Archive for the ‘chicago news’ Category

Labor Day in Chicago

September 7, 2009


While most of us are happy to have the day off for Labor Day, it’s a bit bittersweet- seeing as Labor Day signals the end to summer. But don’t fret! Instead, grab an I-GO car and jet off to one of the Chicago Tribune’s many ideas for Labor Day fun:

African Festival of the Arts: Experience African and African-American culture through music, fine arts and cuisine at this annual festival. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. in Washington Park, 51st Street and Cottage Grove Avenue. $10-$15, $5 for seniors and children younger than 12; 773-955-2787, africanfestivalchicago.org

Bike Obama tour: See the sights President Barack Obama frequented in the Chicago area, including his Hyde Park neighborhood. The two-hour, 6-mile bike tour begins at 10 a.m. at the Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave. $32, $18 for children younger than 12 (bike and helmet available). An extended Stimulus Package tour is 22 miles in four hours (departs at 9 a.m., $43) and includes the Museum Campus and Grant Park. A 10 percent discount is offered for online reservations, R.S.V.P. required; 312-915-0995, bobbysbikehike.com

Summer Tropical Flower Show: Maybe your garden didn’t turn out as planned (rain is good, no?), but this display of tropical plants, including begonias and hibiscus, should brighten your day. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Lincoln Park Conservatory, 2391 N. Stockton Drive. Free; 312-742-7736; and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave. Free; 312-746-5100

Dinosaurs Alive!: A display of animatronic dinosaurs — including a 60-foot-long and 30-foot-high replica of the Ruyang Yellow River dinosaur — at Brookfield Zoo has got the awesomeness. And there are all the other wonderful animal habitats to check out too. 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. at Brookfield Zoo, 3300 Golf Rd., Brookfield. $17, $11 for seniors and children ages 3-11 (includes regular zoo admission), $8 for parking; 708-485-0263, czs.org

The Last Fling: Here’s how to send summer off with a bang: a spaghetti-eating contest, Big Wheel races, car show, parade and more. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at Naperville Riverwalk, 100 W. Jackson Ave., Naperville. Free (main stage free Monday); 630-961-4143, lastfling.org

Bristol Renaissance Faire: It’s the last chance to get all medieval, as Bristol closes its season with a juggling/comedy/fire show, street theater and more. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. at Bristol Renaissance Faire, 12550 120th Ave., Kenosha, Wis. $16.95, $7.50 for children 5-12, children younger than 5 free; 847-395-7773, renfair.com

Arlington Park: A day of thoroughbred racing will include a Pucker Up Stakes for 3-year-old fillies and a Stars and Stripes handicap for older horses. There’s more than racing going on, with The Brave performing on the Miller Lite Band Stage. Gates open at 11:15 a.m. at Arlington Park, 2200 W. Euclid, Arlington Heights. $6-$7 general admission, children younger than 17 free when accompanied by an adult; 847-385-7427, arlingtonpark.com

Chicago Premium Outlets: Kids — according to kids — can never have enough back-to-school clothes. And if you’re looking for outfits for the ones who have grown a size over the summer, already-discounted merchandise at the 120 outlet stores will have additional reductions of 25 percent to 65 percent. 9 a.m.-9 p.m. at Chicago Premium Outlets, 1650 Premium Outlets Blvd., Aurora; 630-585-2200, premiumoutlets.com

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Find the cheapest gas in Chicago

August 24, 2009


If you have a minute to spare after booking your I-GO reservation, you should check out this great website, Chicago Gas Prices. Not only can you find the cheapest spots to refuel around the city, but you also have the chance to win prizes (like $250 in prepaid gas!) if you join in the effort by reporting fuel prices you see while out and about in your I-GO vehicle.

The website also provides other handy tools such as: fuel price maps (both local and national), fuel logbooks, fuel tax info, mobile widgets and more.

Who’s got the cheapest gas in the Chicagoland area today? As of this blog post, that honor belongs to the Sam’s Club in Northlake on 141 W. North Ave & Railroad Ave., offering $2.61 per gallon. As you can see in the local price snapshot below, gas was much more expensive this time last year.

Dancing (and a whole lot more) in the street!

July 29, 2009

Have some free time this Saturday, August 1st? (August already? Where did the summer go?!) The Active Transportation Alliance, formally the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, is holding a free, 8-mile “Open Streets” event stretching from Logan Square to Little Village.

The event will run from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and feature a variety of activities, including music, art activities, children’s games, workout classes and much more. Even better: It’s a free event and there’s no registration, so you can join in at any point along the route! For more info, you can also call them at (312) 377-5727.

Check out this interesting video on the Open Streets initiative:

Car Free Chicago

June 21, 2009


I recently discovered a helpful new website- www.carfreechicago.com. Carfree Chicago is a community-built resource that aims to take the guess work out of carfree living while promoting responsible transportation choices. The site is structured as a community blog; it is written by carfree Chicagoans for other carfree Chicagoans.

It’s a great site for the both the carfree and for drivers who drive out of necessity but prefer not to when possible. The site is a great resouce that covers such topics as alternative transit options (car sharing, bikes, Amtrak, Metra, Pace, etc…), carfree excursions, how to deal with going carfree with a family or when grocery shopping and many other relevant topics related to carfree living. Check it out and let us know what you think!

Mayor Daley nabs #5 spot on Grist’s "15 Green-Leaning Mayors"

May 6, 2009


Grist recently released their list of “15 Green-Leaning Mayors”, and Chicago’s very own, Richard M. Daley, nabbed the fifth spot. They cite Daley’s green-roof program (the most extensive in the country), sustainable redevelopment & landscaping projects, and his emphasis on renewable energy as his strong points. The article also mentioned Chicago’s bid for the 2016 summer Olympics, stating that it “hinges on the event being the greenest Olympics in history.”

