The Major Taylor Trail, named for the African-American bike racing champ, in Chicago’s West Pullman neighborhood. Photo by Eliezer Appleton.
On October 12 the article “City Bike Plan Stuck in a Rich Rut” by David Lepeska ran on the website for the Chicago News Cooperative (CNC), a nonprofit news organization which produces the Chicago pages for the New York Times on Friday and Sunday. This piece analyzed Mayor Emanuel’s plan to install 100 miles of protected bike lanes, create a large-scale bike share system and build the Bloomingdale Trail and the Navy Pier Flyover. The original text is at the bottom of this post. An edited version of the CNC article ran in the Chicago edition of the Times as “Chicago Bike Plan Accused of Neighborhood Bias” on October 15.
The original CNC piece included two incorrect statements that I felt were central to its premise that the Mayor Emanuel’s bike plan focuses on the wealthier sections of town and overlooks low-income areas. One of these statements, claiming that the majority of the bike share kiosks are slated for downtown and the North Side, was corrected for the Times version after the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) contacted Mr. Lepeska. The other erroneous statement, which claimed that an upcoming protected bike lane on 18th Street is the only project planned for a low-income community, did run in the Times.