The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) today released an update to its Chicago Forward two-year action plan from May 2012, and announced that many of the goals had already been achieved while setting new agenda marks.
“I am incredibly proud of the Chicago Department of Transportation’s achievements under Mayor Emanuel in the last 2 1/2 years,” said CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein. “CDOT had been focused on delivering the basics well. We want not only to keep delivering these services more consistently and with better quality, but also to stretch the agency to think more about safety for all modes, the value of public space, and what next-generation services CDOT could deliver.”
In May 2012, CDOT published the Chicago Forward agenda to set the tone and specific metrics that Mayor Emanuel and Klein committed to address Chicago’s transportation challenges and opportunities. The update measures the progress toward the department’s goals, but also highlights new programs and innovations to serve Chicagoans.
Whether it was potholes, paving, or keeping the streetlights on, CDOT has improved significantly in terms of response time. The new Program Coordination Office saves taxpayers’ money while minimizing the disruption of construction in the public way to our businesses and families. Through better materials and innovative methods, the City is reducing the impact of construction on our environment and doing more with less.
CDOT has led the country in putting pedestrians first, which results in safer travel for all. The department now plans and engineers Complete Streets as a default, has a range of safety education campaigns, and is launching the most data-based automated speed enforcement program in the United States. Tying this all together is the City’s new Children’s Safety Zone program around 1,500 parks and schools to provide traffic safety improvements for our most vulnerable citizens.
CDOT has also strived to build upon Chicago’s rich legacy of public space. Mayor Emanuel came into office with a pledge to build the Bloomingdale Trail, and CDOT secured federal funds and construction is now underway. CDOT also secured a $99 Million federal infrastructure loan to allow the construction of the Chicago Riverwalk, which breaks ground later this year.
Through partnerships with other agencies like the Park District and CTA, we assure that multi-modal connections, and new services like Bus Rapid Transit and Divvy bikeshare have maximum impact.