How Gabe Klein Steered Chicago Towards More Sustainable Transportation

Late last week, Chicago Department of Transportation head Gabe Klein announced that he would be resigning to return to the private sector. During his two and a half years on the job, the city made impressive gains in sustainable transportation.

John Greenfield reflects on the legacy of outgoing Chicago Department of Transportation commissioner Gabe Klein with the help of "a number of heavy hitters in the local transportation scene." 

"In only two-and-a-half years, the commissioner racked up an impressive number of achievements," observes Greenfield. "Rahm Emanuel’s goals of launching a large-scale bike-share system, constructing the Bloomingdale Trail and building 100 miles of protected bike lanes within his first term seemed far-fetched when first announced, but Klein accomplished the first one, and the other two are well underway."

"Bus rapid transit and the Chicago Riverwalk expansion are also on the horizon, and Klein will leave behind a legacy of many less glamorous accomplishments, from publishing new CDOT guidelines on multi-modalism and sustainability, to launching automated speed cameras."

“Klein has been Chicago’s first true 21st Century transportation commissioner by embracing the full spectrum of transportation modes,” said Active Transportation Alliance director Ron Burke. “To Klein it’s not a zero-sum battle between cars and ‘alternatives’ but giving Chicago the full menu of choices. It’s the only path to great urban mobility in the real world where roadways are and will remain congested unless we find more efficient ways to get around the city. He knows that cars will always be a part of the city, but the city chokes if they’re the only game in town.”

Full Story: Evaluating Gabe Klein’s Chicago Legacy


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