The Chainlink

Folks,

For a local free weekly's top 5 list issue,
what were the most important bike news stories, developments,
initiatives, setbacks, etc. in Chicago in 2009?

Thanks!

John Greenfield

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Chicago-specific, or in general?
Good point. Chicago only.

Thanks!

John Greenfield

heather stratton said:
Chicago-specific, or in general?
gosh. I'd say

1. CBF morphing to Active Trans
2. Exploding popularity of cyclocross and the Chicago Cross Cup
3. Parking Meter/bike parking snafu
4. More commuters, more cylists being killed or injured by autos
5. Fixies everywhere. How long can this fad last? Where are all the stripped vintage components going?
some totally serious honest to god stoke on riding bikes in chicago. right here:

http://chicago.timeout.com/articles/museums-culture/79769/chicagos-...
Good suggestions Kelvin.

FYI the Active Trans name change took place in 2008.

Cheers,

John

Kelvin Mulcky said:
gosh. I'd say

1. CBF morphing to Active Trans
2. Exploding popularity of cyclocross and the Chicago Cross Cup
3. Parking Meter/bike parking snafu
4. More commuters, more cylists being killed or injured by autos
5. Fixies everywhere. How long can this fad last? Where are all the stripped vintage components going?
-Parking meter/loss of bike parking debacle
-Liza Witacre
-Jepson Livingston
-Growth of Chainlink (started 8/08 but 2009 was really "the year of The Chainlink")
-City/State/Federal money crises and poor economy in general and resultant effect on cycling in Chicago, e.g. lack of snow removal winter 2009, city bike program furloughs, belt tightening at advocacy orgs
-The Olympics and the potential bicycle infrastructure we might have gained
BTG receiving NFP status and putting a functional BoD in place.
-Pierogi John
Kelvin Mulcky said:
gosh. I'd say
[...]
4. More commuters, more cylists being killed or injured by autos

Kelvin,
you have any data to back up this point? Not saying they are not true, but I haven't seen any data on either.
10th anniversary of Bike Winter
Removal of Meters from Chicago streets
The Chainlink
Auto/cyclist conflicts (relates to cyclist deaths, but this year it has seemed to heat up a lot)
Increasing number of cyclists period (just take a ride on Milwaukee anytime of the day or night any day of the week - especially during going to/from work hours....a mini-mass twice a day every work day)
I think the biggest story is what didn't happen. In a horrific economy, there wasn't a mass wave of bike shop closings, and as gas prices declined from their 2008 highs there not only didn't seem to be a sudden drop in the number of cyclists, there seemed to be an increase.

Let me put in a vote for meter removal as the most overhyped story of the year, by the way. I ride all over the city and not once did I find myself inconvenienced by a lack of meters. The whole privatization was an utter fiasco in its own right, but I didn't find this part of it that big a deal at all.
Lee Diamond said:
Auto/cyclist conflicts (relates to cyclist deaths, but this year it has seemed to heat up a lot) Increasing number of cyclists period (just take a ride on Milwaukee anytime of the day or night any day of the week - especially during going to/from work hours....a mini-mass twice a day every work day)

Again, are there numbers to back up these statements?
Regarding the auto/cyclist conflicts. I would agree that there is more awareness to this issue, but that does not equate an increase in this type of conflicts. It might very well be caused by an increase in social networks in general and Chainlink in particular. A few years ago, if one would have a conflict, it's existence would be limited to that person's immediate friends, family and coworkers. Now that person can post about it on CL and Facebook, tweet about it, etc. The potential audience is immediately multiplied manifold.
A similar argument can be made for the increased number of cyclists. How much is the actual increase v. your increased awareness. I have been biking for 3 years now, but only in the last year have I become a more 'aware' commuter. I joined CL, read more about commuting, and are generally more aware of other riders than in the past. Based on that I would say that I have seen an increase in cyclists on the road, but that may just be my increased awareness: It may very well been in existence for years, or the increase might have been very gradual, but only now did I notice it.

Not suggesting the statements you made are untrue, but to include it in the top-stories, solely based on a person's perception might not be a wise idea either.
I think John has already put this to bed, so the appropriateness for inclusion in the list is academic at this point, but I agree with Duppie here. Regarding cyclist deaths I was holding my breath wanting to say we'd had the best year in recent memory, but the most recent tragedies have resulted in a similar number of know cyclists deaths to recent years.

Subjectively I believe that we saw a ballooning of visible bike commuters over the past two summers, but without stationing interns/volunteers with clickers along various routes, who really knows. Could be that cyclists are discovering Milwaukee little by little instead of traveling their previous routes.

Duppie said:
Lee Diamond said:
Auto/cyclist conflicts (relates to cyclist deaths, but this year it has seemed to heat up a lot) Increasing number of cyclists period (just take a ride on Milwaukee anytime of the day or night any day of the week - especially during going to/from work hours....a mini-mass twice a day every work day)

Again, are there numbers to back up these statements?
Regarding the auto/cyclist conflicts. I would agree that there is more awareness to this issue, but that does not equate an increase in this type of conflicts. It might very well be caused by an increase in social networks in general and Chainlink in particular. A few years ago, if one would have a conflict, it's existence would be limited to that person's immediate friends, family and coworkers. Now that person can post about it on CL and Facebook, tweet about it, etc. The potential audience is immediately multiplied manifold.
A similar argument can be made for the increased number of cyclists. How much is the actual increase v. your increased awareness. I have been biking for 3 years now, but only in the last year have I become a more 'aware' commuter. I joined CL, read more about commuting, and are generally more aware of other riders than in the past. Based on that I would say that I have seen an increase in cyclists on the road, but that may just be my increased awareness: It may very well been in existence for years, or the increase might have been very gradual, but only now did I notice it.

Not suggesting the statements you made are untrue, but to include it in the top-stories, solely based on a person's perception might not be a wise idea either.

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