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September 2012 Blog posts

In the Loop: September 28, 2012

The Logan Square community took over parking spots on Milwaukee Avenue recently to create their own mini-golf course.

In the Loop is your Friday round-up of what's going on in the transportation world, posted in conjunction with Talking Transit. MPC Research Assistant Ariel Ranieri authored this post. @ mpc Have some empty parking spaces lying around? Why not create your own mini-golf course? This one on Milwaukee Avenue even had its own working windmill. CTA and CDOT wrap up their BRT open houses on Western and Ashland avenues next month, while MPC VP Peter Skosey talks pedestrian safety at a press conference on the new Pedestrian Plan. elsewhere In Chicago, 16 tools for safe pedestrians, plus what’s hot in the new Pedestrian Plan. Driving alone: on the decline, while biking and walking are on the up and up. CTA and Pace wind up for the 2013 open fare system. Plus, Jeffery Jump: the newest…

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It's Official: Downtowns Are Booming, from Atlantic Cities

tmdean via flickr

People want to be where people are

What do you do when your downtown is booming? Create more places for all those new people to go, that’s what you do. In "It’s Official: Downtowns are Booming" in Atlantic Cities, we learn that Chicago’s downtown topped the list by jumping 36 percent over the past 10 years. That’s 48,288 people. 48,288 more lunches being eaten, errands being run, coffee being quaffed, and dinners being served. 96,576 more feet are pounding the pavement, and they want places to go when they're not working. Dare we suggest a Chicago landmark that is a perfect canvas, just awaiting its da Vinci? Chicago Union Station has it all: West Loop location, transit hub, iconic architecture, and plenty of room to build out places to gather, shop, dine, and—as I've advocated…

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International PARK(ing) Day 2012: Mini golfing on Milwaukee Avenue

Bobby Zylstra

Milwaukee Avenue's mini-golf hole #2, featuring a bike-powered wind mill

Even golf courses have to pay the meter. What happens when you take away parking and replace it with a mini golf course? We found out last Friday, Sept. 21, at the Milwaukee Avenue Mini-Golf Day. The rain and cold temperatures didn’t deter community members, artists and activists as they transformed metered parking spots into temporary public parks – all in the form of a mini-golf course. It turns out that you can rent the space for the day as part of International PARK(ing) Day – as long as you remember to pay the meter every two hours. . International PARK(ing) Day started in 2005 when Rebar, an art and design studio in San Francisco, converted a metered parking spot into a temporary public park. Now, PARK(ing) Day is celebrated internationally, helping to…

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A social media adventure

We could write forever about how government, the media and our own engineering/planning industry should to move toward embracing the technologies that helps us reach more people more efficiently. But Mandy from the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) only gave us 400 words. That’s OK though, we still like Mandy. The bottom line is WE MUST embrace new technologies to reach the public, or we will soon become irrelevant, and most importantly miss an opportunity to jump on a bandwagon (who doesn’t want to jump on a bandwagon?) that has actually already left. The topics of mobile applications, social media and digital communications are all going to be a focus of the Oct. 9 MPC Roundtable – Plugging in to Placemaking: Technology’s Role in Community Planning, hosted by…

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CTA and CDOT to host final open house meetings for Western and Ashland BRT study

Interested in learning about the potential for new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes along Western and Ashland Avenues? Join the Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Dept. of Transportation, and Chicago Dept. of Housing and Economic Development on Oct. 16, 17, and 18, to weigh in at the final meetings for the Western and Ashland Avenues Alternatives Analysis. MPC and several other civic partners will help facilitate these public meetings. BRT is a new form of public transit in Chicago. It offers commuters a fast, reliable, and environmentally friendly transportation alternative. Dedicated lanes, pre-paid boarding, well-designed stations, and signal priority are a few elements that make BRT so effective. The 21-mile alternative analysis study on Western and Ashland avenues, from Howard to 95th…

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The Connector is MPC's blog, written primarily by MPC staff members, with occasional guest posts from volunteers and partners. 

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