Did You Know?

About one-third of all work trips in Chicago are comprised of people biking, walking, or riding public transit.

Happy Traffic in the O-Fo

Active Trans and the City of Oak Forest closed Cicero Avenue two hours before its 2010 Irish Parade for a mile of whatever one wanted, as long it was motor-free. The pictures are up on Facebook. The bars opened at 8 AM, but that's not what made Cicero Ave between 159th St. and 151st St. a street one enjoyed traveling, for once.

The joy comes from realizing that Cicero's characteristics – a big Strategic Regional Arterial carrying 40,000 cars a day at 40 MPH – don't emerge from the natural order of things. That was just a decision. Made by people.

And when people decide, those cars have to stop. Cicero's frustrating to drive, horrible to bike-on, unpleasant to walk along. To realize that people have power over all of that, that's one hell of a shift in perspective.

It was a CRAPPY morning weather wise – very Irish, just not green. More like Mud Brown Isle. Still, I estimate that a thousand people and maybe 30 dogs took to Cicero between 9 AM and 10:30 AM. More people walking than biking, and more kids biking than adults. Everyone wide eyed and smiling.

The Active Trans tent did a lot of business. Folks on Spokes, Chicago Cycling Club, Oak Lawn Bike Psychos, Major Taylor Cycling Club Chicago, Joliet Bicycle Club, League of Illinois Bicyclists, and Friends of the Calumet-Sag Trail joined our barely-big-enough tent, signing up people for rides and membership, and we gave most of our stuff away before it got soaked.

We're enamored with Open Streets. And I want to do more. You got a parade, or a street festival? Give me two hours, and we'll create a happy traffic jam. For once.