This post was written by Aleece Smith, MPC research assistant.
Here at Metropolitan Planning Council, we are all for engaging the public to inform future investment. So we’re big fans of CEOs for Cities’ Give a Minute campaign, which is providing a temporary forum for public dialogue about ways to make it easier to get around town without a car. It’s a quick, easy way for Chicagoans to weigh in, via text message or online, about mobility challenges in Chicago.
So far, people have posted comments about transportation safety, security, commute times, overcrowding, environmental conditions, and commuting costs. The range of topics and the comments themselves highlight the complexity of planning for mobility in Chicago. Sometimes the key to increased transit ridership has nothing to do with a bus or train. Surely, there is a shortage of bike and pedestrian infrastructure in the city, but for some, the real barrier is how road users interact with one another.
Three local leaders in transportation – Chicago Transit Authority Chairman Terry Peterson, Active Transportation Alliance Executive Director Ron Burke, and SRAM President and CEO Stan Day – are following the posts. That means you may even get some personal attention if your comment is particularly thought provoking. Ideas from the site will be used to guide recommendations during the Connectivity Challenge, hosted by CEOs for Cities and Chicago Architecture Foundation, on Dec. 8, 9 and 10, in Chicago. The event will convene experts from around the nation to imagine a Chicago where residents don’t need to own a car.
What say you? Are there obvious solutions that the movers-and-shakers in local transportation are missing? How would you encourage transit use, biking, walking, and other car-free modes of transportation in Chicago? There is still time to make your opinion heard; the Give a Minute site is up until Dec. 10. Text your ideas to (312) 380-0436 or leave a comment at www.giveaminute.info.