Friday, December 30, 2016

non sequitur Friday

In memory of Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher. They will be missed.











Friday, December 23, 2016

non sequitur Friday

Variations on a theme...






Friday, December 16, 2016

Friday, December 9, 2016

non sequitur Friday

Variations on a theme...



And the original, by Tom Waits.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Whistler Woods workday Sat. 12/3

It's great to get outdoors. Volunteers are needed this Saturday 12/3 from 10 am to 1 pm for a habitat restoration workday - invasive species removal.  Light snacks and water will be available.


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 RiverdaleNote that the Halsted bridge is currently closed for construction.

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: from the north - take Ashland south past Broadway in Blue Island. Make the first left after Broadway, then left onto Jackson St. (13400S). Continue east past the light at Halsted. Whistler Woods parking lot is the first left turn after Halsted.

From I-57, exit at eastbound 127th, then turn right on Ashland, 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. Follow the directions above.

By transit:  Pace 352 Halsted bus

Friday, November 25, 2016

Friday, November 18, 2016

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail meeting on Monday 11/14

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail will meet on Mon. 11/14 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, Openlands 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, November 4, 2016

Whistler Woods workday 11/5

It's great to get outdoors. Volunteers are needed this Saturday 11/5 from 10 am to 1 pm for a habitat restoration workday - invasive species removal and seed collecting.  Light snacks and water will be available.



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 RiverdaleNote that the Halsted bridge is currently closed for construction.

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: from the north - take Ashland south past Broadway in Blue Island. Make the first left after Broadway, then left onto Jackson St. (13400S). Continue east past the light at Halsted. Whistler Woods parking lot is the first left turn after Halsted.

From I-57, exit at eastbound 127th, then turn right on Ashland, 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. Follow the directions above.

By transit:  Pace 352 Halsted bus

non sequitur Friday

I discovered Anat Cohen when she was playing at Jazz Showcase a few years ago. She was in town recently for Chicago Jazz Festival. She's phenomenal clarinet player worth seeing at a live performance. If you want to learn more, click here.








Friday, October 28, 2016

non sequitur Friday

A special Halloween version of non sequitur Friday. Enjoy!


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Whistler Woods workday Friday 10/28

It's great to get outdoors. Volunteers are needed this Friday 10/28 from 10 am to 1 pm for a habitat restoration workday - invasive species removal and seed collecting.  Light snacks and water will be available.


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 RiverdaleNote that the Halsted bridge is currently closed for construction.

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: from the north - take Ashland south past Broadway in Blue Island. Make the first left after Broadway, then left onto Jackson St. (13400S). Continue east past the light at Halsted. Whistler Woods parking lot is the first left turn after Halsted.

From I-57, exit at eastbound 127th, then turn right on Ashland, 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. Follow the directions above.

By transit:  Pace 352 Halsted bus

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Whistler Woods workday Friday 10/21

It's great to get outdoors. Volunteers are needed this Friday 10/21 from 10 am to 1 pm for a habitat restoration workday - invasive species removal and seed collecting.  Light snacks and water will be available.



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 RiverdaleNote that the Halsted bridge is currently closed for construction.

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: from the north - take Ashland south past Broadway in Blue Island. Make the first left after Broadway, then left onto Jackson St. (13400S). Continue east past the light at Halsted. Whistler Woods parking lot is the first left turn after Halsted.

From I-57, exit at eastbound 127th, then turn right on Ashland, 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. Follow the directions above.

By transit:  Pace 352 Halsted bus

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail meeting Wed. 10/19

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail will meet on Wed. 10/19 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, Openlands 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 14, 2016

non sequitur Friday

Hypnotic is a young band of brothers from the south side who got their start here in Chicago. I used to see them regularly when they were playing on Loop street corners. If you want to learn more, click here.




Wednesday, October 12, 2016

plant and seed sale on Sat. 10/15

There will be a plant and seed sale this Saturday 10/15, from 9 am until noon, or when plants and seeds and seeds are sold out, whichever comes first.   9700 S. Damen

2 varieties of daylily, coneflower, columbine, giant hibiscus, seeds for native grasses and more.


Add some color to your yard at affordable prices.



