Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Whistler Woods workday on 1/2

It's great to get outdoors on the weekend. Volunteers are needed this Saturday 1/2 from 10 am to 1 pm for a habitat restoration workday.



Hiking boots or other boots or shoes that offer good support and traction are a good idea. When you arrive, look for volunteers along the lefthand side of the main parking lot, near the end of the parking lot. If you have work gloves, bring them, otherwise gloves will be available.

How to get there:   Whistler Woods is just east of 13400 S Halsted in Riverdale.

By bike: if you're coming from the north, ride the Major Taylor Trail south until it ends in Whistler Woods and continue to the parking lot to find the volunteers.

By car: take Halsted to Forestview (13400S) - parking lot is the first left turn after you turn east onto Forestview.

From I-57, exit at eastbound 127th, then turn right on Halsted, then continue to 13400S and follow the directions above.

From I-94, exit at westbound 130th.  Continue past the viaduct, right (northbound) on Indiana, then continue left on 127th to Halsted. Continue to 13400S and follow the directions above.

By transit:  Pace 352 Halsted bus


Questions? Call Chris, 773-746-5223. 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas tree recycling locations in Chicago

Please don't put your Christmas tree out with the trash. If you got a real (non-artificial) tree this year, please consider taking it to a recycling location so that it can be chipped and used as mulch instead of going into a landfill. Jan. 2 through Jan. 16 for recycling. You can even get free mulch at a few spots starting Jan. 11.



* Mulch will be available for free on a limited basis Jan. 11-17 at select locations:
- Mt. Greenwood Park, 3721 W. 111th St.
- Bessemer Park, 8930 S. Muskegon
- Lincoln Park, Cannon Drive at Fullerton
- North Park Village, 5801 N. Pulaski
- Warren Park, 6601 N. Western


Friday, December 4, 2015

non sequitur Friday

Christmas tunes in Caribbean style



Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Whistler Woods workday on 12/5

It's great to get outdoors on the weekend. Volunteers are needed to plant native seeds for next season. The next workday is happening this Saturday 12/5 from 10 am to 1 pm.



To celebrate, volunteer and coffee entrepreneur Gregg Wilson will debut his new blend, “Calumet Coffee!” Free cocoa and lunch as well. Bring a leaf rake if you have one.

Hiking boots or other boots or shoes that offer good support and traction are a good idea. When you arrive, look for volunteers along the lefthand side of the main parking lot, near the end of the parking lot. If you have work gloves, bring them, otherwise gloves will be available.

How to get there:   Whistler Woods is just east of 13400 S Halsted in Riverdale.

By bike: if you're coming from the north, ride the Major Taylor Trail south until it ends in Whistler Woods and continue to the parking lot to find the volunteers.

By car: take Halsted to Forestview (13400S) - parking lot is the first left turn after you turn east onto Forestview.

From I-57, exit at eastbound 127th, then turn right on Halsted, then continue to 13400S and follow the directions above.

From I-94, exit at westbound 130th.  Continue past the viaduct, right (northbound) on Indiana, then continue left on 127th to Halsted. Continue to 13400S and follow the directions above.

By transit:  Pace 352 Halsted bus

Questions? Call Chris, 773-746-5223. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

non sequitur Friday

Thinking tropical thoughts today.



Sunday, November 15, 2015

95th St. railroad crossing construction/detour

I was trying to get to Oak Lawn this afternooon and made an annoying discovery. The railroad crossing at 2600 W. 95th St. is under construction, requiring a detour. Not sure of the planned completion date, but they've usually been finishing these within 1-2 weeks. Since they just finished doing the same thing on 87th St., I'm guessing they just started this one.

Friday, November 13, 2015

non sequitur Friday

Bringing the Oakland funk...






Monday, November 9, 2015

next phase of 95th St. Metra construction

Here's the latest from Metra:

Beginning Wednesday, November 11 at 9:00 a.m., the south half of the outbound platform from the crosswalk to 95th Street, will be taken out of service due to platform rehabilitation. 

Please board your outbound train from the in-service portion of the outbound platform. The anticipated duration of this work is two weeks.

If you travel outbound from 95th St. and access the station from 95th, you may leave a few minutes early to reach the platform.

If you get off at 95th when you're returning from the Loop, fewer cars than normal will open at 95th. Listen to announcements on the train so you're on the right car to be able to exit there.

Whistler Woods Friday workday on 11/13

Nothing gets the weekend off to a better start than a little wood smoke and light forestry. Volunteers are needed to secure erosion barriers before fall’s heavy rains. The next workday is happening this Friday 11/13 from 10 am to noon.



Hiking boots or other boots or shoes that offer good support and traction are a good idea. When you arrive, look for volunteers along the lefthand side of the main parking lot, near the end of the parking lot. If you have work gloves, bring them, otherwise gloves will be available.

How to get there:   Whistler Woods is just east of 13400 S Halsted in Riverdale.

By bike: if you're coming from the north, ride the Major Taylor Trail south until it ends in Whistler Woods and continue to the parking lot to find the volunteers.

By car: take Halsted to Forestview (13400S) - parking lot is the first left turn after you turn east onto Forestview.

