Saturday, May 30, 2009

UPDATE on disappearing parking meters and the local economy

We've gotten some encouraging news from CDOT via our friends at the Active Transportation Alliance:

"CDOT’s Bike Program has already begun to address the impact of lost bike parking as a result of converting parking meters to pay-and-display areas. This subject is addressed in the Bike 2015 Plan, but the acceleration of the parking-conversion effort requires the City to explore new ideas.

The Bike Program is already reviewing areas where meters have been removed for possible bike rack installation, based on requests from citizens and aldermen. The best place to request a bike rack is through the Bike Program’s web site or by calling 311. More than 11,000 bike racks have been installed citywide to date, and that number will continue to grow.

In the short term, the City plans to leave 1-2 meter poles* per block to serve as bike parking, when no bike rack is available nearby.

The City is also reviewing what’s occurred in other cities where parking meter conversions have occurred, and is exploring other equipment options that might be used to provide additional parking.

CDOT also continues to explore other funding sources for bike parking, in addition to the state and federal grant dollars we receive.

We recognize that the loss of parking meters will pose a challenge to some cyclists. We are committed to minimizing that impact, and to doing so on as an aggressive timeline as possible."

*These will either have parking meter heads left on, or have a ring added, similar to this so that bikes can be securely locked."

If you see locations where bike racks are needed, put in your requests.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday and Saturday nights at Blue Moon

We've got two nights of music this week: the Apeture Duo plays tonight at 7:00 and Slump (classic rock and pop) plays Saturday night at 7:00. Stop by Blue Moon to check 'em out.

funky Friday

Thursday, May 28, 2009

film crew in the 'hood

This morning I encountered a film crew working around 97th & Winchester. Don't know what the project was, but they were there for a while in the a.m. and gone by afternoon.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wednesday night at World Music Company

...and every Wednesday night, 7:30 to 10:00 p.m., the Beverly All Stars play jazz for you. They're back tomorrow night.

World Music Company is a great place to relax in the evening. Tell your friends. Meet some new ones. C'mon down to 1808 W. 103rd St., just east of the Metra tracks ($3 cover).

Monday, May 25, 2009

new I-Go car at Ridge Park

If you have one car and only occasional use for a second, you may want to give I-Go a try instead of buying another car. This new location was added this month. The car is in the parking lot at Ridge Park, near the south end of the fieldhouse.

This flexible car share system is great for grocery shopping or other errands, especially if you plan efficiently. If you can plan ahead even a little and combine multiple stops in one trip, this offers a much cheaper option compared to owning and maintaining an additional car.

If this is a viable option for you, their current promotion will make the deal a little sweeter. I-GO is offering new membership applicants a special discount: $25 off the normal sign-up cost of $75. Neighborhood residents wishing to take advantage of this offer should enter the promotion code RIDGE50 in the “Promotions” section of the online application form.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bike the Drive is tomorrow

I love Bike the Drive. Can't believe tomorrow is almost here. If you haven't registered, there's still a little bit of time to register online today. You can use this discount code (FOR6A5) for $5 off your last-minute online registration, or come down tomorrow morning and do day-of-event registration (which takes a little longer).

Looks like a beautiful day for a ride. Hope to see lots of you there!

Friday, May 22, 2009

funky Friday

Two from Peter Gabriel.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

tonight at World Music Company

...and every Wednesday night, 7:30 to 10:00 p.m., the Beverly All Stars play jazz for you. They're back tonight.

World Music Company is a great place to relax in the evening. Tell your friends. Meet some new ones. C'mon down to 1808 W. 103rd St., just east of the Metra tracks ($3 cover).

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

disappearing parking meters and the local economy

In recent media coverage about the city of Chicago's parking meter fiasco, an issue has arisen that needs urgent attention from local cyclists. A few months back, a friend posted an item on a local online forum mentioning disappearing parking meters creating a shortage of bike parking in some neighborhoods.

The latest bit of news is that, due to pressure on the new parking meter companies to make up for their screw-ups so far, parking meters will be phased out quickly to ensure more accurate metering and reduce the number of erroneously issued parking tickets. The plan discussed on Chicago Tonight was for 30,000 of the 36,000 existing meters throughout the city to be replaced by pay boxes by year-end.

How does this affect cyclists? It creates a fairly urgent need to get a LOT of bike racks installed really soon. IMO, I think it's critical to emphasize to the powers that be that many of us shop and dine by bike, supporting neighborhood businesses, thus supporting the city's tax base. In light of stories like this, asking for bike racks so that we can help support local business may improve the odds of our message being heard sooner rather than later.

Ride of Silence Wednesday 5/20

The Ride of Silence is an annual memorial ride happening tomorrow in Chicago and many other locations to honor the memory of bicyclists who have been killed in crashes. Many of us have lost friends to crashes. I'm planning to do the Chicago ride. Will you join the ride?

Bike the Drive

Bike the Drive, one of Chicago's coolest bike rides, is happening Sunday 5/24. Click here for all the details. If you register online, use this code for a $5 discount: FOR6A5. C'mon out and ride!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

garden walks in June

Click here for a list of local garden walks happening next month.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

new exhibit at Pullman State historic site

Just got this info today from a friend:

THE GREAT MIGRATION : Celebrate more than 150 years of African American Ancestry in Chicago at an opening at the Hotel Florence this Saturday, 5/16 at 11 am. The Bronzeville Historical Society will display artifacts provided by Black Migrants to Chicago. The International Society of Sons and Daughters of Slave Ancestry will exhibit the work of former slaves in a heritage quilt. The Pullman State Historic Site and the Swahili Institute are also exhibit project partners. Call 773 291-9115 or send e-mail for more info.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

there should be a law

If incidents like this one don't make the case for a law to create appropriate penalties for negligent vehicular homicide, I don't know what would.

If this issue is important, please take a few minutes to call or write to your Illinois state legislators. It's inexcusable that careless drivers continue to kill and seriously injure people because they have so little regard for others on the road that their desire to shave, talk on the phone, polish fingernails, eat, or send text messages takes precedent over safe and responsible operation over the potentially lethal weapon that their vehicles can be. It's equally inexcusable that our legislators allow them to get away with it.

green festival 5/16-17

If you're interested in green technology, architecture and products, you may want to check out the green festival.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

burglary alert

In recent weeks, there have been a few house burglaries in the neighborhood - on the 9700 block of Damen and the 9800 block of Hamilton. In one case, the burglars entered through an unlocked side door. I've heard that the burglars may be driving a beat-up dark colored Jeep Wrangler. Keep your eyes and ears open,

Saturday, May 9, 2009

organic plant sale 5/16-5/17

Gardening news from the Chicago Park District:
Buy all you need to garden organically at the Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse plant sale. The greenhouse will sell more than 150 varieties of organically grown vegetable, herb and flower seedlings at this annual sale on May 16 & 17. Plant prices range from $2 & up. Kilbourn Park is located at 3501 N. Kilbourn Ave. Click here for more information, or call 773.685.3351 or 773.685.3359.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Thursday, May 7, 2009

portraits on 5/8 and 5/9

If you need a Mother's Day gift idea, I got this one from Sue Rosengard at Under the Wire, 2210 S. Halsted:

Anne Farley Gaines will be artist in residence on Friday May 8th and Saturday May 9th. Stop by and have her do your portrait in pencil, pen and ink, or watercolors. Prices start at $25 for a 5x7 pencil. Frames available.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

silly Saturday

box cat - for folks who appreciate cat funnies