Friday, October 7, 2016

non sequitur Friday

Carsie Blanton is a New Orleans singer who I discovered in someone's Youtube mix. If you like her music and want to buy some, you can find it here.






Thursday, October 6, 2016

107th St. to be repaved soon

107th St. from Walden to Western is finally getting repaved. Yeah!

See DNA Info story for more info.

tree planting volunteers needed on Wed. 10/12

Would you like to help plant trees in West Beverly? Volunteers are needed for a Openlands tree planting next Wednesday (10/12). Tools and instruction will be provided. Bring your gardening or work gloves and wear supportive boots or shoes that you don't mind getting mud on.

To register and get exact location, contact Mary Jo Viero at 773-233-3100 x206 or send email.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Pullman house tour this Saturday and Sunday, 10/8-10/9

Click for more info.

cyclocross racing coming to Dan Ryan Woods this Sunday

A day of cyclocross racing is coming to Dan Ryan Woods on Sunday 10/9. 



This is part of the Chicago area Chi Cross Cup series.  Click here for schedule and map.  Best access: parking lot on the south side of 83rd between Western and Damen, or ride the Major Taylor Trail


did anyone witness a crash between a bike and a car on 9/20?

Were you at or near the intersection of Prospect and Wood around 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday 9/20?  Did you witness a crash there between a bike and a car?

If you saw the crash and would be willing to provide information as a witness, please send an email with information on the best way to contact you (phone and/or email).  Thanks!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Whistler Woods workday Friday 10/7

It's great to get outdoors. Volunteers are needed this Friday 10/7 from 10 am to 1 pm for a habitat restoration workday - invasive species removal and seed collecting.  Light snacks and water will be available.



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. Note that the Halsted bridge is closed for construction thru 6/30/17.

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: from the north - take Ashland south past Broadway in Blue Island. Make the first left after Broadway, then left onto Jackson St. (13400S). Continue east past the light at Halsted. Whistler Woods parking lot is the first left turn after Halsted.

From I-57, exit at eastbound 127th, then turn right on Ashland, 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. Follow the directions above.

By transit:  Pace 352 Halsted bus

Friday, September 30, 2016

non sequitur Friday

It's a beautiful song. There's quite a range of interpretations out there.






Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Beverly Art Walk this Saturday 10/1

If you've never checked out the Beverly Art Walk, you should. It's a great way to connect with local artists at a variety of locations in Beverly and Morgan Park and buy original work in many different media.



Click here for a PDF of the complete brochure for the event, which includes 2 version of the venue map. One has bike rack locations and suggested routes. The other shows routes for the free trolleys. Traveling between locations by bike is a great way to go, as parking is a lot easier and you have total flexibility in how you get there.



Whistler Woods habitat restoration workday Sat. 10/1

It's great to get outdoors. Volunteers are needed this Saturday 10/1 from 10 am to 1 pm for a habitat restoration workday - invasive species removal and seed collecting.  Light snacks and water will be available.



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. Note that the Halsted bridge is closed for construction thru 6/30/17.

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: from the north - take Ashland south past Broadway in Blue Island. Make the first left after Broadway, then left onto Jackson St. (13400S). Continue east past the light at Halsted. Whistler Woods parking lot is the first left turn after Halsted.

From I-57, exit at eastbound 127th, then turn right on Ashland, 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. Follow the directions above.

By transit:  Pace 352 Halsted bus


Monday, September 26, 2016

one way you could save a life

If you drive and parallel park, please watch the video included in this blog post. It's a bit different from how most of us open our car doors, but it's a new habit worth learning. Dooring can kill. If you look first and wait until any cyclists have passed before you open your car door, you could save a life.

A set of bike laws was passed several years ago, making it illegal to drive or park in bike lanes, pass a cyclist without leaving 3 feet or more of space between your vehicle and the cyclist, open your car door into the path of a cyclist or cause a crash by turning into the path of a cyclist. If you are cited for one of these offenses, you can get a hefty ticket. You can also be held legally liable for any injuries you cause.

Please remember - that person on the bike is just trying to get where they're going in one piece, same as you.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Monday, September 19, 2016

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail meeting Wed. 9/21

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail will meet on Wed. 9/21 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, Openlands 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 16, 2016

Monday, September 12, 2016

Metra invites community art and gardens

From the Chicago Tribune:

Metra is looking for proposals from local community groups for "enhancement projects," including art, landscaping and gardening projects at its stations or other railroad property.

