Wednesday, December 26, 2018

changes to shared cost sidewalk program for 2019

This year the shared cost sidewalk program opens for applications at 12:00 am on Tuesday, January 8, 2019.

If you want to apply to get a section of your sidewalk replaced, call 311 or create a Sidewalk Inspection request using the new CHI311 web site or app (available from Google Play or Apple's App store). The new site allows you to set up an account, which allows for easier tracking of requests after you've submitted them.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Friday, December 21, 2018

non sequitur Friday

It's not quite Christmas without some of our beloved classics.






Friday, December 14, 2018

non sequitur Friday

Variations on a theme...







And the original.

Friday, December 7, 2018

non sequitur Friday





Great version of a classic Ray Charles tune. Note: for some reason, they have a photo of the wrong singer on this video.


Friday, November 30, 2018

Thursday, November 29, 2018

thoughts on Safe Routes to School and life skills

I've referred to Safe Routes to School programs a few times in previous blog posts. A successful program that encourages more families to let their kids walk or bike to school means less traffic, less stress for kids and school neighbors, healthy transportation and exercise for kids.

I have friends who have been involved in organizing these programs at schools in various neighborhoods over the years. Talking with them about their efforts made me think of my own experiences walking to school as a kid.

Compared to riding in a car, it increased my awareness of surroundings, helped me learn street smarts and navigation, and develop decision making skills. Walking or biking or using public transit is about much more than transportation. These are building blocks for many important life skills.

If kids are driven everywhere in the name of "safety" and they never have this kind of learning opportunity, are they as well prepared as they could be for high school, college and life after school?  How safe are they later on when they are trying to function independently, beyond the cocoon their parents have created for them?

Several years ago, I met students who were juniors and seniors in high school who were attempting for the first time to navigate independently outside their neighborhoods and figure out how to get where they were going on public transit. They got lost and were an hour late for the workshop they were attending. Examples like this are all too common now.

Investing in ways to make our streets safer for pedestrians and bikes is an investment in quality of life in our community - for the present and the future.

Friday, November 23, 2018

non sequitur Friday

I'm looking forward to a mellow day, not going anywhere near the Black Friday madness.







A Thanksgiving classic to finish up the set...


Consider a different option on Black Friday - a gift to yourself. #OptOutside. This morning there is a a volunteer trail building workday at Big Marsh. If you'd like to help improve this unique park and spend some time experiencing the place for yourself, event info is on the Friends of Big Marsh Facebook page.  Whether you go to Big Marsh or not, treat yourself to some outdoor time. It's good for the soul.


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

a 1% day

When my husband and I first started going out, he was a rookie Chicago Police officer. One of the hardest things in the first year was adjusting to the reality that he might not get home if something went seriously wrong during his shift. It was a reality I'd never experienced before and gave me some sleepless nights until I got used to it. He was working the midnight shift in a busy west side district, so I never what might happen on any given night.

We've had a running joke over the years - that the job is 99% routine, unexciting stuff and 1% sheer terror. Most of the time the possibility of that 1% is a bogeyman that stays in the closet.

Yesterday was a 1% day for so many CPD officers. The bogeyman was out in full force.

As I saw and heard dozens of police cars speeding south past my office yesterday afternoon, I had a bad feeling that something was very wrong. The last time I'd seen that kind of police response was the afternoon when Commander Paul Bauer was shot and killed.

Later we were watching news coverage of the tragedy on TV, and my husband recognized officers from his district at the scene. I was grateful that he wasn't scheduled to work yesterday.

The family and friends of hundreds of on-duty first responders went through anxious, stressful hours, living the reality of that 1%.

My sympathy goes out to family, friends and co-workers of Officer Sam Jimenez, Dr. Tamara O'Neal and pharmacy resident Dayna Less who died yesterday.   Gun violence is a cancer on our city and our society. Too many lives have been ended or forever scarred by this sickness. There might have been a lot more people killed or wounded if not for Officer Jimenez and others who responded to the scene at Mercy.

