Monday, July 31, 2017

Slow Roll thank you

I'd like to send out a big THANK YOU to everyone who helped make Saturday's Slow Roll ride such a great time, especially the Slow Roll volunteer squad and the police from the 22nd district who were so helpful in giving us an escort.  Ridge Historical Society deserves their own special thank you for hosting us at the start of the ride.

If you enjoyed the ride and you'd like to check out future Slow Roll rides in other neighborhoods, I'd encourage you to follow Slow Roll Chicago on Facebook. There's another ride next Saturday.  Until next time....

Friday, July 28, 2017

Monday, July 24, 2017

perpetual light

Update: I happened to notice a truck working on some lights on yet another block where all lights were on in daytime. Hopefully the ones I reported got fixed as well.

In my travels around the ward, I've noticed a significant increase in recent months in the number of locations where street lights are on all the time. Unfortunately, I'm also noticing that 311 requests to address this problem are often taking a very long time to get responses.

Lights have been on around Prospect Sq. and 91st St. near the Metra station for weeks now, with no response to a 311 report made a while ago. How much money is the city wasting on electricity for hundreds (or perhaps thousands) of streets that are on 24/7 for weeks or months on end?

Here's a link to report Street Lights On Days. It only takes a minute to do this online, and if you have 2 locations around the corner from each other, you can enter that in the description.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

a bit of summer sweetness

I've been enjoying Wild Blossom Meadery's expanded Friday and Saturday hours (now until 9 p.m.) and new Sunday hours  (1-6 p.m.). Today they had mead-lemon slushie, a refreshing for a hot summer day. Now they have cheese plates, too. If you haven't been there yet, I hope you'll treat yourself soon.

Friday, July 21, 2017

simple ways to prevent crashes - part 3

Yesterday I was walking home from the train and I saw yet another example of a problem I see every day. One driver was eastbound on 96th and approached the intersection of 96th & Longwood. He came to a full stop at the 4-way stop. He was starting to roll when another driver flew past Ridge Park, going at least 30 mph on Longwood and didn't even slow down at the intersection.

I've often had similar experiences as a pedestrian, when a driver slows down somewhat but doesn't stop, or flies through a 4-way stop intersection going at least the speed limit, nearly hitting me or other people in the crosswalk.

While I understand that police manpower is stretched at times, the lack of enforcement is creating a serious safety problem. Drivers do what they think they can get away with - running red lights or stop signs, failing to yield to pedestrians, etc. I see fewer people walking or riding bikes in some locations because they feel threatened by reckless drivers. Even worse, when this happens, many of those people will drive instead, and some of them become part of the problem.

I would be grateful if our 22nd district police would do some random enforcement stings, especially at morning and evening rush hours, and in areas where baseball and other sports events are happening. Watch locations like 96th & Longwood, 96th & Damen, 100th & Longwood and other spots where reckless drivers regularly create hazardous conditions for people walking or biking.

Write LOTS of tickets, regardless of who the drivers are. Do NOT make exceptions for the "do you know who I am" people. Unfortunately off-duty first responders are some of the worst offenders. Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of crash statistics to document how bad the problem can be. We have a lot of scary near misses.

I appeal to the commander of the 22nd district to provide an incentive for safer, more responsible driving so that our neighborhood becomes a safer, more pleasant place for walking and biking again.

non sequitur Friday

Sunday, July 16, 2017

simple ways to help prevent crashes - part 2

I previously shared a few ideas on how to prevent crashes. Here are a few more. These should be obvious, but too many people disregard them.

1. Stop at red lights and stop signs.

2. When preparing to turn right or left, watch for cyclists and pedestrians whose paths may intersect with yours and YIELD. The right hook is a very common type of crash, sometimes with fatal or life changing results. If you have a newer car with a camera under your right side mirror, use this valuable tool to help prevent this type of crash.

3. If you are parallel parking your car, check your side mirror and look over your shoulder for approaching cyclists before opening your door. Getting into the habit of using the "Dutch reach" instead of operating the door lever with your left hand is a good way to make this instinctive.

4. If you are leaving a curbside parking space, watch for cyclists and yield if needed before pulling out into traffic.

5. If someone else is a jerk in traffic, do your best to resist escalating it into a road rage conflict.

Each of us can make a difference in helping transform our traffic culture from a culture of selfishness to a culture of yielding and caring about the common good.

Friday, July 14, 2017

non sequitur Friday

Three from Little Feat.

Here's any early version with Lowell George, and Bonnie Raitt and Emmylou Harris sitting in.

Here's one with Sam Clayton on lead vocals, and Southside Johnny's horn section backing them up.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail meeting on Mon. 7/17

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail will meet on Mon. 7/17 at Ridge Park fieldhouse (1817 W 96th St.), 7:00 to 8:30 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.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Dan Ryan Woods habitat restoration workday on Sat. 7/8

It's great to get outside. Come out and volunteer at Dan Ryan Woods this Saturday 7/8 from 9:00 am-noon for Friends of the Forest Preserves' monthly habitat restoration workday. This one is a special seed gathering workday.

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

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