Monday, July 16, 2018

bike racing on Friday 7/20

Bikes and Brews is happening at a new location - festival with food and drink at St. Barnabas, with a race course on Longwood, 102nd, Seeley and 100th. See you there.

Friday, July 13, 2018

non sequitur Friday

Get a taste of Ry Cooder's newest work. I love his guitar sound.








Thursday, July 12, 2018

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail meeting on Mon. 7/16

If you're interested learning more about future events and helping to work for better conditions on the Major Taylor Trail, please join us on Monday night (7/16, 7 to 8:30 pm) at Ridge Park fieldhouse.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Monday, July 2, 2018

save the date - bike racing on Fri. 7/20

Bikes and Brews is happening at a new location - festival at St. Barnabas, with a race course on Longwood, 102nd, Seeley and 100th. See you there.


Sunday, July 1, 2018

save the date - Chicago Shakespeare at Ridge Park on Tues. 8/14

Chicago Shakespeare will be coming to Ridge Park on Tuesday 8/14. The play starts at 6:30 pm.



Saturday, June 30, 2018

dockless bike share update

Things have really been in flux in the last week. At first, it looked like the city would hold firm on the lock-to requirement and we would lose LimeBike and Ofo starting tomorrow.


I wrote to our alderman and CDOT, asking that they reconsider this, because so many potential destinations in the ward (especially on residential blocks) lack suitable fixed objects to which one could lock a bike at the end of their trips.

The point has been raised that the low number of bikes for such a large service area (the city south of 79th St. and east of the Skyway) was not sufficient for an effective pilot program.  I agree with that point. When bikes are equitably distributed so that neighborhoods through the service area have bikes in them, there aren't a lot of bikes to go around.

It's been a game of chicken between the city, LimeBike and Ofo going back and forth on the question of whether LimeBike and Ofo bikes without lock-to capability would remain in the service area until the 11/1 end of the pilot program.

Pace bikes is offering bike racks for installation on private property. I've heard that a few neighborhood businesses will be getting the racks soon, so there will be more bike parking available for both dockless bikes and personal bikes.

In the last few days, we've gotten some encouraging news. Jump, an e-assist bike with lock-to capability, will be launching here on Monday, so we will have another dockless option. The Forest Preserve District of Cook County also has its own dockless bike share program available in Dan Ryan Woods, Whistler Woods, and several other locations (including the Botanic Garden).

Today's news: the city is increasing the cap on the number of bikes with lock-to capability and allowing LimeBike and Ofo to stay. I'm curious to see how the big picture evolves between now and 11/1. Stay tuned...

Monday, June 25, 2018

Major Taylor Trail mural community painting workdays Fri. 6/29 and Sat. 6/30

Want to be part of a new public art project? You can assist artist Bernard Williams in painting our new mural on the trail bridge over the Little Calumet River.

For more info and to RSVP, please call 773-772-4416.


Saturday, June 23, 2018

dockless bike share - what I've seen so far

Since the 5/1 launch of dockless bike share in the ward, I've been taking rides using the bikes and seeing plenty of other people riding them. The patterns I've observed suggest that a lot of people are enjoying the bikes and finding them a convenient way to get around.

Someone rode this LimeBike to the church and thoughtfully parked
it at the edge of the sidewalk, where it doesn't interfere with access.
At this point, we have three companies operating in the service area specified by CDOT: LimeBike, Ofo and Pace. I've heard that Jump wants to come into the Chicago market, but I've heard nothing about approval or a launch date.

Ofo bike waiting for a rider
There might not be enough bike parking to go around if the lock-to requirement is enforced as of 7/1. The city allowed the pilot program on the condition that all dockless bikes have the capacity to be locked to a fixed object at the end of a trip. Right now only Pace bikes have that capacity, and it doesn't sound like LimeBike and Ofo will be adding it.

