The Active Transportation Alliance and the City of Chicago welcome a new addition to the 2009 Bike to Work Week Festivities - the kick-off of the inaugural Soldier Field Cycling Series.
The races are sanctioned by USA Cycling and do require at least a one-day license, available for purchase at on-site registration.
Never raced before? That's okay! Some reminders and suggestion for beginners:
Active Trans/Racing is very excited about this new racing series so close to home, and we look forward to seeing full fields and a successful inaugural for the Soldier Field Cycling Series.
There is an interesting study released by a research firm on road rage. I found the details more interesting than the headlines. Some of the headlines include the best and worst cities for road rage. But the other findings go into the issues of what is going on with drivers.
Supreme Court sides with sidewalk activist, Disabled man wins push to clear way
By Margot Sanger-Katz Monitor staff
June 13, 2009
Bill Tinker likes to ride his scooter around downtown Tilton. The Northfield man has respiratory, circulatory and orthopedic problems that make walking or driving difficult. But he still likes to get out to the post office, the grocery store and other local shops.
Now, he will be able to ride downtown all year long. This week, the New Hampshire Supreme Court settled a longstanding dispute between Tinker and Tilton about whether the town is required to clear snow from its sidewalks to allow him and others with disabilities access. In short, the court said it is.
Tomorrow (Saturday, June 13) is the 10th Annual Sherman Park Criterium on Chicago's Southside, brought to you by Alderman Joann Thompson and XXX Racing - AthletiCo in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, located at 52nd Street and Racine.
Sherman Park was designed by the Olmsted Brothers of Central Park fame and is an ideal place to compete in and watch a bike race. The oval loop and open sprawling lawns offers unobstructed sight lines, and the course itself is wide and flat with gentle curving turns, making it the perfect course for a beginner to try their first bike race.
Click here to download a flyer of the day's events.
Online registration is now closed, but there is day-of-race registration available, as well as the opportunity for beginners to race. Please click here if you are a beginner to road racing and would like to learn more before registering.
Spectators are welcomed free of charge, and picnic lunches are encouraged. There will also be food available for purchase from Goose Island Brewery.
A video production of the 2008 Sherman Park Criterium:
Bike to Work Week Comes to Northbrook
Thanks to the bicycle community within Northbrook, Bike to Work Week will include a commuter station at the Metra in Northbrook located at 1401 Shermer Road on Monday, June 15 from 6am-9am. The station will be sponsored by the George Garner Cyclery and the Northbrook Bicycle Task Force. Stop by for free bike safety check-ups and goody bags!
Highland Park Open House
The City of Highland Park is holding an Open House for the Central District (Downtown) Plan on Wednesday, June 24 at 6:00 p.m. at the Highland Park Community House, 1991 Sheridan. They are eager to hear from residents and users of the downtown area and in particular people that bicycle and walk. The City is seeking input from residents to promote commerce and advance a sustainable downtown. I encourage you to attend this meeting as we seek to advance a Complete Streets policy throughout the Chicagoland area. Your voices at this meeting would advance these goals.
Commuter Stations energize your morning ride!
Bike to Work Week is next week and we have a solid lineup of activities scheduled throughout the region to keep you rolling.
When you’re biking to work next week, be on the lookout for commuter stations along your route. Active Trans will be there with a hot cup of coffee, air for your tires, some snacks, and a goody bag loaded with great swag. Love what we’re doing? Sign up for a membership on the spot and we’ll throw in a free t-shirt. Check out the full list of city stations.
Taking the train into work? Bike to Metra! Active Trans will be at select Metra stations all week long. Pedal in, get a goody bag and come to the Bike to Work Day Rally on Friday June 19 to get a free bike bell. Check out the full list of Bike to Metra stations.
Tired after a long day at the office? Stop by one of our Bike Away from Work parties. On Monday June 15, head to Goose Island in Wrigleyville from 5-8 P.M. Everyone who parks at their bike valet gets a free drink. On Thursday June 18 pedal over to the Flossmoor Station Brewery from 5-7 PM. The first keg is on them (craft-brewed root beer on tap as well!). Meet up with the Footprints coaches for a group ride from the Homewood and Olympia Fields Metra stations.
