Our Work

TRANSIT

Public transit users are healthier as they are actively moving through their daily lives.  Whether, catching a train, riding a bike or getting on a bus, it is proven that those who use public transportation get over three times the amount of physical activity per day than those who don’t.  This leads to an overall happier community with active and healthy neighbors.

Bike trails offer communities the ability to sightsee and get invaluable exercise in the comfort of their neighborhood. Public transportation like trains and buses also promotes positive interactions between neighbors.  It is an opportunity for the entire community to be one – including people with disabilities.

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) operates the nation’s second largest public transportation system – serving the City of Chicago and 40 neighboring communities by rail and bus. To learn more about the CTA go here.

BICYCLING

Over the years this environmentally friendly method of transportation has alternately risen and declined in popularity, but it is one of the most popular outdoor recreational activities in the nation. Today bicycling has also become popular as a workout regimen and has been proven to provide significant health benefits. The CNIP mission is to advocate for equitable, inclusive, and prosperous communities where bicycling helps to enable individuals and families on Chicago’s South Side lead healthy and joyful lives.

 

Bicycling provides significant health benefits since it works almost all the muscles and systems in the body, including the skeletal system, the cardiovascular system, the mental/emotional state, and the immune system. Bike riding provides a family-friendly workout and fun exercise for all ages. It is also so adaptable that it can fit almost every need and physical limitation and does not require a lot of expensive equipment. You can bike almost anywhere you like.

 

The CNIP is working to promote bike trail safety and to increase the number of family-friendly bike trails in Chicago’s South Side communities. Since its founding in 1985, the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation (CBF) has encouraged thousands of individuals and families to ride bikes through advocacy, education, and good old-fashioned fun. Chicago is known as one of the best large cities in the US for bicycling. The City of Chicago has achieved this goal by investing in bicycling infrastructure and promoting education, awareness, and advocacy.

 

For more information about the City of Chicago Bike Program, go here.

WALKING

Walking is a way to stay healthy while getting exercise. A scenic, woodside rest next to a piece of beautiful, original public art in a community park makes for the perfect stroll through the neighborhood as you pace the local walking trail. Whether you prefer getting a relaxing breath of fresh air, or challenging yourself with a long steady walk to maintain your heart rate, the CNIP is working to make sure that you’ll find what you’re looking for just outside your front door on South Side walking and biking trails.

 

The CNIP is working diligently to enhance the region’s walkability.

 

To learn more and to find out how you can help, contact the CNIP at info@cnipchicago.org

Major Taylor Trail Mural Project (PDF)

 

Photo Gallery

Earth Day April 20th, 2018 – Cleanup at site of Major Taylor Trail

We need public transportation that is more reliable, quicker and more extensive. Help us be your voice for better transit systems.

Advocacy & Legislation

We collaborate with local organizations, legislators, community members, and decision makers to influence public policies, provide education and support, and to help improve and create healthy transportation options throughout Chicago’s South Side. Increasing public awareness and understanding of community issues with an emphasis on public art, transportation, recreation, affordable and healthy living options, parks, and economic development in historically underserved communities is also a priority. The CNIP works diligently to educate and inform legislators and decision makers about these important issues while providing insight and facts.

 

The vision of the CNIP is to increase the overall quality of life in our local communities through improved access to modes of transit and increasing economic independence that results in community pride and healthy, sustainable lifestyles.  We envision the neighborhoods of the South Side of Chicago being places that are beautiful, safe, fun, and healthy places to live, work and PLAY.

 

To date, some of the projects the CNIP has been involved in include:

 

Previous Projects Completed:

  1. Issue #1) The area along the riverbank of Whistler Woods currently does not have access to the river.

Solution #1) A feasibility study will be conducted, and plans created by Terra Engineering for pedestrian access to the river with bicycle rest/repair stations and drinking water next to the trail. 

 

Issue #2) The portion of the Major Taylor Trail that has a bridge going over the Little Calumet River is currently full of profane graffiti. This bridge leads into the end of the MTT and will soon be connected to the Cal-Sag Trail.

Solution #2) A mural will be created covering the metal wall on the bridge that will cover the graffiti.  This work will be led by Archi-Treasures.

 

Issue #3) Promotion of the health benefits of maintaining an active lifestyle is always a concern in our nation.

Solution #3) A sporting event promoting the health benefits of running, jogging, walking, and/or cycling will be held in Whistler Woods celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Major Taylor Trail and the Major Taylor Cycling Club and the 5th anniversary of Women RUN The World. Mural on the Bridge.

  a. The mural will tell the story of the life, struggles, and victory of Marshall Walter “Major” Taylor

  b. The mural will highlight how Major Taylor’s story of victory and triumph against all the odds continues to live       through the Major Taylor Cycling Club across almost every major city in the US.

 

  1. Completed site plans for recommended infrastructure improvements for riverbank access and trail amenities in Whistler Woods
  2. A 5K hosted by CNIP for Women Run the World in July of 2018.

 

Festival after the 5k or Half Marathon event celebrating;

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to unveil the mural and site plans for access to the riverbank in Whistler Woods

 

Current projects:

The MTTRI Project Phase 2 is a coordinated effort between Community Neighborhood Improvement Project (CNIP) and project partners to engage community members in activating the riverfront near the end of the Major Taylor Trail (MTT) in Whistler Woods. CNIP will focus on ensuring:

  1. Terra Engineering develops a set of shovel-ready engineering plans for a riverfront overlook that will increase access to and interaction with the Little Calumet River.
  2. Hosting a health awareness festival that will include a 5k Walk/Run and a bike ride to the Major Taylor grave site, and
  3.  Contract with a firm that does urban planning that will help CNIP work with stakeholders on a design process to develop a proposed unified branding that can be presented to public agencies that include strategic locations for future art and programming along the MTT.

 

The MTTRI Project Phase 2 addresses the following issues in our community:

  1. Lack of awareness of health, social, and recreational benefits of walking/running/cycling in Chicago’s South Side African-American communities;
  2. Lack of community awareness of current resources and support available related to health;
  3. Lack of community investment and involvement in the development of trails along Calumet River;
  4. Access to the Calumet River to create a more inviting environment for users; and
  5. The absence of large-scale events in the area to bring nearby families and organizations together to celebrate the neighborhood’s assets.

 

Together we can work to make sure South Side Chicago neighborhoods and communities are fun, healthy, and safe places to live, work, and PLAY.

LEGISLATIVE WORK

More information coming.

VICTORIES

More information coming.

We want more people choosing transportation options that are healthy, fun and environmentally-friendly.

Want to learn how you can make a difference in your own backyard?