Stop by Daley Plaza in Chicago’s Loop on Jan. 18 for the annual celebration of cyclists who don’t let low temperatures stop them from pedaling to work.
Warm up with free Caribou coffee, tea, and hot chocolate, as well as free slices of Eli’s Cheesecake from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at Daley Plaza, located at Washington Street and Dearborn Street.
Winter Bike to Work Day has long been celebrated alongside city hall and the Picasso sculpture. This year the location offers a special attraction—the newly-unveiled Dearborn Street protected bike lane runs on the east side of the plaza. If you have not yet biked on the Loop’s first protected bike lane (which includes the first bike-specific traffic lights in the region), Winter Bike to Work Day provides the perfect opportunity to try it out!
Rally attendees will receive free fleece balaclavas courtesy of The Chainlink and Bike Winter. There will be a raffle for several great prizes, which include a case of Clif Bars and a free registration to MB Financial Bank Bike the Drive.
Jan. 18 also marks the opening of registration for MB Financial Bank Bike the Drive. Get a jump on your summer by signing up for this world-class bike ride to be held on May 26.
Winter Bike to Work Day, organized by the Active Transportation Alliance, commemorates the coldest day in Chicago history—Jan. 20, 1985—when the official temperature at O’Hare International Airport was 27 degrees below zero.
This spring, Chicago will launch one of the few large bike-sharing programs in the nation. The city hopes to repeat the success Washington, D.C. has had, following European cities such as Copenhagen and Paris.
Riders can rent a bicycle for short trips around the city, from docks located at CTA and Metra stations, commercial and employment centers, and cultural attractions. Charging a credit card allows someone to unlock a bike from a dock for a short trip, and return it near their destination.
The city will use solar-powered docks, which can be quickly installed. It will launch the program with an initial fleet of 3,000 bikes at 300 stations, growing to 4,000 bikes at 400 stations throughout the year. This past fall, residents had the opportunity to suggest where the bike-sharing kiosks would be located in Chicago.
A recent Slate article by Tom Vanderbilt credits Gabe Klein with making DC’s program a success. Klein is now heading the Chicago Department of Transportation, bringing some of the lessons of bike sharing with him. For those who are interested in the nuts and bolts of a successful bike-sharing program and how it took shape in DC, Vanderbilt’s article is well worth your time.
As Chicago gets closer to launching its program, keep an eye on the Active Trans bike-sharing webpages for more information.
Schaumburg stands as a model for other suburban communities when it comes to biking. Along with being the first community in Illinois to be recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a Bicycle Friendly Community and the first community in Illinois to require bicycle parking at many of its new developments, the village now has 90 miles of bike paths and 1,000 bike parking racks and locker spaces.
Schaumburg’s bike-related accomplishments didn’t slow a bit in 2012. Take a look at some of the past year’s highlights:
Hooray for Schaumburg! We look forward to seeing more exciting developments in 2013.
Great news for people who bike in Chicago: The city’s department of transportation wants to work with local businesses and business organizations to bring on-street bike parking corrals to neighborhoods throughout the city.
Why build bike corrals? Bike corrals make it more convenient and inviting for people to ride a bike to a business. They provide parking for 10 or more bicycles in the same space typically occupied by a car.
Another benefit is that bike corrals remove bicycles from sidewalks, which makes it easier for pedestrians to get around. Bike corrals increase the visibility of bicycling as a transportation choice and show that a business community is bike friendly—that it cares about its customers who ride bicycles.
There are many reasons why a business would want to consider getting a bike corral installed, but the biggest benefit is economic.
More and more people are seeing that new bike infrastructure can be a boon for business. Bicyclists tend to visit local shops more often and spend more per month.
Currently, there are four bike corrals in Chicago, but there is a need for many more. Local businesses and business organizations can install an on-street bike corral for $2,500 to $3,000, plus some annual costs.
If you know of a business or a building interested in installing a bike corral, please contact email@example.com.
What did it feel like biking on Dearborn Street before the protected bike lane, and what does it feel like now? The difference is stark. Take a look at the dramatic impact that comes about when we rethink our streets to make biking safer and easier. The before and after video and photos below will give you a sense of Dearborn's transformation!
On Saturday, March 9, 2013, the Chicago Bike Swap brings together bike shops, businesses, bike clubs, bike teams and lots of bike people to exhibit and sell bikes, bike parts, gear, clothing, bike event registrations and celebrate biking in three huge gyms at the UIC Physical Education Building, 901 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago.
