Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking back and looking forward

by Michelle Stenzel
Kidical Mass family bike rides began in Lincoln Park in 2013. (Photo: Bike Walk Lincoln Park)
It’s been a busy year for us at Bike Walk Lincoln Park! Before we ring in the new year, here’s a partial list of what we accomplished in 2013:
Led four “intersection evaluations”, in which we documented what’s working well and what’s not for people walking, biking, and using transit, and then submitted our recommendations to Alderman Smith for future improvements. This year we tackled the following intersections:
  • Clark and Fullerton
  • Halsted and Armitage
  • Halsted and Wrightwood
  • North and Sedgwick
Co-hosted a community workshop to brainstorm ideas for improving Clark Street from North to Armitage to make it better for people on foot, on bike and on transit.  More -->

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Using Walk Score's travel time maps

by Michelle Stenzel

You've probably heard about Walk Score, a website that aims to provide information to help people determine how walkable a neighborhood is while making decisions about where to live. While the Walk Score website used to only provide measures of walkability, in the last few years, Transit and Bike scores have been added as well.

As you may imagine, Lincoln Park as a whole neighborhood does well on all these measures. The zip code of 60614 currently merits a Walk Score of 83, Bike Score of 84, and Transit Score of 79, which is a strong showing. For comparison, Chicago as a whole receives a Walk Score of 75, Bike Score of 62, and Transit Score of 65. One can quibble about the methodology being limited. For example, the only factor that is considered for walkability is the number of amenities within close walking distance, while disregarding other hard-to-quantify factors like how pleasant, safe, direct and inviting the routes are. 

However, today I simply wanted to share an interesting feature that I saw on the Walk Score website. They have added interactive Travel Time maps that you can use to see how far you can get in a certain time period walking, biking or taking transit. You set the time period for anything from 10 minutes to 60 minutes, then choose the mode of travel. Voila! The map shows you how far you can go.

I found it fun to experiment to see how far I can bike in various time periods. Here's the map of how far you can get by bike in 10 minutes, from the east side of Oz Park:
(Please note that the window for the map on the website is not resizable, so parts of the edges of all these maps are cut annoyingly cut off.)