From I-57, exit at eastbound 127th, then turn right on Halsted, then continue to 13400S and follow the directions above.

From I-94, exit at westbound 130th.  Continue past the viaduct, right (northbound) on Indiana, then continue left on 127th to Halsted. Continue to 13400S and follow the directions above.

By transit:  Pace 352 Halsted bus

Questions? Call Chris, 773-746-5223. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

community tree planting workday on Sat. 11/7

Saturday is a tree planting day.   Volunteers are needed: general public and TreeKeepers.



It's this Saturday 11/7 from 9 am- 1 pm. *TreeKeepers - please arrive at 8:30 am. Our meeting location is 10130 S. Seeley Ave.

If you'd like to help out, please register here.


Friday, October 30, 2015

non sequitur Friday

A special Halloween version of non sequitur Friday. Enjoy!


BIA family bike ride

Beverly Improvement Association (BIA) is having a short bike ride along the Major Taylor Trail.  You can enjoy a bit of fall color along the north end of the trail (91st St. to 81st St. and back, about 2.5 miles). Chicago Police will attend. This section of the trail has a stoplight for its only street crossing (87th St. at Damen) so it's okay for younger children on smaller bikes. Paul Weise from Beverly Bike and Ski will offer minor tune-ups. Light refreshments will be provided by.

It happens on Sunday 11/1, starting at 3:30 p.m. at Maggie Cosme Park, just west of the 91st St. Metra station.



Sunday, October 25, 2015

Night out with Nosferatu

There's spooky fun to be found at Trinity United Methodist Church (99th and Winchester) on Friday 10/30.  They will be showing Nosferatu (classic 1922 silent film) with live organ accompaniment, starting at 6:00 p.m.  

There will be activities to entertain kids during the movie.  If you have young children who might be more interested in playtime than the movie, it's a good idea to mention the number of children and their ages when making a reservation, so that folks running the event can plan accordingly.

It's an event that many of us can walk or bike to. There are bike racks by the sidewalk along the north side of the church.

Reservations will be accepted thru Thursday morning via email to churchum@sbcglobal.net.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

today's bike ride is on!

It looks like the chance of rain is slight, so let's ride!

The plan is to roll from Ridge Park at 10:00 a.m.

Ride info here:
http://www.ridge99.blogspot.com/2015/10/goodforthe19thward-bike-ride.html

Friday, October 23, 2015

special treat for last 95th St. farmers market of the season

Sunday 10/25 is the last 95th St. farmers market of the season.

From 9 a.m. to noon, it's a Halloween Fest, featuring Costume contest, pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating, face painting and more. Free.

Bring the kiddies to 95th & Longwood for some tricks and treats.

tomorrow's #GoodForThe19thWard bike ride

Fingers crossed, hoping the weather is reasonable tomorrow morning.  If it's only mist/light rain and looks unlikely to get heavier, we will still meet and ride.  If not, the ride will be postponed.

Watch this space.  I will post an update by 8:30 a.m. tomorrow.

non sequitur Friday

Two takes on the same song.





Thursday, October 22, 2015

95th St. Metra construction - Is change coming?

I got an email alert tonight about Metra construction. We'll see if they actually get asphalt down over the weekend, or if they're delayed like they were with the start of the whole project.  Here's the scoop:

"Due to platform rehabilitation, the south half of the inbound platform will be temporarily out of service beginning Monday, October 26th for approximately two weeks. Customers are advised to cross over at 95th road crossing to the outbound platform and walk down to the cross walk to the in-service portion of the inbound platform to board your train. Metra apologizes for any inconvenience and appreciates your patience as we make these station improvements. To ensure a safe boarding, please allow yourself additional time."

Yee ha! Let the good times roll! ;)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

still the same - 95th St. Metra construction

From a passenger perspective, nothing has really changed. Both inbound and outbound platforms have been under construction since 8/31 and are still only able to handle half the cars on any train. I'm starting to wonder if Metra actually wants to lay down any asphalt before winter.

FYI, though Metra normally has construction alerts on their home page, they have NEVER posted any information about the 95th St. construction on their web site. Anyone who is not riding the train regularly may be caught by surprise. It would be nice if they would at least put a construction alert for this project online so people can be informed before they get to the station.

Want to complain?  Go for it! Here's the appropriate contact info.

Monday, October 19, 2015

#GoodForThe19thWard bike ride

Join a group of neighborhood residents for a bike ride this Saturday 10/24. Our start location is Ridge Park,  at the southwest corner of parking lot. The route will be about 9 miles at an easy pace, with some stops along the way.



We will visit business districts in Beverly and Morgan Park and explore bike access to those areas, talk about what we want to see in our business districts, what barriers and assets we currently see in our business districts, and what ideas we see elsewhere that would be welcome here.



Our destination: a visit to a favorite neighborhood business: Original Rainbow Cone.

We will leave Ridge Park (1817 W 96th St., SW corner of parking lot) at 10:00 a.m. If you have questions, please send an email or call 312-520-1641.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail meeting on Wed. 10/21

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail will meet on Wed. 10/21 at Ridge Park fieldhouse (1817 W 96th St.), 6:30 to 8:00 pm.