This is disappointing news. Many of us ride the bikes to get home from the train or other places, or from home to the train. I have been observing the bikes on the streets in various neighborhoods and seen very few problems. Occasionally I see a bike knocked over or left in an inappropriate spot, but that has been rare.

On many residential blocks in the dockless service area, there is nothing to lock to that's smaller than a light pole, so riders have to find a spot that may be 1 block or more from home. This makes dockless bikes less useful than they would be without this limitation. I would urge aldermen and CDOT to consider this and re-evaluate the lock-to requirement and 7/1 deadline. 

I understand why CDOT would prefer bikes that can be secured to a fixed object, because of problems in Dallas and other cities with large numbers of dockless bikes.

Even on a rainy day, bike parking at the 99th St. Metra station
is often full.

People lock up their personal bikes in creative places if there isn't an open bike rack nearby.
Is there a location where you often find existing bike racks full? If you want to submit a request to the city for a rack, click here. It's a good idea to check your desired location on the map and see if there is an existing request for that spot before requesting a new one. You can click Support (similar to Facebook's Like button) to give an existing request a vote. You can also add comments about why you want a new rack there. This can include replacement of an old rack that was hit by a car and destroyed.

Recently I've heard that Pace bike share is intending to install additional racks to help address this problem. I hope that it's enough to make a meaningful difference.

If you're using dockless bike share and you like it, please tell your alderman. If you have specific suggestions about the lock-to requirement or other issues, please share those too. If you're a fan of LimeBike or Ofo and want them to stay, now's the time to let your alderman know.

Contact info for each ward follows at the links below.
19th ward   34th ward  21st ward  9th ward   10th ward  8th ward  7th ward   6th ward  17th ward

Using a signpost for locking up is fine where there's no bike rack.
On many residential blocks, this is the only option.

Additional perspectives:
Dockless bike share and equity

Another perspective on parking

Chicago's south side gets dockless bike share

Friday, June 22, 2018

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Whistler Woods habitat restoration workday on Sat. 6/16

It's great to get outdoors. Volunteers are needed this Saturday 6/16 from 10 am to 1 pm for a habitat restoration workday - brush cutting and bonfires.  Snacks and water will be available. (3rd Saturday of the month will be the new regular day.)


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. Follow the directions above.

By transit:  Pace 352 Halsted bus

Friday, June 1, 2018

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail meeting on Monday 5/21

If you're interested learning more about future events and helping to work for better conditions on the Major Taylor Trail, please join us on Monday night (5/21, 7 to 8:30 pm) at Ridge Park fieldhouse.

https://www.thechainlink.org/events/friends-of-the-major-taylor-trail-meeting-998

Thursday, May 17, 2018

no Metra service on Beverly sub-line this weekend (5/19 and 5/20)

You may have noticed bundles of railroad ties along the tracks recently. Metra is planning some major construction. 

In addition to the projects listed on this page, they are planning a weekend of major construction on Saturday 5/19 and Sunday 5/20 when they are running NO trains on the Beverly sub-line.  Trains will only run on the main line that weekend, so the nearest stops will at 95th/Vincennes and 103rd/Vincennes.  

There will also be construction from now through 6/8 that may cause delays on mid-day trains. Smoother Metra rides are coming soon.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Whistler Woods habitat restoration workday on Sat. 5/19

It's great to get outdoors. Volunteers are needed this Saturday 5/19 from 10 am to 1 pm for a habitat restoration workday - brush cutting and bonfires.  Snacks and water will be available. (3rd Saturday of the month will be the new regular day.)


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. Follow the directions above.

By transit:  Pace 352 Halsted bus

Sunday, May 6, 2018

no Metra service in Beverly and Morgan Park on 5/19 and 5/20

You may have noticed bundles of railroad ties along the tracks recently. Metra is planning some major construction.  

In addition to the projects listed on this page, they are planning a weekend of major construction on Saturday 5/19 and Sunday 5/20 when they are running NO trains on the Beverly sub-line.  Trains will only run on the main line that weekend, so the nearest stops will at 95th & Vincennes and 103rd & Vincennes.  

