Saturday, February 22, 2020

survey for Metra Rock Island riders - and those who don't ride often due to frustrations

I've had so many conversations with various people in recent years about Metra's shortcomings and ways that they fail to serve our communities well.  When Metra does customer surveys, they often fail to ask the right questions. I'm offering an unofficial survey. I'm going to share the results with Active Transportation Alliance.

Here's a link to the survey.   It's fairly brief.  If you could spend a few minutes sharing your thoughts, I'd be grateful for the information. Yes, I did include comment fields.

Thanks for your help.  Please share this with friends who ride the Rock Island.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Friday, February 14, 2020

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Metra community meeting tomorrow (2/13)

Active Transportation Alliance has organized a community meeting regarding the proposed Cook County pilot project to reduce Metra Electric and Rock Island fares and create a more functional and affordable network with CTA and Pace to improve transit access to jobs for the south side and south suburbs.

This meeting is an opportunity to learn more about the proposal and voice your support.

To give organizers an idea of how many people to expect, please register at this link:

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Whistler Woods habitat restoration workday on 2/15

It's great to get outdoors. Volunteers are needed this Saturday 2/15 from 9 am to noon 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

Monday, February 10, 2020

coming soon to 99th St.

An exciting new garden center is coming to 99th St. this spring. City Grange will be opening in the former Thamms Auto space just east of Longwood Dr.

Their offerings will be a welcome change from the usual. Their first store opened on the north side.  It grew out of the Peterson Garden Project

I'm looking forward to this new addition to the neighborhood.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

thoughts on dreams and loss

It seems like openings and closings of local businesses often come in waves. Over the last several weeks, a few places I've appreciated have closed.

First was Peace of Pizza on 95th St. They weren't with us long. I appreciated their goal in opening here and miss being able to stop by and pick up a slice on my way home from the train.

Next was Ellie's on 107th St. For years, they've been one of my favorite places for a tasty breakfast. I've introduced lots of friends to their delicious food and fun space. I've had so many good times there, including dinners with the Spanish language group that migrated from Blue Moon after they closed.

A sign recently appeared on the front door of Jimmy Jamm on 95th, saying that they were closing. They opened soon after we moved to the neighborhood. So many times I've stopped there on my way home from work to pick up a special treat, bought a pie for a holiday party or special occasion, or gone there at the end of the bike ride with friends. They opened my eyes to how many amazing things can be made with sweet potatoes. It was an after-ride destination for many bike outings over the years.

Jimmy Jamm - sweet potato pies and lots more

Now B-Sides has just closed.  I've visited there so many mornings on my way to the train, met up with friends, relaxed on weekend mornings, and enjoyed the music and relaxing space.

For many of us, these places have been homes away from home, social gathering places and introductions to wonderful flavors.  It's frustrating that some of had such extreme difficulties with burglaries, street construction and other problems.

To the owners and all the people who have worked hard there, thank you for sharing your dreams and your hard work with us. You've helped to make our community and our lives better. The neighborhood won't be the same without what you've brought to it.

To those who are coming soon, we welcome you, plan to buy from you and hope that you'll stick around a while.

Sign in the window of the former Peace of Pizza location on 95th.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

habitat restoration workday at Dan Ryan Woods on 2/8

It's great to get outside. Come out and volunteer at Dan Ryan Woods this Saturday 2/8 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.

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