Hear transportation commissioner Gabe Klein address the audience at the City Club of Chicago about the Chicago Fast Forward Agenda, to be released early 2012. Gabe told me that it’s similar to the Washington, D.C., Department of Transportation (DCDOT) Action Agenda.
Part of the vision statement of the DCDOT Action Agenda is “Central to this vision is improving energy efficiency and modern mobility by providing next generation alternatives to single occupancy driving in the city”.
Klein introduces the pedestrian safety campaign in October. Photo by Kevin Zolkiewicz.
- Gabe highlighted some of Chicago’s assets (rail network, street grid, two major airports), but also challenges (one of the most most congested cities in country according to the Texas Transportation Institute, rail congestion, child obesity).
- They are focused on bikes and transit because it’s the only way to add population while also addressing congestion, environment, and public health problems.
- He mentioned that safety is the number one priority. Families and businesses won’t move to a city that isn’t safe. CDOT has a three pronged approach to safety: engineering, enforcement, and education. He highlighted some work from the pedestrian plan, noted that pedestrians are much more likely to survive a crash with a car at 20 MPH instead of 30 MPH or 40 MPH, and said plans to implement 20 MPH speed zones within 1/8 mile of parks and schools might be the most important thing he does at CDOT. He hinted that enforcement is coming.
- He talked about the Central Area bus rapid transit (BRT) and the new Union Station transit hub (public meeting on December 15). The hub is being developed on the existing parking lot on the south side of Jackson between Canal and Clinton.
- He also discussed the bike initiatives in general, the Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 Plan, Protected Bike Lanes, and Bike Sharing.