Monday, May 28, 2012

Masses of people on bicycles

by Michelle Stenzel

This weekend, I saw masses of people riding bikes, on Wells Street ...
Waiting at a red light on Wells Street at Lake Street. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chicago's proposed bike network unveiled!

by Michelle Stenzel

If Chicago's proposed bike network materializes over the next eight years as planned, it will be fantastic. The Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 contains hundreds of miles of bike facilities, and will ensure that every resident living anywhere in the city will not be more than half a mile from a bike route.

When we worked in the North Side Community Advisory Groups, we dreamed that at least some of the routes we were suggesting would actually become part of the proposed network, and they certainly have.  

You can view the entire citywide map at this link to the City of Chicago Bike Program under Draft 2020 Network. (Also check out the slide show presentation and other documents provided at that link to gain a full understanding of the plan.)

In this post, I'll just provide some overview, without much commentary, because it's a lot of information. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 to be revealed tomorrow!

by Michelle Stenzel

Now that we've all survived NATO or enjoyed our NATOcations, it's time to re-engage with the process of building a better bicycling network! The long-awaited Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 draft will be released to the public TOMORROW, Tuesday, May 22, starting at 4:00 pm in the Copernicus Center. Come by any time between 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm to see the maps, provide your comments, ask questions, and get excited about the safer network that will be shaping up over the next several years!

The draft maps will likely be posted on the Chicago Bike Program's Streets for Cycling 2020 page, which you can find linked here. (Please note that the maps currently loaded onto the page as of this posting on the morning of May 21 are NOT the maps of the draft plan.)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Plenty to love in Chicago's new transportation plan

by Michelle Stenzel

Chicago’s Department of Transportation released its two-year plan last week, and if you’re interested in what will be happening on our city’s streets and sidewalks in the very near future, it’s a must read. (You can download the 100-page PDF directly at this link.)
(Source: Chicago DOT)

My impression: Awesome! It’s very clear that we’re in a new era in Chicago, where city leaders like Commissioner Gabe Klein recognize that our streets are public places that must be made safe and accessible to everyone, and that we need a variety of transportation means beyond just the car or SUV. 

Of course, motor vehicles are here to stay for now, but this plan makes it clear that the choice of walking, riding a bicycle, or using public transportation instead will be made even more attractive through hundreds of policy and design improvements in their favor. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Come view the draft Streets for Cycling 2020 plan on May 22!

by Michelle Stenzel

This is it, Folks, the big reveal! 

This past winter, the Chicago Department of Transportation Streets for Cycling 2020 team asked the citizens for our input about where we'd like to see safer conditions for bicycling, and we gave it to them. 
Citizens at the North Side Community Area Group of the Streets for Cycling 2020 Plan discussing "Upgraded Bikeways" in February 2012. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
Many of you took part in the process, showing up at meetings, taking online surveys, or e-mailing your comments, suggestions and feedback. The CDOT team took that input from the north side and from all over the city, and came up with their draft plan, which will be revealed at a series of four community meetings starting on May 22! 

Join the Chicago Streetcar Renaissance!

A streetcar runs down Clark Street near Wrightwood in the 1950s.

by Michelle Stenzel

Do you remember streetcars in Chicago? Probably not.  In the first half of the twentieth century, there were dozens of streetcar lines that reached into all corners of the city. They were a very popular and efficient means of transportation; however, as automobiles took over Chicago’s streets, the number of streetcar lines diminished and then were completely eliminated by the 1950s. In 1957, Lincoln Park’s streetcar lines #22 Clark and #36 Broadway were among the last to be “bustituted”  -- substituted with buses. (Read more at the Wikipedia site for Chicago Surface Lines.)

John Krause, an active member and supporter of Bike Walk Lincoln Park, is trying to change that. He’s the founder of the Chicago Streetcar Renaissance, which is seeking to use the streetcar to bring back Chicago.