TagWest Town Bikes

5 reasons to come to Bikecitement Night!

WTB@YBS

West Town Bikes sent these young adults to Youth Bike Summit in New York City (2013). Photo: Michael Young

I am copying this message straight from the West Town Bikes e-newsletter I just received, with some personal notes in brackets. WTB holds multiple fundraisers each year. Tour de Fat is their largest, but we need something to do in the winter, right?

Bikecitement in three weeks is a time for people to get to know more about West Town Bikes, its people and its programs, than possible at Tour de Fat – all while enjoying Revolution Brewing refreshments.

1. Support one of Chicago’s premier bike-based, youth development organizations.
[I support it in multiple ways: blogging about it now, going to their events, taking friends there to help them fix their bikes, and buying my bike parts there. I also make monetary donations.]

2. Meet our talented & enthusiastic youth leaders.
[The youth who join West Town Bikes – either as students, or as apprentices and later staff members – are the coolest, brightest young adults I know.]

3. Bid on auction items like theater and performance tickets, dinner at fine restaurants, Chicago sports memorabilia, and much, much more.

[I don’t like going out to these things, so I’ll leave room on the silent auction bidding sheet for your name.]

4. Enjoy craft beers & tasty treats from Revolution Brewery.

[Revolution Brewing makes the best beer, Eugene Porter, and donates a portion of its profits to bike culture endeavors – the more you eat and drink at Revolution the more money they can devote to that cause. The founder, Josh Deth, is also an urban planner and basically did his own zoning analysis about parking requirements for the brewpub.]

5. Enjoy the “Bike Scene” with the West Town Staff!

[The staff, what can I say, are committed, passionate, and fun to hang out with.]

West Town Bikes

Emily Leidenfrost, a program coordinator at West Town Bikes, helps kids make crafts at Tour de Fat this summer. Photo: Daniel Rangel

Addendum: This summer I co-taught a bike planning class with Emily Leidenfrost. She led the class while I joined a few times each week to teach urban planning and bike infrastructure design concepts. I instructed a group of five high school students (most of whom became college freshman last month) to collect and analyze data, and prepare a professional report that described the problem of bicycling among key sites along Western Avenue in multiple neighborhoods.

When
Monday, November 9, 2015 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

at Revolution Brewing’s brewpub in Logan Square
2323 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

Buy tickets now!

NIMBYs can’t have it all: Student instructor at West Town Bikes supports wheel-friendly park

Lebster, far left, three students at West Town Bikes, and executive director Alex Wilson, head to Open Streets on State Street. 

Update August 27:  Lebster was interviewed by RedEye reporter Leonor Vivanco today.

Lebster Pabon, an instructor at West Town Bikes in Humboldt Park (it used to be in West Town!), attended an important Chicago Park District board meeting yesterday and brought one of his high school students and that student’s mother. They spoke up to support what would be the city’s first wheel-friendly park, where people can skate, bike, and… which would be new to Chicago… use wheelchairs in the park. Neighbors of the Bloomingdale Trail were in attendance to oppose the park.

Lebster called me to say that another attendee spoke up to say he would like to bring his grandchildren to such a park, and that a board member added he has to take his kids out of Chicago to use bikes in a park like this. Lebster mentioned that since it’s at the end of the Bloomingdale Trail it would be very accessible: ride up Rockwell from West Town Bikes, a low-traffic “side street”, hop on the Bloomingdale Trail, and ride 10 minutes over to Walsh Park. When asked if the park would attract people from other suburbs, Lebster said it would attract people from around the country because it could host events.

Finally, a Chicago Park District board member asked if bikers and skaters coexist. Lebster told me he said, “Yes, the culture is very disciplined in skate parks”. I’ve witnessed it myself and I didn’t expect it, imagining that teenagers are unruly. Rules aren’t needed, though, as each person has learned to take a turn in the park and then respect the time and talent of the other skate park users.

