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by crandell | 06/28/2007
This drive-through pharmacy is on the side of the Walgreen’s at the intersection of Clark and Halsted. While it’s almost expected at this parking-lot dominated, auto-oriented intersection, how many people actually drive to the pharmacy, especially in Lakeview, where over a third of the residents don’t even have access to a car? I consider this intersection the number one priority for an urban makeover in Lakeview.
by Lake Claremont Press | 12/20/2006
Hello, I’m a lifelong carfree Chicagoan and publisher of Lake Claremont Press, which specializes in histories and guidebooks for the Chicago area. We’ve wanted to do a book, Carless in Chicago, for years but haven’t had the time or found the right person to write it. We now are launching a series of slim reference guides (120-160 pp.) on narrow topics, and this Carless/Carfree idea might be a good fit for that.
We’re looking for potential authors and book proposals for this topic if you or anyone you know is interested. Thanks for help in spreading the word. More information on submitting a proposal’s at: https://www.lakeclaremont.com/submissions.php . We envision this book covering the lifestyle nuts and bolts and bonuses, societal/environmental/cost/health rewards for a carfree choice, the transportation gamut (public, car sharing, taxis, walking, cycling), and maybe even the farout, just for fun (blading, scooters, canoe, boat taxis), but are welcome to all expansions and interpretations of the basics.
by paytonc | 09/22/2006
Last week, a friend of mine rented a shared car to get to the Farnsworth House, the famous glass house designed by Mies van der Rohe on the banks of the Fox River, about 60 miles southwest of the city. Two years ago, a few months after it was purchased by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a friend and I decided to bicycle out there. It made a truly rewarding destination for one of the best bike routes out of the city: the Illinois Prairie Path -- the nation’s first rail-to-trail, built on the remains of an old electric interurban.
by paytonc | 09/08/2006
This September, as with any month, Chicago’s parking meters will be fed with millions of quarters. This month, though, a few of those quarters will reserve the 150-odd square feet of public space not for the temporary storage of personal conveyances but for lively, interactive performance art. Park Yourself will feature dozens of performance artists parking themselves, but not any cars, on streets throughout the city — starting today, 8 September (traditionally the start of the “art season” around the city) and continuing through next Saturday, 16 September, in streetside locations from Hyde Park to Edgewater.
by crandell | 08/15/2006
John Hilkevitch’s column today touched on the annoyance of crosswalk buttons in Pushing crossers’ buttons. The column questions whether the buttons have any legitimate use -- and goes on to answer whether the buttons have any impact on the signal timing. But the interesting question is whether the crosswalk button is a legitimate way to control traffic.
Hilkevitch references the button being introduced “more than 50 years ago in the United States as the great equalizer between cars and pedestrians.” But are they rather the great inequalizer? Crosswalk buttons always assume cars are present and never assume pedestrians are present (regardless of location), making pedestrians take special action to cross the street. And while a single car can cruise through a green light at an intersection, a single pedestrian will always have to stop and push the button and wait.
Other important questions to ask:
by luckycat | 07/04/2006
Recently a friend gave me a newspaper clipping with the headline “Family steers clear of cars.” The article, written by Sonia Krishnan of The Seattle Times, was about a suburban family of four who managed without an automobile for almost 20 years. My friend knew I’d love reading about other people like me–people who embrace the idea of carfree living.
My husband and I bicycle or walk wherever and whenever we can. I walk to the bank, the mall, and the grocery store (I carry groceries home in a large plastic backpack). I used to take public transportation to my job downtown before becoming a telecommuter. According to his bicycle odometer, my spouse logs in 2,000 miles a year commuting to work, running errands, and cycling on recreational trails. His 15-speed Trek is a familiar sight in the parking lot of the company where he’s worked for the last 20 years. He will ride his bike to work in any kind of weather with the exception of snowstorms.
Why do we resist dependence on a car? There are so many reasons. We want to save money. We want to fit exercise into our busy schedules. We want to escape the stress of dense Chicago traffic.
There are also emotional reasons not to drive. Being a highly sensitive person, I’ve never quite gotten used to the sounds and smells of rush hour. When stuck in traffic, it is hard not to wish yourself someplace else. What a waste of life!
by MariaS | 06/21/2006
For those in search of biking possibilities outside of Chicago, Bicycle Illinois is scheduling several events this summer.
First there’s the Bicycle Illinois Cross-State Bicycle Tour, July 1-8, 2006. This is a 7-day, 6-night tour starting way down south in Cairo (pronounced Kay-row, by the way) and ending in Chicago. The tour includes lodging and all the support services you’ll need along the way and costs about $500. You can also sign up for just part of the ride, if the whole tour doesn’t fit your schedule (the website includes directions from local Amtrak or Greyhound stations).
Then there’s the Northern Illinois Ride, July 30-August 2, 2006. This begins in Muscatine and ends in Chicago and costs about $150, which again includes road support and lodging.
Another event, called Bicycle Illinois Premier, is scheduled for August 12-19, 2006. Details for this are still in the works.
by crandell | 06/10/2006
Miller Beach is a neighborhood of Gary, IN about an hour from Chicago via the South Shore Line. There’s a main street with several restaurants and bars, including Miller Bakery Cafe, which seems to get great reviews, but didn’t open until 5pm when I went there. Miller Pizza was also good and more than reasonably priced. The main street is nice for Gary, but still has some shut businesses and run-down buildings. The beach is about a half hour walk north of the main street. The walk there is not particularly pleasant — there is a sidewalk for about half of the walk, but then it’s off to the gravel shoulder for pedestrians. The beach is flanked on both sides by major industrial plants.
by crandell | 06/10/2006
The Chicago Park District has kicked off the 2006 Movies in the Park. Check out the schedule and ride you bike or take the cta to an outdoor film with the community!
by ho3ard | 06/10/2006
Here’s an article submitted by Michael Burton a while back for the special carfree Derailleur zine– submitted without his permission, so don’t tell him– he’ll be pissed!!!
Carfree Camping—Really Getting Away from it All!
Four years ago, I joined the ranks of the auto emancipated when the City of Chicago towed my seldom-driven Chevy Nova and I decided to let them keep it. As the bicycle had become my primary mode of urban transportation, sending the ticket magnet (somehow, I always managed to always miss those darn street cleaning signs) to the crusher was a relief.
While biking and the occasional CTA ride got me everywhere I needed to go in Chicago, surrendering my cars keys left me uneasy about one transportation need—the urban get away. Over the past few years, my uneasiness has slowly given way to new adventures where the escape is often as enjoyable as the destination. Instead of starting out trips as a three hour prisoner of a bucket seat, my weekend travels now typically begin with invigorating bike rides or relaxing train rides.
One of my favorite Chicago weekend get aways is a little-known carfree camping trip to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The Dunes boasts about 15 miles of pristine Lake Michigan shoreline as well as dozens of miles of hiking trails. And when you factor in convenient, cheap rail access and a walk-in, carfree camping area, it’s difficult to understand why anyone would ever drive to the Dunes.