Cyclists ride eastbound in the Kinzie Street protected bike lane. Photo by Joshua Koonce.
It’s been two weeks since the Bike To Work Week Rally symbolically marked the opening of the Kinzie Street protected bike lane. Construction continued into this week.
I contacted Brian Steele, public information officer at the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), to answer some outstanding questions. Continue reading Recap on the Kinzie Street protected bike lane
[This piece also appears in Newcity.]
This June evening is too pretty for the subway, so I bicycle south to the Pink Line’s California station to meet up with the Active Transportation Alliance’s Tony Giron (in the photo above, far right). He’s leading a march across the largely Mexican-American neighborhood of Little Village to Farragut High School for the first of seven public input meetings on the Chicago Pedestrian Plan.
Similar to the Bike 2015 Plan, this Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) document will be a roadmap for making the city a safer and easier place to walk. The goal is to reduce pedestrian injuries by half and fatalities by one hundred percent. “Chicago is a great city for walking,” says Giron. “But along with park paths and tree-lined streets, we still have roads that are difficult to cross, dangerous intersections and places that are inaccessible to people walking.”
Continue reading Making strides: can the Chicago Pedestrian Plan create safer streets?
Updated June 28, 2011, to add link and photo about how citizen cyclists are accommodated in Copenhagen, New York City, and San Francisco (at end of post). Updated July 8, 2011, to add a section about “shared responsibility.”
When roads or bridges are reconstructed, bike lanes and people riding in them lose. The photo shows where a section of the bike lane has been removed and the remainder of the bike lane has been closed, without notification.
I wanted to renew my driver’s license Monday and I had two choices: downtown or northwest side. I looked at the map to find that the Illinois Secretary of State’s Drivers Services Facility called “Chicago North,” at 5401 N Elston Avenue, was only 4 miles from my house. It’s about 4 miles to downtown, but I believed going north would be easier and faster on my bike.
It was. Aside from an infrastructural design issue on Elston Avenue that makes right-hooks really easy, almost inviting, and a bike-unfriendly construction detour, I got there in great time. Going to downtown would mean more lights, more traffic.
Continue reading Making construction areas and detours bike-friendly
Updated June 27, 2011, to add one more solution: move the parade to downtown.
If you wanted to get to the Pride Parade yesterday, there was no use in driving. Access was reserved for those who arrived on foot powered transportation.
A pedicab operator carries parade goers closer to Halsted and Addison Streets.
Taking transit was only a decent choice: Buses were caught in the same automobile traffic congestion they always get caught in while people riding bikes slipped through. Street closures meant buses were rerouted and passengers would still have to walk a few blocks to the parade.
Note: While all parades present the same transportation issues, the Pride Parade is one of the largest parades in Chicago, in terms of attending spectators. Other large parades include Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic, and the former South Side Irish Parade. Grid focuses on Pride Parade because of its recentness.
Continue reading Pride Parade offers case study on transportation management
Logan Square resident as well as cycling and car-free living advocate Gin Kilgore was recently interviewed in the Chicago Tribune. Grid talks to Gin to get some more information about how others can go car free or “car light.”
Cars aren’t allowed to get this close in Humboldt Park.
Continue reading Meet Gin Kilgore, a car-free Chicago mom
[Photos by Christopher Dilts. This piece also runs on Momentum.]
Every year hundreds of bike couriers from around the globe descend on a different city for the Cycle Messenger World Championships, with races, arts events and parties celebrating one of the toughest, most enjoyable jobs around. This year the 19th annual worlds take place in Warsaw on July 27-31; next year Chicago does the honors.
Augie Montes, an eleven-year veteran of the delivery biz who spearheaded the 2008 North American Cycle Courier Championships (NACCC) in Chicago, talked with me about the recent championships in Tokyo and Panajachel, Guatemala, and filled us in on the Windy City’s plans for hosting the worlds in 2012.
Continue reading Augie Montes on plans for 2012 messenger championships in Chicago