There will also be construction from now through 6/8 that may cause delays on mid-day trains. Smoother Metra rides are coming soon.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

more bike share launches in the neighborhood

In addition to the LimeBike launch on Tuesday, 2 additional companies have gotten the green light from the city to start operating in the same service area (south of 79th St.) as LimeBike. (LimeBike is the bright green and yellow bike. There were some at County Fair last night, remaining after Tuesday's launch shown in the photo below.)

LimeBikes
Pace bikes appeared in the neighborhood yesterday. I spotted 2 of them by the 95th St. Metra station. Those are the white bikes with blue wheel rims.

Pace bikes
I had my first Ofo bikes sighting at the 99th St. Metra station on my way home tonight. Those are the bright yellow bikes.

Ofo bikes
Each bike share company offers a distinct style of bike. LimeBike has e-assist. Pace and Ofo are regular pedal bikes without e-assist. To use each company's bike, you need to have their specific app on your smart phone. The terms of service and fee structure vary somewhat from one company to another. Because the bike itself is more expensive and the e-assist battery requires charging from time to time, LimeBike costs a little more than the regular pedal bikes. It's worth reviewing the terms of service and checking out the style and size of the bike to see if that particular company's service suits you. Take a test ride or two and see if you like it.

For now, the city is allowing both free-locking bikes (rear wheel lock with no attachment to secure bike to a lock or pole) and bikes with built-in locks for securing to a lock or pole. For each type of bike, you are responsible for the bike from the time you unlock it with the app to when you lock it at the end of your ride.

So far I've done test rides on LimeBike. That bike makes a distinct tone when you lock it to let you know that it's secure and your trip is closed out.  I'd imagine that the others do something similar.

I used a LimeBike to ride home from Metra after work tonight. The basket is a nice size for a small grocery run, buying a container of ice cream or a six pack, retrieving a takeout order, bringing home books from the library and many other uses.

What types of trips do you think you might take using bike share? Have you tried any of the bike share bikes yet? Please share your experiences in comments.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Limebike dockless bike share launch this Tuesday at County Fair

If you're curious about bike share, this Tuesday you can check out a new alternative to Divvy that's launching on the far south side only (south of 79th St.). Limebike dockless bike share will be at the north parking lot at County Fair (10800 S. Western) at 7:00 a.m. this Tuesday 5/1.



Unlike Divvy, which requires that you check out and dock bikes at a station (fixed location), dockless bike share requires the use of a smartphone app to locate and unlock bikes. Bikes can be found anywhere in the service area.  Limebike use is priced at $1 per half hour.

Here's some info from Streetsblog on the launch and plans for additional dockless bike share companies to come into the Chicago market.

More:
Tribune article on Limebike launch
Service area for Chicago dockless bike share launch
Thoughts on pros and cons of dockless bike share

I'm curious to see how it works out. If you try it, please share a note about your experiences in comments.


Friday, April 27, 2018

Friday, April 20, 2018

Friday, April 13, 2018

Thursday, April 12, 2018

garage burglaries

They're at it again. Another wave of garage burglaries has started.

Sun-Times story here.

CPD community alert, including phone # for detectives if you have info.

Hopefully these guys will get caught soon.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail workday on Sat. 4/21

Please join Friends of the Major Taylor Trail, Out Our Front Door and Major Taylor Cycling Club Chicago in a spring clean-up project in honor of Earth Day.


We will be cutting brush and picking up trash, in preparation for warm weather events on the trail. Hiking boots, work boots, or other shoes that offer good support and can handle a bit of dirt are recommended.  If you have work gloves you like, please bring them along, otherwise gloves will be available for use during the workday.


To register as a volunteer, please click here. We'd love to have your help to get this section of the trail in good shape for the season.