Not enough? Head to ING Direct Café any day next week for a free cup of coffee to those who use their bike valet.
Friday, be sure to head to the Bike to Work Day Rally at Daley Plaza from 7:30 AM – 7:00 PM. Active Trans will be raffling off prizes left and right. Become a member of Active Trans and show your support for better biking, walking and transit. Stick around for Goose Island’s 312 beer garden, live music, free t-shirts, bike valet, food and celebrate the end of a great bike to work week!
See you out there!
I wanted to give an update after our Director of Planning, Carolyn Helmke, and I met with the City of Chicago on the issue of parking meter removal affecting bike parking. The scope of the problem is that between 25,000 and 30,000 parking meters are currently in process of being removed under the current contract. The meeting was generally good and it is clear that the City is working hard to hold on to meters and replace meters with racks wherever appropriate. The big issue is funding of any manufacturing and installation of new racks and of retrofit options for converting parking meter poles into bike racks. Yes, it would have been great if the funds were built into the existing contract for meter removal. However, the reality is that they were not and in today’s economic environment where the City is rumored to lay off 1,000 employees in the next few weeks, it is hard to imagine the missing pot of gold turning up to save the day.
Where does this leave us? The City recommitted to leaving one parking meter for every six that are removed. This would leave more than 4,000 meters. The City is currently testing various bike rack devices that can be permanently attached to parking meters poles. When the best design is identified, the City hopes implement this solution in 2010. Secondly, 500 – 750 underutilized racks may be relocated to areas affected by meter removal.
There was discussion about placing a cover on the meters that remain that would identify these meters as bicycle parking locations either by stenciling something additional on the green hoods, or by adding signs. As the racks or meter retrofits become available, they will replace the hoods. Additional possibilities include working with aldermen to add funds from their discretionary infrastructure resources to match funds the City already has at its disposable. Chambers of Commerce and SSA’s can assist in these matters if they are inclined. Both of these are great ideas and members can help with encouraging this activity.
The City has also asked us to help with to things:
1. When meters are removed and aren’t replaced with bike parking (racks or a meter pole retrofit), let us know. Send the location (as close to a street address as possible) to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will forward to the City’s Department of Transportation. You can also call 311 and make this request.
2. If you are already missing bike parking because of the removal of parking meters, call 311 and tell us about it at email@example.com
What are some next steps? The City has some work to do to identify resources for a long-term solution. All of this will likely get reported to the quarterly Mayors Bicycle Advisory Council. These meetings are open to the public. More info about these meetings can be found at http://www.chicagobikes.org/.
A contiguous lakefront path from Evanston to Indiana? Check out the Tribune’s coverage of the Last Four Miles: Completing Chicago’s lakefront. Better yet, come hear the authors unveil it themselves at Active Trans' and Friends of the Parks' Creative Living in the City lecture today. 12:15pm, Claudia Cassidy Theater, 2nd Floor, Chicago Cultural Center. 78 E. Washington Blvd., Chicago. Admission is free of charge!
Active Transportation Alliance's Footprints coaches will be parking bikes and finding bike & transit routes all over the Chicago Southland this summer. Farmers Markets from Park Forest to Tinley Park and towns in between will feature valet bike parking thanks to Footprints and donated portable bike racks from Saris Cycling Group. Coaches are bringing big laminated Chicagoland Bicycle Maps and whiteboard markers ["Wipe on, wipe off...."] to show you routes on the spot, and can send south suburban residents home with a prescription for replacing one local car trip a week with a bike, walk or transit trip.
Lead coach Mary Lynn Wilson [firstname.lastname@example.org] brought the racks and new sign out to Park Forests' Farmers Market last Saturday - and valet parked four bikes! Look for Footprints Coach appearances on the activetrans.org calendar. Or sign up on-line - activetrans.org/footprints