For those who aren't familiar with our group and what we do, we are a non-profit advocacy group working to improve and maintain the Major Taylor Trail and promote its use. We have an active working relationship with the Chicago Park District, Forest Preserve District of Cook County and other non-profits and government agencies. We organize volunteer workdays, bike rides and other events.

We'd love to have your ideas and help with future events and projects. Please join us! Everyone is welcome.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

95th St. Metra construction update - further update

As of 10/14, conditions for passengers have not changed significantly in the last 2 weeks.  Both platforms are still torn up, and open doors are still limited to 3 cars in each direction.  It looks like they're getting closer to paving the platforms, but progress is glacial.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I originally published this on 8/28. Both inbound and outbound platforms are still unusable at the 94th St. end.  A reduced number of cars are able to accommodate passenger loading at the station.  That number may change from day to day. It's a good idea to listen carefully to the conductor's announcements when you're a couple of stations away so that you can move to another car if needed.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As some of you may be aware, half of the outbound platform (west side) at 95th St. station has been torn up and under construction for a while now, so only 3 cars are opening on that platform to let passengers on and off the train.

Today the conductor made an announcement that, starting Monday 8/31, almost all of the inbound platform will also be torn up. Only the 95th St. end (south end - near the station house) will be available for boarding. If the normal number of people are getting on the train there, expect delays.

If it's feasible, you may want to consider using another station (99th or 91st) for a while.

Don't bother looking for this info on the Metra web site. It's not there. I guess they don't think we matter.

Friday, October 9, 2015

more bike parking needed at 99th St. Metra station

Do you ride your bike to the 99th St. Metra station and have trouble finding a spot to lock it up?  Or would you like to be able to ride there but regularly arrive too late to get a spot?

Riding to the train has become increasingly popular. The big rack at 100th and Walden fills up pretty much every weekday, so at least a few bikes get locked up to railings or sucker poles nearby.

Bikes at 99th St. Metra station this morning
It will be a while before the streetscape project is done, so we might not see any additional bike racks along 99th before the snow flies.

Would you like to improve our chances of getting more bike parking there so that more folks can ride to the train?  Go to this CDOT bike rack request (already in the system), click SUPPORT to show your support for this request, and add a comment if you like. Thank you for your support.

non sequitur Friday





Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Little Free Libraries in the neighborhood

In my travels around the neighborhood, I've noticed a nice surprise in recent months: a few new Little Free Libraries.  If you're not familiar with the idea, it's a post-mounted box that an individual or organization can install near the sidewalk where you can take a book or leave one for others - a DIY community library. I first saw these in Portland, OR a few years ago and thought it was a great idea.

Little Free Library at 99th & Winchester
Here's a map of nearby locations. A few of them don't seem to be on the map yet, so we have more than what is shown here, including one in north Beverly. Where have you seen Little Free Libraries in the neighborhood? Have you tried it yet?

Friday, October 2, 2015

Monday, September 21, 2015

seed gathering and bonfire at Whistler Woods

'tis the season for gathering and scattering seeds.  There's also tree cutting to do.  Join in the work and fun this Saturday 9/26 from 2 to 5 p.m.  When you arrive, look for volunteers along the lefthand side of the main parking lot, near the end of the parking lot.  If you have work gloves, bring them, otherwise gloves will be available. 

How to get there:  Whistler Woods is just east of 13400 S Halsted in Riverdale.

By bike: if you're coming from the north, ride the Major Taylor Trail south until it ends in Whistler Woods and continue to the parking lot to find the volunteers.

By car: take Halsted - parking lot is the first left turn after you turn onto Forestview.  Nearest exit from I-57 is 127th St. From there, take eastbound 127th, then turn right on Halsted.

By transit:  Pace 352 bus.

Questions? Call Chris, 773-746-5223. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

a tale of near misses

I've written previously about bike safety (part 1, part 2), with the goal of promoting safe bicycling as a healthy form of transportation.

On my walk home from Metra on a recent evening, I watched a scenario that made me flinch several times, concerned about the safety of a family on bikes.  A father was riding his bicycle with an infant in a bike-mounted seat, accompanied by his young son (about 6 years old) who was riding his own bike.  As the family crossed Longwood Drive, they were nearly hit by an approaching driver who did not slow down until the last second.  As they continued past Longwood, the boy wobbled on and off the sidewalk and back and forth across the street.

It is legal for children up to age 12 to ride on sidewalks.  Until a child develops basic bike handling skills (able to confidently ride in a straight line and turn without falling), riding on the sidewalk is much safer for that child than being in the street.

The father was trying to ride his bicycle at a low speed to stay close to his son. Dad didn't seem comfortable riding so slowly and wobbled back and forth across the street, often riding on the wrong side against traffic.

The risk of collision with a vehicle is much higher when riding against traffic. Drivers pulling out of parking spaces, turning at street corners or out of driveways are likely to be accelerating and are not expecting to see you directly in front of them. They may not see you in time to avoid a collision.

Drivers don't expect cyclists to be on and off the sidewalk.  If you come off the sidewalk into the path of an approaching vehicle less than half a block away, the driver may not be able to stop in time.