Participants must be able to fund their own projects, though in some cases the commuter train service said it can contribute some materials or workforce support to make the projects more lasting and safe.

Projects can include murals that reflect the characteristics of the community, freestanding sculptures, mosaics, photographs and the planting of flowers and shrubs. If you're interested, contact Community Affairs at 312-322-6753 or email communityenhancement@metrarr.com.

Friday, September 9, 2016

non sequitur Friday

Two versions of a great swing tune





Whistler Woods workdays today and tomorrow (9/9 and 9/10)

It's great to get outdoors. Volunteers are needed this Friday 9/9 and Saturday 9/10 from 10 am to 1 pm for a habitat restoration workday - invasive species removal and seed collecting.  Light snacks and water will be available.



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. Note that the Halsted bridge is currently closed for construction.

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: from the northtake Ashland south past Broadway in Blue Island. Make the first left after Broadway, then left onto Jackson St. (13400S). Continue east past the light at Halsted. Whistler Woods parking lot is the first left turn after Halsted.

From I-57, exit at eastbound 127th, then turn right on Ashland, 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. Follow the directions above.

By transit:  Pace 352 Halsted bus

gas main/meter replacement and our corner gardens

As the area where gas meter and gas main replacement closes in on our part of central Beverly, I've been wondering how many corners they will need to dig up. Some of us have substantial gardens on our corners that we don't want destroyed.

A couple of weeks ago I called the phone number on the letter we recently received and asked if our corner and several nearby ones with gardens will need to be dug up. It would be nice to get enough advance warning to safely remove all those plants and temporarily relocate them if it's needed. He said he would check and get back to me. I've gotten no news, so I called and left a follow-up message.
------------------------------------------------------------------
UPDATE

If you have a corner garden, now I have some information. I just got a call back. The Peoples Gas employee who called me back this morning told me that it does NOT appear that they will have to dig up any of our corner garden beds for gas main replacement.

However, if your corner does not have "compliant" ADA curb ramps (the new installations they've been doing in recent years, mostly with poor quality materials that start failing after only a few years), then the curb ramps and curbs would need to be removed and replaced with a new "compliant" installation. I'm sure you've seen how much of the corner they tear up when they do one of these installations.

When you see the crews getting close to your place, ask them how many days until they get to you so you know how much time you have to do any emergency plant relocation.

That WILL affect my corner garden. I believe it will affect at least a few other corner gardens nearby. Looks like I may need to take an emergency day off from work when they're getting close so I have enough time to save my plants. *grumble*

Friday, September 2, 2016

Sunday, August 28, 2016

fixed, but not really

Over the last several months, I've noticed a number of locations where street lights are on all the time - on Longwood from 95th to 97th, westbound along 97th from Longwood, and in other spots. Eventually they go dark and aren't on at all. Then they get "fixed" and are on 24/7 again.

This has been a problem since the "upgrade" about a year ago, when many street lights that had been dark for a long time were relit, and all the street lights in our area got brighter. We really didn't need brighter lights or the increased light pollution that came with that increase in brightness.


When I see these lights on continuously for weeks and months at a time, I have to wonder how many thousands of taxpayer dollars are wasted on this unneeded use of electricity. How much extra pollution is generated in the creation of this electricity? Did a bunch of faulty sensors get installed, or is there another reason?


Friday, August 19, 2016

non sequitur Friday

Variations on a theme - the original is a psychedelic classic.  I present 3 versions: John Lennon's interpretation, a funk-inflected version and a later rock interpretation.

The idea of coming together is a welcome one right now in this era of conflicts.






Sunday, August 14, 2016

free adult bike handling classes

If you never learned to ride a bike, or you haven't ridden in a long time and want to get back up to speed, this free one-time class is for you.

Chicago Department of Transportation's Bicycling Ambassadors will teach the classes. Divvy bikes will be provided as loaners for those who don't bring their own bikes. Attendees will receive *FREE* helmets.

August 15-19 from 6 PM to 8 PM
August 22-29 from 6 PM to 8 PM
August 29-September 2 from 6 PM to 8 PM

All classes will meet at Kennedy King College, 710 W 65th St (click link for map).

You MUST make a reservation to attend a class to make sure there are enough instructors available. Please call anytime before the class to reserve your space at 312-744-8147.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail meeting on Wed. 8/17

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail will meet on Wed. 8/17 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, Openlands 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.

bike rental at 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 started a rental operation in Dan Ryan Woods late last summer. 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 adjacent to the parking lot on the south side of 83rd St. between Western and Damen, close to the north end of the Major Taylor Trail.

Friday, August 12, 2016

non sequitur Friday

A new collaboration between Kurt Elling and Branford Marsalis.







Friday, August 5, 2016

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

a loss in the neighborhood

I was sorry to hear the sad news about the passing of Alderman O'Shea's mother.  My sympathy to Matt O'Shea and his family.

Monday, August 1, 2016

phase 2 of Chicago's plastic bag ban coming

Info courtesy of BAPA:

On Aug. 1 (today), the second phase of the City of Chicago's Plastic Bag Ban will be implemented and enforced. Smaller chain and franchise retailers with floor space less than 10,000 square feet will be required to come into compliance. Stores that provided its customers with carryout bags before the ban will only be able to provide reusable bags, recyclable paper bags or commercially compostable plastic bags. 

The ban does not apply to any dine-in or take-out restaurant or small independent or non-franchise stores. 

The City's Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection will host a workshop regarding the new laws Wed. 8/10, 3 to 4:30 p.m., City Hall, Room 805.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

weeding Wednesdays

I think this is a great idea. It should also happen on a weekend morning. Just my $0.02...

BAPA WEEDING WEDNESDAYS. Public spaces throughout the neighborhood have been targeted for some attention this summer on BAPA Weeding Wednesdays. Teams start at 8:30 a.m. and work for about 2 hours. Bring gloves and water. Tools are supplied. 

For upcoming locations and to volunteer, email Mary Jo Viero.

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail meeting on Wed. 7/27

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail will meet on Wed. 7/27 at Ridge Park fieldhouse (1817 W 96th St.), 6:30 to 8:00 pm.

  ** Note: We are meeting on the 4th Wednesday instead of our usual night due to a Shakespeare in the Park performance on 7/20. **

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, Openlands 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.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

traffic calming and signage - which version works better?

In recent years, traffic circles have been plunked into existing intersections in many locations in the 19th ward and across the city and suburbs. They do slow down traffic. However, if signage is confusing or missing, it limits the effectiveness of these installations and can cause crashes.

I'd like to test your visual memory. Which version of signage do we have on circles here in the city, version 1 or version 2?

Version 1
Version 2
Similarly, which version of pre-intersection signage do we have here in the city to indicate how traffic should navigate the circle, 1 or 2?

Version 1
Version 2
If you said version 1, you'd be correct for both sets of pictures.

This afternoon I was nearly hit head on by a driver as I was passing straight through a Beverly intersection on my bike and she turned left, passing to the left of the island instead of going around it. She slowed down approaching the intersection. Sight lines were clear, yet she barely missed me as she went the wrong way around the island. I was saved by my brakes. A driver entering the intersection after her also went the wrong way around.

In the years since these circles were first introduced in Chicago, I've seen way too many close calls at these intersections. I've always been further from the intersection so those close calls didn't directly involve me.  In some of these locations, the pre-intersection signage is missing, which doesn't help.

Confusing signage does NOT improve traffic safety.  If we want the neighborhood greenway concept to succeed here in Chicago and improve pedestrian and bike safey, we need signage that eliminates confusion.

If you would be willing to take a 2-question anonymous survey to indicate which signage you feel is more effective, please click here.







Saturday, July 16, 2016

old fashioned service

I was working in my yard today and heard a bell coming down the street, ringing with a regular rhythm. I'd heard about an old fashioned mobile service but hadn't experienced it until today.

An older gentleman pushing a hand cart with big red wagon wheels offers knife sharpening. He'll also sharpen other types of blades. I've heard that this includes lawn mower blades.

He parks the cart, folds down the seat, and pumps a pedal powered grinding wheel to sharpen your blade while you wait.  He did my big kitchen knife for $2, then went on down the street looking for the next customer. That's a great service to have in the neighborhood.

