TagMidwest

Chicago may get its first on-street bike parking corral today

Well, it won’t actually be built or open for “business” today.

The Wicker Park-Bucktown SSA (#33) will vote Tuesday at 7 PM on a motion (PDF) on whether or not to spend $4,000 to pay CDOT to install the city’s first on-street bike parking corral on Milwaukee near Damen in front of the Flat Iron building in Alderman Moreno’s 1st Ward. I plan to attend the meeting.

This location will serve Bank of America customers, Debonair clubgoers, and artists and gallery visitors at the the Flat Iron Arts Building. Note that the bike parking would be paid for by the Special Service Area’s revenue, which comes from taxing businesses in the district.

This won’t be the first bike parking corral in Illinois – that honor probably goes to Oak Park, a village east of Chicago. And it won’t be the first in the Midwest. Minneapolis, Ann Arbor, and Milwaukee will have beat us. In fact, Milwaukee’s first bike parking corral opened last Friday, May 6, 2011, in front of an Alterra café.

See list of cities around the world with bike parking corrals.

Oak Park’s on-street bike parking corral at 719 South Blvd., next to David A. Noyes Company and Anthony Lullo’s hair designs. I probably wouldn’t have selected this location, but it’s also across the street from the Oak Park Green Line station, so it can serve as overflow parking. Notice that at least 12 bicycles can park in the same space a car can park.

Milwaukee’s first on-street bike parking corral at 2211 N. Prospect Ave.,  designed by Chris Socha of The Kubala Washatko Architects and fabricated by Ryan Foat, Principal of Oxbow Studio. Photo by Dave Reid of UrbanMilwaukee.com.

It’s 13°F right now in Chicago – what that means for bicycling

It’s very cold right now. I had to state the obvious. But what does that mean for bicycling in Chicago, Illinois, and other Midwestern cities?

A bicyclist rides in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Read more about winter biking in the coldest of the Bike Friendly Cities: iciclebicycle, or MnBicycleCommuter.

You may have heard that the bike commuting rate in Copenhagen during the winter only decreases by 30%, and that 400,000 Copenhageners ride each day. Except it’s 35°F there now, and will be in February, too (when Chicago experiences some of its coldest, harshest days). We’re having the kind of weather that demands you cover your face. Thankfully, this conversation has already been had, twice.

So if you biked today, I salute you. I cycled today to my last class of graduate school on my slowly deteriorating cargo bike. That means I’ve mostly graduated – I deferred my final project by one semester but my goal is to submit it by New Year’s Day (although I have until May, 2010).

If you’re interested in biking through the winter, I have developed a simple message. The key to winter biking is held in a four-letter acronym: SARF. Continues after the jump. Continue reading

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