See you there? Dearborn Street cycle track opens Friday


The barriers are coming down. Photo by Shaun Jacobsen.

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) will officially open the protected bike lanes on Dearborn Street on Friday afternoon, Chicago’s first two-way bike route with dedicated bicycle traffic signals.

CDOT will also formally release the Chicago Streets for Cycling Plan 2020, which calls for a 645-mile network of bike lanes to be in place by 2020 to provide a bicycle accommodation within half-mile of every Chicagoan. The plan sets forth a strategy to achieve Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s goal of making Chicago the best big city for bicycling in America.

Please join us for the grand opening of the Dearborn Protected Bike Lane and the release of the Streets for Cycling Plan 2020! A press conference is scheduled for tomorrow, Friday 12/14.

When: Friday, December 14 at 1:00 p.m.
Where: Park/Plaza located at approx. 700 S. Dearborn (just north of Polk)

We look forward to celebrating Chicago’s first two-way protected bike lane with our vibrant cycling community!

Thanks for all of your support,

CDOT Bike Program

Note: Information combined from a press release and an email to the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Council mailing list. 

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Meeting on Tuesday to discuss new segment and bridge on North Branch Trail


The dark green lines on the map above show two independent segments of the North Branch Trail that the Chicago Park District and Chicago Department of Transportation want to connect. Starting in Clark Park, a new path would go under Addision Street, along the east embankment of the Chicago River, and then over a new pedestrian bridge to California Park.

Open house details

Tuesday, December 4
6 – 9 PM
Revere Park Fieldhouse Auditorium
2509 W. Irving Park Road
Chicago, Illinois 60618

From the meeting notice:

CDOT and the Chicago Park District cordially invite you to attend this public meeting, which will include an open house, project presentation, and an opportunity for questions and feedback. CDOT is currently designing a new segment of the North Branch Trail, which would link existing segments in Clark Park to the south and California Park (and onward to Horner Park) to the north. The new trail segment would run under the Addison Street Bridge for safe crossing, along the east embankment of the North Branch of the Chicago River, and cross the river on a multi-use pedestrian bridge. The creation of this publicly accessible open space will link major existing parks, create pedestrian and bicycle access that would otherwise be difficult and dangerous, and fulfill objectives of the Chicago Trails Plan and the Chicago River Corridor Development Plan.

What the new trail segment would look like, from Addison Street to Irving Park Road.

The map above is from the Chicago Bike Map app’s custom designed map.

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Once in a decade opportunity: ride the ‘L’ in a private, chartered tour


A photo from the Soul of Chicago Express tour in 2006. 

There are only a few spots left (just a bit more than 10) on the Central Electric Railfan’s Association “inspection tour” of the Chicago Transit Authority’s ‘L’ system on 2200-series and 5000-series cars on Sunday, November 18. From CERA’s website:

This event will involve a morning enjoying the CTA 2200-series cars on routes they initially served in 1969, and will finish with a tour via the 5000-series ‘L’ cars, now in service on CTA’s Pink and Green Lines.

We will visit parts of the Blue, Pink, Green, Orange, Red and Yellow Lines, visiting various stations for photo opportunities and affording a chance to enjoy a ride on both the system’s oldest and newest train cars for a compare-and-contrast event not been done in recent memory.

CTA has confirmed that the train will pick us up at Jefferson Park on the Blue Line, a break at about 2:30 PM where you’ll be able to go get a bite to eat downtown, and more fun on the train and visiting the CTA’s newest stations at Oakton and Morgan, wrapping up at about 5:30 PM at Morgan/Lake (with access to the ‘L’ system, of course, to return to Jefferson Park).

Tickets are $42 each. If you’re interested, please contact (email preferred) charter organizer Tony Coppoletta immediately to confirm availability: / 312-685-2446. You will be able to pay in person when you check in at Jefferson Park. Graham Garfield of is helping to host this charter, and I will be assisting. This will be my third chartered tour and they provide a unique opportunity to explore the trains and stations, chat with other train enthusiasts, and take tons of photos that at other times might seem weird to fellow passengers.


If not for the Soul of Chicago Express chartered tour in 2006, I’d probably have never visited the 63rd/Ashland Green Line station in Englewood to see its unique design characteristics. 

Since this is a chartered tour, the route doesn’t have to follow what normal, revenue service trains take. This tour will use the no-longer-used incline between Racine and Illinois Medical District Blue Line stations.

Sunday, November 18, 2012
1030 to ~1730 hours
Time for a lunch break, in the Loop, will be made available.

Meeting location: Jefferson Park (CTA Blue Line station)
Check-in will begin at 0945 hours (receive tickets there, check-in closes after 1015, as the train departs at 1030)

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Voting has begun for Bike Chicago PSA video contest


The Lakefront Trail features prominently in “Chicago Bike Love”.  

Vote on the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special (DCASE) website to select the winning Bike Chicago PSA video. The four finalist videos will be shown on the big screen before a screening of Pee Wee Herman’s Big Adventure next Tuesday, June 12, at Millennium Park (see all events). Video links below open in a new full-size window.

Bike Chicago – You can dress like a revolutionary soldier and still ride a bike. Features Active Transportation Alliance staffer Rebecca Resman.

And Sometimes I Bike It Everywhere – An interview with three-year-old Amelie about biking in Chicago. Something really funny happens when she rides in the Kinzie Street bike lane at 1:13.

Chicago Better By Bike! – A kind of stop-motion video of many Chicago destinations. It’s amusing because it’s hard to tell if the person in the photo was ever moving in the shoot.

Chicago Bike Love – Boy meets girl on the Lakefront Trail and, after a MySpace-style photoshoot, have a picnic. Not a PSA, though.

There’s another bike movie event that week, on Monday, June 11, at Goose Island Brewpub, 1800 N Clybourn Avenue: Bicycle Film Festival will bring a special screening of “Bike Shorts”. The event is free and starts at 6 PM. Visit the DCASE website for all Bike To Work Week events.


Contest flyer. 

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