Vote now through Sept. 10 for Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana's favorite 'undiscovered' public place

by KSommer | 08/18/2010

carfree chicago

What’s Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana’s favorite hidden public place? Between Aug. 9 and Sept. 10, vote online at for your favorite of two dozen finalists in the “What Makes Your Place Great? Your Secret Corner of Chicagoland” photo and video contest.

To find the undiscovered places that make Chicagoland great, Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) and Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) called on people to submit a photo or video and written description of their favorite hidden public place in the region to the “What Makes Your Place Great? Your Secret Corner of Chicagoland” contest.

Fast trains under attack in Wisconsin

by crandell | 08/17/2010

I've been looking forward to the new train service planned between Chicago and Madison, Wis. So I was disappointed to hear that Scott Walker, a Republican candidate for Governor in Wisconsin, has launched a major attack against passenger trains in Wisconsin. Please ask your friends in Wisconsin to show their support for passenger rail expansion.

Wisconsin was awarded Recovery Act funds to extend the successful Amtrak Hiawatha from Milwaukee to Madison. Walker has promised to stop construction if he is elected.

This week, he held an anti-train rally in Milwaukee and began running TV ads promising to "stop this train." He even set up a special website:

The Midwest High Speed Rail Association has set up an action page where Wisconsin residents can show their support. Please show your support for Amtrak expansion at:

Hop Off the CTA Train for Easy Access to Chicago Farmers' Markets

by crandell | 08/15/2010


Farmers markets best serve their purpose when you can walk to one, but if you need to travel to a market, there are a number of options that are very convenient by CTA train. I missed my usual farmers' market on a recent Saturday morning, and unfortunately there's no Sunday markets in my neighborhood. So I looked up where the Sunday farmers' markets are and ventured outside my neighborhood to the Glenwood Sunday Market, because it was such an easy trip right next to the train. Here's a list of some other great options for farmers markets by train.

Red Line

Glenwood Sunday Market (Sundays) -- Morse stop

Edgewater Farmers Market (Saturdays) -- Between Granville and Thorndale stops

Discussion from The Chainlink about Being Car Free in Chicago

by juliehochstadter | 08/10/2010


From, a social network for cyclists in Chicago. Thought this would be a great place to share car free thoughts....

Link is here, but I have also posted the question below. -

Quite a few threads have me wondering what your lifestyle is like that it doesn’t necessitate owning a car. I think it is great that you are able to live car free, but I am wondering how this is. Many people have expressed the feeling of freedom that comes with not owning car, but for me it feels like a lack of.

Main Street Station - Evanston with a Heart

by studenkov | 07/25/2010


Anybody who's ever visited Evanston has probably been to Davis Street. This downtown shopping district is bustling with chain stores, boutiques and restaurants. It is the place where people come to shop, dine and have fun. It is a bustling downtown... But it's not the only downtown. You see, Evanston does not have one downtown shopping district.

It has three.

Is your favorite train stop a great public space?

by KSommer | 07/06/2010

Last week, Mandy Burrell Booth from the Metropolitan Planning Council wrote a great blog post about the Train Stop Guide (Streetsblog liked it, too!). Here’s her post, and a challenge: is your favorite train stop one of the region’s incredible undiscovered public spaces? If so, enter it in the What Makes Your Place Great? contest by July 26 and be eligible to win some great prizes!

What's your favorite CTA, Metra or South Shore stop?
By Mandy Burrell Booth

Livable Streets and Reviving a Chicago Plaza Proposal

by crandell | 07/02/2010


Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin today posted a great piece on livable streets and street closures and revived a plaza proposal I floated last year: Let's keep an open mind on closing streets: They might bring new life to dull city blocks

Read the proposal for a plaza by the Belmont Red Line station here:

Where else might you envision a neighborhood plaza in Chicago?

Drinks and a View: Take the Red Line to a Lakefront Restaurant

by crandell | 06/26/2010


Chicago's dedication to preserving the lakefront as a public park has created miles of great waterfront park space to hang out at. An unfortunate side effect though is that it limits opportunities for waterfront businesses, such as restaurants. There's no reason we shouldn't be able to have both. Maybe this is just my Chesapeake Bay roots speaking. Where I grew up, waterfront goes hand in hand with seafood restaurants -- picking crabs and drinking beer. For such a vibrant city on the Lake with so many great beaches, Chicago has disappointingly few lakefront restaurants. Those few spots are easy to access by bike or on foot via the lakefront path, but I can think of only one with convenient access by train. The Waterfront Cafe is also a great example of the Chicago Park District leasing a public space to a business to offer Chicagoans a unique experience on the lakefront. I personally wish they would do more of this.

What's the best train stop to get off at? Train stop smack down on the Train Stop Guide!

by crandell | 06/20/2010


Rate your favorite train stops on Carfree Chicago's new interactive Train Stop Guide! What's the best stop to get off at for shopping? Where do hop off for your favorite restaurants or to enjoy a day at the beach or park? What's the best stop to live near? Find CTA, Metra and South Shore Line stations that get you to your favorite places, and leave your ratings and comments behind to let others know what they can look forward to when they leave the station (or give it the smack-down if there's nothing to look forward to!)

Train Stop Guide: