Grid Bits: Electric car charging network; pinup chicks calendar


One of the new electric vehicle charging stations popping up at Walgreens around Chicago. 


Walgreens is adding charging stations for electric vehicles at many of its Chicago-area stores and around the country. I read about a Chargepoint station at the Walgreens nearest me (2744 N California) when I was browsing my block on EveryBlock. Then I read about this and other stations around the city, including at Soldier Field, on Curbed Chicago. Continue reading Grid Bits: Electric car charging network; pinup chicks calendar

How Thought You Knew and Grid Chicago match up

This is a continuation of Grid Bits from Thursday, September 2, 2011. 

I talked with founder Alexis Finch about how Grid Chicago and TyK might have similar aims. We compared the Grid Chicago mission statement to that of TyK and the results surprised me.

Our mission statement starts out with, “Grid Chicago is an outlet for news, commentary, and photography about sustainable transportation-related events, projects, and ideas.” How does Thought You Knew relate to that definition?

TyK is a photography project depicting local Chicago women. TyK will be hosting monthly events to bring more women into cycling with our Monthly Cycles hosting ladies at bike shops to teach them flat fixes and meet their local mechanics.

The next line talks about Grid Chicago being a platform for sustainable transportation. 

Since women have been found to be the primary agents of change in communities, the main source of “word of mouth” communication and the dominant users/writers on the internet, TyK’s target of bringing more women to the cycling conversation, who have otherwise felt disincluded, uninvited or intimidated fits well with your goal of being a platform.

Then our mission statement talks about the culture around sustainable transportation.

I’d say that TyK has become a part of Chicago’s culture already, and stands to be more so soon.


Miss September 2012. Photo by Kimberley Capriotti. 

Okay, enough about us, tell me more about TyK. How will TyK expand its own mission?

TyK has shifted over to being offered to shops on wholesale. This turns us into an incredibly appealing Christmas item, particularly for bike shops trying to get folks in during the slow season. More sales means more pinups on more walls, spreading the good word. We’re also selling internationally now, which means the “powerful pinup” will be able to become a part of the global vernacular. Tokyo and Shanghai already love us and are really excited at the strong and sassy example we’re providing for the ladies out there. We’ll just hint vaguely at what that means in the next few years.

Will TyK launch in other cities?

There aren’t any plans for the calendar to be a “city by city” calendar. However, there are some plots afoot for next year giving some ladies in the rest of the United States the chance to be nominated to strut their stuff.

In the meantime, we’ll be working to expand The Monthly Cycle [a women-only bike repair class] to cities across the USA. It’s not just shops in Chicago who need more female customers, and who need their customers to feel comfortable. This is an issue everywhere. So, we’ll be working to make sure women everywhere get the chance to learn a bit about their bikes and get welcomed into the cycling world one local shop at a time.

Aside from the calendar and The Monthly Cycle, what else is happening this year?

TyK will be rolling through Interbike (September 14-16 in Las Vegas) filming another section of our documentary. Depicting how women are represented in the industry is an important facet of our mission. We’ll also be participating in the Chrome/Momentum Fashion Show!

This will also be one of our main times to do our wholesaling to shops outside Chicago. Since everyone is already in Vegas, it’s a great time to get the word out and get some orders in. Oh, and we’ll have stickers. Possibly spoke cards too…

Strange signage on the Lakefront Trail


The Chicago Lakefront Trail at Lawrence Avenue showing possibly conflicting intersection signage. Photo by Robert Powers.

[This piece originally ran in Time Out Chicago. Photos by Hui Hwa Nam.]

Q: What’s up with those signs in Uptown where streets cross the Lakefront Trail? Are drivers supposed to stop for bicyclists or are bicyclists supposed to yield to drivers?

A: This unusual signage is at Montrose, Lawrence and Foster Avenues, where the path not only intersects these east-west streets but also meets on- and off-ramps from Lake Shore Drive (LSD). Street traffic gets stop signs while cyclists and skaters on the trail get yield signs. Continue reading Strange signage on the Lakefront Trail

Would residents of northeastern Illinois tax themselves for transit?


Mayor Emanuel shaking hands at the 95th Street station, the current terminal on the Red Line Dan Ryan branch. Photo by slow911.

Rahm Emanuel said he would help the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) find whatever money possible to fund an extension of the Red Line’s Dan Ryan branch to 130th Street. That project will have four new stations (view map); the construction will most likely be majority paid for by the federal  government (the capital costs). But the federal government won’t pay for the CTA’s new costs from operating the extension. Or any operating costs (note 1). The CTA and Mayor Emanuel are also pursuing bus rapid transit (BRT), a faster moving bus route. Continue reading Would residents of northeastern Illinois tax themselves for transit?

Four transportation events in and for Logan Square


A rendering of the Bike/Walk35 group’s vision for the Logan Square CTA station. 

One event happened last week, one is this week, one the following week, and the last happens each weekend in September.

Bike/Walk35 presentation on vision and goals for Logan Square CTA station

I joined the Bike/Walk35 group to help them create a great bike parking plan for the station. Last Thursday, August 25, 2011, at the St. Sylvester gymnasium (2157 N Humboldt), we presented on the history, goals, and vision for the Logan Square Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Blue Line station (2620 N Kedzie). Continue reading Four transportation events in and for Logan Square

Grid Shots: New perspectives

Rahm Emanuel has been mayor for 100 days. Toni Preckwinkle has been Cook County president for 100 days. Forrest Claypool has been president of the Chicago Transit Authority for 100 days.

What has happened? What will happen?


Looking west from the Damen Pink Line CTA station in Pilsen, Chicago. Photo by Chris Diers


A Metra train at the Berwyn, Illinois, station. Photo by Sam Dickey


A Green Line CTA train at about 4700 W Lake Street in Chicago. Photo by Gabriel Xavier Michael.

Add your photos to the Grid Chicago group on Flickr.