This past weekend, David Byrne visited Chicago to speak alongside Luann Hamilton, Jacky Grimshaw, and Randy Neufeld. Randy Neufeld served as the Executive Director of the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, now the Active Transportation Alliance. He is now a board member of Active Trans and the director of the SRAM Cycling Fund.
At the “Cities, Bicycles and the Future of Getting Around: A Special Urban Sustainability Forum with David Byrne,” Randy gives Chicago 10 ideas to make bicycling great. What follows is myÂ paraphrasing of the presentation.
“We need to make the streets more inviting to a broader spectrum.”Â 8 and 80. The criteria for urban cycling infrastructure should be whether it is suitable for 8 year olds and 80 year olds.
- Open Streets – “What if Bike The Drive were every weekend?”
- Slow Down – 30KPH (under 18 MPH) zone.
- Cycle Tracks – The basic bike lane has been widened, parked cars moved to the left, and a buffer has been painted.
- Bike Boulevards – Lightly traveleed streets without bike lanes to make it easier to take the side streets across town.
- Bike Parking – Chicago is the best with on-street bike racks. Need covered off-street bike parking. Bike parking starts at home. “There’s free public auto parking on the street in front of my house, why not free public bike parking on the street in front of my house?”
- New Public Space – Follow New York City’s example. Build a Parklet like in San Francisco.
- Wayfinding – Not impressed with Google Maps’ bicycling directions. Active Transportation Alliance Chicagoland Bike Map.
- Better Bikes – “In Chicago, one could live without a suspension fork, and fewer than 21 gears. For $370, you’re going to wish they included lights, fenders, a kickstand, and a rack to carry your beach bag. In civilized places, bikes come fully equipped.
- Public Bikes – “Maybe you don’t need your own bike.”
- Get Going! – Take action, get involved. Take something you’ve seen today and make it happen. Put fenders and a basket on your own bike, and go shopping! [I'm not sure if number 10 is an idea but really the conclusion to encourage people to further inspect ideas 1 through 9.]
Randy used, with my permission, several photos from my Flickr photostream. You can see those again now – perhaps you’ll want to use them in your presentation about bicycling and Chicago!