We'll be working on a section of trail just east of 12900 S Eggleston, the nearest area for parking. This location is easy to reach by bike from the Major Taylor Trail.  You can also park at Whistler Woods and take a short walk or bike ride to the site, just north of the Little Calumet River.

We plan to work from 9 am to noon on Saturday 4/21.  We hope to see you there.

Friday, April 6, 2018

non sequitur Friday



A bit of creative musical silliness...


And another...



Monday, March 26, 2018

Metra LaSalle St. construction - track and schedule changes

Metra has made some changes to the Rock Island schedule for the duration of the LaSalle St. construction project.  Read here for more details.

There are also some track changes from what you're used to.  It's gonna be some extra special fun. ;)

Friday, March 23, 2018

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Ridge Park tree workday on Sat. 3/24

Would you like to help TreeKeepers volunteers do a tree inventory of Ridge Park (1817 W 96th St.) on Saturday 3/24?  We'll meet at noon by the fieldhouse and work for a few hours, taking measurements and making observations about the health of trees in the park.

It helps the park district get an accurate picture of how many trees we have in the park, and the species, size and general health of each tree. It's not strenuous work.You don't need to have any special skills.  Each team will be led by a TreeKeeper and you'll get instruction at the workday.



Afterwards we'll adjourn to Horse Thief Hollow.

For more info, send an email. We hope to see you on 3/24 at noon by the fieldhouse.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Metra LaSalle St. station construction starting Mon. 3/19

If you're dealing with construction here in the neighborhood, be prepared to deal with more on the downtown end of your Metra trip starting on Monday.

The conductor announced on my train today that they'll start working on Monday 3/19 on areas between the individual platforms and the waiting room, so there will be barricades requiring some detours. 



Starting on 3/26 (as noted on the sign above), the east tunnel will be closed, so there will be no access from the LaSalle St. side of the station.  Everyone will have to use the Financial Place side, so it will be crowded and slow.

If you're trying to catch a train there, or arriving there to get somewhere downtown at a specific time, allow yourself a few extra minutes.  It will be a mild annoyance starting Monday, and a much bigger annoyance starting 3/26, when the east tunnel is closed. Good luck with that.

non sequitur Friday







Saturday, March 3, 2018

Beverly Bee Enthusiasts

If you're interested in learning about beekeeping, enjoy having bees in your garden, want to learn more about bees, etc., come to Wild Blossom Meadery on Thurs. 3/8 at 7 pm.

This will be an informal gathering organized by a beekeeper from the neighborhood. Come on down to 9030 S. Hermitage (close to the 91st St. Metra station). Bee there!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

water and sewer main replacement projects coming soon

According to the 19th ward office, we have the following projects to look forward to.



Water main:
Winchester from 97th to 101st - 3/12/18 thru 5/21/18
97th from Damen to Longwood - 3/12/18 thru 5/21/18

111th St from Rockwell to Western - 5/21/18 thru 7/19/18

Homan Ave. from 107th St. to 115th St. - 7/10/18 thru 11/23/18
108th St. from Homan to Kedzie - 7/10/18 thru 11/23/18

Sewer main:
94th St. from Longwood to Vanderpoel - time frame TBD.

Friday, February 16, 2018

in memory

It's not often that we have someone like Commander Paul Bauer, who was so well liked after many years on the job. Officers who knew him describe him as someone who always wanted to make a positive difference.

Rest in peace, Commander Bauer. We will be thinking of you and your family as your funeral procession passes through Morgan Park and Mt. Greenwood on 111th St. tomorrow.

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

Additional information from BAPA:

Funeral services for Chicago Police Commander Paul Bauer will be held Saturday, Feb. 17 at Nativity of Our Lord Church in Bridgeport. Following the ceremony, the procession will travel south on the Dan Ryan Expressway to 111th Street, and then head west on 111th Street through our community to Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.

