If it were not for the straight and orderly sides of the buildings that constitute the skyline of Chicago nothing within its limits would resemble much more than chaos. How is it that a city this dysfunctional with an Urban Cycling Community forum to match feels comfortable in an attempt to dispense wisdom on anything? And yet when Barrington Hills tries to decide its future with or without ‘bike lanes‘ there is no end of negative comments from folks who on a good day cannot ride their public transportation system without expecting to be robbed at gunpoint.
John Greenfield you have a need to revamp your characterizations of the suburbs as a place of empty existence. Something tells me that you must not be living in Chicago full-time, but instead commuting from somewhere else to enjoy it only in daylight hours.
Otherwise yours is the most skewed vision of the place where you live and work that I can recall in recent years. Tell the folks at StreetsBlog that instead of your team discussing the state of automobile parking and other such weight matters, perhaps you can round up the folks who do potholes at Active Transportation Alliance and get to work trying to figure out how to provide ‘Pedestrian/Commuter Comfort‘.
Maybe the solution is to paint all the sidewalks green and place PVC bollards along the curbside? Or better yet you could have sidewalk and CTA rollout days when you all get together for a photo-op while two thugs are robbing you at gunpoint? Either way I am certain that you have far less time to devote to telling everyone else how to live their lives than you imagined.
Keep ducking those bullets!
BTW, are you folks still really planning on a big turnout for the Four Star Bike Tour? At the very least be certain to hand out bullet-proof vests to your Ride Marshals. I’m no longer worried about the ones who flout every traffic law imaginable. I just wanna see everyone return safely from the turnaround point.
This is a very sad day indeed when you have to feel ashamed of the city in which you were born and raised. But there it is. It is however time for the ‘know-it-alls‘ whose agenda for the salvation of bicycling extends only as far as The World Naked Bike Ride and those corollary events The Chicago Critical Mass Ride and The Ride of Silence.
Since I know that anyone over 30 years of age in this city who is still wallowing in some sort of delusion about the possibility of cycling advocacy is not going to change their minds, let me at least over some suggestions about memorials.
Alongside the Ghost Bike why not offer a Ghost Pistol monument as well? The latter would be to honor those cyclists shot dead while biking in (waiting for the drum roll) Protected Bike Lanes. And to go along with this theme of urban violence, why not offer to point CTA seats a tasteful shade of ‘blood red‘ to indicate that there was a shooting aboard this bus or train or on this elevated train platform.
And in addition to the annual Ride of Silence aboard bicycles you could offer a companion trip aboard buses and elevated trains as well. This would be so very comforting to the residents of the various communities through which you travel. And as a very nice touch you could hand out pamphlets showing how much safer bicyclists are while riding in those expensive Protected Bike Lanes.
After the ride be sure to take a commuter train to the suburbs so that you can drink and play music until the wee hours before having to return home to those pesky flying bullets!
And finally on the following day you could host a symposium on the value of riding with or without helmets and brightly colored clothing. That should be a big hit! But please be certain to only invite ‘elite‘ women who know better than to suggest clothing styles that offend the sensibilities of our hirsute distaff members.