Episode 26: Streetsblog Chicago

My last show from Chicago features sustainable transportation advocates, and Streetsblog Chicago editors Steven Vance & John Greenfield.  Streetsblog is a daily news source covering public transit, bicycling, walking and the growing movement for safe, equitable, livable streets.  Their original site remains at Grid Chicago and their individual blogs are Steven Can Plan and Vote With Your Feet. Links to Chicago DOT, Active Transportation Alliance, the Ventra fare card (Chicago Transit Authority), Chicago Cargo (bike swap photos). I am now in Milwaukee, Wisconsin after completing a multimodal trip by train, bike and bus, which I discuss later in the show.  The coldest days seem to be behind us but it still won't feel like spring in this region for another two weeks.  From here I will spend a few days in Madison and continue northwest making my way up to Minneapolis & St. Paul, Minnesota.

If you find yourself along my route please contact me to share information, suggest places to go or people to talk to, and hopefully meet to discuss transit and bikes.  And if you appreciate the show please consider donating to help support my Sustainable Transport Tour and this reporting. You can also support this work by sharing it with your friends and colleagues, following me on Facebook and Twitter, and leaving a review on iTunes or another blog/podcast service.

P.S.  I have been working on the site to fix some issues and make it load faster.  Please contact me if you have suggestions for improvements, if you experience difficulty accessing the site, or if your comments don't appear after you post them (sometimes real comments get stuck in the spam folder).

Episode 25: The Chainlink Chicago bicycling online community

I chat with Julie Hochstadter, director of The Chainlink, an online forum which serves as a community and resource hub for bicyclists in Chicago.  We hear about how members have used The Chainlink to address a diverse range of issues and discuss bike advocacy, politics, infrastructure and the state of cycling in the city. Julie offers some ride suggestions and tips for both new and seasoned cyclists. This past weekend I attended the Chicago Bike Swap, where I had the chance to test ride cargo bikes (PICS!) and meet many interesting people. Links include the Cargo Bike Roll Call; a mobile bike repair shop called Pedal to the People; and the sustainable streets blog Streetsblog Chicago. Pictures coming soon!

Next week I will be in Milwaukee as I tour cities in Wisconsin, Minnesota and eventually Michigan.  Get in touch - - if you're in those states area or have suggestions for show topics, places I should go, or people I should meet or interview.

If you benefit from my work, please consider supporting my Sustainable Transport Tour by donating on the Indiegogo campaign page and sharing it with your friends and colleagues. Follow my work on Facebook at Twitter, share your thoughts, and pass it around.

Episode 21: Bikes & Pedicabs in Chicago

I've arrived in Chicago!  First up is my good friend and fellow bike nerd and pedicab driver, Minku Sharma, host of the Vegan Pedicab Podcast. We talk winter biking, rickshaws and other transportation related matters.

Enjoy our thoughts on some current events including the ongoing New York City school bus drivers strike (Citizen Radio), privatization of public services and parking meters, car sharing, red light cameras. We explain why bike advocates should not be excited about Obama's nominee for Secretary of the Interior and why it makes no sense to prevent his new Chief of Staff from biking to work.  The Colorado Supreme Court recently struck down one town's attempt to ban bicycling.

Please visit, follow me on Twitter @JeremyInTransit, at like the facebook page. Please support my Sustainable Transport Tour fundraising campaign on Indiegogo if you get something from this show and want to see it get even better and more frequent.

Protected (and unplowed) bike lane in downtown Chicago

I was happy to see this nice protected bike lane in the Chicago Loop today. Upon first glance it seems to be well designed, for two-way traffic with special signals and decent separation from motor vehicles. Unlike the Manhattan experience, nobody was walking in this lane when I rode through. IMAG0068

The only problem is that the city apparently forgot to clear the snow, which is unfortunate because it feeds the myth that you can't bike in the winter. It's clear that people are using this lane though.

UPDATE: Well, I guess it's not so well designed or enforced. Note the bicyclist in front of the cab arguing with the driver and passengers. image

Many more posts are coming from Chicago but for now I'm just happy to see snow again. If you have any suggestions for post topics, including places I should go or people I should meet, please share.

Episode 20: Urban Rail Exploration with Adham Fisher

If you like riding transit as much as I do, you will enjoy my conversation with Adham Fisher, who travels to different cities to attempt record journey times on rapid transit systems. Adham held the Chicago L record until last year. He has also been to New York, TorontoLondon, Newcastle, Paris and Barcelona, and tried his luck on the UK regional rail network. Follow Adham on Twitter @DirectionTravel. AdhamFisher_Chicago

This episode was put together on the Lake Shore Limited train. I am now in Chicago covering the local and regional transportation network and beginning my sustainable transport tour. More info on that in the coming days.

Episode 15: Scheduling, construction, privatization, service quality, how to not get hit by trains

News items fill up this week's show. More cities trying to speed up construction projects by shutting down line segments. Bus rapid transit lines often promote themselves based on the inclusion of things that should be standard on all buses. Privatization is usually bad policy. I discuss the impacts of scheduling on operator health and system safety. Finally, I explain how to help someone who falls on the train tracks (hint to NY Post: put down your camera and go get help.) Chicago: CTA Red Line South Renewal Project

Long Island, NY: Privatized NICE bus ridership decline & LI Bus Riders Union

Palm Beach, FL: Lack of bathroom breaks for drivers

San Antonio, TX: Via Metropolitan Transit launches Via Primo BRT route (article)

Vancouver, BC: TransLink launches Compass Card for contactless fare payment

Washington, DC: WMATA studying operator fatigue

New York City: Jerk takes photo of man being hit by train instead of trying to help

Sacramento, CA: General Manager rides the bus (a novel concept!)