I’ve noticed it’s common for young women in Chicago to walk in the middle of the street when there are sidewalks available. I always assumed that it’s a strategy to avoid getting jumped by a would-be attacker hiding behind a tree or in the bushes. This personal safety issue is one that I, as a man who does most of his walking in areas with relatively low crime rates, have the privilege of not thinking much about.
On the other hand, I often see women walking in the street in “safe” neighborhoods, in broad daylight. This was the case last Sunday when I biked past Jacqueline and Caitlin, who were strolling west on the 2100 bock of West Rice Street in Ukrainian Village around 4 pm. I hit the brakes and asked if I could interview them on the subject for this blog, and they politely humored me.
Continue reading Ladies’ choice: why do some women prefer to walk in the street?
This is the first article published in “Checkerboard City,” John’s new column about sustainable transportation that will run in print in every issue of Newcity magazine, which hits the streets on Wednesday evenings.
“Bikers of Chicago unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains.”
—Suggested manifesto for Comrade Cycles
First there was Atomix Café, with its giant mural of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, then Revolution Brewing, with a red star logo and tap handles shaped like upraised fists. By opening Chicago’s newest communist-themed enterprise, the three worker-owners behind Comrade Cycles hope to make their Marx on the local bike scene.
Continue reading Pedaling revolution: Comrade Cycles seizes the means of production