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Donate to Streetsblog Chicago and You Could Win a Dahon Folding Bike

2013 promises to be a watershed year for sustainable transportation in Chicago. The Chicago Department of Transportation recently released the Complete Streets Chicago guide, pledging to prioritize walking, transit and biking in future projects. Earlier this month the CTA announced plans for gold-standard bus rapid transit on Ashland Avenue, which will require removing travel lanes. This year's Red Line reconstruction promises to shave twenty minutes off round-trip commute times.

Construction on the Bloomingdale elevated park and greenway is slated to start this summer. CDOT is moving forward with its plan to build 100 miles of protected and buffered bike lanes by 2015, including much-anticipated lanes on Milwaukee Avenue this June. And in just a few weeks, the launch of Divvy, the city's first large-scale bike-share system, should be a tipping point for dramatically increasing Chicago's bicycle mode share.

All of these initiatives are bold, and many of them will be controversial. As the city adjusts its transportation priorities to level the playing field for sustainable modes, projects like BRT and protected lanes, which involve removing car lanes and parking, are sure to meet with resistance. The local mainstream media tends to report these stories from an auto-centric point of view, and newspaper pundits are more than happy to  rack up pageviews with columns trashing bike, ped, and transit projects as a waste of money or whining about a fictional "war on cars."

At Streetsblog Chicago our job is to cover local transportation news with a focus on promoting smart, healthy ways to get around our city, and the movement to create safer, more efficient streets for all users, not just drivers. We're here to make the case for innovative transportation projects, but when the city government makes a wrong move, like the cars-first reconfiguration of Fullerton and Lake Shore Drive, we don't hesitate to point it out. We cover important stories that other news outlets overlook, like the negative aspects of building new parking garages in vibrant, transit-oriented communities, and the police department's slow response to hit-and-run bike crashes. And, of course, we take every opportunity to debunk the pro-car pundits.

We need your help to make Streetsblog Chicago a sustainable operation. Today we’re launching our spring pledge drive, and if you value the work we do please make a contribution to Streetsblog so we can keep bringing you the latest in livable streets.

For some extra motivation, we also have a very fine folding bike to give away at the end of the pledge drive. Everyone who makes a gift of $50 or more (or a monthly gift of $5 or more) will be entered into the drawing to take home this sweet ride, courtesy of Dahon:

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Best of all, your gift helps us keep bringing you the news, commentary, and analysis you count on. And it lets us know you're out there, you're paying attention, and you're fighting the good fight.

Thanks for making Streetsblog Chicago possible. Please make a tax-deductible gift to help us raise $40,000 by June 1 and keep us going through 2013 and beyond.

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