The new buffered bike lanes, still under construction, in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood.
[Update: on Friday 5/11 The Puerto Rican Cultural Center’s Jose Lopez provided his organization’s perspective on the Paseo Boricua bike lanes. Click here to read Lopez’s comments.]
Bicycling doesn’t discriminate. It’s good for people of all ethnicities and income levels because it’s a cheap, convenient, healthy way to get around, and a positive activity for youth and families. So it’s a shame that cycling, especially for transportation, is often seen as something that only privileged white people would want to do. And it’s unfortunate when proposals to add bike facilities in low-income communities of color, which would be beneficial to the people who live there, are viewed as something forced on the community by outsiders.
Continue reading Bike facilities don’t have to be “the white lanes of gentrification”
Notice how there is a buffer on both sides of the bike lane. This should encourage people to cycle outside of the “door zone”. Photo by Brandon Gobel.
The passing rain storms and fog have allowed construction crews to continue building Chicago’s bikeway network, including more buffered and protected bike lanes. We received a photo this morning of a new buffered bike lane going in on Division Street between Western and California. This is especially delightful news because the Division Street bike lane, from its eastern beginning at Ashland Avenue, stopped abruptly at Western Avenue, nine years ago, even though Division Street maintains the same width west of there. John will provide more background on the history of the Division bike lane, and why it’s a big deal that it’s finally being striped, tomorrow. Continue reading CDOT continues roll out of new bike lanes: Division Street today, your neighborhood tomorrow?
Last Saturday’s kickoff ride – photo by Daris Jasper
[This piece appeared in print in Checkerboard City, John’s weekly transportation column in Newcity magazine, which hits the streets on Wednesday evenings.]
All Chicagoans should have a chance to reap the benefits of urban biking: cheap, convenient transportation, improved physical and mental health, and good times with friends and family. The proliferation of nonprofit bicycle shops and youth education programs, along with the rising popularity of fixies among inner-city teens, is starting to broaden the demographics of cycling here. But the local bike scene still doesn’t reflect our city’s ethnic and economic diversity. Eboni Senai Hawkins, 34, wants to change that. She recently launched the Chicago chapter of Red Bike and Green, a nationwide group that promotes bicycling in the black community.
Continue reading Bike and proud: Red Bike and Green promotes cycling to African Americans
Meet Maggie Martinez. She was the final commenter at last night’s final public meeting for the development of the Bloomingdale Trail framework plan*. And what a final comment she made. If I had known it was going to be a rousing call to action for supporting youth in arts and cycling, and the benefits of the project for the Humboldt Park and nearby communities, I would have filmed it. Instead you get this (pretty good) photo, the audio of her speech, and a transcript.
I put the audio of Maggie speaking to a basic slideshow of photos from the meeting. Watch it on Vimeo. Continue reading Rallying the community around the Bloomingdale Trail, a project for open space, art, and active transportation
There were two whacky events on Saturday: the Afterglow post-season cyclocross race in muddy and snowy Humboldt Park, and the Dreidel & Santa Rampage!, an event with seemingly no other purpose than to have a fun bike ride and perpetuate the tradition (you must be dressed as Santa, an elf, or a dreidel to join).
A cyclocross race is like riding a souped-up road bike on a track people would normally ride mountain bikes on. And there’s always jeering and costumes.
Audrey can often be found at races with a megaphone “encouraging” riders to stop going so slow. Continue reading Grid Shots: Weekend cycling events
[This article also ran in Kickstand magazine.]
Salsa music blasts from a sound system trailer with a big Puerto Rican flag attached, pulled by a guy in a traditional straw hat on a classic yellow Schwinn cruiser. Behind him ride a hundred men, women and kids wearing matching red t-shirts, blue shorts and white sneakers, the colors of the flag.
Most of them are rocking vintage Schwinns with gleaming chrome fenders, white-wall balloon tires, gas tanks, and springer forks. Many are decked out with rear-view mirrors, air horns, fox tails and small U.S., Puerto Rican and Chicago flags. It’s the Chicago Cruisers bicycle club, pedaling downtown to the Puerto Rican Day Parade on a hot summer morning.
Continue reading The Chicago Cruisers, a Puerto Rican bike club, celebrates the Schwinn