New CTA rail stations planned


Rendering of the new LaSalle Mezzanine at Clark/Division. PDF with additional renderings.

Editor’s note: This post was written by Grid Chicago contributor and Network member Kevin Zolkiewicz

Rahm Emanuel joined top brass from the CTA and CDOT this morning to announce the completion of the Grand station on the Red Line (City of Chicago press release). That project had been ongoing for nearly five years and it’s nice to see it finally completed. But the big news today wasn’t Grand, but rather announcements of upcoming station work.

On the renovation front, Clark/Division will be the next Red Line subway stop to see a massive overhaul. That station opened in 1943 and hasn’t changed much since. The rehab of the station will involve the construction of a completely new mezzanine at LaSalle. Construction on that station will begin in March with completion scheduled by March 2015. Continue reading New CTA rail stations planned

Grid Shots: Inside the train stations

When I saw this fisheye photo from Clark Maxwell of the Ogilvie Transportation Center (500 W Madison St) interior, I knew the next Grid Shots topic.

[flickr]photo:4566250267[/flickr] Continue reading Grid Shots: Inside the train stations

Bridgeport Pasty proves there is such a thing as a “green” food truck


Patsy the Pastymobile stands out among her gas-guzzling colleagues (most photos courtesy of Bridgeport Pasty)

Although they are beloved by foodies, mobile food trucks are generally not the most environmentally-friendly business model in the world. Most food trucks are big vehicles that use plenty of gas just getting from place to place. They usually have noisy, smelly generators on them to keep the food hot. And a lot of the time the staffers have to run the truck and the generator while they’re selling the food, just to keep their power going. And if they’re cooking on trucks (currently illegal in Chicago but likely to become legal soon) it requires even more power. So conventional trucks are probably less “green” than a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

When Bridgeport Pasty owners Carrie Clark and her husband Jay Sebastian wanted to do things differently when they decided to roll out a vehicle to sell pasties (“pass-tees,” not to be confused with the “pace-tees” worn by burlesque performers), large, savory pies that are the national dish of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. On a recent bike tour in the U.P. I developed quite a taste for these hearty pastries, consuming three of these nearly football-sized pies in one 24-hour period. Continue reading Bridgeport Pasty proves there is such a thing as a “green” food truck

Advantages of paid area bike parking at transit stations

John and I met on Monday at the Harold Washington Library winter garden to talk about the Grid website design after our live radio interview on Vocalo. You’ll see some design changes in the coming weeks and months.

We then got to discussing bike parking. John and I essentially performed the same work at the Chicago Department of Transportation, arranging for the installation of bike racks, but several years apart.


Photo of bike racks at the Logan Square Blue Line subway station by Brian Vargas. 

I told him that I was never convinced that there existed a conclusive advantage over whether to install bike racks inside the paid area of Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) train stations, or in the unpaid area. He was adamant that the paid area was better, but I disagreed.  Continue reading Advantages of paid area bike parking at transit stations