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So Long for Now, But Hopefully Not for Long

Last night, Steven and John celebrated the achievements of the last two years with a dinner at La Zacatecana, where we hatched the plan for our original blog Grid Chicago back in 2011.

Over the past two years, Steven Vance and I had the privilege and pleasure of bringing you the latest in sustainable transportation and livable streets news via Streetsblog Chicago. It’s been fascinating to track the exciting developments taking place in our region during that time, from bus rapid transit, to Divvy bike-share, to the Bloomingdale Trail. It’s also been satisfying to serve as advocates and watchdogs, whether it’s alerting the Chicago Department of Transportation about faulty crosswalk signage, or raising awareness of the folly of the $1 billion-plus Illiana Tollway boondoggle.

We’re thankful to editor-in-chief Ben Fried and the rest of the Streetsblog staff for mentorship that has helped Steven and me hone our journalist skills. We’ve appreciated the contributions of talented freelancers, including Anne Alt, Lorena Cupcake, Justin Haugens, Eboni Hawkins, Daniel Hertz, Shaun Jacobsen, Melissa Manak, Papanek, Lisa Phillips, James Porter, Oboi Reed, and Daniel Ronan. We’ve especially enjoyed getting to know you, our readers, through your thoughtful comments on the site, and at several meet-ups at drinking establishments around town.

While Streetsblog Chicago will be going on hiatus after today, I will be working hard in the coming weeks to raise funds to resurrect the site. We’ve already gotten feedback from local transportation and planning leaders who want to see the site return. I know that thousands of readers value Streetsblog’s unique perspective on walking, biking, and transit issues, which you can’t get from any other local news source.

As Ben wrote earlier today, the Streetsblog Los Angeles model proves that it’s possibly to have a thriving, locally funded transportation news website -- I’m sure LA editor Damien Newton’s advice will be invaluable as I take steps to revive the Chicago site. I’m optimistic that grant money will be available to help resume Windy City publication.

However, Streetsblog Chicago is also going to need support from readers to pull this off. If you’ve come to depend on the site to stay informed about the latest efforts to make our city a better place to walk, bike, and ride transit, please consider making a contribution to the Streetsblog Chicago Resurrection Fund. Donations are not tax-deductible at this point, but all donors will get a receipt stating that their money will be returned if daily publication has not resumed by April 8, three months from now.

Please feel free to contact me at greenfieldjohn[at] or 312-560-3966 for more info about how your donation will be used, or to discuss ideas for other possible funding sources. Stay tuned for updates on the fundraising effort via the Streetsblog Chicago Facebook and Twitter accounts, and occasional posts on the website.

While the site is on hiatus, Steven will be writing about transportation and urban planning on his longtime blog Steven Can Plan. Be sure to check out his many other online projects, including Chicago Cityscape, the Chicago Bike Guide, Lakefront Trail Conditions, the Chicago Crash Browser, and Close Calls. I’ll continue to write Newcity magazine’s Checkerboard City transportation column, and will likely freelance for various local and national publications, while Streetsblog Chicago is dormant.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for your support. Until Streetsblog Chicago rides again, may your trains and buses always run on time, may your bicycle keep its rubber side down, and may your shoe soles remain free of holes.

- John

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