Grid Chicago is a blog by John Greenfield (author of Vote With Your Feet and contributor to area web media and newspapers) and Steven Vance (author of Steven Can Plan) about sustainable transportation in Chicago and the region. We’ll write about issues and culture. We published our first article on June 17, 2011.

Mission Statement

Grid Chicago is an outlet for news, commentary, and photography about sustainable transportation-related events, projects, and ideas. Grid Chicago is a platform for critical analysis and thought, and will take a stand on issues important in pursuing progressive and sustainable transportation – transportation that is efficient or uses clean or no energy. Additionally, Grid Chicago will help advance the culture of sustainable transportation modes, like walking, biking, and taking transit, with articles that explore the fun and livelier side of sustainable transportation. This may include pieces about trips and travel in Chicagoland and the Midwest, or interviews with locals about how they share bicycling with their peers.


Here at Grid Chicago we bring you an important perspective on the latest developments of active and sustainable transportation issues and culture in the Windy City and beyond. Steven and John each work over 20 hours per week attending meetings, conducting interviews, and checking out projects in the field, while staying up in the wee hours writing articles.

Your donation will help make Grid Chicago a long-term, sustainable project. Thanks for your support! We accept donations in person, via PayPal, or with Flattr. You can also support us by shopping on Amazon.com with this link.

Commuting Statistics

How many Chicagoans 16+ get to work by…

Mode 2006-2010 2005-2009 2000 decennial census Notes
Car (alone) 50.9% from 51.3% 50.1% The current national trend is that driving is decreasing.
Car (with others) 10.0% 10.3% 14.5% The number of people carpooling has decreased.
Transit (excluding taxis) 26.6% 25.9% 25.3% The current national trend is that transit use is increasing.
Bike 1.1% 1.0% 0.5% The current national trend is that bicycle commuting is increasing.
Walking 5.8% 5.7% 5.7% This level has stayed the same.
Sample size 1,219,311 1,267,895 1,192,139 Workers 16 and older (who had a job at the time of survey).

Active Transportation Alliance’s goal is to have 50% of all trips (to work and everywhere else) be by transit, biking, or walking. The Bike 2015 Plan goal is to have 5% of all trips by 2015 be by biking. Data from the American Community Survey, 2006-2010 5-year estimates (the most recent 5-year estimate available; 2011 will come out in December 2012), 2005-2009 5-year estimates, both table S0801, and from the 2000 Decennial Census, table QT-P23. Grid Chicago wants to see more people taking transit to work as well as bicycling and walking more. We’ll need your help.

In The Media


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John and I spoke live on “Morning AMp,” Monday, July 11, 2011, with Molly Adams and Brian Babylon. Direct link to MP3.

Steven talked to Molly Adams and Brian Babylon on “Morning AMp”, Tuesday, September 4, 2012. Direct link to MP3.
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John was interviewed on Outside the Loop, Thursday, July 30, 2011, on WLUW 88.7 FM. Direct link to MP3.

Steven was interviewed on Outside the Loop, Thursday, October 20, 2011, on WLUW 88.7 FM. Direct link to MP3.

Steven was interviewed on Outside the Loop, Thursday, September 28, 2012, on WLUW 88.7 FM. Direct link to MP3.

Gapers Block logo

“Grid Chicago is a new blog by frequent GB contributor John Greenfield and transportation planner Steven Vance, covering ‘sustainable transportation in Chicago and Illinois.’ ”

WBEZ logo

Emanuel checks bike paths off the list. But the mayor still has miles to go.” Lauren Chooljian interviewed Steven Vance briefly about the Kinzie Street and Jackson Boulevard protected bike lanes for a Wednesday, August 24, 2011, story. Direct link to MP3.

Website Statistics

See our Stats page.


Content is owned and copyrighted by the respective author. Do not copy our content without our permission. “Fair use” excerpting is permitted as long as you attribute the content to “Grid Chicago” or the author and “Grid Chicago”, as well as provide a link to the original article, hosted on https://gridchicago.com. This means you shouldn’t publish more than 200 words of our content in your own publication.

Comment Policy

Do not attack people. Your comment will be edited or deleted as soon as possible.

24 thoughts on “About”

  1. Well guys, I’m here to tell you this is gonna be a great site/blog. I finally figured out that I don’t ride my bike to work because .. I’m scared. There is a stop sign or a traffic light at all but one of the 16 blocks from my apt to work. I’m not bike savvy like the dozens of bikers I see on my way to/from work. I rather like walking to work .. I enjoy looking at difference buildings … the new construction in comparison to the many old buildings of which some are historical markers. I enjoy stopping and reading what the markers have say about the building. Another reason I enjoy walking is that I choose to say hello, good morning to everyone that I pass. I see quite a few homeless men on my way in and I like to look at them in the eyes, smiling and say ‘good morning’. Well, enough blah blah blah.

    a.k.a. Steven’s mom

  2. Hey,

    I found out about this site on Curbed. Love the idea. If I can contribute somehow, let me know. Currently, I bike 20 miles per day round trip, starting in Lakeview, going about 6 miles on the trail and 4 miles through downtown to the Illinois Medical District. Although terrifying at times, it beats driving. Regardless, I am very in tune with what’s happening on that route. And I have quite the stories to tell…it’s amazing what you see and what situations you encounter when riding.