The four mayors that topped Daley are: Michael Bloomberg (New York City), Greg Nickels (Seattle), Gavin Newsom (San Francisco), and Ed Malloy (Fairfield, Indiana). While the list is hardly complete, it does give a good indication of the vast geographical diversity in local climate leadership today.

What do you think? Did Mayor Daley deserve the #5 spot?

I-GO Car Sharing applauds Center for Neighborhood Technology, recipient of 2009 MacArthur Award

April 28, 2009


I-GO Car Sharing is proud to be a part of the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT), which on Tuesday, April 28, was one of only eight organizations around the world to be selected for the 2009 MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions.

“The MacArthur Foundation has a long history of supporting organizations around the world like these that demonstrate the creativity, drive, and vision to make the world more just and peaceful,” said MacArthur President Jonathan Fanton. “These organizations may be small but their impact is tremendous. From protecting human rights to improving urban neighborhoods to conserving biodiversity, they are blazing new paths and finding fresh solutions to some of our most difficult challenges.”


It was CNT—one of the country’s most venerable and innovative think tanks committed to urban sustainability issues—that originally launched I-GO Car Sharing in 2002. We remain closely attached to them to this day—both in terms of mission and literally: I-GO’s HQ is housed in the same LEED-certified-platinum office building in Wicker Park.

The accolades weren’t just from the MacArthur Foundation.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn: “The Center for Neighborhood Technology is an innovative and creative organization that has maintained a strong focus on sustainability for over 30 years,” said Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. “The new technologies and ideas CNT has developed have kept Illinois at the forefront of green innovation, and this award is a fitting tribute.”

Sadhu Johnston, Chief Environmental Officer, City of Chicago: “Building a green city takes more than leadership from city government—it takes strong partners in the community. CNT has been and continues to be a valuable partner in the development and implementation of Chicago’s Climate Action Plan. Their in-depth analysis, along with their experience in implementing programs in transportation and energy, effectively demonstrate how and why cities are the solution to climate change.”

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

We encourage everyone to read up on this remarkable, prescient organization that has been waaaaay ahead of the green curve since its founding three decades ago. Reinventing a “smart energy grid” for the nation may be the green topic du jour now. But CNT has been talking smart grid long before the greenwashing bandwagon hoppers grabbed ahold of those coattails.

Besides I-GO, they’ve created other green consumer programs:

  • CNT Energy’s Power Smart Pricing helps residential consumers cut energy costs and reduce their peak energy use through hourly price signals. The plan was adopted by ComEd and other electricity providers in the Midwest.
  • The Energy Savers program offers a one-stop shop for energy audits and loans to finance improvements that substantially reduce natural gas and electricity use in multifamily buildings. Reductions in energy consumption lower the operating costs of rental properties, keeping them affordable for the long term.

No doubt they’ll keep innovating for another 30 years and beyond.

Congratulations CNT!

2 New Chi-Town Rewards Businesses

April 20, 2009

I’m happy to announce that we’ve added 2 new, local businesses to our Chi-Town Rewards program this month! As I-GO members, you can now receive a discount when you visit the Adler Planetarium in Chicago’s Museum Campus or the Green Grocer Chicago in West Town- pretty cool, huh?

Adler Planetarium
1300 S. Lake Shore Drive
www.adlerplanetarium.org
OFFER: 2 for 1 general admission

Green Grocer Chicago
1402 W. Grand Ave
www.greengrocerchicago.com
OFFER: 10% off total order

CTA & I-GO make good train-ing partners

February 9, 2009


Anyone else notice this graphic lately? It’s featured prominently in a ton of print ads that have been on CTA trains and buses since early January. The tagline that accompanies it: “One card, three ways to go.” And here’s the copy: “A seamless way to travel through the city using just one card. Bus, train, and now 200 I-GO cars.”

I’ve been on the lookout for the ads, and I-GO also has its own smaller ad on the CTA. Judging from our web traffic stats, looks like folks are seeing the ads and checking us out.

So what is it exactly? It’s the brand-new Chicago Card Plus/I-GO joint smart card. A card with two micro chips that gives you access to all CTA trains and buses, Pace buses, and I-GO’s citywide fleet of car-sharing vehicles. The idea: to promote a more unified, expansive and sustainable public transportation network.

Throw your bike into the equation (many of I-GO’s cars have racks or are parked near racks, and we’d like to make that more pervasive – check out our Cars & Locations page), and, hell, you may never need to own a car. Now if we could just continue this current warming trend…

Chicago expands red light ticketing program

January 6, 2009


As some of you may already be painfully aware, traffic surveillance cameras have been popping up around Chicago at intersections in recent years. Getting caught running a red light on one of these cameras will cost you a hefty $100 ticket in the mail. Already, the City has installed 248 cameras at 123 accident-prone intersections and it looks like there are many more to come.

The 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has given the City of Chicago the go-ahead to continue installing red light camera at intersections throughout Chicago. Rejecting the so-called “innocent owner’s defense”, the ruling states:

“Is it rational to fine the owner, rather than the driver? Certainly so. A camera can show reliably which cars and trucks go through red lights, but is less likely to show who was driving. That would make it easy for owners to point the finger at friends or children- and essentially impossible for the city to prove otherwise”

The City will now move ahead with a major expansion program, installing cameras at more than 330 intersections by 2012. Thus far, these cameras have raised $94.5 million in revenue for the city. However, City Hall insists that it’s more about safety than money, claiming a 59 percent drop in red-light running since installing the cameras in 2003. What do you think? Is this a fare form of traffic enforcement, or is Big Brother going too far?