Tagme

What I’ve done recently

My calendar, I guess.

And tried to go kayaking yesterday with Erehwon staff, but arrived too late.

From the “Hang In There” gallery opening at the Co-Prosperity Sphere in Bridgeport. I don’t know what this is about.

Maureen and I are very similar

I don’t know Maureen, and she doesn’t know me, but Streetsblog contributor, and #bikeNYC portrait photographer Dmitry Gudkov, wrote about “why Maureen rides.”

I wrote about why I ride in a submission to Urban Velo magazine last December for its segment, “I Love Riding in the City.” I had a pretty lame answer to, “Why do you love riding in the city?” saying “It’s a lot easier than riding in the suburbs.”

I read Maureen’s response to why cycling is her favorite form of transport in New York.

“I like to keep moving; I don’t ever want to wait, if I can help it. But more than anything I love that the bike lets me be physical in the city.” Her favorite time to ride is late at night, with the solitary journeys giving her a sense of the city she wouldn’t have otherwise. “When I’m biking home from my studio at 1 or 2 in the morning along the empty bike path, I feel like this is my park. This piece of the city belongs to me.”

And now I want to expand my response:

I can’t stand waiting! That’s what you have to do when you drive a car or take public transit. You wait for the traffic in front of you to move, or you wait for the bus or train! (I admit that the Chicago Transit Authority’s Bus and Train Trackers allow you to wait less if you plan your trip well.) By riding a bicycle, you only have to wait for the light to change!

Then this past weekend I was remarking to my friend Francesco that I prefer riding through Chicago in the middle of the night because less traffic makes the street quieter, less congested, and less polluted. This stretch of the street belongs to me.

Me riding home late at night after a concert seeing Pantha du Prince at Empty Bottle in West Town.

Going on a short break

I am rearranging my priorities.

I need to find a steady job in urban or transportation planning so I’m taking the next week off from social networking and instant messaging. No Facebook, no Flickr, no Twitter, and no blogging. (Actually, I’ll probably indulge for a maximum of 120 minutes each day in these domains – going cold turkey is difficult.)

You can hire me!

My life is too flooded with distractions.

I’ll also be preparing for my short trip to San Francisco on Thursday for Transportation Camp West.

I Love Riding In the City

The magazine Urban Vélo features cool people in every issue who filled out this form. I don’t want to miss any opportunity to become famous in print! Here are my answers to the form:

Your Name

Steven Vance

Location

Chicago, IL

Occupation

Blogger.

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?

I live in Bridgeport, a cool neighborhood a couple miles south of the Loop. I love riding in the city, but preferably at night when fewer people are driving. Weekends are annoying because the traffic changes – shopping is the name of the game and it makes for a different transportation environment. I want the city to construct protected bike lanes.

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?

Portland, Oregon. Because there were so many other people riding. Riding a bike to get around was the normal thing to do – I didn’t get honked at or told to ride on the sidewalk. The grocery store I visited had their bike parking with 10 feet of the entrance. I was riding with a crowd of other bike people biking at 1 AM on a weekday.

(Dang it, now I’m wondering if New York City was my favorite city to ride in. NYCDOT has been throwing down bike lanes left and right in all boroughs for 4 years straight now. But I think Portland wins out because of its calm.)

Why do you love riding in the city?

It’s a lot easier than riding in the suburbs.

Or just say whatever you want about riding in the city… Poetry anyone?

If you need a ride, I’ll give you a seat on the back of my Yuba Mundo. No charge.

I submitted this photo with my application.

As far as bicycle magazines I know about go, they can be compared to conditions of the city like so:

  • Suburbs – Bicycling Magazine – boring, bland, the same every month. Thumbs down.
  • Urban – Momentum Magazine – diversity, families, becoming a more popular and convenient place to live. Thumbs up.
  • Hyperlocal – Urban Vélo – getting down to the nitty gritty, who lives here? who lives there? who does what? Thumbs up.

What I do for a living

Everyone asks, and I always tell. But I’ve never blogged about it.

I’m the Bicycle Parking Program Assistant at the Chicago Bicycle Program, in the Chicago Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) Division of Project Development.

According to the Chicago Municipal Code, I tag abandoned bikes. After 7 days, a CDOT crew removes them to Working Bikes Cooperative.

I arrange for…

  • The installation of bike racks, including at Chicago Transit Authority train stations
  • The maintenance and removal of bike racks
  • The removal of abandoned bikes

I also manage the Chicago Bicycle Program website, Facebook Page, Flickr accountgroup, and Twitter.

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