If possible, we are asking 19th Ward residents to line 111th Street between Vincennes Ave. and Pulaski Rd. in tribute to Commander Bauer. We expect the procession to reach 111th Street around 12:45 p.m.

Volunteers working with the 19th Ward office will be attaching blue ribbons to light poles along 111th Street, and signs honoring Commander Bauer will be offered to businesses along the 111th Street. If you would like to print a sign in support of Commander Bauer to carry or display in your window, please click here.

To accommodate the funeral procession, there will be no parking on the north side of 111th Street throughout the entire 19th Ward from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Supporters are encouraged to gather on the north side of 111th Street to achieve maximum visibility.

Please help the 19th Ward show our condolences to the Bauer and Malloy families and our appreciation for Commander Bauer's service to and sacrifice for the City of Chicago.

non sequitur Friday







Thursday, February 15, 2018

Dan Ryan Woods habitat restoration workday Sat. 2/17

It's great to get outside. Come out and volunteer at Dan Ryan Woods this Saturday 2/17 from 9:00 am-noon for Friends of the Forest Preserves' monthly habitat restoration workday.

Tools, gloves, and training provided. If you have work gloves you like, bring those. Wearing hiking boots or work boots is recommended.

91st St. parking lot (just north of the 91st St. Metra station).  Please contact Benjamin Cox at 773-398-1178 or benjamin@fotfp.org for more information and to let him know if you plan to attend.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Friday, February 2, 2018

non sequitur Friday

Variations on a theme...





And the original...


Friday, January 26, 2018

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Updated - lost dog in Colorado found

The original posting was updated saying that the lost dog was found and reunited with his family. Yeah!
--------------------------------------------
This was posted on the Lost Dogs Illinois Facebook page.

"This is Cliff. Cliff has been found in the foothills of Littleton, CO. He had a collar with a piece of paper wrapped around the collar. Hard to read....Prospect Ave, Chicago, IL

If you know the owner, please private message LDI so we can contact the finder.

Thank you."


Friday, January 12, 2018

non sequitur Friday

Warm thoughts for a cold day.






Friday, January 5, 2018

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Whistler Woods habitat restoration workday Sat. 1/6 CANCELLED

Update - CANCELLED due to subzero wind chill.
------------------------------------------------------------------

It's great to get outdoors. Volunteers are needed this Saturday 1/6 from 10 am to 1 pm for a habitat restoration workday - brush cutting and bonfires.  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.

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. Follow the directions above.

By transit:  Pace 352 Halsted bus

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

please recycle your Christmas tree

If you bought a real tree this year, please consider holding onto it until 1/8 and then taking it for recycling.  If you do this, it will be chipped and used for mulch instead of taking up space in a landfill. Full news story here.

Locations include:

Kennedy Park, 2427 W. 113th St. , Mount Greenwood Park at 3721 W. 111th St., the city’s forestry site at 900 E. 103rd St., Lincoln Park at Cannon Drive and Fullerton Avenue, Margate Park at 4921 N. Marine Drive, , North Park Village at 5801 N. Pulaski,Warren Park at 6601 N. Western Ave.,  Bessemer Park, 8930 S. Muskegon Ave. Clark Park, 3400 N. Rockwell St. Garfield Park, 100 N. Central Park Ave. Grant Park, 900 S. Columbus Drive Kelvyn Park, 4438 W. Wrightwood Ave. Lake Meadows Park, 3117 S. Rhodes Ave. Marquette Park, 6700 S. Kedzie Ave. McKinley Park, 2210 W. Pershing Road West Chatham Park, 8223 S. Princeton Ave. North Park Village, 5801 N. Pulaski Road Norwood Park, 5801 N. Natoma Ave. Portage Park, 4100 N. Long Ave. Riis Park, 6201 W. Wrightwood Ave. Sheridan Park, 910 S. Aberdeen St. Walsh Park, 1722 N. Ashland Ave. and Wentworth Park, 5701 S. Narragansett Ave.