Doctors and other health care professionals shouldn't stay in their lane regarding gun violence. This is one more big reason for them to speak out. Can we all say ENOUGH now and do something to enact meaningful national gun reforms?


Saturday, November 17, 2018

95th St. detour this weekend

From 11:30 pm tonight to 11:30 pm Sunday night, 95th St. will be closed to traffic over the Dan Ryan. All types of traffic (pedestrian, car, bus, etc.) will be detoured. This is for a major step in the construction of the new 95th St. red line station.  Bus stops will be temporarily reconfigured.

At some point on Sunday, 2 large cranes will be used to lift the new skybridge into place to connect the north and south halves of the new station.

If you need to get to the Dan Ryan or points east, I'd recommend going another way unless you want to watch the construction. Traffic is likely to be a bit hairy in that area.

For more info, click here to read the Streetsblog article about the project.

new book store by 99th St. Metra station

This week I was on the platform waiting for the train and noticed a cute addition to our 99th/Walden/Wood business district - Bookish, a new book store. I stopped in last night after getting off the train. They have an eclectic mix of books and other items. The hours may vary somewhat from week to week.


If you have little ones, you may be interested in story time.


I picked up this sweet little book.



Check it out. It's a fun place.



Friday, November 16, 2018

non sequitur Friday

Variations on a theme...





The original...


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

dockless bike share survey

We're at the end of the 6 month dockless bike share pilot program.  CDOT is now evaluating ridership data and public feedback.

Have you been using dockless bike share? Want to share your thoughts about it?



CDOT has put out a survey asking for your feedback on the program. Click here to take it.

If you've found dockless bike share (Jump, Lime and Pace) useful and would like to see it available here in the future, please say so in your survey comments. Many of us have enjoyed having this flexible transportation option.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Monday, October 22, 2018

Metra Rock Island schedule changes coming for PTC

Metra has a proposed schedule and survey out for comment now. If you've followed the introduction of PTC (Positive Train Control) on the BNSF line, you are aware that it's involved some schedule changes, because the system requires testing before the start of each run, increasing turnaround time. Here's more on Metra's implementation of PTC.

Some of you might remember the Rock Island derailment in 2005 that caused 2 fatalities and many injuries. PTC is intended to prevent crashes like that one, or train vs. train collisions.

The proposed schedule changes on the Rock island mostly affect rush hour trains. Here's a link to the proposed schedule.

Finally, here's the survey. It's open for responses until 10/31.




Friday, October 12, 2018

non sequitur Friday

1980s flashback - part 2







Thursday, October 11, 2018

Open House Chicago featuring Beverly and Morgan Park sites

Open House Chicago is an amazing opportunity to see many buildings that we might not otherwise get the chance to visit.

Among the neighborhood sites featured in this year's event are Ridge Park and its Vanderpoel Art Gallery, Optimo Hats, Ingersoll-Blackwelder House and Wild Blossom Meadery.

Sites in many other Chicago neighborhoods, as well as Oak Park and Evanston, are featured in this year's event. It's a nice event to do by bike and transit.


Friday, October 5, 2018

Monday, October 1, 2018

household hazardous waste and electronics collection this Saturday 10/6

Beverly Unitarian Church will host a collection of household electronics and hazardous waste this Saturday 10/6, 8:30 to 11 a.m. Note that this one is NOT at the castle. It is at 11030 S. Longwood Dr.  (Morgan Park United Methodist Church).

This event is sponsored by the church’s Green Sanctuary Group and Beverly Bank. Donations are encouraged to help cover costs. 

The following items will NOT be accepted: freon, incandescent bulbs, appliances, alkaline batteries, bio-hazardous products, needles, latex/acrylic/water-based paints, caulk or cleaning products, or other water soluble products.

Accepted items include: computers, monitors, printers, laptops, small electronics, small TVs, cell phones and pagers, mercury fluorescent bulbs, rechargeable batteries, mercury thermometers, anti-freeze, used motor oil, oil based-paints, paint thinner, aerosol paints, batteries, lawn chemicals, hobby and photographic chemicals, pool chemicals and solvents.  Hazardous items must be properly sealed.

