Recap just one of your great ideas to improve transportation in “Outside the Box” challenge


How do cities get more women to ride bicycles? Photo by Mike Travis. 

The Grid Chicago comments section is full of great ideas about how to improve transportation and transportation policy in Chicagoland.

The “Outside the Box” challenge presented by George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, should be all the motivation you need to gather and present your ideas in an essay, video, slideshow, or other media form “to convey a viable and actionable plan that may be implemented to solve a current transportation or transportation policy problem. A maximum of five pictures or illustrations may be included to enrich your presentation. Entries will be reviewed by an executive committee of professors, executives, entrepreneurs and public servants, all of whom are interested and distinguished members of the transportation policy community.”

The first prize is $10,000. Second prize is $5,000 and third prize is $2,500. You must submit your entry by February 15, 2013, and the contest is open to individuals and teams 34 years old and younger.

Get full rules and details.

Celebrating our approaching one-year anniversary with another contest


We want more readers. We want these three reading Grid Chicago, and getting involved in making sustainable transportation in Chicagoland better.

Grid Chicago launched with this article on June 17, 2011. At the time of this publishing we’ve written 351,597 words in 444 posts. We want to grow the number of Facebook likes from the current 640. This is a great place to promote our articles, but it’s also been the home of many sideline discussions. We want 1,000 Facebook likes by June 17, 2012, so we’re giving away more stuff.

The prizes are your choice of one of three books or a Planet Bike accessory:

To enter to win, just answer our question on Facebook:

What project that opened in 2012 or will open later in the year are you most looking forward to?

We’ve listed four options, but you can add your own. If you don’t already “like” us on Facebook, you’ll have to do so to answer the question. As of 13:22 and since the question was posted over 18 hours ago, “more protected bike lanes” is winning. I’ve added a couple more options to get people thinking.

Update June 18 at 17:48: The winner is Aidan Dixon, please contact Steven, steve @ We gained 43 new “likes”. We’ll be running more contests as times goes on. 

City, The Chainlink, Bicycle Film Festival team up with Goose Island to present video contest


Flyer for the Bike Chicago PSA Video Contest. 

Do you remember Terry Bloom? Of course you do. He’s the producer of the Bicycle Film Festival in Chicago and I interviewed him last November. He and I met up Sunday night to share with each other our submissions for the 2012 edition of Bicycle Film Festival (the deadline has passed). Terry recently returned after several months in India, where millions of people ride bikes every day. He told me about a contest he’s helping out with alongside Goose Island, The Chainlink, and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events’s (DCASE) Bike Chicago summer events program. It’s the Bike Chicago PSA Video Contest.

The contest is centered around Bike To Work Week, June 11 through June 15,  but you don’t have a lot of time: submissions need to be uploaded in two weeks, by Sunday, May 20. All the rules are here (including 30-90 seconds, must follow road rules, and reflect the “Bike it Everywhere, Chicago!” theme).


Goose Island made an announcement video for the Bike Video PSA Contest. 

Need an idea or a partner? Leave a comment below or on The Chainlink’s discussion board. Terry and I will be happy to help you, via email, develop concepts or deal with technical issues. Check our video archives for other short videos to get some ideas on what you could create. Continue reading City, The Chainlink, Bicycle Film Festival team up with Goose Island to present video contest

Alderman interview series: Choose the next alderman


“On Bicycles” contributors John and Greg Borzo are showing off what you can win if you vote for the next alderman to interview. Photo by Serge Lubomudrov

John has so far published interviews with four Chicago alderman about sustainable transportation in his project to interview all 50. He’ll publish an interview next week with 7th Ward alderwoman Sandi Jackson, upping the count to five. We’re hosting a contest on our Facebook page to choose the next alderman John should interview.

There are 5 randomly selected alderman listed as options and you can add your own suggestion: vote now!

We’ll hold a drawing this weekend, randomly choosing a voter to win one of two books: Bars Across America and On Bicycles.

The aldermen so far:

Win two books by liking us on Facebook


Photo of cycling on the Lakefront Trail by Mike Travis. 

We’re trying to grow the number of people who “like” Grid Chicago on Facebook, a good place to publish our stories and engage readers. It’s an additional outlet for posting photos and timely information like events and construction updates. So we’re holding a contest where you can win two books:

It’s so easy to win: Just go to our Facebook page and click “Like” before November 26th (if you’re already a fan, then stay one). We’ll randomly pick a fan on November 26th.