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.