They will also accept clean styrofoam items (except packing peanuts). Textbooks and eyeglasses will be accepted for reuse or recycling. 

For more information, send email to Eileen Klees or Fran Sowa.


Friday, September 28, 2018

do you want to see bike routes in the 19th ward?

With the addition of dockless bike share in our ward, Alderman O'Shea seems more open to the idea of creating bike routes to encourage more bike riding and more use of the dockless bikes.  This is a welcome opportunity to give input on a set of bike route ideas that were developed by CDOT during the initial round of public outreach for the Streets for Cycling Plan 2020.

The plan includes different types of routes, ranging from neighborhood greenways (for residential streets) to protected bike lanes on major streets like Vincennes.

Better conditions for riding can encourage development and growth of Safe Routes to School programs so that more kids can walk and bike safely to neighborhood schools. We've all seen how crazy and dangerous streets around schools can be around drop-off and pick-up times. Conditions can be hazardous for the kids themselves, for neighbors, and for anyone who needs to pass through those areas or streets that parents use to get there. I'm sure that many of you have seen the huge difference in morning and afternoon traffic volumes between weekdays when schools are in session and summer weekdays. Walking and biking without all that additional traffic is much safer and more pleasant.

If a lot more kids are walking and biking instead of being driven to school, it's a valuable opportunity for them to learn about navigating their neighborhood, street safety, decision making, and the environment around them. It creates a foundation for many basic life skills.

One of the benefits that many communities have seen from more people getting around by bike instead of car is a boost to neighborhood business districts. As long as there's a place to lock up bikes, and it's a place people can easily reach by bike, studies have shown that making streets more bike friendly can increase revenues. Local and regional bike touring bring more business once the word gets out that riding conditions are good.

Bike rides to visit craft breweries are increasingly popular. Those riders may visit other businesses along the way, in addition to breweries and brewpubs. Attracting a large bike group can bring $$$$ to our business districts. Businesses can serve a lot more customers if they're coming by bike instead of needing a lot of parking spaces. Unique businesses can make a neighborhood a popular destination.

You can take the survey here. The first map below shows an overview of the whole ward, while the 5 areas in smaller detail maps correspond to questions in the survey.


Area 1

Area 2

Area 3

Area 4

Area 5

The survey will be open until 10/31.  We hope that you'll spend a few minutes to take it.

If there are streets in the ward where you would like to be able to ride but you don't because conditions are too dangerous, please include that in comments.

non sequitur Friday







Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Monday, September 24, 2018

a big thank you

Thank you to Southwest Chicago Diversity Collaborative and Beverly Area Arts Alliance for making yesterday's Terrain Fest possible. It was a great day.











Friday, September 21, 2018

Terrain Fest and Artist Studio Tours on Sun. 9/23

Come out for Terrain Fest on Sunday afternoon 9/23 from 2:00-4:30 pm. It's happening at 95th and Hamilton in conjunction with Beverly Art Walk artist studio tours.

We'll have art and reading activities for kids, music, kids' bike safety demo and more. Representatives from the dockless bike share companies will be there. If you have questions about dockless bike share, you can ask a rep.

If you are interested in seeing bike routes developed in the 19th ward, come out and see a map of proposed ideas and do a survey to let CDOT know where you want bike routes. 

Parents - bring your kids with their bikes and helmets to learn about riding smart and safe.

Thanks to Beverly Bike & Ski, we will have a bike safety check. Stop by and get it checked out.

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

Here's more info about the Artist Studio Tours happening from noon to 5:00 pm on the same date. We highly recommend biking between studios.

