Why is there a “vestigal” stoplight just south of Clark/Roosevelt?


Although it’s hard to see, there’s a button-activated, signalized crosswalk located between the first planter median and the jersey wall.

[This piece also runs in Time Out Chicago magazine.]

Q: There’s a working stoplight on Clark south of Roosevelt, that doesn’t seem to have any purpose or function. What’s the deal with this vestigial traffic light?

A: The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) installed this signal during the 2004 rehab of the Clark/Roosevelt intersection, when the Clark underpass was built, says spokesman Pete Scales. The stoplight was included for a future access road to a housing development planned for the vacant land southwest of the intersection. “That massive redevelopment project never got off the ground,” Scales says. “At this point it might take more money to remove the stoplight than leave it in.” Continue reading Why is there a “vestigal” stoplight just south of Clark/Roosevelt?

A game of cat & mouse: revisiting John’s old CBF cartoons


Steve Buchtel, who did a brilliant job of editing the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation’s (CBF) newsletter in the late ’90s and early 2000s, recently left his job as Southland Coordinator with Active Transportation Alliance to take the helm of Trails for Illinois, advocating for new greenways. Cleaning out his files recently he came upon a few cartoons I submitted for the newsletter back in 1998-99. Yes, I was a 28-year-old adult when I drew these doodles of cyclists as mice and drivers as cats, inspired by Art Spiegelman’s Maus comics.

The above cartoon was a reaction to 44th Ward Alderman Bernie Hansen sending a crew out to paint out the bike lanes that the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) had installed on Halsted Street in Boystown. Hansen felt there hadn’t been enough input from the local business owners. Why is it that Chicago aldermen named Bernie tend to be anti-bike? Not long afterwards Hansen retired and was replaced by bike-friendly alderman Tom Tunney, and CDOT re-striped the lanes. This cartoon was a bit too edgy for the CBF News – they didn’t run it.

Continue reading A game of cat & mouse: revisiting John’s old CBF cartoons