City Responds on Bicycle Parking/Meter Replacement

We received this formal comment from the Chicago Department of Tranportation spokesperson, Brian Steele:

"CDOT’s Bike Program has already begun to address the impact of lost bike parking as a result of converting parking meters to pay-and-display areas.  This subject is addressed in the Bike 2015 Plan, but the acceleration of the parking-conversion effort requires the City to explore new ideas.

The Bike Program is already reviewing areas where meters have been removed for possible bike rack installation, based on requests from citizens and aldermen.  The best place to request a bike rack is through the Bike Program’s web site ( or by calling 311.  More than 11,000 bike racks have been installed citywide to date, and that number will continue to grow. 

In the short term, the City plans to leave 1-2 meter poles per block to serve as bike parking, when no bike rack is available nearby.

The City is also reviewing what’s occurred in other cities where parking meter conversions have occurred, and is exploring other equipment options that might be used to provide additional parking.

CDOT also continues to explore other funding sources for bike parking, in addition to the state and federal grant dollars we receive.

We recognize that the loss of parking meters will pose a challenge to some cyclists.  We are committed to minimizing that impact, and to doing so on as an aggressive timeline as possible."

The Straight Dope on Bike the Drive

Thanks, Cecil Adams! Just in case you wondering why Bike the Drive costs what it does, Mr. Adams shares some great insights..

Save Chicago bike parking!

Chicago’s new on-street parking scheme has drivers reeling. But replacing parking meters with pay-and-display kiosks has a very serious impact on bike parking.

Losing 36,000 parking meters essentially means cyclists are losing 36,000 bike parking spots.

We have written to the city urging it to put some of the money generated by the lease with LAZ Parking toward bike parking.

June marks the start of the City’s budget process. It is important to let your aldermen know that you want him or her to make bike parking replacement a priority. Be sure they know that bike parking is vital to your life as a resident in their ward.

Questions? Contact Rob Sadowsky at

Cell phones could replace fare cards

What? Cell  phones=new fare cards.

Could be

A Spectacular Bike the Drive

This Sunday's annual Bike the Drive was amazing.  I'd like to thank all of our wonderful volunteers and staff who worked so hard to make this day so special.  I'd also like to thank the weather, for it was perfect.  I know the headwind was tough for some.  We've set up a few things for people to share ideas and stories about the event:

1.  Become a member of the Active Transportation Alliance group through Facebook and post your photos and comments for all to see. 

2.  Post photos on Flickr and use the tag "2009 Bike the Drive".

3.  Post photos on both the Tribune and Sun Times web sites.  Just go to front page and the link should be on top.

4.  Make comments on the blog, right here.

Thank you also to the various City of Chicago departments who cooperated with us this weekend:  Mayor's Office of Special Events, Chicago Police Department, Office of Emergency Management and Communications, Chicago Department of Transportation, Chicago Park District, and Streets and Sanitation.  Thanks to all of our sponsors including a great three year run with Bank of America as title sponsor.  This year's event marks the end of our contract and we're on the lookout for a family-friendly company to come in for 2010 and beyond.

Finally, I want to call out the following folks who busted their tucheses over the past six months to make this event go as smoothly as possible:

Christine Schwartzkopff -- Christine is our Director of Events and runs the logistics, from port-a-potties to road closures, it's all her doing.

Rebekah Broussard -- Rebekah is our Sponsorship Director and she raises money, donations and food for riders helping us keep the costs down and the ride as affordable as we can.

Ethan Spotts -- As Director of Marketing he not only has to sell the event to the public, but he helps build the feel and experience of the event to ensure its family friendly and fun.  Margo O'Hara, our Communications Director, works with Ethan to produce press releases, handle day of communications, and media relations.  Thanks also to Akane Tsuruta for writing, layout, and additional communications assistance. 

Jody Orlovick -- As Volunteer Coordinator, Jody needs to both find people to volunteer, train them and then place them in positions.  Some how she found a way to do all of that and still go out and dance for at least one song.

Chris Ege & Mitch Brinker -- Chris manages all of our technology and for Bike the Drive that includes designing the website and working with Mitch, our graphic designer, on all publications and materials. 

Daaron Kimmel -- Daaron is the newest in our Events Team and runs registration from beginning to end.  Its a bit of a thankless job, but Daaron showed great tact with customer service and day-to-day preparation to ensure that the event was as smooth as possible.  Day of registration was so huge this year, we ran out of rider numbers.  We appologize for that to those who experiences this problem, but we've never had so many day of registrants.  We'll be more prepared next year (if we don't well out!).

Our interns, Molly Hackney and Taylor Ekena, added great work.

Thank you everyone.

Another Great Blog on Transportation

I've been reading a blog that a friend recommended and I wanted to share it with readers who don't already have too many blogs to read. Its called Infrastructurist and can be found here:

Today's lead entry is on the PBS series “Blueprint America” and their piece covering Portland. 

Warm & Friendly New Website for Uptown Bikes!

Loving the clipboard background, photos of shop staff, and friendly navigation.

We love Uptown Bikes.


Cycling Center on Streetsfilm

New Streetsfilm featuring Chicago's very own bicycle station.  I highly recommend reading Streetsblog and their partner Streetsfilm.


Home Zone in Logan Square

There is a great article in Time Out Magazine that covers the proposed Home Zone conceived by Active Trans members and staff.  Read it here:  For background on Home Zones, see it

Hinsdale Central bikes to school, Illinois Senate adds road blocks

The high schoolers from Hinsdale Central High School are setting trends in getting to school. On May 19, more than 40 kids from the area biked to school, where cheering student organizers greeted them and handed out candy, coupons for Caribou Coffee and water bottles.

Encouragement events like Bike to School Day proves that riding your bike to school is possible and very fun, especially when its 70 degrees outside. Riding to Hinsdale Central drew my attention to the lack of safe facilities for kids to use.

high schoolersWhen I was a freshman at Hinsdale Central, a student was struck and killed while crossing the street. I shared this story with a student organizer of Bike to School Day, and let her know that her volunteering to run the event is making a difference. For readers of this blog, though, the challenge is giving our kids the opportunity to experience the joy of getting to school under their own steam.

On the same day as Hinsdale’s Bike to School Day, the Illinois Senate voted against an amendment that would require vehicles to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. The bill is not dead, though. The Senate President is giving allies of human-scaled transportation a grace period to get more senators on board for the vote. Call your state senator right now and ask them to support House Bill 43, the crosswalk safety initiative. You can find your state senator’s name and phone number through Active Trans’ legislation page.

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