Booth and table registration is now open for bike shops, businesses, teams, clubs and individuals. Want to get your stuff in front of thousands of bike people? Got a closet-full of old bikes, parts and gear? Get your table or booth now while space is available.
Admission is $10 (cash only) or $5 for members of the Active Transportation Alliance and students, staff and faculty of University of Illinois at Chicago. Kids 12 and under free. Active Trans is proud to host this event that also benefits Chicago Bike Winter and The Chainlink.
The public is welcome to bring up to three bikes per person to sell in our giant Bike Corral. The service is admission plus $5 per bike. You set the price and we call you when a buyer is interested.
In addition to affordable bike merchandise, you can expect presentations on topics like biking safely with children, updates on Chicago’s new biking infrastructure and performances by the amazing Racketeers, a women’s BMX bike dance troupe.
For only $30, you’ll get admission to the swap and a one-year Active Transportation Alliance membership, which includes the Chicagoland Bike Map (a $10 value).
Please save the date for our annual bike extravaganza, the 2013 Chicago Bike Swap on Saturday, March 9, 2013!
On Friday, December 7, I was lucky to attend a transportation expo held by students at Volta Elementary in Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood.
The 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students are a part of the after-school program run by Family Focus, a local non-profit. From late October until early December, approximately 45 students explored active transportation issues in their community.
The project fit well with the program's mission to promote the well-being of children and connect families to assets in their communities. The program wrapped up with an event in the school cafeteria where student groups showed their projects on display boards, shared details of their experiences and answered questions for those in attendance.
Students' questions guided the program and research. The students wrote transportation surveys and gave them to community members (including parents, teachers, neighbors, and other students).
They used their math knowledge to compile the survey data, and also performed “field research” by walking around the neighborhood to observe conditions affecting transportation. Students gained insight into issues of active transportation through visits by representatives of both Active Trans and Bikes n Roses, a youth bike program run through the Albany Park Neighborhood Council.
The final transportation expo allowed students to share their findings and insights with the larger community, including parents and other students. One major finding was that most people walk to and from school—one of the many benefits of attending a neighborhood public school. Students were also excited to study and talk about skateboards and scooters—something many of them find interesting but had not previously thought of as a transportation.
A special thank you to all the students and staff who developed and carried out this program. It was great to hear so many students discuss the benefits of active transportation and identify barriers in their community. Programs like these will continue to build the movement of active transportation users and advocates for many years to come.
Help design new transit stations in Chicago! What features do you notice are missing as you wait for the train or bus, or what do you appreciate the most?
Take this three-minute survey by Jan. 31 to share what station elements are important to you and to enter a raffle for a free copy of the book Carless in Chicago.
CTA will be building new transit stations for proposed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) projects on Western and Ashland Avenues, and in the Loop. Your input will be used as part of a Chicago Architecture Foundation design competition to help shape Chicago’s new BRT stations!
(Photo: Bus Rapid Transit station in Curitiba, Brazil. Credit: Sasha Aickin via Flickr)
We know that people want safer streets for biking. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey found that 71 percent of Americans would like to bike more, but fewer than half feel their community is safe for bikes.
While controversy often tends to be what attracts attention, there's also no shortage of press coverage demonstrating the strong public support for new bike lanes in Chicago. Over the past week, there's been a strong showing of support in the form of an op-ed in Crain's Chicago from Donald Wilson of DRW Trading Group, a front-page story in the Chicago Tribune that gave Active Trans the last word, a column by Greg Hinz in Crain's, and even an editorial from the Chicago Sun-Times stating that "The opening Friday of the Loop’s first protected bicycle lane is a reminder there’s a better way to design the city’s transportation system."
Below are some highlights of supportive press coverage since Chicago's first protected bike lane was installed. Share links to your favorite positive news and commentary in the comments.
The photo features a neighbor of the new protected bike lane on Dearborn giving a thumbs up for the project.
Commissioner Gabe Klein and the Chicago Department of Transportation are hosting a press conference today for the grand opening of the Dearborn protected bike lane and the release of the Streets for Cycling Plan 2020!
When: Friday, December 14 at 1 p.m.
Where: Printer’s Row Park, 700 S. Dearborn St.
Come out to celebrate safer streets for biking and to take your first ride on Chicago's newest protected bike lane. Can't make it? Celebrate with us online by clicking here to send a thank you to the city via email or Twitter.
As we ride on Dearborn, let's all show our appreciation by modeling good behavior and following the rules of the road.