This is a very special and unique moment for young Chicagoans who are active outside as this proposed park would be the first to accommodate bicycles and wheelchairs. The Chicago Park District’s first core value is “Children first”. The website says, “Our most important task is to bring children and families into our parks and give them great reasons to stay and play for a lifetime”. Lebster’s contributions to the meetings, and the conversations around the park, were integral to that value and the District’s mission.

About West Town Bikes

West Town Bikes and I have a good history. I came into contact with the organization in 2006, the year I moved to Chicago. I joined a scavenger hunt in October that ended at the shop. I met a lot of people there that have shaped my bicycle advocacy future, including Kevin Monahan, who put John Greenfield and I together after which we started Grid Chicago, Jim Freeman, Kevin Conway, Gin Kilgore, and countless other people. West Town Bikes is also the host and a sponsor of my annual Cargo Bike Roll Call events.

Cargo Bike Roll Call equivalent across the pond

The Cargo Bike Roll Call equivalent in Nijmegen, Netherlands, is called Bakfietsdag, or “box bike day”. The city is pronounced “nigh-may-hen” and is the home of a very awesome bridge that only carries trains and bikes.

Photo by Daniel Farrell. All other photos by Jan Beeldrijk.

See the full set of photos from my friend Jan’s photostream. I met Jan in Utrecht, and we rode our bikes from the Utrecht train station, through town, to nearby Houten, and then back to Utrecht. We visited the Spoorwegmuseum, too!

I am planning for the second annual Cargo Bike Roll Call. I held the first at West Town Bikes in September 2011. It’ll again be at West Town Bikes (Division Street and Campbell Street), but I’m aiming for June and I hope to have a street closure permit so we can (legally) take up more space this time. The police were friendly in our encounters last year, asking us to keep the beer inside and then asking us to stay in the parking lane and parkway. But this party is only going to get bigger.

I like this Long John’s design: instead of the cargo area being above the “forward” or “cargo tube”, it’s on the sides. I don’t know what advantages of disadvantages this has. You can also tell this bike was “homemade”. Another kind of Long John-style cargo bike is the Larry vs. Harry Bullitt, also spotted at Bakfietsdag.

Policy thought of the day, August 8, 2011

Chicago’s bronze-level bicycle friendly community sign is posted inside the Chicago Department of Transportation’s office at 30 N LaSalle Street. 

West Town Bikes
Alex Wilson was telling me that he can reach more people if he had the same money that now goes to infrastructure. He added, “There should be an education component alongside any infrastructure change.”

—-
Chicago, IL got Silver in 2005.
Boulder, Davis, Portland have Platinum.
Naperville, Schaumburg, Urbana bronze
Full list of communities: http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/bicyclefriendlyamerica/communities/pdfs/bfc_master_list_spring_2011_revised5.pdf

Bicycle friendliness
What makes a hood or biz bike friendly?

Measures of effectiveness
Last time I talked about data collection that you would use to evaluate projects.

LAB uses the 5 Es to measure the bike friendliness of universities, cities, and states.
“Education, enforcement, engineering, evaluation, encouragement”

Communities:
http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/bicyclefriendlyamerica/communities/bfc_five-Es.php

Schools:
http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/bicyclefriendlyamerica/bicyclefriendlyuniversity/bfu_five_e_s.php

Madison, WI application

Cache of 5 Es webpage: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:UhGg_iiDcJkJ:www.bikeleague.org/programs/bicyclefriendlyamerica/communities/bfc_five-Es.php+league+of+american+bicyclists+enforcement&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=safari&source=www.google.com

What is a bike friendly community?
-bike parking – enough
-marked bike lanes and signs
-laws and enforcement
-community events that surround cycling
-people that bike
-bike shops
-old ladies biking
-children biking
-people who aren’t afraid to bike
-low mortality rate
-weather

When you are making projects, think of how they can fit into these categories. Form a descriptive narrative around these categories. When you communicate to politicians and planners, this will help form your common understanding of the project, its intent, and the impact it will have the community.

Read more policy insights from Steven Vance. 

© 2017 Steven Can Plan

Theme by Anders NorénUp ↑