Artist Line-Up: (from North to South, 90th to 111th)
Dalton Brown - 9036 S Oakley
Brian Ritchard - 9419 S Leavitt
Jomo Cheatham - 95th and Hoyne
Charlette Hein - 9737 S Hoyne

Sandra Leonard, John Colson, Audrius Pliopylis and
Jean Vanier- Trinity Church, 99th and Winchester
Raymond Broady and Brendan McAlinden - 10357 S. Hamilton
Judie Anderson, 10632 S. Hoyne
Pat Egan, Kathy Figel and Karen Doubek - Art From The Heart studio, 2266 W. 109th
Dan McCabe - 2213 W. 109th St.
Tom Olsen and Jack Denst - 11112 S. Hoyne

Studio Tour After-Party 5-7 pm at the beautiful Wild Blossom Meadery (9030 S. Hermitage Ave.)


non sequitur Friday

Grooving into a Friday vacation day.... Have a great weekend!




Saturday, September 15, 2018

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail meeting Mon. 9/17

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 (9/17, 7 to 8:30 pm) at Ridge Park fieldhouse.

https://www.thechainlink.org/events/friends-of-the-major-taylor-trail-meeting-732

Friday, September 14, 2018

Monday, September 10, 2018

Do you know how to avoid dooring crashes?

I'm seeing more adults riding on sidewalks around the neighborhood. A certain amount of fear due to increasingly reckless and clueless drivers is understandable. On extremely busy streets like Western or 95th, I understand it for riders of any experience level. But when I see adults riding on sidewalks where there is absolutely no traffic, it hurts my heart.

Fear of dooring is one of the motivations for this.  It's one of the most common causes for bike crashes. News stories like this one help to reinforce that fear. Whether you have a lot of riding experience or you're a newbie, do you know all the things you can legally do to avoid getting doored?

1. Look through the rear window of the car to see if you can spot someone in the car. This isn't always possible due to things like tinted windows, glare and big headrests, but it's a good starting point.


2. When possible, especially in situations where it's your only safe option, ride 3 feet or further out into the traffic lane, outside the door zone. This is called "taking the lane" and it is legal when riding closer to the curb is unsafe. Where we have bike lanes, the best designs create a buffer space between parked cars and bike traffic, as in this example.


Where there are no bike lanes, having shared lane markings and signs can remind drivers that we have a legal right to the road.


3. Scan the tail lights of parked cars ahead and watch for brake lights turning off.  If someone has just taken their foot off the brake, they may open the door very soon afterwards.


4. Scan the side mirrors of parked cars ahead and look for a face or signs of movement. This can also warn of a door that's about to open.


5. f you see a door opening, call out "wait!" or "stop!"  The driver will often pause and look, and they will usually wait for you to pass before fully opening their door.

In combination with the ideas above, one of the best things you can do is ride as often as possible, even if it's only 1 or 2 miles per trip. Riding more often builds your skill level and confidence on the bike. When your riding skills are more solid, it's easier to pay attention to signs that may warn of a potential dooring, because your attention isn't focused on operating the bike.

Take care and ride safe. If more of us are out there on bikes, drivers get more used to watching for us.


Sunday, September 9, 2018

getting up to speed

Getting up to speed isn’t always about going as fast as possible. Sometimes it’s good to do a refresher on rules of the road. Laws change over time, so what we learned years ago isn’t necessarily the same as current laws. Going back and reviewing from time to time may also help us break bad habits.

I see evidence every day that doing this would be relevant for many drivers. A few days ago I was riding my bike on Longwood Dr. A driver zoomed up from behind me, shrieking “Get out the street! Get out the street!” I’ve heard clueless things said by lots of drivers like her who seem unaware of state laws giving cyclists the same rights as drivers on the vast majority of streets.

Too many seem equally unaware of the Chicago law requiring cyclists 12 and older to be on the street, not on the sidewalk, unless it's a location where the sidewalk is designated as a trail. This is for pedestrian safety. Grandma will thank you. Laws on this subject vary by municipality. Many suburbs allow riding on the sidewalk except in business districts or other areas where signage prohibits sidewalk riding.

If you’re driving, there are a few important bike-related laws you should know. Illinois and most other states have a 3 foot passing law, requiring you to move far enough to the left of a cyclist to leave 3 feet or more between your vehicle and the bicycle when passing.

