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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. They 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 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.
“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.”