Pride Parade offers case study on transportation management

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.

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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.

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Meet Gin Kilgore, a car-free Chicago mom

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.”

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Cars aren’t allowed to get this close in Humboldt Park.

Continue reading Meet Gin Kilgore, a car-free Chicago mom

Augie Montes on plans for 2012 messenger championships in Chicago

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[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.

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Building Chicago’s first pedestrian scramble

Last week in his interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, new commissioner of the Department of Transportation (CDOT), Gabe Klein, indicated he wanted to explore installing a pedestrian scramble at some intersections in the city. This would mean that vehicle traffic is stopped in all directions (an “all red” phase) and people walking can cross in any direction from any corner to any other corner.

“It’s something we would be interested in piloting at the busiest intersections,” Klein said.

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A Car-Free Exodus to “Little Egypt”

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[This piece also appears on Walk Weekend.]

Most people think of the Land of Lincoln as Chicago plus pancake-flat prairie, but Southern Illinois is completely different. The region, nicknamed “Little Egypt” because it’s located in the delta of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, is blanketed by the lush Shawnee National Forest and roller-coaster hills, which makes it a challenging, beautiful destination for bicycle travel.

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The case of the disappearing bike lane

Updated June 22, 2011: Added “Note” section about Vincennes and Roosevelt bike lane removals.

Have you been riding on a Chicago street in the bike lane and noticed how part of the bike lane striping disappears in certain stretches or doesn’t seem to exist at all? The bike map shows it, as do the BIKE LANE signs on the sidewalk.

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This is a photo of the Elston Avenue bike lane, at North Avenue. Or is it? Can you see the bike lane striping or bike symbol on the pavement?

What happened to them?

Continue reading The case of the disappearing bike lane