Drivers should always stay aware of what's happening around them, and yield to cyclists and pedestrians who have the right of way.  Staying within the speed limit is equally important.  I often see drivers on Longwood, Western and other local streets going 35-40 mph.  Look at the difference that makes on injuries and fatalities vs. traveling at 30 mph or less.

Injury and fatality rate for peds and cyclists by impact speed

When a cyclist and a vehicle travel head on towards each other, the speed of impact is higher than if the vehicle is overtaking the cyclist, and both parties have much less time to react, so the risk of serious injury or death increases in a head-on collision.  Riding with the direction of traffic (where drivers expect to see you and you have more time to react) is safer.  Using a mirror can help you see traffic behind you.

Please ride and drive safely so that we can all enjoy our neighborhood.  Nearly all crashes are avoidable if we all follow the same rules and stay aware of where others are riding, walking or driving around us.

Seeing families riding safely together is a beautiful thing.  Learning good bike handling and traffic safety skills is a good path to healthy transportation and spending quality time together -  going to school, park or library, shopping, or just enjoying the scenery.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail meeting on Wed. 9/16

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail will meet on Wed. 9/16 at Ridge Park fieldhouse (1817 W 96th St.), 6:30 to 8:00 pm.

For those who aren't familiar with our group and what we do, we are a non-profit advocacy group working to improve and maintain the Major Taylor Trail and promote its use. We have an active working relationship with the Chicago Park District, Forest Preserve District of Cook County and other non-profits and government agencies. We organize volunteer workdays, bike rides and other events.

We'd love to have your ideas and help with future events and projects. Please join us! Everyone is welcome.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

you can become a TreeKeeper

Are you interested in joining the TreeKeepers volunteer program to plant and care for trees in our parks and neighborhoods?  There are 3 class locations this fall. Classes start this month.  Click here for more information.

finishing up the planting at Whistler Woods

Last weekend a group of volunteers got many native plants in the ground at Whistler Woods. On Saturday, Sept. 12 from 10 am to noon, there's another workday to complete this project.

Volunteers are needed to finish seeding, planting, and cutting around big gully draining into the Little Calumet River. These new plants will help pollinators, reduce erosion and filter all kinds of nasty runoff before it reaches the river and, ultimately, Lake Michigan, our drinking water.



When you arrive, look for volunteers along the lefthand side of the main parking lot, near the end of the parking lot.

The new arrivals include rye grasses, asters, false Solomon's seal, sedges, and more,  purchased with funding by ArcelorMittal, the steel company next door to Whistler.

How to get there:  Whistler Woods is just east of 13400 S Halsted in Riverdale.

By bike: if you're coming from the north, ride the Major Taylor Trail south until it ends in Whistler Woods and continue to the parking lot to find the volunteers.

By car: take Halsted - parking lot is the first left turn after you turn onto Forestview.  Nearest exit from I-57 is 127th St. From there, take eastbound 127th, then turn right on Halsted.

By transit:  Pace 352 bus.

Bring a trowel if you have one. Free lunch. Questions? Call Chris, 773-746-5223. 


Friday, September 4, 2015

planting day at Whistler Woods

Here come the plants! 400 baby native plants arrive at Whistler Woods Saturday, Sept. 5

Those plants need volunteers to put them in the ground. It only takes about 2 minutes to dig a hole, stick a plant in, and pat it closed. So we only need 400 people to donate 2 minutes apiece, or 200 people to donate 4 minutes, or . . . Just come.

When you arrive, look for volunteers along the lefthand side of the main parking lot between 10 am and 1 pm. 

Bring a trowel if you have one. Free lunch. Questions? Call Chris, 773-746-5223. 

The new arrivals include rye grasses, asters, false Solomon's seal, sedges, and more,  purchased with funding by ArcelorMittal, the steel company next door to Whistler.

These new plants will help pollinators, reduce erosion (which kills fish and water plants) and filter storm runoff before it reaches the river and, ultimately, Lake Michigan - our drinking water.

How to get there:  Whistler Woods is just east of 13400 S Halsted in Riverdale.

By bike: if you're coming from the north, ride the Major Taylor Trail south until it ends in Whistler Woods and continue to the parking lot to find the volunteers.

By car: take Halsted - parking lot is the first left turn after you turn onto Forestview.  Nearest exit from I-57 is 127th St. From there, take eastbound 127th, then turn right on Halsted.

By transit:  Pace 352 bus.



non sequitur Friday






Wednesday, September 2, 2015

115th & Western open for bike traffic

After a long, frustrating period of construction, it's now possible to use 115th St. as a bike route across Western again. Yeah!!! This has been one of our best east-west bike routes across Western and we've missed it.  Groups riding from the south often use this route to reach points in Beverly and Morgan Park (shops, restaurants, parks), so now we need to get the word out.

The new sports center has plenty of bike racks, if that's your destination.
Sports center entrance with benches and bike racks

If you're passing through, there's more than one option to use, depending on traffic and whether you're riding solo or with a group. A wide curb ramp next to the driveway makes it easy to get onto the broad sidewalk from Western. At the east (cul de sac) end, another wide curb ramp eases the transition from driveway to eastbound 115th St.  From the sidewalk, a driveway behind the sports center makes it easy to reach 115th at the cul de sac.

