As part of our ongoing project to interview all 50 of Chicago’s aldermen about sustainable transportation issues in their districts, I recently sat down with Harry Osterman at the 48nd Ward service office, 5533 N. Broadway. His ward includes most of Edgewater and parts of Uptown.
The son of the late former 48th Ward alderman and community activist Kathy Osterman, for whom Hollywood Beach was renamed, he got started in local politics as an aide to recent 48th Ward Alderman Mary Ann Smith. During the last decade he served as state representative for the 14th District, showing a particular interest in public safety as he advocated for gun control and tougher penalties for domestic violence and unlicensed driving. After Smith chose not to run for reelection in conjunction with Richard M. Daley’s retirement, last year Harry Osterman won the election to replace her.
Osterman recently launched the year-long community input process for the 48th Ward Master Plan, a planning roadmap for the rest of the decade. We talked about how sustainable transportation might fit into the plan, his opposition to the CTA closing any of the ward’s six Red Line stations, and his ideas for promoting walking, biking and transit in the area, including on-street bike racks on Andersonville’s main drag.
Continue reading Talking transportation with 48th Ward Alderman Harry Osterman
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s classroom building at Columbus Drive and Jackson Boulevard provides people with a tool stand and air pump.
Samantha, the author of Ding Ding Let’s Ride, and I have finished our deliberations on the winners of the 2012 Grid Chicago/Ding Ding Let’s Ride Best Bike Parking Awards.
We had 5 categories (3 bests, 2 for “needs improvement”). Jewel, the supermarket, won in three categories for three locations, winning both “needs improvement” categories. There were 20 nominations; Samantha and I submitted about half of them.
Best Civic or Institutional
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) won for its sheltered bike racks at the Columbus and Jackson building, near the classroom entrance and for providing a Dero Fixit stand that includes tools and an air pump. I was especially excited about this nomination because the nominee submitted a message that said it was sheltered and had the repair stand. The competition was 30 N LaSalle, a Loop office building that houses several City departments. Continue reading The bike parking award winners are in
There are six categories for Ding Ding Let’s Ride-Grid Chicago bike parking awards: four “bests” and two “most in need of”. Nominate a location now!
- Best Civic
Government building, library, community center, etc.
- Best Grocery Store
National chain, local chain or store or corner bodega/deli
- Best Non-Grocery Store business
Retail store, restaurant, tavern, gym, medical office, etc
- Best Multi-Unit Housing
Either public or private housing
- Most in need of Bike Parking
A location from one of the above categories that has NO bike parking at all, and desparately needs it
- Most in need of Improvement
A location from one of the categories above that desparately needs it’s existing bike parking repaired or improved
Continue reading Don’t forget those bike parking awards nominations
With a refreshingly ped-, bike- and transit-friendly new administration in power, 2011 was a banner year for sustainable transportation in Chicago. For Newcity magazine’s annual “Top 5 of Everything” issue, I submitted the following lists of the most important or interesting walking, bicycling, transit and parks stories of the year. Did I miss anything?
Top 5 Blossoming Chicago Park District Stories
After a mysterious two-year delay, design work finally starts on the Bloomingdale Trail
Chinatown’s serene Ping Tom Park expands north, nearly doubling in size
To fight obesity, 96 field houses get vending machines stocked only with healthy snacks
Planning starts for North Grant Park rehab; ideas include a skate park and a climbing wall
A freak summer hailstorm ravages the Garfield Park Conservatory, closing several rooms Continue reading Top 5 lists: essential parks, walking, biking and transit stories of 2011
Bike parking at the new, LEED-certified Dominick’s at Foster and Sheridan. This installation has several good qualities: it’s near the entrance, sheltered, has good clearance, and an acceptable rack style. Please nominate the best bike parking!
At the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Council on Wednesday afternoon at City Hall, Bicycle Parking Program manager Christopher Gagnon recapped the year by saying the City installed 749 standard u-racks on sidewalks (more than usual because 2010 saw few installations), Wicker Park-Bucktown Special Service Area (SSA) donated 20+1 racks (including the City’s first bike corral), and Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce donated 20 racks (you can see some on Clark Street).
That’s great! But what about that little part of the zoning code that requires property owners to provide bike parking? What do we know about them? Continue reading Awards for the best bike parking in Chicago
[This article also runs in Newcity magazine. All photos by Steven.]
“Gabe Klein has always viewed his work as a canvas to create a contribution, and is inspired by ventures that give something back to the community, versus strictly producing profit. This is why he only works on projects that invoke his passion.”
– From “Gabe Klein’s TreE-House,” gabeklein.com
“True love knows no bargains. It is one-way traffic; giving, giving, giving.”
– Swami Satchidananda, Klein’s childhood guru
When forward-thinking Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) Commissioner Gabe Klein reported for work on May 16 as part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s new administration, it marked a sea change in the city’s priorities. After spending most of the 20th Century trying to make it easier to drive, City Hall was switching its focus to promoting healthier modes: walking, biking and transit.
Continue reading How did progressive transportation czar Gabe Klein get that way?