Chicago bike sharing suggestion map is now live, public meetings coming soon


The Chicago Department of Transportation has made public its bike sharing station suggestion map, where you can click on a location on the map to say “this is a good place for a bike sharing station”, up-vote others’ suggestions, and see the most popular suggested locations.

Go suggest a good location now.

As of this writing, there are 116 locations suggested (and 123 additional votes for those locations), many (or most) of which were made during testing periods. Additionally, the map doesn’t show the ~150 locations that Bicycle Program Coordinator Ben Gomberg said at the September Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Council meeting were already selected (the majority of which he said were at train stations). I expect there will be 1,000 suggestions within two weeks, so get crackin’.

There are five meetings on three days coming up later this month (you can see them in our calendar).

At the meetings in late October and early November, representatives from CDOT and Alta, the bicycle provider and operator, will discuss the new program and answer questions. Attendees can suggest locations to install bike stations in the proposed service area.

Monday, October 29
11:30h – 13h
Chicago Architecture Foundation
224 S Michigan Avenue

15 – 17h
Pop‐up meeting at Union Station

18:30 – 20h
Chicago Architecture Foundation
224 S Michigan Avenue

Tuesday, October 30
18:30 – 20h
Lincoln Belmont Public Library
1659 W Melrose Street

Tuesday, November 7
18:30 – 20h
Charles Hayes Center
4859 S Wabash Avenue

Tracking the rate of submissions

24 hours and 22 minutes later, on 10-17-12 at 20:50, there are now over four times as many station suggestion locations (477) and 1,963 additional votes for those locations. The most popular location is somewhere around the Polish Triangle, at Milwaukee/Ashland/Division, with 33 votes. The second most popular locations is the Logan Square CTA Blue Line station, with 28 votes (I submitted this one).

49 hours and 20 minutes after we first collected the suggestions, on 10-18-12 at 21:48, there are 578 suggested locations (an increase of only 21%) with 3,076 votes for those locations (only 5 locations lack non-submitter support, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). First place remains the same, while the Western CTA Brown Line station is tied with the Logan Square CTA Blue Line station.

On 10-22-12 at 12:14, there are 826 suggestions and 5,759 votes for those locations (only 2 locations lack non-submitter support, 1, 2). The Polish Triangle location keeps its first place crown, now with 85 votes. Logan Square Blue and Western Brown CTA stations are no longer tied: Logan Square is 1 vote ahead!

Imprecisions in widely shared Reuters article on Chicago biking


People ride their bikes across the point at which Milwaukee Avenue was measured to have a mode share of 22% bicycles. 

These are important to mention because they will be shared again and again. While nothing was inaccurate, there was definitely space to clarify and expand. Original article.

1. “[Gabe] Klein hopes the percentage of trips taken by bike will rise from under 2 percent to 5 percent”

The percentage of “trips taken by bike” (for any purpose) is not known. We only know the percentage of trips taken by bike to work, and it stands at 1.4% right now.

The goal of the Bike 2015 Plan is to have 5 percent of all trips under 5 miles be by bike. But we won’t know when we achieve that because we lack baseline data: no survey collects the data on trips by bike for all purposes and categorizes them by distance – there was a household travel survey in 2007-2008 from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), but only for counties and not Chicago. I have written many times before about the “missing data” and baseline data problem: One, two, three, four.

Continue reading Imprecisions in widely shared Reuters article on Chicago biking

Grid Bits: Englewood railroad yard; Metra asks passengers to watch conductors

In Grid Bits for Tuesday, September 20, 2011, Metra wants customers to report on customers and conductors who miss fares; Evanston wants to build an infill Yellow Line station; additional automobile crash analysis; Chicago police are looking for a hit-and-run driver; a railroad plans to expand by buying and demolishing homes in Englewood. There are 6 stories in this post.


Photo of a 5000-series Chicago Transit Authority train car at Howard station by Eric Pancer.  Continue reading Grid Bits: Englewood railroad yard; Metra asks passengers to watch conductors

App contest for Chicago transportation and community in progress

The Apps for Metro Chicago competition started on Friday, June 24, 2011. It aims to gather free and useful web and mobile applications (created in any programming language). It’s sponsored by the City of Chicago, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), Cook County, and the State of Illinois. You can enter as many apps as you want in two categories, Transportation and Community, and the “Grand Challenge.” You don’t have to be a Chicago resident!


The Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) train tracker website was developed with web standards so that it could work on all browsers, no matter how “dumb” the phone. By developing with standards and for many platforms, your app will get a higher score. You can create a duplicative app for the competition, but you must add unique features or create an innovative design! “Creativity” (uniqueness) will help your app score higher. Continue reading App contest for Chicago transportation and community in progress