A new grassroots group, Go Evanston, held its kick-off event Thursday night, promising to push for streets that work for everyone, including walkers, bikers, and transit users.
“We want Evanston’s streets to be safe and efficient for all users, regardless of age, ability, or mode.” said Vickie Jacobsen, spokesperson for Go Evanston. “However you choose to get around, you should be safe.”
The group is taking a broad approach to its work. Members plan to work with the public on how to use streets safely, and to encourage and assist people who want to start biking, walking, and using public transit more. They also plan to work with Evanston City Council members to build support for infrastructure improvements and identify improvements for transit options.
Evanston has a multimodal transportation plan and a bike plan. Both plans aim to reduce congestion, cut carbon emissions, and improve safety. As more families move in, and high-rises go up, the city will be under pressure to put these plans into action.

Vickie Jacobsen speaks to the group while Richard Goodrow signed for a deaf volunteer.
“We want people to feel comfortable biking and walking,” said Jacobsen. “If we can encourage people to make more trips by walking, biking and using transit, it helps everyone, including drivers.”
The group conducted an informal survey before the kick-off, and found strong support for infrastructure improvements that emphasized safety, such as protected bike lanes and better intersections. Over 1,000 people signed a recent petition supporting the Dodge bike lane, and over 500 people participated in the group’s survey. Hundreds have already joined Go Evanston.
Go Evanston is formulating plans to teach children about bicycle and pedestrian safety and to address barriers to using transit, especially for older adults and individuals with disabilities.
“Evanston is a great place to live. We want it to be even greater,” said Jacobsen. “By supporting streets that work for everyone, we can keep Evanston on the right track.”

Submitted by John Hennelly.

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  1. Dodge bike lane

    It seems that Vickie Jacobsen is concerned about everyone’s safety except those of us who have to navigate the hazards of the byzantine bike lane configurations on Dodge between Oakton and Howard on a daily basis–a population including elderly Dodge residents, schoolchildren, members of the senior center, and the most vulnerable, residents of the Dobson Plaza nursing home and their visitors. Bike on, Vickie!

    1. Pedestrian, Cyclist, & Auto Driver Safety & Fairness
      Judith, instead of pushing bicyclists directly next to traffic on the three block area of Dodge that Ann Rainey described as a very unsafe, we should consider other options. I live in this area and would welcome STOP signs to force the speeding drivers to slow down. This would have the added benefit of creating breaks in traffic where local residents could safely open their door to exit their vehicle. Do you really believe the level of traffic coming down Dodge Avenue is caused by Evanston residents? I do not. South and southwest Evanston streets are long and unbroken strips with mast-arm lights that can be seen from blocks away. The only thing this is prompting is a lot of speeding traffic, much of which is cut-through traffic headed north and west of Evanston. Enough of making our streets into a good deal for people who do not even live in Evanston. We need traffic-smoothing engineering so that we no longer have to host the cut-through traffic. STOP signs, hoods on the lighting to restrict how far away the light color can be seen, more cross-walks for pedestrians to safely get across the street… how fair is it to our elderly population who use public transportation to have to exit a bus at a major intersection and then walk blocks to their home because they simply cannot safely cross our streets at any other location. We need to look at more fixes than the one that is being bandied about because catering to cars is not the direction in which our future is heading.

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