Thursday, June 28, 2012

First "Stop For Pedestrian" sign appears on Stockton!

by Michelle Stenzel

As you may recall, we asked Alderman Michele Smith to allocate a portion of her annual aldermanic menu funds to install "Stop for Pedestrian" signs at unsignallized crosswalks, to help drivers remember that it's the law to stop for people crossing the street. She committed to installing 19 of them, listed on Alderman Smith's 2012 menu request document, which you can find here. You'll see them soon on Stockton, Lincoln, Clark, Diversey and Belden. 

The first sign appeared today! (At least, it's the first one we've seen. Tell us if you've spotted any others.) It's on Stockton Drive, at about 1700 North, near the surface parking lot owned by the Chicago History Museum.

 More pictures and post after the jump --->

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Clark Street near the Green City Market, revisited

by Michelle Stenzel

It's been nearly a year since we first posted on the section of Clark Street from North Avenue to Armitage, which has four lanes of fast-moving car traffic, no bike lanes, and little help for pedestrians trying to cross it. I spent a little time recently in the area during the Green City Market morning hours, to see if there are any new developments.

The good news is that more people than ever are doing the "green" thing and riding their bikes to the market. There were bikes locked up to every street pole and fence.

This also makes it very clear that we need more parking for bicycles during on Green City Market days!  Locking to a chain link fence is not ideal, since the fence links can be very easily snipped with wire cutters. Since the Green City Market has a "special events" permit, perhaps they can arrange to have bike racks placed just for the May to October market season?

Post continues after the jump --->

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Upcoming Events: Family Bike Ride, Green Week, and More

Hello Bike Walk Lincoln Park members, supporters, friends!

Please mark your calendars and plan to join us for a few upcoming local events, including our next Bike Walk Lincoln Park meeting on July 10th.
Is this the future of bicycling in Chicago? Protected lane on Kinzie Street at Wells. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park) 
PANEL DISCUSSION  “Chicago Cycling: What’s Next? “ – JUNE 21

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum will be hosting a free event this Thursday evening, with a number of panelists discussing the future of cycling in the city, including Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein.  Doors open at 5:30 pm and the discussion begins at 6:00 pm.  Afterward, you can mingle with panelists and view the ongoing Nature Museum exhibit "Bikes! The Green Revolution!" until 9:00 pm. More details at this PDF.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Get rich slowly riding your bike to work!

by Michelle Stenzel

I donated my trusty red balloon-tire Schwinn cruiser to Working Bikes Cooperative a few weeks ago and was sad to part with it. The bike had served me well commuting to work as well as running errands in the neighborhood for many years, but I had purchased a more lightweight one that was more suitable to my height, and space considerations forced me give the Schwinn away. It helped to know that Working Bikes would fix it up and provide it to someone in underserved communities within the Chicago region or internationally.

My beloved Schwinn bike helped me save more than $3,000 by transporting me to work for nine years.

Although I knew the cruiser had been a reliable mode of transport for me for nearly 9 years, I didn't realize how much money I had saved until I crunched the numbers, and that figure turned out to be more than $3,000!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Counting bicyclists, for fun and civic duty

by Michelle Stenzel

As Chicago embarks on the process of creating a network of upgraded bicycling infrastructure heretofore unseen in North America through the Streets for Cycling 2020 Plan, it will be absolutely crucial to document data, in order to track the increase in numbers of people bicycling. So, we need to know who is bicycling currently, how many, and where. To obtain the voluminous data, the Chicago Department of Transportation staff relies partially on citizens to volunteer a few hours of time to count bicyclists at designated locations.
You'll be busy if you're assigned to count bicyclists on the Lake Front Trail.
(Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)

They're currently looking for volunteers for any one of three separate two-hours shifts during the last week of June (see flier below for details). 

I can tell you from experience that you don't need any prior knowledge, it's easy, it's fun, and people will like you! These people include nice strangers who stop to ask questions and chat, as well as friendly CDOT staffers, who are fellow bicyclists, and who thank you profusely, even though the task is easy!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Thoughts on Clybourn Avenue

by Michelle Stenzel

The Clybourn Avenue retail corridor between North Avenue and Cortland (Armitage) has fantastic potential. Specifically, the .3 miles from Willow to Kenmore could be downright charming. The buildings are mostly beautifully refurbished buildings that used to house warehouses or light industry. They're  of approximately uniform height and built close to the street, forming a nice border.

Frame stores, hot dog shops, grocers and national retailers are found on Clybourn between North Avenue and Cortland/Armitage. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
There are national retailers already in place, and they must be doing a decent business, because most have been there a number of years. These include Patagonia, Talbots, Loft, Gymboree, and the Crate and Barrel outlet store, among many others. Shop windows have nice displays of merchandise. There are two major grocers: Aldi and Trader Joe's (although the TJs is hidden away, on the second floor, off of a parking garage, requiring a serpentine route to reach it on foot from Clybourn). 

This density of retailers is enough to make this a potentially charming destination for people strolling along for a little window shopping before popping into Frank and Dawg's for lunch. But the reality is far from it.