  3. Two of my favorite Chicago writers banding together. Excellent and efficient. Looking forward guys.

  4. Hello John and Steve, my name is Mike Payne – and I would like to enlist your aid in realizing the CTA Gray Line Project, an extremely cheap and cost efficient way to improve Public Transit on Chicago’s South Side: http://www.Grayline.20m.com http://bit.ly/GrayLineInfo

    It is now the subject of the ongoing 18 month South Lakefront Corridor Transit Study by the RTA and CDOT:

    The Gray Line Project is included in the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning’s Regional Transportation Plan (see “Metra Electric District Improvements”):


    Please contact me with any comments or questions at: grayline15@yahoo.com

  5. Hi John and Steven,

    Looking forward to informative postings and lively discussions. Thanks for continuing to direct your considerable talents and expertise to sustainable transportation. Write on! – Greg

  6. Please attend Sen. Martin Sandoval and Sen. Susan Garrett’s Hearing on Metra and CTA Fare Hikes and Service Cuts – This coming Friday, 10am at 160 N LaSalle Rm. C-600 (Michael A. Bilandic Building): http://www.chicagotribune.com/site/newspaper/opinion/ct-edit-metra-20110725,0,3067633.story

    Please come and voice your opinion – I will be there to give a statement; and I will also attend CTA’s Red Line Extension Open House next Tuesday, 6pm at 211 E. 115th St. (St. John Missionary Baptist Church): http://www.transitchicago.com/redeis/

    1. Thank you for the link, Mike.

      I will mention this on Wednesday in a blog.

      Metra, CTA, and Pace will be disadvantaged further if Congressman John Mica of Florida has his way with the surface transportation bill that provides 80% capital funding for transit projects and vehicle and technology purchases.

      Please share your prepared comment with Grid Chicago before or after your testimony.

      1. A large part of my testimony will about how CTA and Metra waste Millions in taxpayer funded Operating Costs continuously by competing which each other on the South Side (leading to another “Doomsday”).

        And seeking $560 Million from the State for the 4 station 6 mile Red Line Extension – while ignoring the $80 Million (State) needed for the 40 station 25 mile Gray Line System: http://bit.ly/GrayLineInfo

        (Which would eliminate the above stated wasteful competition – and create approx. 8 to 10,000 New Jobs on the South Side).

        1. I will also be submitting my request to be considered as Board Member of one of the Operating Agencies (RTA, CTA, or Metra).

          My qualifications being that I am the only Private Citizen in the State of Illinois with a Major Capital Project included in the CMAP Regional Transportation Plan (with a Government Link to my Private Citizen’s Website) – see “Metra Electric District Improvements” near the bottom of the Page: http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/shared-path-2030/project-links

          Most all the present Board Members are Insurance Execs., County Commisioners, Mayors, etc.. (who know NOTHING about Transit/Transportation issues or infrastructure).

  7. Thank you guys for all you do! I love reading your blog(s). The statistics you provide are interesting, and I listened to the report on the “protected bike lane”. I couldn’t get over the remark that implied that these bike lanes cannot be installed unless there is ample width. Compared to my native town’s streets, there is room for multiple bike lanes, and cars would still be able to get through. The issue to me is clearly mentality more than anything—and I would think the future economic savings would make more than up for the costs associated that the city spokesman in the interview refers to, perhaps that’s a calculation worth investigating. I would also think it would carry weight if you put up the pressure on the issue of an accessible downtown, and challenge the powers that be to open up streets like e.g. Michigan Avenue to bike lanes. As a musician (on a bike) I don’t necessarily have the credentials or the background to speak on the issues of economics and feasibility. And if that’s not bad enough, many of my friends consider me a lunatic for traveling the streets by bike or my “European” anti-car stance (there are still too many cars there too…). I cannot blame them, as I too often experience the reasons why they’re afraid of riding, yet I’d like them to overcome that and want them to experience the blessings of being car-free. I have now clocked more than 20 years in Chicago, transportation still seems unnecessarily tedious compared to where I came from, but I’m very encouraged by your actions. OK—enough said…

  8. Interesting articles, but remember not to hurt the active transportation community by underselling the market with your low ad prices, or by diverting traffic away from other forums to your own.  It’ll only earn you a bad rap.  Best of luck. 

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