The Chainlink

Just sat down with my new Spring 13 Bike Map, some multi-colored highlighters, along with my 2012 version of the map; the plan being to "update" my ragged, multi-notated old map onto the new one. Then I saw something that made me throw this down here....


They've gone and removed all the bike shops in this new version!!

No more bike shop locations. Nada. Gone.

Instead, they give us (in theory) locations of the Divvy Bike Share program (which most of us don't need). Well, so much for the new "improved" 2013 version.


The old map, which I am keeping (and throwing away the 2012 version), helped me twice last year in locating the nearest bike shop when I needed support on the road.

I'm sure there are many of you that haven't yet realized what they have erased from the old map. I think we should let Bike Chicago (and Rahm) know what a screw-up this is. I mean, really?


Ignoring our city's bicycle shops should be as scandalous as the fact that we're closing 50 schools and shrugging shoulders over the parking meter scam. Anybody out there wanna start f-ing screaming?


norman kaeseberg (pokey)



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I wonder ... could it be that the CDOT and Divvy are connected and that CDOT (who published the map) doesn't really care about privately owned bike shops?

Getting back to the new map (and away from the underlying policies for selecting bike route locations), I found many omissions (beyond just bike shops) on the 2013 map compared to the 2012 map:

  • Access points to the Lakefront Trail are no longer called out. (e.g. Oak St. lakefront access via underpass.)
  • Open Metal Grate Bridges are no longer indicated.
  • CTA Stations with Sheltered Bike Parking are no longer indicated.
  • General park trails (beyond the major named trails) are no longer shown.
  • Major high schools and universities are no longer labeled. (e.g. Depaul or Young HS)
  • Beaches are no longer shown or labeled (e.g. Oak Street Beach)
  • Civic and cultural buildings are no longer shown (e.g. Shedd Aquarium or Wrigley Field)

I have a bunch of criticisms of the new typography and layout, but I'll save those for another time.

Bruce and Anne and everyone else-

If you have feedback about the map, please email Bruce in particular, please send that list of critiques. 

We will actually be printing a fall version of the map and we will include a MASSIVE amount of changes, including putting bike shops back on the map; and in the future, we will be able to change a lot more of the map every 6 months, and our online version will be even more robust.

Thanks for your patience with the new version of the map. I'd appreciate if you do have comments that require a  response to email me at the above address, so I can get the best response from our team that contributes to the map.

I look at the Chainlink all the time and try as best I can to incorporate suggestions and feedback in all of the work we do. I really like this version of the map, because I think we can add a lot to it, and better incorporate things that people need in a map.

Thank You.

Charlie - Thank you for responding on this.  Other than the omissions noted above, I like the look of this new map.  I'll send further comments by email.

Charlie Short 11.5 said:

Bruce and Anne and everyone else-

If you have feedback about the map, please email Bruce in particular, please send that list of critiques.

I made my own bike map. If anyone's up for it, I would teach you how to make your own bike map. You need to know how to use a computer and you need to have some example maps that you like and be able to explain why you like them. 

I'd also like to point out the possibility of using OpenCycleMap to explore bike routes and bike shops in the city. The map is based on data contributed by users to OpenStreetMap. OpenCycleMap looks at that data and then styles it to bring out the bike lanes and trails, and adds terrain contours and highlights bike shop locations. 

Anyone can contribute to OpenStreetMap. It's like the Wikipedia of maps. 

I think you mean "recommended routes". These were put here by suggestions from the public and by staff. They can be added/removed at-will. Some of them are part of signed routes, but the two distinctions are not entirely contiguous across the city. 

It's probably a good thing that some of them were removed. 

Cameron 7.5 mi said:

I haven't seen this year's map yet, but I've noticed a trend the last few years of "official routes" that were terrible to ride being eliminated. Roads that were never safe to ride on are no longer shown on the map as bike routes. Humboldt Dr. is an example that comes to mind. On paper this looks like a loss of infrastructure, but was really just revising the map to match reality. There was no physical change to the streets and nothing was made better or worse for cycling. I don't know enough about the south side routes to know if this is what's happening, but it's a possibility.


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