Thursday, November 22, 2012

Strangely placed objects

Have you ever noticed how certain things have been placed oddly along the Lake Front Trail?

Benches provide a great place for people to sit and enjoy a little rest while taking in the peaceful nature of the lake, and the stunning scenery. Except this bench, which is not only yards from noisy Lake Shore Drive, but also directly facing an enormous tree trunk. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A treasure trove of sculptures in Lincoln Park

by Michelle Stenzel

You may have noticed in the last few months that Lincoln Park, both the park and the neighborhood, has been flooded with new sculptures. There are new permanent sculptures installed as well as two temporary exhibits, adding up to a treasure trove of art. A warm November day is the perfect time to get out there on foot and on bike to enjoy these pieces.
"Fountain Girl" by George E. Wade has been installed in the southernmost part of Lincoln Park near the LaSalle Drive underpasses. Its original version was installed in 1921 but stolen in 1958, so it was recently replicated. In the background to the right is "Love/Embrace" by Leslie Bruning. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The McDonald’s Cycle Center: Barriers and irony

by Michelle Stenzel

The McDonald’s Cycle Center is often held up as one of the features that makes Chicago among the top “bike-friendly” cities in the nation. Read the Wikipedia entry on this Millennium Park bike station if you’re not already familiar with it. StreetsFilms and NACTO even featured it once on a video

On paper, it seems like a great amenity for Chicago’s bicycling community, given that it offers covered bike storage, bike repair services, showers and lockers. According to the Wikipedia entry, there are 500 dues-paying members, as well as a waiting list, so it must be well used.
Chicago's McDonald's Cycle Center on Upper Randolph Drive alongside Millennium Park.
(Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
But I almost never hear my fellow bicyclists talk about it, and even though I work three blocks away and commute by bike daily year round,  I’ve only stepped foot it in once. Occasionally someone will ask me whether I use the center, and recently I decided to go snap a few pictures to illustrate why I don’t. It turns out it’s all about location and access.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Come talk about Lincoln Park bike share stations!

by Michelle Stenzel

Well, after a few delays, it looks like Chicago will finally roll out its bike share program some time in spring 2013, and we are hosting a meeting to suggest station locations. Will you join us?

Minneapolis already has a bike share system called "Nice Ride". (Photo by Flickr user afagen via CC.)

First, let’s review some basics: Bike share is not the same thing as a bike rental company for tourists! No, it’s a transportation system for residents of the city, in which you take a bike from one station, ride it to your destination a mile or two away, and return it at another dock. Although you’ll get some exercise and fun during the process, the main purpose of the system is to provide people a way to get where they want to go,  by giving them another choice in transportation.