Alderman Solis in Zolle, Netherlands – all photos courtesy of Bikes Belong
[Background info for this post came from a write-up of the trip by Washington D.C. Department of Transportation Bicycle Program Specialist Mike Goodno.]
Earlier this month when I interviewed 25th Ward Alderman Danny Solis about sustainable transportation projects in his ward, he mentioned that he would be taking a trip to the Netherlands from October 1 – 8 to study bike facilities. The bike industry-funded advocacy group Bikes Belong sponsored this fact-finding mission for transportation officials from Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Miami, and Solis says that staffers from Working Bikes Cooperative recommended him to Bikes Belong as a bike-friendly politician. Joining him from Chicago were former Active Transportation Alliance executive director and current SRAM Cycling Fund director Randy Neufeld, as well as Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) bike program staffers David Gleason and Mike Amsden. Continue reading Alderman Solis goes to Amsterdam
The Midtown Greenway, a multi-use rails-to-trails conversion in a sunken railroad viaduct.
I recently spent a day in Minneapolis, Minnesota, visiting friends en route to Duluth for a bike trip along Lake Superior. Last year Bicycling magazine named Minneapolis the best U.S. city for biking (I guess they couldn’t keep giving the award to Portland, OR, every year) while Chicago dropped down to tenth place. So I was curious to see if the City of Lakes offers any lessons on ways to make cycling better here.
In fairness, the Twin Cities area has a few inherent qualities that have encouraged bike-friendliness. The combined population of the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul is about 667,000, not much larger than Milwaukee and only a quarter the size of the city of Chicago. Minneapolis had ample available railroad right-of-way, which made it relatively easy to create a great network of urban off-street bike paths, 84 miles compared to Chicago’s 50. (We do have almost three times as many miles of streets with bike lanes.)*
Continue reading Cool Minneapolis bike features I’d love to see in Chicago
This weekend’s Grid Shots is about bike parking, one of my favorite topics.
Exterior bike racks at the Damen Blue Line station in Wicker Park sit empty at 5 AM on the last Wednesday in August 2011. Unlike their interior cousins, these racks will fill up in a couple of hours. Photo by Mike Travis.
The Andersonville Jewel-Osco at 5516 N Clark was renovated over a year ago, but bike parking wasn’t installed until August 2011. And the bike rack is a doozy. The store promptly disrespects it by blocking the second of only two usable spaces on the “grill rack” (an unacceptable bike rack and should not be used). Jewel is known for its use of this bike rack. Photo by Kevin Zolkiewicz.
I’d like to know what the thought was in designing this small bike parking area. The designer chose an acceptable bike rack and put it within 20 feet of the entrance (better than the 50 feet minimum) but reduced ease of access by installing it too close to a bollard and fence. Photo by Kevin Zolkiewicz. Continue reading Grid Shots: Bike parking edition
This is the first post co-written by both Grid Chicago bloggers.
Last Friday’s ribbon cutting for the new on-street bicycle racks at Milwauke/North/Damen in Wicker Park, the first in the city, was a bittersweet occasion for John.
A bus and cyclist pass by Chicago’s first on-street bike parking corral in Wicker Park on Friday, July 29, 2011.
As many Grid Chicago readers know, both John Greenfield and Steven Vance are veterans of the Chicago Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) Bicycle Program who worked on parking projects. Around 2004 the owner of Andersonville’s Cheetah Gym, 5248 N Clark, approached John about getting a 12-bike rack, which the bike program had in stock, installed in a car parking space in front of his business and even offered to pay for planters to protect the bikes from cars. Continue reading Wicker Park(ing): Chicago debuts its first on-street bike corral
[flickr]photo:5952876061[/flickr]Chicago Reader Biker Village at Pitchfork
Last weekend there were at least two fabulously bike-friendly festivals in Chicago. New Belgium Brewery’s Tour de Fat celebrated craft beer, bicycles, bands and other forms of “sustainable folly,” raising thousands of dollars for West Town Bikes community bike shop. Meanwhile the Pitchfork Music Festival included the Chicago Reader Biker Village with an attended bike parking area that docked over 1,000 bikes at a time – and it still wasn’t nearly enough capacity. More on that later.
Continue reading Rack concerts: Tour de Fat and Pitchfork highlight the need for good bike parking at festivals