Photo courtesy of Streetsblog
Streetsblog Expands on the Ground Coverage to ChicagoJohn Greenfield (left) and Ben Fried in January 2013.
As Chicago leaps toward a bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly future, writers and planners, John Greenfield and Steven Vance, are tracking every move on Streetsblog Chicago. “Whenever there’s an anti-bike, anti-walking, anti-transit piece,” said Greenfield, “it’s our job to respond to that.”
The expansion, the first in four years for Streetsblog, comes at a time when expectations are high in Chicago. “With the new administration, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and transportation commissioner Gabe Klein, there are a lot of great initiatives going on,” said Greenfield, “But a lot of these projects are going to face a backlash.”
After a confused veteran news personality referred to a Bus Rapid Transit proposal as a “bike plan” that would create gridlock downtown, Greenfield and Vance worked to debunk the misinformation. “The configuration was really not going to be a big problem for drivers, and it was going to improve safety and move people more efficiently through the Loop,” said Greenfield.
Addressing this resistance to change, especially from mainstream media, is nothing new for the Chicago duo. Through their transportation blog, Grid Chicago, Greenfield and Vance drew attention to walking, cycling, and transit issues. Joining Streetsblog brings their message to a wider audience and allows them to focus on expanding their coverage.
“We really appreciate the support we’ve gotten from OpenPlans and the Streetsblog Network, specifically editor-in-chief Ben Fried and development manager Christa Orth, in lining up grant funding and sponsorship so that we can keep doing this important work,” said Greenfield.