Sunday, May 15, 2016

Getting Around the Big City...

Last September on our visit to Chicago Katie encouraged us to begin biking around. It was a little scary to think about and I think the main fear was just that Chicago is a big place but broken down into it's parts like Humboldt Park where the PK live and other places such as Wiker Park, Logan Square and Ukrainian Village you can think of it as a bunch of small towns and that's manageable. Besides no one in Chicago blows past  you as fast as a jacked up Texas four wheel drive around here does. And there are bike lanes through most Chicago neighborhoods. 

On our return to Lufkin we picked up some bikes and have been biking here. If you checked the Lufkin News Editorial page this week they run a feature where folks go on line and leave their comments on local issues.  This week the issue was with the Lufkin City Council canceling a planned downtown plaza area and what would you like to see them use the $400,000 for. My comment was to make a bike trail like Chicago's 606 trail. here's a photo of us riding the 606. 

And yes I know that the girls always think I'm taking a picture of their butts on purpose while riding but it's better that me swiveling around and try to take a frontal while I ride.  

The 606 is an old industrial rail spur that dates to the time of the Chicago fire when the city was being rebuilt. These old neighborhoods were industrial areas where bikes, food, furniture and musical instruments were made and the rail transported goods to ports on the river and then on out to the heartland of the country. As you can see it's a hard surface with a soft running track border. Lots of walkers, skaters, bikers, runners you name it. 

Well lit at night and it does have a closing time to thwart criminal uses.  

Cathy is a blur of speed. 

General downtown riding. All well lit enough with the bike lanes we did not have any bike lights. I don't ride in Lufkin unless well lit. I did not even worry here. 

Speaking of getting around public transportation is good. We used buses and the train to and from the airport and downtown to the Field Museum. I have a little credit card think and when you get on a bus or to a train station you tap a sensor with the card and get in. I spent about $10 on public transport. Even though the neighborhoods are not to busy car wise this beats the heck out of the freeway and looking for parking. 

Back to the 606, it has been a good thing for the residential areas bordering it. In addition to being an outdoor space for people that don't have too much personal outdoor space in the city it seems to be a selling point for homes and rentals bordering the trail and is no doubt raising property values and quality of life. 

That's why I made the comment I did to the newspaper. I love the little wooded trail our city has but it has it's drawbacks and I think there might be abandoned rail spurs around here that could be put to good use and would be good for us.   


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