Friday, July 15, 2016

non sequitur Friday

Thoughts for today...





See you at the bike races tonight?

Friday, July 8, 2016

Monday, July 4, 2016

non sequitur Monday

A special holiday edition of non sequitur Friday - with songs appropriate to the day. Cheers!






Tuesday, June 28, 2016

how to safely pass a person riding a bicycle

Momentum Magazine ran a piece with some very useful advice on how to safely pass a person riding a bicycle.

If you drive, please take a few minutes to read it and use these suggestions in your everyday driving.  You could save a life.

Photo by Richard Masoner - linked to article
Most states have a law requiring drivers to leave at least 3 feet of clear space between their vehicle and cyclists they are passing.  When drivers routinely fail to do this, it's a big reason for cyclists taking to the sidewalk (not legal in Chicago over age 12 - for pedestrian safety).

When necessary, cyclists are legally allowed to take the full lane.  There are times when it is necessary for their safety, especially when they are passing parked cars and it isn't always clear if or when a car door might open into the cyclist's path of travel.  Drivers are required to look before opening car doors and NOT open them until it is safe for them to do so.

Here's a CDOT flyer with more helpful info.  Let's work together to make our streets safer for everyone to get around.

Monday, June 27, 2016

new business in Morgan Park opening 7/2

Update: here's some news on their grand opening this Saturday 7/2.

-------------------------------------------------------------

I've heard about a new business opening soon near the 111th St. Metra station. I'm looking forward to trying Laine's Bake Shop. It sounds like a great excuse for a bike ride.


Sunday, June 26, 2016

how reckless driving affects pedestrian and cyclist behavior

In my travels around the neighborhood, I’ve observed what I've seen others do and what I find myself doing in response to reckless driving.

In the 19th ward and elsewhere in the city, traffic enforcement is disappointingly rare. Bad driver behavior has become so brazen in the absence of traffic stops that many drivers seem to be in a contest to see how much they can get away with.

Drivers who don't stop or barely slow down at intersections are too common. They may not allow enough time for pedestrians and cyclists to react, forcing us to stop suddenly or change course to avoid being hit in situations where we have the right of way.

At intersections along 95th St., turning drivers often don't watch for pedestrians in the crosswalk. Many drivers fail to stop at 4-way stops on 96th. In locations such as the 9500 blocks of Damen and Longwood or intersections along 96th St., crossing in the middle of the block can be much safer, because a pedestrian has more advance warning of an approaching car.  I often find myself crossing at mid block and see others doing it, because drivers are roaring up to intersections so fast that we do not trust them to avoid hitting us when we are in the crosswalk.

I’ve noticed an increase in the number of adults riding bikes on sidewalks, coinciding with the increase in speeding and failure to yield. It seems that the percentage of adult bike traffic on Longwood on the sidewalk is much higher now compared to 10 years ago.

If I'm riding my bike and stop at the 4-way stop in front of my house, then attempt to ride into our mid-block driveway (E-W street), I often have near misses due to drivers coming out of the alley without slowing down or driving fast after turning at adjacent intersections. In most situations I would not ride on the sidewalk (illegal in Chicago for cyclists over age 12). I make an exception here because pedestrian traffic is minimal and I'd prefer not to end my ride with a trip to the hospital.

Here's another perspective on ped safety and crossing at crosswalks vs. other locations.

Safer walking and biking conditions encourage more walking and biking to local destinations.  Benefits for our neighborhoods include less stress, better health, reduced traffic congestion, fewer crashes and injuries, more people going to local businesses, and less parking needed to service those businesses.  The net result: more money staying in our community because people can get to local businesses safely.


Friday, June 24, 2016

Sunday, June 19, 2016

did your bike get stolen or is it at risk?

I was talking to a friend who said his bike was stolen from 91st St. Metra station while he was at work.  He confessed that he was only using a cable lock.  I often see this at Metra stations around the neighborhood.

Unfortunately bike theft is a growing problem, even in neighborhoods like ours that are perceived as safe.

It's worth taking a minute to report the theft to police. Even if your bike is not recovered, having data to identify patterns can sometimes result in identification and arrest of the thief down the line.

