Grid Shots: Community gardens


The @ward1bike #Twitterbike at a garden. Photo by John Lankford. 

After some debating with John Lankford about this, I gave in to create the Grid Shots theme of “community gardens”. He sent me the first photo to feature (above). The bottom line, that won me over, was that a lot of people bike to their community gardens. I’ve even biked to a community garden myself, with Brandon Gobel and Jana Kinsman, to deliver beehivesContinue reading Grid Shots: Community gardens

Comment of the day: Even though city may be divided, it’s time to embrace good changes


Photo of a man riding a bike by Drew Baker, found in the Grid Chicago Flickr group

I prefer to see comments like this in my inbox. This comment was posted by “flashabc” on John’s article, Bike facilities don’t have to be the white lanes of gentrification, regarding new bike lanes on Division Street in Humboldt Park:

I ride my bike everywhere in the city from Logan thru Wicker and Into Pilsen. I document the murals and have painted a few myself. I am Puerto Rican that was born in Humboldt and raised in Logan. It is time for the “My Community” to embrace the changes and the good that comes with generation that is growing in and around Humboldt. This city was very divided as i grew up in these neighborhoods. Its just the way it is. But know for the first time in my 45 years i can ride a bike in the middle of the night on Milwaukee Ave. This is only because of the bike movement of the past few years. People working together is the only way this city will ever go foward. It is time for the Humboldt Park community to grow with the rest of the communities around it and not fall into the old fashion hate that has encircled it.

Thank you for your comment.

This pile of evidence insinuates there are more bicycles than riders, but all are destined for a good cause


Used bicycles as far as the eye can see. 

I met a friend in Pilsen Wednesday to have lunch and then visit Working Bikes Cooperative (2434 S Western Avenue), a non-profit organization that repairs bicycles to sell to Chicagoans and also to send to people in Africa, Cuba, Guatemala, Peru and even the Gulf Coast. Volunteers and some paid staff take in donated bikes – from individuals, from collection drives, and even from the Chicago Department of Transportation’s own abandoned bicycle pickup program – organize, repair, and then sell or ship them. I asked manager Raul Gonzalez for a quick tour. I came in knowing the warehouse held a lot of bicycles, but I couldn’t imagine how many. Continue reading This pile of evidence insinuates there are more bicycles than riders, but all are destined for a good cause

Talking transportation with 25th Ward Alderman Danny Solis


This is the second of a series of interviews I hope to conduct with all fifty Chicago aldermen about walking, biking and transit issues in their ward. Earlier this year I talked to 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett. Last month I spoke with 25th Ward Alderman Daniel “Danny” Solis, whose district includes such diverse neighborhoods as Pilsen, Chinatown, University Village and Little Italy. The different ethnicities of his ward are reflected by the artwork in his City Hall office, including works by Mexican, Italian, African-American and Chinese artists, including a life-size replica of a terra cotta soldier from the mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang.

We discussed Solis’ efforts to improve pedestrian safety in his ward after a hit-and-run pedestrian fatality at 18th and Halsted, the upcoming protected bike lane on 18th between Canal and Clark and the pros and cons of the Pink Line conversion. We also talked about his dream of a bike/ped path along 16th, the new sustainable streetscape in his ward, and his upcoming trip to Amsterdam to study bike infrastructure. Continue reading Talking transportation with 25th Ward Alderman Danny Solis

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.

The Long March


Additional reporting and bridge photo by Michael Burton
All other photos by Travis Taylor

Revolution Brewing owner Josh Deth passes out black military-style caps with red six-pointed Chicago stars to the forty people who’ve showed up at his brewpub on this gorgeous June morning for the Communist-themed Long March. This eight-mile hike from Logan Square to Comiskey Park is named after the 8,000-mile retreat of the Chinese Red Army’s led by Mao Zedong in 1934 from Chiang Kai-Shek’s nationalist forces.

After brunch and glasses of pink, hibiscus-infused Rosa beer our parade steps off southeast on Milwaukee Avenue, led by march organizer and pedestrian activist Michael Burton. I’m walking near the front of the pack holding aloft a Chicago flag, wearing a t-shirt with the image of a walk signal and the words, “Walking is NOT a crime.” The shirt is a souvenir from a 2004 Pedestrian Critical Mass demonstration that Burton organized in response to a proposed crackdown by the city’s Traffic Management Authority on downtown jaywalkers. I soon hand off the flag to a more photogenic woman with pink hair wearing knee boots and hot pants.

Continue reading The Long March