a car but choose not to. Most older neighborhoods in chicago have strong access to transit as well as amenities within walking distance, eliminating the need for a car. these neighborhoods were designed around transit and that structure remains today. households without cars tend to be located along the red, brown, purple, and blue lines. these rail lines go from the north outskirts to the loop. People who are most able to use public transit on a daily basis typically work downtown, eliminating the need for numerous transfers. however, using public transit is not the best option for people whose work is not close to public transit, have a work commute that is too long, or work evening hours in areas where public transit might not be the safest option. Incentivize denser development around transit nodes.


Fund public transit adequately. Public transit is typically underfunded, leading to a decrease in the amount of service and its quality. the funding structure for public transit needs to change, including receiving funds from gas tax revenue, considering the many benefits it has (congestion, air quality, health). Provide further customer-oriented transit improvements, such as rail tracker on cta, access to wi-fi on Metra. Test new family of l cars with a smoother, more comfortable ride, and that operate more efficiently. Remove and prevent slow zones with track renewal. extend rail with these ongoing projects: Red line from 95th Street Station to 130th Street orange line from Midway to Ford city yellow line from Dempster Station to old orchard Road Place security cameras at every cta rail station


Fifty-two percent of suburbanites said they agree with investing more of limited government resources in public transit, versus 32 percent who chose improvements to highways and toll roads. In a 1999 Tribune poll, 34 percent of suburban residents said more money should be spent on mass transit than on roads.
July 2010 article by Jon Hilkevitch, The Chicago Tribune

chicago Transit Authority

The chicago Transit Authority operates the nations second largest public transportation system and covers the city of chicago and 40 surrounding suburbs. On an average weekday, approximately 1.7 million rides are taken on the cTA. We deliver quality, affordable transit services that link people, jobs and communities.


Promote land use that supports transit. local land use decisions should focus on the interrelationship of transportation, land use, and housing, with an emphasis on development patterns that support the use of public transit and access to jobs. Supportive land use planning is needed to make transit work well. Support transit with small-scale infrastructure improvements, such as sidewalks, bicycle facilities, and bus shelters, and with land use planning.


invest in transit improvements and boost chicagos transit system ridership by 30 percent. Provide incentives for transit use, such as pretax transit passes. encourage development focused on public transit, walking and bicycle use. Support intercity high-speed passenger rail plan.



cTA operates the nations second largest public transportation system with average weekday ridership of 1.7 million. cTA serves 40 suburbs, in addition to the city of chicago and provides 81 percent of the public transit trips in the six-county chicago metropolitan area. cTA has 1,782 buses that operate over 140 routes and 2,230 route miles. Buses make about 19,442 trips a day and serve 11,577 posted bus stops. cTAs 1,190 rail cars operate over eight routes and 224.1 miles of track, making 2,157 trips each day and serving 144 stations. Since 2000, cTA ridership has increased by nearly 10 percent cTAs bus tracker has expanded to include all regularly-scheduled cTA routes, and text messaging service was added cTA Bus Tracker was the second most popular local google search in 2009



Facilitate implementation of cta urban circulator pilot projects (Downtown and Jeffrey) explore ways to promote BRt in city and suburbs. More definitive schedule makes passengers more inclined to take the Bus Rapid transit. analyze the potential implementation of demonstration BRt projects in different corridor environments. the goal is to determine overall operating advantages of a bus rapid transit system in the six-county region.

chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning



Planning chicagos first Bus Rapid Transit project. Prepared chicago Trails Plan, identifying opportunities for new trails. completed the Streetscape and Sustainable design Program and began construction on more than 4.3 miles of streetscapes to include 670 trees, 53 bike racks, 34 benches, 96 trash receptacles, 3500 square feet of textured crosswalks, and 200 aDa ramps. Installed 4 miles of bike lanes and 3.5 miles of marked shared lanes. there are currently 148 miles of bikeways on chicago streets. Installed 66 bike racks; with 400 additional rack installations expected by years end. 12,245 bike racks installed citywide since 1993. executed 100 of the 150 strategies in chicagos bike plan. gained support for $1.05 million project establishing 9 miles of bike lanes and 9 miles of marked shared lanes in 2011. Planning and engineering for a similar project in 2012 completed. Awarding bid to install 2,400 new bike racks in 2011, with 500 bike racks installed.

Testing a $1 million individualized marketing campaign in 2011 to encourage people to replace their automobile trips with bicycling, walking, and transit. Secured $320,000 for the Pedestrian Safety Initiative, which includes pedestrian and bicycle safety education, a Safe Route for Seniors project, and a crash data improvement project. Reached 1700 seniors through the Safe Routes for Seniors project assisting senior residents in making safe traveling choices throughout chicago. Began work on the Pedestrian Safety Public Awareness campaign including a comprehensive citywide crash Data analysis. developed the complete Streets Implementation Plan and coordinated short-term implementation efforts including department-wide training efforts. Safe Routes to School infrastructure designs and plans to be completed in 2011.

The chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning was created in 2005 as the comprehensive regional planning organization for the seven counties of northeastern Illinois. In October 2010, cMAP released the gO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan, the culmination of a highly transparent and inclusive three-year process to implement strategies in the following four categories: livable communities, Human capital, efficient governance and Regional Mobility.




Give a Minute is an easy way to share ideas about how to make Chicago an easier place to get around without owning a car, connect those ideas with change-making community leaders, and make things happen. And citizens only need one minute of their time for this interaction.
over the six-week campaign, citizens can text their ideas to 312-380-0436 or post them to the give a Minute website at www. giveaminute.info. these ideas will be elevated directly to the attention of participating response leaders, including cta chairman terry Peterson, active transportation alliance executive Director Ron Burke and SRaM President and ceo Stan Day. the campaign will directly inform the connectivity challenge and results will be reported nationally as part of a book, generously underwritten by the Rockefeller Foundation, as well as a promotional tour and national policy platform.

give a MinUte

On December 8 10, 2010, CEOs for Cities and a team of national connectivity experts will generate big ideas about the future of American cities as defined by the following ambition:


connectivity challenge

we can meet our daily needs without owning a car.

the connectivity challenge will build upon plans underway in the city of chicago, which boasts one of the countrys oldest and most robust public transportation. all of the agencies featured in this book have provided leadership for the challenge, and big ideas generated will become the basis of recommendations for chicago.


david Berdish, Manager of Sustainable Business Development, Ford Motor company

To learn more about various transportation plans for chicago, go to these links: Future Projects from RTA, including BRT http://www.rtachicago.com/ initiatives/initiatives.html Metra System Map http://metrarail.com/content/ metra/en/home/maps_ schedules/metra_system_map. html cTA Route Map http://www.transitchicago.com/ travel_information/maps/default. aspx Bike 2015 Plan http://bike2015plan.org/ Boston consulting group Transportation Strategy for chicago climate Action Plan http://www.chicagoclimateaction. org/pages/research___reports/8. php Active Transportation Alliances Work on Better Blocks and complete Streets http://www.activetrans.org/ content/our-work

Oscar diaz, Senior Director, institute for transportation and Development Policy doug Farr, President and ceo, Farr associates architecture and Urban Design Jan gehl, architect Maa, Professor & Partner, gehl architects Jonathan gonsky, chicago zgeneral Manager, Zipcar Peter Kindel, Director of Urban Design, adrian Smith + gordon gill architecture Harriet Tregoning, Director of the office of Planning, government of the District of columbia Susan Zielinski, Managing Director of SMaRt, University of Michigan transportation Research institute


Special thanks to our host, the chicago Architecture Foundation. the connectivity challenge is made possible with support from the chicago community trust and the Rockefeller Foundation.


ceOs for cities has launched a five-year campaign to imagine a new kind of future for urban life in America. An ambitious movement to redefine a new American dream, we call this effort The US Initiativean initiative to create cities that are of, by and for us. The US Initiative represents an urgent tipping point in the evolution of the American identity, moving from an excess of independence toward an optimistic culture of interdependence. Our unique network of civic leaders, influential partners and brave new thinkers acts as a map of critical touch points in the circulation system of dozens of cities.



Indianapolis: livability challenge

detroit: community challenge

the US initiative articulates a Declaration of interdependence with values that define cities of tomorrow, today. we hold these values to be self-sustaining: Opportunity we can develop all of our talent and put all of our talent to work. community we can engage in a robust public life. connectivity we can go where we need to go without owning a car. livability we can enjoy beauty, nature and art every day. Optimism we can imagine a better future for everybody.

Five US initiative challenges will be staged between September 2010 and May 2011, each tackling a single ambition with a national expert team, a local host committee and citizens working together over 2.5 days. we are living through a significant historical moment, during which fundamental models regarding how we live will be revised. through these events, we will engage citizens, civic leaders, innovative thinkers and businesses across america in the most relevant conversations of our time. the US initiative has been generously supported by the Rockefeller Foundation.

See the work online at


Book design by lindsay kinkade at little giant, a design studio for community projects. this book is typeset in Din. this book was created with the generous sharing of creative commons-licensed photography.

Photography by page: cover, pages 2, 4,5, Seor codo; page 7, theregeneration; page 8, Mister-e; pages 8, 10, Zipcar; page 10, romana klee; page 12, -tripp-; page 15, Quinn Dombrowski; page 16, -tripp-; page 18, John Picken; page 20, mindfrieze; page 22, PhotoDu.de; page 24, vxla; page 26, Marit & toomas hinnosaar; page 28, Steven vance; page 30, local Projects; page 34, Joe Marinaro; pages 36, 37, lindsay kinkade and Julia klaiber.