Westbound view from cul de sac

Curb ramps at Western

One surprising omission: no reflective posts or signs warning drivers from the east that the street is closed to through traffic. If that's left unchanged, it could cause some nasty surprises.

Westbound view east of cul de sac

I was concerned early about whether the park district would end up with a good design for traffic flow through the site. I liked what I saw. Well done, Chicago Park District!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Chicago Fire filming in the neighborhood on 9/1

If you live in or regularly visit the area from Western to Bell, 100th to 102nd, this may affect you.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

lost dog or careless owner?

To the owner of a brown pit bull mix that was running loose along 97th today between Winchester and Seeley - I hope your dog is home with you now.  If this was a one-time thing, please be more careful. Please fix your gate or fence if that's what's needed.

If you keep letting your dog loose and not cleaning up after it, we will call animal control. Loose dogs are NOT good for the neighborhood.

Friday, August 21, 2015

bike rental now available in Dan Ryan Woods

Thanks to Cook County Commissioner Stanley Moore for his efforts to secure a contract with the Bike and Roll  bike rental company that recently started a rental operation in Dan Ryan Woods. Commissioner Moore has worked to create more recreational opportunities in communities of color.

“It is critical that we continue to push for recreational programs on the Southside of Chicago. Cycling is a fun outdoor activity that will attract residents and better connect them to our forest preserves,” said Commissioner Moore. “The Dan Ryan Woods is a widely used forest preserve that should have as many amenities as possible and by providing a bike rental option, residents can have a unique experience that helps them explore our natural open space without traveling far from the inner-city.”

Up to ten bicycles will be available at Dan Ryan Woods for hourly or daily rental with credit, debit and prepaid cards. Rates begin at $7 per hour or $28 per day. Options include kids bikes, tag-along and wagon attachments, baby seats, and small and large quadcycles. You can find the rental concession near the parking lot on the north side of 83rd St. between Western and Damen, close to the north end of the Major Taylor Trail.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

a near miss

I've written recently about bike safety and sharing the road safely. On a recent evening I was riding home from the train station, trying to do just that.

I rode away from the Metra station and came to a 4-way stop. A driver approached on the intersecting street. We stopped at the same time. I yielded to the driver to my right, in accordance with the law. After he went, I entered the intersection. I was in the middle of the intersection when the next driver started from my right, as I was about to roll in front of his car.

I had to yell "STOP!" at the top of my lungs to bring him back from his distracted state. He hit the brakes and said "Sorry!" I was glad to leave the intersection without any collision.  It was still daylight. Visibility was not an issue.

We all need to pay attention in traffic, whether we are drivers, cyclists or pedestrians. This kind of encounter happens every day.  If we're lucky, we all get home without injury.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail meeting on Wed. 8/19

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail will meet on Wed. 8/19 at Ridge Park fieldhouse (1817 W 96th St.), 6:30 to 8:00 pm.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Chicago Shakespeare at Ridge Park on Wed. 8/12 & Thurs 8/13

Shakespeare in the Parks is coming to Ridge Park. Chicago Shakespeare Theater brings the Bard to our park and many others. This year's traveling production is a mash-up of scenes and characters from popular works, including Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, The Taming of the Shrew and As You Like It.


This free event is happening on Wed. 8/12 and Thurs. 8/13 at 6:30 p.m. at Ridge Park, 1817 W. 96th St.  Bring your lawn chairs, blankets and bug spray and enjoy!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

sharing our roads safely - part 2

Are you familiar with Chicago laws related to bike and pedestrian safety?

Illinois is one of many states requiring that drivers leave 3 feet or more of clearance when passing a cyclist.  Most states now have anti-dooring laws, which hold vehicle occupants (driver or passenger) liable if they injure a cyclist by opening vehicle doors into the cyclist's path of travel. Chicago also has laws holding drivers responsible for causing cyclist injuries by turning left or right in the cyclist's path.

It's not a bad idea to review Illinois Rules of the Road once in a while.  Lots of folks seem to forget one of the most basic concepts: right of way.  See p.22: "When two vehicles on different roadways reach an uncontrolled intersection at the same time. The vehicle on the left should yield to the vehicle on the right."  This is true for cars AND bicycles, for uncontrolled intersection and 4-way stops.

p. 40: bicycles. "When a motorist is turning left and there is a bicyclist entering the intersection from the opposite direction, the driver should wait for the bicyclist to pass before making the turn. Also, if a motorist is sharing the left turn lane with a bicyclist, stay behind them until they have safely completed their turn."  A collision when a left turning driver hits a cyclist (left cross) from the side - or cuts them off - can also result in very serious, life-changing injuries. Please be aware of ALL nearby traffic when making a turn.  

If you're on a bike, sometimes it's safer to wait for the next green light rather than zipping through on a yellow light. Some left hook crashes could be prevented by waiting. Crashes from this type of scenario can be especially hazardous to the cyclist because riding speed/speed of impact is likely to be high, greatly increasing the risk of injury.

