Editor's Note: This article was originally published on Active Transportation Alliance's website, and is reposted with permission.
Some recent news stories reinforce how important it is for Chicagoland to begin building now to meet the transportation needs of the next generation.
Projects like the reconstruction of North Lake Shore Dr. are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to position our region for success in the future. Our region is developing plans now that we will likely be stuck with for several generations. Will the plans we're making now work for the next generation?
AAA just released the results of a survey revealing where the next generation stands when it comes to transportation.
The number of teenagers getting driver's licenses is at an all-time low, showing this next generation is losing interest in driving. Nearly one in three teenagers said the reason they delayed getting their license was they're "just not very interested in driving."
Further evidence of America's waning love affair with the automobile is found in a new report from the University of Michigan showing that the number of miles driven per person in the U.S. peaked in 2004 and has been trending downward since.
The trends show young people leading the way toward a future where people are driving less and more people are biking, walking and taking transit. It's time to start building for that future now.
Chicago has already started looking ahead to this shift in transportation habits, with a renewed focus on better balancing the different uses of our public street space. Pedestrian safety initiatives, protected bike lanes and improved public transportation will help make way for the next generation.
You can help too by participating in public meetings and providing feedback on big projects like "Redefine the Drive."