Important Bloomingdale Trail meeting about framework plan is Thursday


Photo from the October charrette. 

The results of all the two previous public meetings for the Bloomingdale Trail, a three-day charrette in October and a meeting in December, will be presented Thursday in the “framework plan”. What is the framework plan? The Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail website, now operated by the Trust for Public Land, has a handy FAQ (pdf):

A framework plan is a document that sets the overall vision for a project without necessarily making specific design decisions. When a project is particularly large or complex, as is the case with the Bloomingdale Trail and Park, framework plans are an essential first stage in the design process. The basic principles established in the Bloomingdale Framework Plan can then be taken and used to drive the specific design decisions that will be made in the next phases of the project.

For example, the Bloomingdale Framework Plan will suggest ways to maximize the use of the limited space available on the top of the Bloomingdale Trail and Park, detail the basic layout of the Bloomingdale’s pathway, and create general guidelines for incorporating the arts on the Bloomingdale Trail and Park.

Continue reading Important Bloomingdale Trail meeting about framework plan is Thursday

Bingo fundraiser for messenger championships is tonight


Flyer for tonight’s event. 

The soon-to-be opened Comrade Cycles at 1908 W Chicago Ave is hosting a Bingo Night fundraiser tonight, Saturday, February 25, 2012, at 7 PM.

This event will feature bingo calling, prizes of all kinds, good music, Old Style beer, Upton’s tamales and a rousing good time. Additionally, all the money will benefit throwing the 20th annual CMWC. This year, Chicago will host the 20th cycle messenger world championship, a celebration of messengers and urban cyclists, coming to you August 3 – 5 at Soldier Field for both racing and spectating. Check out for more information. Continue reading Bingo fundraiser for messenger championships is tonight

The Gapers Block Criterium Series encourages women to try bike racing


Competitors in last year’s series race at Calumet Park. Photo by Amy Dykema.

As I’ve written before, racing is the aspect of bike culture that I know the least about, but I’m always up for leaning more. So when I heard that Half Acre Cycling (sponsored by one of my favorite local brews) and Gapers Block (one of my favorite local websites) are putting on the 2012 Gapers Block Criterium Series at Calumet Park, my ears pricked up. I was also interested to hear that this series of “crit” races (laps around a short course) is geared towards novices, especially women.

The series takes place Monday, March 26, through Thursday, March 29, starting at 6 pm each evening, with 30-minute men’s and women’s competitions. Calumet Park, a lovely lakeside green space at 9501 S. Ewing, is 12 miles south of the Loop, and the organizers are encouraging racers to pedal to the event – pretty cool, since most bike races tend to be roof-rack affairs. If you sign up in advance, you can compete on all four nights for only $50 for men, or a mere $25 for women.

To further entice the ladies to participate, there’s a special prize for the top Category 4 (beginner) female racer, a prize drawing for women who show up for all four nights, and a special post-race discussion for women on the first two nights. At these Q & A sessions, new racers can get advice and encouragement from seasoned female competitors. I called up Half Acre Cycling’s Vanessa Buccella yesterday to find out more about the female-friendly aspects of the series, and I also learned about Vanessa’s own path from commuter to messenger to racer.

Continue reading The Gapers Block Criterium Series encourages women to try bike racing

First of three Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 meetings is Wednesday


Streets should be made safe for everyone. 

Come to the first meeting for the Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 at Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N Central Park Avenue, on Wednesday, January 18, at 6 PM (see it on Google Calendar).

I asked the plan leaders Mark de la Vergne of Sam Schwartz Engineering and Mike Amsden of the Chicago Department of Transportation what people can expect here, and how it will be different from the December 1, 2011, open house. Amsden replied:

The three public meetings will provide interested citizens an opportunity to learn more about the Streets for Cycling Plan 2020. The meetings will begin with a half-hour presentation describing the project steps, timeline and outcomes, as well as educational information on the different types of bikeways being considered for the 2020 bicycle network. After the presentation, there will be a brief Q & A session followed by a mapping activity similar to what was done at the Open House. Those in attendance will be able to share with CDOT what they like about bicycling in their neighborhoods and most importantly – what they’d like to see improved.

Continue reading First of three Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 meetings is Wednesday

Union Station master plan public meeting is Thursday


Photo of Amtrak and Metra trains at Union Station by Eric Pancer. 

Read the event review for this meeting.

Come to the Great Hall at Union Station on Thursday, December 15, 2011, from 4 to 7 PM, for a presentation and open house on the Union Station Master Plan. The Great Hall is in the original Union Station building, at 210 S Canal Street – the meeting will be in the southwest corner. Continue reading Union Station master plan public meeting is Thursday

Upcoming events, Dec. 7 through Dec. 17, including John’s book signing


Cyclocross event on Sunday, December 4, 2011, at Montrose Beach. 

So many events coming up soon. All of these are also listed in the October to December events page. Last update was 12-09-11, adding three events.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011 (two events)

(1) Alderman Solis will discuss his recent fact-finding mission to one of the most bicycle-friendly countries in the world – the Netherlands – and share with us some of his observations that could be applied to Chicago’s bikeway network.

6 to 7:30 PM
960 W 18th Street
Chicago, IL 60608

(2) Get the first glimpse of how the planned multi-million-dollar overhaul of Daley Bicentennial Plaza is taking shape. Read more about this project at the Chicago Sun-Times.

6 to 8 PM
Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park, Gold Room
200 N Columbus Drive
Chicago, IL 60601
Continue reading Upcoming events, Dec. 7 through Dec. 17, including John’s book signing