Saturday, January 10, 2009

great ideas in urban gardening

Fellow Chicago gardener/blogger Mr. Brown Thumb posted some great photos of a planter/table designed to make the best use of a small outdoor space such as a balcony. Go check it out here!

Friday, January 9, 2009

CTA bus route changes

The new year brought changes to some bus routes, including two that I frequent as a car-free Chicagoan. As far as I'm concerned, one changed for the worse and one for the better.

The Bad:
The Roosevelt bus (#12) no longer goes all the way to Museum Campus. The #146 is now the only bus serving Museum Campus. As someone who frequents the Field Museum (I work there sometimes), this is disappointing. I must admit that I noticed the vast majority of passengers got off at the Roosevelt train station and many times I was the only person on the bus between Michigan Avenue and Museum Campus (or vice versa), but I also tended to travel at odd times (middle of the day, after 8 pm). It seems a shame to make the Museum Campus less accessible by public transportation. Now to get 2.5 miles to the museums, I have to take 2 from school (UIC) and 3 from home instead of 1 bus from school or 2 from home... or do I?

The Good:
The 18th Street bus (#18) now goes north on Halsted and across Roosevelt to the Red/Orange/Green line station instead of south on Roosvelt and across Cermak to the Red line station. At first I wasn't sure about this change, but Matt pointed out that now we can easily do our grocery shopping on the bus! We can take the #18 directly to the Dominicks and Whole Foods at Roosevelt & Canal. This bus is far and away the most convenient to our apartment.

Additionally, I can take the bus to UIC on days when it is too snowy/icy/cold/windy for me to want to bike. Before this route change, it was more worthwhile for me to either walk or bike than wait around to change buses. I took the bus* to and from school today and I have to say that I was quite pleased.

Finally, this #18 will now drop me off as close to Museum Campus as the #12 will. On nice days I'll gladly walk the last few blocks to the museum (though it's a bit of a hike to the planetarium). If it's too crummy to walk, I can pick up the #146 to take me the rest of the way.

Now they just need to change the #18 schedule so it runs later in the evening (or even all day, every day!) instead of just rush hour and weekends.

*Last year I would've biked on a day like today, but with the snow plowing budget cuts I didn't want to deal with the slushy streets on my bike.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy 2009!

Happy New Year!

2009 is sure to be a year of change as Obama steps into office and the financial crisis takes it toll. I hope that many of the changes result in better environmental policy and improved quality of life for Americans and the rest of the world's people.