Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Help create a new vision for Clark Street along Lincoln Park

by Michelle Stenzel

Do you walk, bike or drive on Clark Street between North Avenue and Armitage? If so, you may have noticed a need to make the street safer for everyone on it. Well, now you have a chance to speak up: We're very excited to announce that Bike Walk Lincoln Park will be co-hosting a community workshop on how to improve this very stretch of Clark Street! 
Crossing Clark Street at Menomonee is a stressful experience. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
Together with Alderman Michele Smith and Active Transportation Alliance, we invite you to participate in the event on August 20. Led by Brenna Conway of ATA, we'll walk along the street to observe, discuss, and brainstorm ideas that can then be shaped into initial recommendations.  -->

Sunday, July 28, 2013

"Gifts to the street" make Lincoln Park neighborly and walkable

by Michelle Stenzel

Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park
Once in a while, I read an article or blog post that really stays with me for a while. One of these was Steve Mouzon's post on his Original Green blog called "A Gift to the Street," in which he discusses how the walkability of a neighborhood is enhanced by neighborly features provided by the people who occupy residences or commercial buildings in the area:

There is no greater expression of neighborliness than showing kindness to someone you may never know. We can give gifts to strangers in person, of course, but our buildings can do it, too. Imagine what your neighborhood would be like if every home and shop gave a gift to the street! Wouldn’t it encourage you to walk more, where you could savor those gifts, rather than just zipping by in a car? 
For example, lovingly kept flower boxes provide color and a point of interest to people walking by, while a water fountain on the edge of a park allows people to refresh themselves. In his blog post, Steve provides various categories of "gifts", including gifts that delight, inform, entertain, and more. 

You may have noticed that Lincoln Park is full of these gifts! They make our neighborhood interesting and beautiful, and encourage us to walk. I appreciate the gifts immensely, and thought I'd share some of of my pictures of them with you. (Much more -->)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Fun new bike racks along Clark Street

Have you seen the new bike racks at two corners of Clark and Fullerton? There's a green one at the southwest corner, next to Five Guys.
Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park
There's also a yellow one on the northeast corner, in front of Bank of America.
(Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
These are a nice addition to the neighborhood! As you can see, they're already being very well used. We love the colors, and their urban-architecture theme. On a practical note, the design of the rack allows a user to lock up at various heights, which is a key feature to making a bike rack truly useable.  (More-->)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Improved crosswalk installed on Stockton!

by Michelle Stenzel

Have you noticed the upgraded crosswalk on Stockton Drive at Belden? It's between the Shakespeare statue and the Lincoln Park Conservatory. This is a very busy crossing for joggers, walkers, guests of the Belden-Stratford Hotel, visitors to the zoo, and many others.
The improved crosswalk on Stockton Drive at Belden. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
Do you remember what it looked like before? Here's a picture to remind you of its sorry original state:
This "Before" pic shows that the marked crosswalk was very wide, and nearly invisible.
(Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
The improvements include re-painting of the "zebra-style crosswalk markings, of course. However, what makes the most difference is the wide curb bump-outs that narrow the distance that pedestrians are in the roadway.  (More -->)

Successful first Lincoln Park Kidical Mass!

by Michelle Stenzel

Dozens of families participated last weekend in a festive inaugural Lincoln Park Kidical Mass family bike ride! 
Lincoln Park Kidical Mass sets out. (Photo credit: Chicago Kidical Mass via Facebook)
It was perfect weather on a quiet Sunday morning to gather in Oz Park for a little socializing before heading out onto the ride.

We were joined by Alderman Michele Smith, who greeted the families and expressed support for family bicycling in the ward.
Alderman Michele Smith expressed support for family bicycling in Lincoln Park. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
There were kids as young as a few months old in a cargo bike, all the way to grade-school aged kids riding strong on their own bikes. 
Lincoln Park Kidical Mass waits for the green light on Belden at Lincoln. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
Here's the route we took:

Many thanks to Lacey Cordero for organizing the event, Alderman Smith and her staff for supporting the ride, Chicago Kidical Mass founder Ash Lottes for joining our ride, Performance Bicycles Lincoln Park's Micah and Jakub for providing free pre-ride adjustments as well as ride support, Active Transportation Alliance for providing tattoos for the kids, DNA Info Chicago and many others for helping to publicize the event!

If you want to know about future Lincoln Park Kidical Mass rides, do any or all of the following:

You can also follow @BikeWalkLP on Twitter and we'll definitely tweet notices of any future rides. We'll participate whenever possible, but the rides will be under the umbrella of the Chicago Kidical Mass movement! 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Help count bicyclists to document demand for better bike lanes!

by Michelle Stenzel

The Chicago Department of Transportation conducts monthly and quarterly counts of bicyclists, in order to gather data on current levels of bicycling, and to produce cool graphics like this:

Chicago Department of Transportation graphic.
Look at that! Lincoln Park had the location with the second-largest volume of bicyclists counted last month. That location is at the intersection of Wells, Clark and Lincoln, three very popular bike commuting routes. A total of 1,239 bicyclists passed through that intersection in just four hours.

As better lanes are installed, it will be interesting to watch the numbers rise even higher. These counts are done with actual humans, who sit or stand at a designated spot with a clip board, and count riders. Although CDOT staff, interns, and contractors do plenty of the work, they also rely on citizen volunteers to pitch in as well, especially for the quarterly downtown count, because they need people at so many different sites simultaneously.

Maybe you can volunteer for one two-hour shift? I've been doing this for a few years, and it's truly easy and fun. You're given a few instructions on line, print out the count sheets, go to your assigned spot, count bikes, and turn in your data sheets. CDOT needs more people for three different shifts during the week of July 23rd. Details are in the flyer above. (If you can't read it, volunteer by e-mailing david dot smith at tylin dot com) Please consider signing up!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Join the inaugural Lincoln Park Kidical Mass on July 14th!

by Michelle Stenzel

The first Lincoln Park Kidical Mass bike ride will be held on Sunday, July 14, 2013, and we hope you'll join us! 
Kidical Mass is a nationwide movement of people organizing family events to encourage parents and children to ride bikes. There are already organized monthly rides in Logan Square, Hyde Park, and Lincoln Square, and you can get information and see a video on the Chicago Kidical Mass website or check out the photos on the Kidical Mass Chicago Facebook page.  The rides are slow-paced and designed to allow children of all ages to participate. Kids can be on their own bikes, or riding along in a trailer, on a seat on their caregiver's bike, or any other bike-related means of conveyance. 

We're helping to bring this event to Lincoln Park through the vision of Bike Walk Lincoln Park supporter and Lincoln Park mom Lacey Cordero. We'll meet up in the Oz Park playground starting at 9:30 am, and plan for a 10:00 am departure.  We'll take quiet side streets and have extra adults on hand to help keep everyone together! 

If you have questions, please e-mail Lacey at lpkidicalmass at gmail dot com or post them below.

See you on Sunday at Oz Park!