The Chicago Stolen Bike Registry is a valuable resource - and it's free.  It is maintained by a group of volunteers who are fellow cyclists and viewable by anyone.  Many people in the Chicago area check it, including folks accepting bikes for service at local bike shops.  Use of this database has resulted in the recovery of a number of stolen bikes in recent years.

Bike Index is a free national resource.  It's also worth using.  If you report the theft on all 3, it might take you 10-15 minutes.  It provides useful data. It could help in recovering your bike.

The best thing is to take a few precautions to prevent theft.

1. Cable locks really aren't secure. If that's your only lock, anyone with a bolt cutter can snip it in a few seconds and your bike is gone.

2. If only your frame is locked to the rack, your wheels are fair game. They might be gone when you get back.  Your best bet is to secure both wheels. At the very least, use a U-lock to lock the frame and one wheel and use a heavy cable to connect the other wheel with the lock. If you can take off your front wheel and lock it to the frame, rack and rear wheel, that's a good locking method.

On the closer bike, only the frame is locked to the rack, leaving both wheels
vulnerable. On the second bike, one wheel is secure.
Front wheel and frame are locked to the rack. Rear wheel is locked to the frame.
We have been fortunate that bike theft has not been a major problem in Beverly and Morgan Park, but it has significantly increased in recent years. Several people I know have had bikes stolen here in the last 2 years.

You can find more useful tips here, including a link to register your bike with the Chicago Police Dept.

Friday, June 17, 2016

median TLC needed on 95th St.

The planted medians on 95th St. and other major streets help in making the streets more pleasant and attractive. However, they do need some maintenance.

95th at Hoyne looking west - tough to see oncoming traffic
95th at Wood by the Metra station, looking west
95th at Pleasant, looking east
Not as bad as the others, but removing one or two branches would help.
Just a few low-growing tree branches make a critical difference in being able to cross the street safely.  During the growing season, these branches obscure the view of oncoming traffic, making it difficult to see approaching vehicles until they are very close.  

Over the past 2 years, I've tried 311 calls, emails to the 95th St. business association and the alderman's office. No trimming has been done.

This isn't rocket science. If people don't feel safe crossing the street, they're less likely to do it. This costs our neighborhood businesses - and ultimately us - if our businesses don't last because they don't get enough traffic.  It's also better for the farmers market if people feel safer crossing the street. I hope that someone in this ward can figure out a way to finally get this done - this summer.

It would be even better if we could get Yield to Pedestrians signs at a few of these median crossings, especially at Hoyne.

non sequitur Friday






Thursday, June 16, 2016

habitat restoration workday at Whistler Woods Fri. 6/17

It's great to get outdoors. Volunteers are needed this Friday 6/17 from 10 am to noon for a habitat restoration workday. Tomorrow's task is planting native plants.


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. 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

breakfast or lunch at 95th St. farmers market

Did you know that the 95th St. farmers market now has a crepe stand AND a taco stand? You could have breakfast or lunch, a cup of fresh coffee and shop for fruits, veggies, jams, jellies, honey, bread, cookies, coffee beans, cheese, plants, handmade crafts and other goodies.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail meeting on Wed. 6/15

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail will meet on Wed. 6/15 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, Openlands 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, June 10, 2016

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Dan Ryan Woods workday Sat. 6/11

Join Friends of the Forest Preserves at Dan Ryan Woods this Saturday, June 11 from 9:00 am-noon for their monthly volunteer workday. Tools, gloves, and training provided. Wearing boots or sneakers is recommended, as conditions may be muddy.

Meet at the Dan Ryan Woods East parking lot (2 blocks west of Damen on the north side of 87th Street).  Please contact Benjamin Cox at 773-398-1178 or benjamin@fotfp.org for more information.

Monday, June 6, 2016

early morning courtesy

A friend in East Beverly has mentioned that an early morning (~5 a.m.) group of bike commuters has VERY LOUD conversations when riding past his house. While he's happy to see people bike commuting at any hour, the loudness isn't particularly welcome.

I could say the same of early morning walking and running groups that pass my house in central Beverly. There are a few that pass before 7 a.m. and are often loud.

When you're out and about at times when it's usually very quiet, remember that plenty of people can hear you if you aren't quiet.  You might even be waking people up. A little courtesy goes a long way.

planting a seed

Congrats to Kellogg School on having such a great start to their veggie garden. I hope it's a successful growing season, both for the garden and for building community.






