The Chainlink

Julie requested I edit this thread to include CBF in the title. So, enjoy chainlinkers.

Thanks to all members that have emailed (new@activetrans.org). Rob, our executive director tried to address some of the concerns in a blog on our site http://www.activetrans.org/blog/we-are-listening

I'm also available to chat if anyone wants to call me 312.427.3325x287.

Thanks all, I hope that our work over the next few months shows that we deserve your membership.

Thanks much,
Ethan

Hello chainlinkers,

I wanted to respond to some questions, thoughts and concerns that you've posted.

This change means exciting things for our bicycling members! Our work to improve the overall transportation culture will only strengthen our bicycle advocacy.

And we are certainly not going to stop fighting for bike wins around the region. Check out our member newsletter and website as we move forward to see what we’ll continue doing for bicycling.

We heard you: 97% of our members’ want us encourage healthy and active transportation options through our work.

We have more information about the change and its background on our website www.activetrans.org. We will have copies of speeches from our Member Meeting, FAQs (http://www.activetrans.org/our-new-name/faq) and other opportunities to learn more about the change.

We hope our members won’t give up on us right after this change. You have stuck with us for nearly 25 years and improving transportation relies on you! Members and the public may submit comments to new@activetrans.org.

Organizationally we’ve been working towards this for years. Our strategic plan has two primary goals for 2026: reduce crashes in the region by 50% and ensure that 50 percent of all trips made are by biking, walking and transit.
Our plan and extensive research lead our board of directors on a two-year project to expand our mission and change our name.

We are a $4 million organization with more than 6,000 members and a staff of nearly 40. So of course some may think we’re going corporate with this change but I believe that we’re the region’s non-profit transportation advocacy group that gets things done.

We will keep winning for bikes and will win bigger when we’re also fighting for walking and transit.

I’m proud to be a member and to work at the Active Transportation Alliance.

Ethan Spotts

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Replies to This Discussion

Bikefreeek said:
BTW, Bike Winter does and has advocated for walking and transit plenty.

Are we talking about the same Bike Winter? It seems 100% cyclist-focused.
Listen, we are all cyclists, and we are all in this together. We'd all like more bike racks, better bike lanes, and safer streets. I know that many of you have worked extremely hard for the bike movement in Chicago, and we appreciate everything you do/have done. The issue is this--it's unfortunate that the new Active Transport Alliance was not developed as a new, separate organization. I don't think that any of us would have taken issue with it--in fact, many of us would have joined. But to take an existing organization and thumb its nose at its key mission without warning and without educating the membership just is poor marketing.

In the grand scheme of things, this really doesn't matter, but it's unfortunate that the new name evokes no meaning, emotion, or passion, and the new logo doesn't speak to many of us either. As far as the other comments to create our own advocacy organizations, hey--let's do it! There just happens to be a really cool logo available, and a really appropriate name.....
Truthfully I am not thrilled with the name change, but I trust the decision makers at AT&T, or whatever they call themselves now. I am reserving judgement until I have a chance to get more information, and see where the organization goes. I suggest all the naysayers do the same. I don't expect them to let us down.
Hey guys - As of now you can't combine discussions so I closed my "CBF Changed Its Name" Thread since we are all commenting here on the same issue.
I agree with Martin, I'm not happy about it, but am going to give Active Trans a chance to prove themselves. Although regarding the name, as someone else put it, what is so active about taking the bus???
Errata:
* Taking the bus requires you to be a pedestrian for many more feet, sometimes even 1/2 mile, than taking the car (usually), and taking the train requires all those steps! So it's moreactive than driving.
* I just got a pamphlet from the League of Illinois Bicyclists. If you're really keen on being part of a bicyclists-only organization, you can make the switch.
* I personally like the idea of individual organizations that have clear, focused missions and that come together under some sort of cooperative umbrella. Why not have a CBF, a Walkers Advocacy Group, a Massportation Group, and apply for grants both collectively and independently?
evanK said:
* Taking the bus requires you to be a pedestrian for many more feet, sometimes even 1/2 mile, than taking the car (usually), and taking the train requires all those steps! So it's moreactive than driving.

This is worth belaboring. ;)

I think it's easy to overlook the role transit plays in extending our ability to walk around. As evan points out, we usually imagine those trips without noticing the sometimes-considerable amount of walking that goes on before and after the ride. Transit riders, generally, are pedestrians who happen to be sitting down for a few miles. Moreover, those pedestrians wouldn't exist in the first place without the options that transit creates.

Likewise, neighborhoods well-served by transit tend to be better places to walk (and good places to walk demand good transit, so that we can easily travel to other good places to walk). Underfunded, unreliable (or nonexistent) transit systems end up generating safety and quality-of-life issues for everyone who isn't in a car.

That includes cyclists. I don't have to ride my bike very far to find places where nobody ever walks; where nobody rides transit because there isn't any, or it's inconvenient, or because walking to a stop is dangerous or unpleasant, or because nearly everyone owns a car and uses it to go everywhere. And maybe I'm a pansy, but I don't enjoy cycling very much in those places, either.

In other words: Show me a neighborhood in Chicago where thousands of people are regularly walking to and from the L or are out on the street waiting for a bus, and I'll show you a place where I generally feel entirely comfortable on a bicycle -- in stark contrast with places where none of that is happening.

How's that work? And might it mean that nu-CBF's onto something here despite the removal of the word "bicycle" from their name?
I'm with burden here (and freeek and h3, of course). Bicycle friendly communities are also pedestrian- and transit-friendly. The new name appeals to the broader constituency that needs to be mobilized (ha) to make this happen.

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