Protecting Our Environment and Improving Our Infrastructure
As a lakeside community, the effects of climate change on our livelihoods are particularly pronounced. We have a responsibility as city-dwellers to do our part to reduce our emissions and conserve life-sustaining green space. As Alderman Larry Svabek, I will direct funds on the ward and city level to expand our biking and public transit infrastructure, protect our access to natural resources, and prepare us for the impending effects of climate change.
1. Preserve our tree canopy
Research shows that tree density lowers air temperatures across city neighborhoods. I will require new infrastructure projects to agree to plant as many trees as they remove.
Push to strengthen the Urban Forestry Advisory Board which coordinates between departments to protect our tree canopy.
2. Improve biking, pedestrian, and public transit infrastructure
New bike rungs at Kathy Osterman Beach.
Institute protected bike lanes on major thoroughfares (Clark, Broadway, Bryn Mawr).
Hold meetings to identify streets that could be converted to bike/pedestrian thoroughfares.
Conduct a review of crossing walks at busy intersections and near schools and implement pedestrian safety features like bump-outs, raised crosswalks, and pedestrian islands.
Invest in bus rapid transit lanes on major North-South and East-West arteries such as DuSable Lake Shore Drive and Ashland.
3. Support city-wide recycling
Chicago is currently one of the worst cities in the nation for percentage of waste recycled with rates of recycling declining over the past decade. By forming teams of recycling inspectors to deal with contaminated bins and creating a communication system that allows residents a chance to re-sort their recycling, we can reverse this trend.
End contracts with waste haulers who are not recycling as promised.
Modernize our waste-management system by integrating city-wide composting
Increase the number of garbage cans on Sheridan to deal with high volume weekends.
4. Invest in climate change resilience
As a ward with considerable lakefront access, it is paramount that we work with federal and state partners to fund research on lakefront resilience and invest in environmental projects that will ensure access to our greatest resource, Lake Michigan.
Reconstitute the Department of the Environment so we have the capacity to execute a city-wide plan.
Hold ComEd accountable for achieving rigorous alternative energy targets.
Invest in flooding mitigation such as green roofs, rain gardens, and permeable asphalt.