When you are parked, opening your door into traffic make cause a serious injury or fatality for a passing cyclist. It's happened to me. I turned a corner and encountered an illegally parked car at the crosswalk. The driver flung his door open and knocked me sideways, flying off the bike into evening rush hour traffic onto my tailbone. The woman driving behind me hit the brakes and put on her flashers, blocking cars behind her from hitting me. Some people aren’t as lucky when they get doored.

This is why there is a state law requiring drivers to look before opening their doors and wait until the lane is clear before doing so if there is approaching traffic. Looking before opening your door can help to prevent tragedies like this one in Pilsen last week.

      (625 ILCS 5/11-1407) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-1407) Sec. 11-1407. Opening and closing vehicle doors. No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so, and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.

A new bill was just passed adding the Dutch reach technique to Rules of the Road and adding bike safety questions to the state driver’s license exam.



If you see someone on a bike using hand signals and there hasn't been any unfriendly exchange to provoke hostile gestures, pay attention. They're probably trying to tell you that they're stopping or turning.

If you're the one who's going to turn and there are no cars in sight, it's still a good idea to use your turn signals if there's a pedestrian or cyclist who may be affected by your turning movement. They need to know if you're turning. That critical bit of information may save that person's life or prevent serious injuries.



Illinois and most states have laws requiring drivers to stop or yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. A while back I wrote about an incident I witnessed on 99th St. where a driver  was trying to intimidate a group of moms and kids who were crossing the street in front of All Day Montessori.

A driver who uses their vehicle to threaten a vulnerable road user (pedestrian or cyclist) or deliberately or recklessly hits and injures them may be charged with vehicular assault.

Driving is a privilege, not a right. To deserve that privilege, it’s our individual responsibility as drivers to stay up to date on current laws. Anyone who choses to be ignorant of laws threatens the safety of others and should not be driving a motor vehicle.


Friday, September 7, 2018

Friday, August 31, 2018

Friday, August 24, 2018

Friday, August 17, 2018

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Shakespeare in the Park at Ridge Park Tues. 8/14

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


Bring your lawn chairs and your picnic and enjoy the fun.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Big Marsh Convergence on Sat. 7/28

Choices, choices.... What do you want to do on Saturday? You could get on your bike and join one of the groups that's riding to Big Marsh.

Big Marsh Convergence has several starting points for large groups to ride to the park. I'm thinking of riding over to either the Pullman Porter Museum or Arcade Park in Pullman to meet up with one of the groups. There are additional meet-up locations in Hegewisch, East Side and Riverdale. The scheduled meet-up time is 10:30 a.m. Click here for more details.

If you've been curious about the park but have never been there, it features  a bike area with a variety of tracks and jumps and a large nature area.


the Frunchroom on Thurs. 7/26

Looking for something fun to do on Thursday night? Come on down to the Frunchroom - part of an ongoing reading series happening at Beverly Arts Center.



One of the featured readers on Thursday is David Daruszka, a retired railroad engineer with lots of stories to tell.

Thursday at 7:30 p.m. See ya there!

Friday, July 20, 2018

non sequitur Friday

A bike themed mix in honor of tonight's bike race in the neighborhood.







Wednesday, July 18, 2018

and then there were 5, no make that 4, dockless bike share companies

If you've been following bike share in the area in recent weeks, you may have noticed a few changes. For several weeks, we had bikes available from LimeBike, Pace and Ofo. Jump and HOPR/Bike and Roll got into the mix - making a total of 5 brands of dockless bikes, each with its own app and slightly different terms.

Due to the city sticking to its low mandated limits on the number of bikes the company could put out on the streets, Ofo picked up its bikes and went home. Meanwhile LimeBike, which has the same low mandated limit of 50 bikes, is still pushing to stay.

Jump bike
Jump started putting its bikes out on the streets just over a week ago, increasing to 350 bikes in the coming weeks.

Also, Pace is looking for locations to install its own racks, which can be used with their bikes or other bikes. They're increasing the number of their bikes available from 250 to 350, under the terms of the city's pilot program.

Pace bike rack
Things are definitely getting interesting.  I'm curious to see what the big picture looks like for dockless bike share in Chicago when November comes around.

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.