Active Trans Lauded Key Transportation Supporters at Their Annual Gala

Photo: Steven Goss
Photo: Steven Goss

Last month the Active Transportation Alliance held their annual awards ceremony, recognizing three key supporters of local sustainable transportation efforts: Christopher Burke EngineeringMB Financial Bank and Slow Roll Chicago.

Active Trans executive director Ron Burke opened the program, held at Germania Place in Old Town, by discussing the advocacy group has made promoting cycling over its more than 30 years of existence, as well as pushing for better conditions for walking and transit over the past decade. He highlighted the fact that Bicycling Magazine named Chicago the best city for the cycling in the U.S. last year (an award that wasn’t without controversy).

Next Megan Williams made an emotional speech about being involved in a horrific crash with a cyclist while training for the Chicago Marathon two years ago on the Lakefront Trail, which put her in the hospital with a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain. Fortunately, she recovered from her injuries and teamed up with Active Trans on a campaign calling for dividing the trail into separate paths for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Williams credited the advocacy group with helping to attract news coverage to her story and put pressure on the city to address trail conflicts. She got her wish in December, when hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffith announced he was donating $12 million to the city for Lakefront Trail separation.

Slow Roll Chicago received the Community Service Award for their efforts to promote cycling on the South and West Sides as a strategy to improve health, reduce violence, and create jobs. MB Financial Bank was recognized with a Business Leader Award for its longtime monetary support of Bike the Drive, Active Trans’ primary fundraiser.

And Christopher Burke Engineering also received a Business Leader Award for the firms efforts to create a bike-friendly workplace. These include paying employees 75 cents for every mile they bike commute, providing showers, lockers, and covered bike parking, and maintaining a fleet of cycles that workers can use to travel to and from train stations.

Kudos to these organizations for helping to encourage cycling in our city, and best wishes to Active Trans as they pursue other important campaigns in 2017.

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