Tuesday, May 31, 2016

a glass half full

As demolition has progressed on the block of storefronts just west of the 95th St. Metra station, I've noticed something unexpected. It appears that the shell of the easternmost storefront is being reused and not demolished.





While I wish we hadn't lost the remainder of that block, I appreciate the fact that the developer is retaining a facade that fits in with its surroundings rather than plunking down an ugly concrete block structure - what we probably would have gotten otherwise.

Esthetically and environmentally it's a glass half full. This means less material that would have gone into a landfill and fewer emissions from equipment that would have been used in demolishing this structure and constructing a new one. The end result is likely to be more attractive. Bonus - we won't be looking at a parking lot while waiting on the Metra platform.

nature crafts day at Whistler Woods on Sat. 6/4

Join Friends of the Forest Preserves for a fun day of outdoor crafting on Saturday 6/4. Artists and nature lovers of all ages welcome! FREE! 11:00 – 12:30pm at Whistler Woods, 678 W. 134th St., Riverdale.


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 - first stoplight south of river bridge) - 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 past the bridge 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 to Forestview (13400S)

Questions? Call Chris, 773-746-5223. 

Monday, May 30, 2016

19th ward shredding and electronics recycling Sat. 6/4

The next 19th ward shredding and electronics event happens Sat. 6/4 9 – 11 am at St. John Fisher 10234 S Washtenaw in the parking lot.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Major Taylor Trail Roll to the River on Saturday 5/21

Everyone is invited to join Major Taylor Cycling Club Chicago and Friends of the Major Taylor Trail for a ride on the trail on Saturday 5/21.  There will be pre-ride social time and bike check.  The event offers 3 ride options:

1 mile (or distance of your choice) on trails in Dan Ryan Woods - something for the little ones and their parents

18 miles (easy pace) - the full length of the Major Taylor Trail, then heading west into Blue Island and back north through Morgan Park and Beverly on neighborhood streets

40+ miles (faster pace) - the full length of the Major Taylor Trail, then continuing through the south suburbs to Major Taylor's grave site and back



We'll meet up at the Dan Ryan Woods parking lot on the north side of 83rd St. between Western and Damen - north end of the trail.  (map link here)  Please arrive by 8:45 a.m. so we're ready to roll by 9:00.  

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail meeting Wed. 5/18

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail will meet on Wed. 5/18 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, Openlands 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, including our ride on Sat. 5/21. Please join us! Everyone is welcome.

Friday, May 13, 2016

non sequitur Friday

Orbert Davis - local jazz talent - with small combo and large ensemble.







Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Dan Ryan Woods workday Sat. 5/14

Join Friends of the Forest Preserves at Dan Ryan Woods this Saturday, May 14 from 9:00 am-noon for their monthly volunteer workday. Tools, gloves, and training provided. Wearing boots or sneakers is recommended, as conditions may be muddy.

Meet at the Dan Ryan Woods East parking lot (2 blocks west of Damen on the north side of 87th Street).  Please contact Benjamin Cox at 773-398-1178 or benjamin@fotfp.org for more information.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Beverly/Morgan Park home tour on Sunday 5/15

This year's Beverly/Morgan Park home tour will feature homes in North Beverly and the Ridge historic district. Sunday May 15, noon to 5 p.m.  Get tickets here. For more info or to volunteer or become a sponsor, contact Grace Kuikman.



Wednesday, May 4, 2016

farmers markets start this weekend

Our Beverly farmers market will start up again on this Sunday May 8.



Here's the full schedule for the city.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

counterfeit money alert

Info from BAPA:

COUNTERFEIT MONEY ALERT. Businesses on 103rd Street have called BAPA to report counterfeit money was used in their stores. BAPA has information about currency and how to spot authentic bills. Call 773-233-3100, email mholland@bapa.org or stop in during business hours. 

Information is also available at www.newmoney.gov

Last fall, BAPA offered a workshop on how to spot counterfeit money. If you are interested in having BAPA offer the workshop again, email mholland@bapa.org.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Whistler Woods workday Friday 5/6

It's great to get outdoors. Volunteers are needed this Friday 5/6 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.