"If a motorist is turning right and a bicyclist is approaching on the right, let the bicyclist go through the intersection first before making a right turn. Remember to always signal when turning."  A collision when right-turning vehicle cuts off or collides with a cyclist is called a right hook. This is one of the most common types of bike crashes and can result in very serious injuries, especially if the cyclist ends up getting knocked underneath the vehicle.

"At night do not use high beams when you see an oncoming bicycle rider."  Most of the time there is no need for high beams in city traffic, but I see them (or poorly aligned headlights) all too often in the neighborhood. These can temporarily blind an oncoming person on a bike, rendering them unable to see hazards for a short time.

If you're a passenger in a taxi, you can be held liable if you cause injuries to a cyclist by opening a car door into the cyclist's path of travel. Here's how to exit a cab safely.

When pedestrians are attempting to cross a street in a crosswalk or at an intersection, let's yield as much as possible whether we're driving or riding bikes. A more pedestrian-friendly neighborhood means better quality of life and more vitality in our business districts.

If all of us make an effort to be more aware of what's happening on the streets around us, whether we're driving, riding a bike, running or walking, we can all be safer and improve the odds of getting where we're going safely.



Sunday, July 12, 2015

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail meeting on Wed. 7/15

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail will meet on Wed. 7/15 at Ridge Park fieldhouse (1817 W 96th St.), 6:30 to 8:00 pm.

wanted - for property theft

By now, most of you have heard the story about a small group's criminal scheme to fraudulently take possession of vacant homes, occupy some of them and illegally rent some to other people.










































Two of ringleaders escaped capture when arrests were made 2 weeks ago.  The police bulletin about the two who escaped is included above.

Friday, July 3, 2015

sharing our roads safely - part 1

When you're on the road, whether as a driver or cyclist, do you make the effort to communicate with other road users and pay attention when others are trying to communicate with you?

Turn signals:  Drivers should use them not just for other drivers, but also for pedestrians and cyclists. Knowing whether or not a vehicle will be turning can affect our safety on the streets. If you see a pedestrian, cyclist or other vehicle near enough to be affected by what you're doing at an intersection, please use turn signals if you're going to turn.

Hand signals: Do you remember learning them as part of Rules of the Road in driver ed? Do you know them? If you are a cyclist, do you use them? Communication should go both ways.


Are you familiar with the various ways that cyclists can legally make a turn?  Depending on traffic conditions and intersection configuration, a cyclist may choose one of these options.


Illinois is one of many states requiring that drivers leave 3 feet or more of clearance when passing a cyclist.  Most states now have anti-dooring laws, which hold vehicle occupants (driver or passenger) liable if they injure a cyclist by opening vehicle doors into the cyclist's path of travel. Chicago also has laws holding drivers responsible for causing cyclist injuries by turning left or right in the cyclist's path.

Intersection crashes and doorings cause the majority of cyclist injuries from crashes. Clear communication can prevent crashes and injuries and save lives.

non sequitur Friday

Hope your holiday weekend is full of good times, whether it's a heatwave or nothing but cool.





Thursday, June 25, 2015

where would you like to see bike lanes?

Would you like an opportunity to get in your $0.02 worth about where you'd like bike lanes?  Take the Active Transportation Alliance survey (available in English and Spanish).  Share the link with your friends (www.activetrans.org/bikesurvey).

Saturday, June 20, 2015

free trees for area residents

The University of Illinois Extension, 10244 S. Vincennes, is giving away free tree saplings from Com Ed. The species available are Cornelian Cherry Dogwood, Red Buckeye and American Hornbeam. Saplings may be picked between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on weekdays.

Call ahead 773-233-2900 x11 to confirm availability.

All are small to medium sized species without significant disease or insect vulnerability.

Monday, June 15, 2015

bike to work ride on 6/19

In honor of Bike to Work week, you are invited to join in a bike commute ride to the rally at Daley Plaza.

We will LEAVE from Hardboiled Coffee (9135 S Western) promptly at 6:45 a.m.  Because we're going to work (distance approx. 14 mi to Daley Plaza) and want to have enough time to socialize a bit and enjoy the festivities at the rally, the riding pace will average approx. 15 mph. 

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail meeting on Wed. 6/17

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail will meet on Wed. 6/17) at Ridge Park fieldhouse (1817 W 96th St.), 6:30 to 8:00 pm.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

pet microchipping event on Thurs. 6/18

Chicago Animal Care and Control (CACC) encourages pet owners to have their dogs and cats microchipped Thurs. 6/18,  1 to 3 p.m. at Original Rainbow Cone, 9233 S. Western Ave., to launch the campaign  The first 100 pets who arrive will receive microchips, and their owners will receive 50% off a Chicago chip ice cream cone. Information: www.tinyurl/chicagochip.

Friday, June 12, 2015

non sequitur Friday



Come back next week for some very different work by the same extraordinary musician.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

lack of transparency on 95th Street

I was concerned and disturbed to learn about the nature of a proposed zoning change and redevelopment proposal for the parcel immediately west of 95th St. Metra station. Another 19th ward resident wrote an insightful piece about why such a proposal makes no sense for a transit-adjacent parcel, where we should be prioritizing pedestrian-oriented usage.

