Join Us Thursday for a Pedway Pub Crawl to Benefit for Streetsblog Chicago

The Metra platform at Millennium Station. Photo: John Greenfield

Thanks so much to all of the generous readers who have already donated to the Streetsblog Chicago Resurrection Fund, and thanks for all the words of encouragement as we work to reboot the site. Fundraising is moving along at a steady pace, and I’m cautiously optimistic that we’ll be able to return to daily publication of original articles by the April 8 deadline.

To help with the revival effort, our friends over at Moxie Chicago, a meetup group for LGBTQA urban policy and planning professionals, have organized Exploring Winter Walkways: A Chicago Pedway Tour and Bar Crawl as a fundraiser for SBC. The Active Transportation Alliance, the region’s longtime advocacy group for better conditions for walking, biking, and transit, is co-hosting. People of all orientations are encouraged to attend.

As a longtime fan of this interesting and comfy way to navigate the Loop, I’ll be leading the excursion, which meets this Thursday, January 29, at 5:30 p.m. at Infield’s bar. This watering hole is located in the basement of the old Marshall Field’s building, now Macy’s, at 111 North State.  Streetsblog deputy editor Steven Vance will also be on hand to answer your questions about the website reboot.

A $10 admission charge will go towards the SBC Resurrection Fund, and there will also be a raffle for a Divvy bike-share membership, a gift certificate to Houlihan’s tavern (our pub stroll destination), t-shirts from Slow Roll Chicago, copies of my book Bars Across America, and other schwag. In addition, Alt-Cycle Shop has generously offered a challenge grant. If attendees donate an additional $100 in contributions to the SBC war chest, the shop will match the gifts with a Franklin.

After a quick drink at Infield’s the group will depart at 6 p.m. for a stroll through the Pedway, an overlooked layer of the Chicago’s sustainable transportation network. The system includes below-ground tunnels, street-level concourses and overhead skyways, covering about five miles and connects over forty city blocks. For more background on the Pedway, here’s an article I wrote on the subject a few years ago.

Along the way we’ll see numerous retail and dining establishments, take a peek at an indoor pool, pass by a couple of inviting spas, and get an interesting view of one of Chicago’s prettiest green spaces. We’ll end up at Houlihan’s, 111 E. Wacker, known for its old-timey décor and tropical fishtanks, around 7 p.m. Stick around for more drinks, food (available for purchase) and socializing. At the end of the evening, I’ll lead a group back to State and Randolph via a different Pedway route.

Thanks a million to Moxie, Active Trans, Divvy, Houlihan’s, Slow Roll, and Alt-Cycle for helping make this event happen. And thanks to you, our loyal readers, for your continuing support of our effort to re-launch Streetsblog Chicago.

– John

  • Kevin M

    Hey, John,

    I think this is a great idea and I’m also happy to hear that SB-Chi is on its way back. However, I think providing 2 days of notice for a fundraiser weakens the potential effectiveness of the event. I realize that you may not have had a choice in this case. But, whenever possible, I recommend you try to give more notice to future SB-Chi events.

  • Thanks Kevin. We’ve been tweeting about the event for a week or two, but Moxie is spearheading it and Active Trans has been promoting it, and it already looks like we’re going to have a near-capacity crowd. Since I’ll be talking without amplification, the tour works best if it’s not much larger than 75 people, so I’m not pushing too hard to get more people to show up at this point.

    That said, it would be great to see plenty of Streetsblog Chicago readers who aren’t affiliated with Moxie or Active Trans at the event as well. I apologize if anyone who wanted to attend is unable to do so because they’re just hearing about it now. We may have another meetup specifically for SBC readers later in the winter. If so, I’ll be sure to give plenty of notice on the site.