Thanks to everyone who supported the Herron Ride yesterday. It was a really good day for everyone who came to remember all of our community members who have been killed on our streets. Special thanks to Ethan Spotts & Kevin Crowley for hauling all the event materials to & from the event , to Visionquest and XXX racing for bringing your amazing teammates, and to Jane Herronfor bringing everyone together and providing all the wonderful food and family members.
People throughout Chicagoland waited with bated breath today for an announcement on the host city selection of the Olympics. For some, it was simple where they stood either for or against the bid. But for others, it was never simple. And for me, personally, it was never a simple choice. I love the Olympics, always have. I have watched every Olympics since I can remember. I’m not the most nationalistic guy out there, but I do love sport. So a big part of me was looking forward to being a part of the Olympic spirit, seeing the athletes, actually going to events, volunteering to work at the velodrome, and organizing bicycle valet services at events. I will miss that opportunity in my back yard.
The other element of the bid was the fears. The fear of our City getting overrun by visitors, leaving a wake of congestion and hoopla in my front yard. The fear of redirecting financial resources from necessities such as public health, affordable housing, police and fire services, as well as direct resources to the Active Transportation Alliance. We knew, for example, that it was getting harder to raise sponsorship and foundation dollars when their money was pledged to Chicago 2016. I’m feeling a bit hopeful that the loss of the bid will bring these dollars back to our work and to the communities that need these services.
Throughout the process of the bid, Active Trans has been working with the Bid Committee and others to encourage great new legacy projects for Chicago. Despite the loss of the 2016 Games, we can still move forward with these projects, and we should. Read about our recommendations here..
Lastly, I also hope that the experiences that our host committee had in Copenhagen may rub off on building a multimodal city that puts active transportation forward as a priority. I look forward to continuing our efforts to win these strategies. Deep in my heart I’m a little sad but also glad to be a part of trying to make these Olympics, had they come to Chicago, the best that they could have been for the City and its citizens. We’ll move forward from this, regardless of how one might have stood on the issue before the vote.
Yesterday, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) introduced a climate change bill. This legislation will require states to use 10 percent of their allocations from a new cap and trade system to reduce transportation-related emissions. A similar bill in the House would allow up to 10 percent for transportation projects, but not require it.
At least five Senate committees are expected to exert jurisdiction over the climate change bill. Thus, the text released yesterday is subject to a lot of changes. We will keep everyone updated as these move along.
Here is an update from the Chicago Department of Transportation on the lakefront trail repair:
As you may be aware, CDOT is performing repairs to the east sidewalk of the Lake Shore Drive bridge, which serves as the Lakefront Trail. During this repair, the sidewalk is closed.
The Trail is using the easternmost lane of northbound LSD, which has been barricaded off solely for Trail users. To better accommodate walkers, joggers, bicyclists and inline skaters, CDOT has:
--placed fiberglass panels over the open-grate bridge deck to provide a smooth, uninterrupted surface
--placed temporary asphalt ramps to ease the transition from street to sidewalk at each end
--installed a metal guardrail to separate the temporary Trail from the traffic lane (this work should be finished by day's end.)
The attached photo shows the temporary Trail section on the bridge.
The sidewalk repair was necessitated by an incident around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday. While moving the bridge to perform adjustment, a mechanical piece froze and a 10-foot section of the sidewalk broke off. We immediately began making accommodations for the Trail detour, and it reopened Tuesday afternoon.
We don't yet know how long the repair will take, but as soon as it's completed we will reopen the regular Trail.
Feel free to distribute this info, which we have posted on our web site.
Chicago Department of Transportation
An interesting article in the October Scientific American argues "to boost urban bicycling, figure out what women want."
"...Studies across disciplines as disparate as criminology and child rearing have shown that women are more averse to risk than men. In the cycling arena, that risk aversion translates into increased demand for safe bike infrastructure as a prerequisite for riding. Women also do most of the child care and household shopping, which means these bike routes need to be organized around practical urban destinations to make a difference."
Today, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood kicked off the first ever national Distracted Driving Summit. In his presentation, Secretary LaHood released a report documenting nearly 6,000 deaths and more than 515,000 injuries each year caused by distracted driving.
President Obama is supporting efforts to ban text messaging by drivers while operating motor vehicles. Illinois last year enacted its own ban on text messaging. The sponsor of that bill, State Rep. John D'Amico, will be presenting at the Distracted Driving Summit tomorow.
You can follow the proceedings ot the Distracted Driving Summit on Twitter at http://twitter.com/distractdriving.
Attention Lakefront Trail users: there is construction going on near Navy Pier.
The word we got from the Park District is that CDOT is doing some repairs on the bridge.
"They will have a detour up tomorrow that bicyclists and pedestrians can use. They will be closing the east car lane to vehicular traffic, securing boards to the bridge for a smooth ped/bike lane."
We will keep you posted if we hear anything else. Travel safely!
The Active Trans office will be closed until Oct. 5. Some staff will still be in the office so feel free to call and leave a message.
See you in October.
Today's issue of the Chicago Tribune's Red Eye features a cover story on cyclocross racing in Chicagoland. The article has some great photographs from last weekend's race in Jackson Park. Read it here!
Put it in the books: over 400 racers, a record for the Chicago Cyclocross Cup.
The 2009 season was kicked off in pure Euro-style by XXX Racing - AthletiCo in Jackson Park on Sunday. The team provided pan- and funnelcakes, bratwurst, and Italian sausage for all, and through the course of the day, raucous racers and fans lined the tape to heckle and cheer, bang on cowbells, and enjoy some frosty, cold (root) beers.
The challenging and fun course was designed by XXX-er and category 2 cyclocrosser Greg Heck and received rave reviews by all who raced. Below are links to several photo collections documenting the day's events, as well as great video.
Be sure to check the events calendar or the main racing page for upcoming races.