[flickr]photo:6198220998[/flickr]2009 Open Streets: left-to-right, in orange shirts, Lucy Gomez-Feliciano, Adolfo Hernandez, Rob Sadowsky
[This article also runs in Newcity magazine.]
“On State Street, that great street, I just want to say
They do things they don’t do on Broadway”
– “Chicago (That Toddlin’ Town)” by Fred Fisher
The question is, can Chicago do on State Street what New York City already does successfully, not on Broadway but on Park Avenue; what San Francisco does on Grant Avenue; and what Bogotá, Colombia, does on Calle 11?
Born in Bogotá, “ciclovía” (Spanish for “bike path”) events close streets to motorized traffic, creating safe spaces for citizens to bicycle, jog, stroll, play and mingle, encouraging healthy recreation and social interaction. Ciclovías are now popular around the world, and most of America’s bike-friendly major cities are holding successful events, but the model still hasn’t gained a foothold in Chicago.
This could change after Saturday’s Open Streets on State Street ciclovía, when for five hours the sight, sound and smell of hundreds of automobiles, cabs and buses on the famous thoroughfare will be replaced by thousands of people enjoying a giant block party. The free event takes place from 10 am to 3 pm, with State Street closed to traffic between Lake and Van Buren. Vehicles will be permitted to cross the route at Madison and Monroe.
Continue reading Can Saturday’s Open Streets on State Street convince City Hall to fund the next ciclovía?
Panelists James Schonzeit, Adolfo Hernandez and Rubani Shaw
Let’s Go Ride a Bike blogger Dottie Brackett recently told me she thinks Chicago’s male cyclists could put a little more effort into their appearance. “I see a lot of women on bikes who are looking really nice, but I think I’ve only ever seen one man riding a bike in a suit,” she said. “It’d be nice to see more than just jeans and a t-shirt, and if you’re going to some sort of event why not spiff it up a little?”
Last year Brackett participated in the first Bike Fashion Panel organized by the Chicago Cycling Club (CCC), an exploration of how to get around the city on two wheels without sacrificing your personal style, with a focus on women’s fashion. The panel also included Emily Taylor and Maria Bousted from PoCampo bags and Alexis Finch, who produces the Thought You Knew pin-up calendars. The participants discussed their favorite clothes, bikes, accessories, tips and tricks for pedaling with panache.
Earlier this month the fellas finally got their say. This year’s Men’s Bike Fashion panel, also presented by the cycling club takes place in a cozy upstairs room at Schubas Tavern, 3159 N Southport. The three male panelists include product designer James Schonzeit, Active Transportation Alliance staffer Adolfo Hernandez, and graphic designer Rubani Shaw. All three are known as natty dressers who spend plenty of time on bikes.
Continue reading The second annual Bike Fashion Panel: sharp dressed men
A young boy on his bike waits for the red light to change on Logan Boulevard in Logan Square.
I’ve been participating in a design collaboration this summer called Moving Design: Call To Action. This year’s “Call To Action” is about bicycle safety in Chicago, focusing on Logan Square. The group comprises over 40 designers, and two urban planners, including myself.
My role has been to provide “policy insights” – read and see them on the Moving Design blog. Since I’ve been in Utah for last Wednesday’s and tonight’s meetings, I created videos. Think of them as a satellite feed of an actor giving their Oscar acceptance speech from the set of the movie they’re filming.
This video policy insight is about 8 to 80. I connect the concept of “designing biking facilities for all” to ways cyclists have been divided and then bring it around to a discussion last week between Adolfo Hernandez of Active Transportation Alliance and Rob Forbes, CEO of Public Bikes.
Watch the video after the jump.
Continue reading When you build for youngest, you build for everyone