Carfree Chicago Seeks a Few Volunteer Writers

by crandell | 06/19/2010

Carfree Chicago is looking for a few writers to explore some local destinations by train and foot and share their experiences with others. If you enjoy day trips and writing and you have a camera, email Lee Crandell at lee@carfreechicago.com to learn about the excursions that need to be covered this summer and how you can write for Carfree Chicago. There's no shortage of great places to explore in our region. Let's help other car-free Chicagoans figure out what those places are and how to enjoy them without a car.

Stop at Flossmoor for Idyllic Streetcar Suburb and Local Beer

by crandell | 06/04/2010

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I recently had the opportunity to stop off at Flossmoor on the Metra Electric line to celebrate a co-worker's last day at my office. We hopped on the train after work at Millennium Station under Millennium Park and headed 45 minutes south to Flossmoor, where we enjoyed locally brewed beers on the outdoor patio at the Flossmoor Station brewery and restaurant, which is attached to the Metra station.

Exploring Highland Park on Foot from the Metra Station

by crandell | 05/29/2010

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Highland Park has one of the most walkable suburban downtowns accessible by Metra train. Back in March, I had a day off and hopped on the Union Pacific North to check it out. If offers a pleasant downtown, great neighborhoods to stroll, some nice lakefront parks, a beach and outdoor concerts at Ravinia.

If you're looking for a nice bike ride from Chicago, you can also ride up the North Branch Trail to Highland Park, or the Green Bay Trail provides a bicycle connection through the other north shore suburbs north from Wilmette.

CarFree in Chicago: The How-To Guide

by kellyburns | 05/17/2010

When I mention that I don't have a car, invariably the first reaction by my well-meaning friends and family is a shocked, "You don't?!?" followed by, "Why not?!?" It's like I've casually mentioned that I removed my own legs. Believe it or not, humans didn't always get around by sitting in a metal box that runs on “dead dinosaur juice.” There are plenty of great reasons to consider going car-free - mainly that cars are the #1 cause of global warming, exceeding even the damage done by coal-burning power plants. Going car-free is definitely the greenest thing a consumer can do.

Knowing this sobering fact, when it came time to replace my car this past January, I decided to see if I ‘had it what it takes’ to go car-free. Not only did I save a ton of money and make my life a lot simpler, I gleaned some tips for anyone else who might be thinking about dumping their gas guzzler as well:

Enjoy a Carfree Lake Shore Drive May 30! Bike the Drive Registration Giveaway and $5-off Coupon

by crandell | 05/03/2010

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One a year the Active Transportation Alliance transforms Lake Shore Drive into a bicycle heaven, and Chicagoans get to experience the joys of a carfree lakefront. Kick off your summer with thousands of other cyclists enjoying a leisurely ride with great views of the lake and skyline. Your registration fee also supports advocacy to improve conditions for biking, walking and transit in the region. This year the MB Financial Bank Bike the Drive takes place on Sunday, May 30. Register today at http://bikethedrive.org .

Special Offer for Carfree Chicago Readers
Carfree Chicago readers can save $5 with the coupon code PRODOG5. Registration fees increase on Monday, May 10, though, so register now.

Registration Giveaway!
Carfree Chicago also has two free Bike the Drive registrations to give away! To win a free ride, be one of the first two readers to:

Stop for Pedestrians Bill Passes Illinois Senate

by crandell | 04/29/2010

Great news just out from the Active Transportation Alliance: Illinois House Bill 43 has passed the Senate today by a vote of 33-15, and now will head on to the Governor. This bill will create a safer environment for all pedestrians in the State requiring vehicles to stop for peds in crosswalks. Find more info on the Active Trans blog in a little bit at http://www.activetrans.org/blog. Join Active Trans at Mother Hubbard's at 4:30 PM today, Thursday, for a big celebration. Mother Hubbard's is at 5 W. Hubbard Street between State and Dearborn below the Active Trans office.

Carfree Beer Excursions (and a Distillery) -- Because Drinking and Driving Don't Mix

by crandell | 04/02/2010

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I recently met a fellow carfree Chicagoan who wanted to go to Three Floyds Brewery's Dark Lord Day on April 24 but wasn't sure how to get there. It may be an ordeal to get to Three Floyds, but fortunately we also have plenty of other easy excursions for exploring great beer.

Dark Lord Day is a beer festival at Three Floyds in Munster, Indiana, over 7 miles from the South Shore Line Hammond station or a little over 10 miles from the Flossmoor station on the Metra Electic line, and Pace bus connections won't get you much closer. So on a normal day if you wanted a brewery tour, your best bet would probably be to take the Metra Electric and arrange a cab with Classic Taxi, and plan on hitting up Flossmoor Station brewery in the same day. But luckily a number of Chicago bars are offering charter buses down to Dark Lord Day:

International Poster Competition to Reinvent Chicago's Classic Transit Posters

by crandell | 03/22/2010

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The Chicago International Poster Biennial will hold its first student poster competition this year with the theme of "Transportation: Crucial Issues." The theme is intended to explore why it's great to walk, bike and take transit (transportation that’s green, healthy, affordable and social). So it'll be exciting to see the entries! Spread the word and encourage any art and design students you know to enter. The deadline is May 22, 2010.

From the competition website:

Free Lecture April 8: Walkable Urbanism and the Green Future of Cities

by crandell | 03/18/2010

Walkable Urbanism and the Green Future of Cities
April 8, 2010, 12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.
Free and open to the public
Claudia Cassidy Theater, 2nd Floor, Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington Blvd., Chicago, IL

As America struggles with sustainability, cities can play a central role in reducing our carbon emissions. Discover the importance of healthy urban places that enable residents to walk, bike and take transit. Learn how cities are going green with high-performance infrastructure and buildings combined with planning strategies that reduce driving. Two national leaders in the sustainable urbanism movement will address why urbanism is a key solution and how cities and urban planners are building a greener future.

Carol Coletta is president and CEO of CEOs for Cities, a national network of urban leaders co-founded by Mayor Richard Daley and headquartered in Chicago.

Carfree Chicago Needs a Few Volunteers for Train Stop Guide Project

by crandell | 03/17/2010

Do you have a few hours to spare here and there for a cool web project? Carfree Chicago needs a few volunteers to help complete a new interactive Train Stop Guide application to be launched this spring. The guide will include a searchable map of all train stations in the region, helping users to easily find stations surrounded by walkable neighborhoods and allowing users to rate and share comments about each station.

I need a few web-savvy volunteers to dedicate a few hours to entering Metra stations into the database. The data entry is through the website and involves entering station addresses and verifying map accuracy. You can do the data entry in your own time on your own computer. Sign up for just a couple hours, or do more if you have the time. If you're up for the task and want to help make this happen, please contact Lee Crandell at lee@carfreechicago.com!