1800 W 95th St.
The lack of public notice for this proposal is equally disturbing. Sticking a sign in a window at a location that few people walk past is NOT sufficient public notice. There's nothing at that location now to give people a reason to walk there and see that notice.

This is a significant change for a location that has the potential to attract a good volume of business from Metra riders - if it's the right business. A well-publicized venue for public input should be mandatory for such a major change. Why haven't the ward office and community organizations publicized this so that 19th ward residents and Metra passengers could have a voice in the decision? Hiding this until it's only one approval short of having a green light smells worse than last week's garbage.

95th St. is already choked with traffic for much of an average day. There are many existing auto parts stores within a few miles of this proposed location, including Auto Zone stores at 89th andAshland and 95th and Richmond and O'Reilly at Western and 92nd Place (less than 1 mile away). As much as I want to see more businesses on 95th St., this one is NOT a winner for the community as a whole.

Comments on this topic on EveryBlock have certainly been relevant:

* Yes, let's tear down a beautiful old building and put up an ugly box that will sit there empty after the store goes out of business like the auto parts store at 115th and Pulaski. How about using our brains and encourage a business that would cater to train "traffic". Put the box in the huge parking lot at the former location of Borders. Or do what some communities do...require that the new business conform to the architecture of the existing building and find businesses to create a boutique mall in the borders building. Jeez, is it that hard?

* When is the public hearing for this zoning change? There wasn't any proper meeting for those of us who will be affected.

* I just called the zoning department - looks like they approved this zone change already. I hope there will be some sort of opportunity for the community to review the design and voice opinions. Does anyone know what the next step for this proposal will be? Have they already purchased the existing building?

* Because of their design, most Borders are being repurposed into medical practices. Not in Beverly. The old library was supposed to become a Wishbone restaurant, more pizza place opened but not Wishbone? Now an Autozone to compete with O'reilly a few blocks away. We seem to have great people in place for urban planning and development! What about all the money spent in updating 95th street? Was it just to give contracts to some friends or was it actually to improve the business area? If so, Autozone doesn't need beautiful landscaping, never mind the traffic issues. somebody is not thinking very far here, while using our tax money. How about the mechanic shop down the street on 95th, are they trying to put them out of business? People walk to go to Metra, how about shops that cater to these people? When I get off the train, I'm not usually trying to bring home a couple of new tires and a new battery for my car in my purse. I love small squares and park, Beverly has those, in places that nobody wants to go to, and nothing around it. Anyone fancy reading a good book by busy 95th street, on the other side of the library parking lot? While I applaud green spaces, we can do better than that. More tax payer money spent in vain. How about the pedestrian crossing by 99th street Metra? On the wrong side of the street?!!!

Excuse my ranting, but I could go on as well as many of you. The problem is that you can't leave urban development to developers, they are just going to build stuff, make a buck and move on. ... If there is a petition going around against Autozone, count me in, I'll sign it.

* All good points. Why is everything decided in stealth mode? We need to remind our representatives that the represent us. They do not rule us.

Now we have a detailed EveryBlock post with research. Click here. And this is what it takes to appeal a zoning change.

Why didn't Alderman O'Shea give a reasonable opportunity for public input? Will there be curb cuts added to make 95th St. an even worse place for pedestrians? We don't want Beverly to look or feel like Evergreen Park. This kind of inappropriate change gives us a hard shove in that direction and makes Beverly less attractive as a place to live.


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Slow Roll comes to Beverly on 6/10

Slow Roll Chicago & Chicago Park District presents...

2015 Public Art and Architecture 
Neighborhood Bicycle Tours 
& Bicycle Photography Competition

This week's ride starts at Ridge Park, 1817 W 96th St.

This 2015 Slow Roll Chicago ride series consists of 12 community bicycle rides touring neighborhood art and architecture in Chicago. Before each ride, a Basics of Bicycle Photography Workshop will take place. Throughout the series, all participants are invited to participate in a bicycle photography competition. A number of winning photos will be selected for public exhibition at the final ride on August 26. 

Every Slow Roll Chicago community bike ride is about 8 miles and takes about 2 hours. 

Photo Competition Theme: 
Beautiful Bike Chicago

Photo Submission:
Email up to 3 photos per ride to photos@slowrollchicago.org

Schedule:
5-6 pm Photography Workshop
6-6:30pm Meet & Greet
6:30-8:30pm Ride

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail meeting TONIGHT 5/21

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail will meet TONIGHT (Thurs. 5/21) at Ridge Park fieldhouse, 6:30 to 8:00.  1817 W 96th St.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Farmers market starts 5/10

The farmers market starts on Sunday 5/10 at the 95th & Longwood parking lot - yeah!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail workday on Sun. 5/3

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail will have a workday on the trail this Sunday 5/3 from 9 a.m. to noon.  The primary focus will be on trimming trees and vines to keep the trail clear so that users can better enjoy their trips on the trail.  If you use the trail, we hope you'll consider helping out on Sunday or at a future workday. 

If you have work gloves you like, please bring them.  Work gloves and tools will be available for use.

We'll meet at the northwest corner of 119th and Halsted.  More info here.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail meeting on Wed. 4/15

If you're interested in events and stewardship on the Major Taylor Trail, please join us for our monthly meeting on Wednesday 4/15 at Ridge Park fieldhouse, 1817 W 96th St. (just east of Longwood Dr.), 6:30-8:30 p.m.

We are a non-profit advocacy group working to improve and maintain the Major Taylor Trail and promote its use. We have an active working relationship with the Chicago Park District, Friends of the Parks, Openlands, Forest Preserve District of Cook County and other non-profits and government agencies. We organize bike rides, volunteer workdays,  and other events.

In the past few years, we've done 5 tree planting projects with the Openlands TreeKeepers program: near 87th Street and between 122nd and 127th. In the future, we'd like to add public art projects and other improvements along the trail. We'd love to have your ideas and help with future events and projects.  Please join us!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday, March 20, 2015

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sunday bike ride and solstice bonfire

Friends of the Forest Preserves is having a solstice bonfire at Whistler Woods. Let's meet at Ridge Park (1817 W 96th St.) at 1:15 for a bike ride on the Major Taylor Trail down to Whistler.  At Whistler, the goal is to burn some of the many logs cut at recent habitat restoration workdays and enjoy the arrival of spring in the great outdoors. Spring plants are emerging and there are lots of migrating birds to see.

We'll head back around 5:00 p.m.  The ride is approximately 5 miles each way at a reasonable pace (10-14 mph).  Anne Alt of Friends of the Major Taylor Trail will lead the ride. For more info, email maj.taylor.trail@gmail.com.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Sunday, March 1, 2015

don't be that guy

How many days has it been since our last significant snow?  Too many sidewalks still look like this.



And this.  If you can clear this sidewalk this well, please do the neighborly thing and clear a path all the way to the street.



If there's a wall of snow at the curb (and many are bigger than this one), clearing your sidewalk isn't nearly as effective as it could be in helping people to get out and walk in the neighborhood.

Yes, winter got old a long time ago for many of us. Facing unnecessary difficulties when we want to get out of the house and walk makes it worse.

If you haven't already cleared your sidewalk - and the walls at the curb and alley if those apply to you - please do the kind and considerate thing while it's warm today.  If elderly or ill neighbors can't clear their sidewalks, please help them, too.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday, February 20, 2015

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mardi Gras

Gotta have a special musical feature on Mardi Gras day. Love that NOLA music!







Friday, February 13, 2015

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail meeting on 2/18

If you're interested in events and stewardship on the Major Taylor Trail, please join us for our monthly meeting on Wednesday 2/18 at Ridge Park fieldhouse, 1817 W 96th St. (just east of Longwood Dr.), 6:30-8:30 p.m.

We are a non-profit advocacy group working to improve and maintain the Major Taylor Trail and promote its use. We have an active working relationship with the Chicago Park District, Friends of the Parks, Openlands, Forest Preserve District of Cook County and other non-profits and government agencies. We organize bike rides, volunteer workdays,  and other events.

In the past few years, we've done 5 tree planting projects with the Openlands TreeKeepers program: near 87th Street and between 122nd and 127th. In the future, we'd like to add public art projects and other improvements along the trail. We'd love to have your ideas and help with future events and projects.  Please join us!

Monday, February 9, 2015

early voting begins

Early voting starts today for the 2/24 municipal election and continues through Sat. 2/21.

The 19th ward location is Mount Greenwood Park, 3721 W. 111th St. If you work downtown, Chicago Board of Elections at 69 W. Washington might be convenient for you.

Both sites are open Monday to Saturday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, and Sunday from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm.

Not sure if you're registered or where your regular polling place is (if you prefer to vote on 2/24)? Click here to find out.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Sunday, January 25, 2015

informed voters or sheep?

As I was reading this week's Beverly Review, I appreciated the letters regarding Alderman O'Shea's comment about debates being "silly."  I'd like to thank Helen Mlynarski for her very candid letter and will quote a portion of it here.

"Frankly, I think debates are silly."

What type of statement is that, and what type of political official would make that statement?

Does it come from someone who is a political puppet and believes he has an election shored up because the voting public are sheep that don't want or can't understand the issues? A statement like that is a slap in the face to anyone who is offended by complacency. 

Don't we deserve an alderman whose priorities represent the whole ward, not just the political machine? Having only one hour on Tuesday night for voters to hear what the candidates have to say is ridiculous. It's an insult to all who want to be informed and are not sheeple.

If you'd like to be informed, come to the candidate forum on Tuesday 1/27, 7:00 p.m. at Morgan Park High School, 1744 W. Pryor Ave. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Parking is available in the school lot on Monterrey Ave.

More info here.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

thinking about opening a restaurant?

A bit of info courtesy of BAPA:

Chicago Restaurant Week kicks off on Jan.30 with a workshop on Establishing Your Restaurant Concept and Writing a Business Plan, 9:30 to 11 a.m., City Hall, Small Business Center, 121 N. LaSalle St. Expo information and workshop registration: BACPoutreach@cityofchicago.org or 312-744-2086.

Friday, January 9, 2015

non sequitur Friday

Variations on a theme: 3 interpretations of "A Case of You"







Friday, January 2, 2015