Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Friday, July 19

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


miss ellen / December 10, 2003 11:35 AM

day-to-day commuting, it's all about the el ( i loves me some CTA tax-free transit!).

for errands and visiting family / friends, usually use my car, but sometimes ride metra down to the south side when traffic may be bad. i've had my car for 4 years, and i *just* cracked 23K on milage. it's nice to have so many other options besides my ride.

Brenda / December 10, 2003 11:41 AM

These boots were made for walkin.

And that's just what I'll do.

Andrew / December 10, 2003 11:50 AM

I regret that I've become so reliant on my car. It's one of the side-effects of working in the suburbs, unfortunately.

My preferred mode of transportation is train, from which I can walk most anywhere. I kinda miss people-watching on the El.

kegz / December 10, 2003 11:58 AM

I also use my car a ton because I work in Schaumburg. My wife has a 10 minute Metra commute to Evanston and I'm jealous.

I walk to rent movies, small grocery trips, and places in Andersonville, but I drive for most things out of that range. I'll take the el if I'm going downtown.

Naz / December 10, 2003 11:59 AM

Bike, bike and bike. It's gotten to the point where I'd rather take the bike out even for a short distance where walking would suffice. I've taken the train perhaps less than 10 times this year. Otherwise, I rely on the generosity of friends with cars for those longer out-of-city trips.

amyc / December 10, 2003 12:08 PM

I lived in Oak Park for five years, and I drove everywhere. Since moving to Chicago about 4 years ago, I use my car maybe once or twice a week -- and I love it! I use the CTA for almost everything except fetching groceries and getting to school. I've often thought about just selling the car, but it is nice to have just in case.

Onid / December 10, 2003 12:33 PM

When I lived in the city I took the el mostly or walked or biked but now that I moved back to Skokie and I work in Deerfield I drive and I hate it. I am not a good driver. I tailgate and drive too fast and I generally am an asshole so I really enjoyed not having to deal with all that. I removed myself from the driving "situation" and voila no more tickets, no more wrecked cars...everyone was happy.

I am now looking for a place in the city now and I plan to take Metra up to Deerfield for work and probably drive once or twice a week again. I feel this is important for the safety of the other drivers in the chicago-land area.

j3s / December 10, 2003 12:39 PM

My bike. I need to get some fenders to last me through the winter. I take the el if I need to, and the Metra to go visit my mom in Evanston, but I really like the personal mobility of my bike. I suppose one the ground is covered in snow I'll be missing the car I haven't owned in years, but hey. It's still decent riding out.

pj chmiel / December 10, 2003 12:42 PM

I ride a mean Vespa scooter almost everywhere, all year round. Otherwise I walk or take the El. My girlfriend has a car but she prefers riding the scooter too.

alicia / December 10, 2003 12:42 PM

lately i drive to work. when the weather permits though i ride my bike. the plan is to get rid of my car soon. if i need to go out of town i can always rent a car. if i were to rent a car once a monthm the cost would still be lower than the price of havinf a car... city stickers, registration, title, insurance, etc etc. i can always get a cab from the grocery store too. soon i will justify ridding myself of a motor vehicle, but for now i'll stay happy and warm listening to the radio inside my car while running down other drivers for riding in the bike lane.

suzanne / December 10, 2003 12:45 PM

feet,train,bus,cab when out late. in that order,exactly

shechemist / December 10, 2003 1:13 PM

car, train, bus and el. I am thinking about selling my '97 outback, and getting my bike out of storage when school starts next month.

anyone want to buy a car?

Murgatroit / December 10, 2003 1:25 PM

Chicago is a transportation smorgasboard. I regularly take the CTA Train, metra train. I even overcame my suburban fear of CTA busses (it's really not like the Pace at all). I walk a ton, and occasionally if the weather is just right, i'll drive the Necronomicar. Also not to be missed in the temperate months, the Wendella Boat.

lacey / December 10, 2003 1:46 PM

I admire bike riders so much. It really takes guts I think to be a regular Chicago bikerider...kudos to you guys. If I were brave enough (and didn't like fearing for my life constantly) I would be all over it.

I'm the great bummer of car rides but when I'm not, I'm on the red line.

Ramsin / December 10, 2003 1:55 PM

I've been thinking about public transit in Chicago way too much over the last two months. I can't even bring myself to answer.

Hollie / December 10, 2003 2:02 PM

I love my bike! I also take the el for city and the metra to see the family...but most of the time when i travel it is on my bike.

We have been so spoiled this year thus far with the lack of snow. You can ride your bike in any temp really, it is what's on the ground that kinda dictates if you can ride that day or not (like snow and rain).

Riding a bike in the city is a blast...most of the time you can ride faster than the cars are driving because of the traffic. I actually feel safer riding along the street than on the lakefront.

What a world we would live in if EVERYONE rode a bike...what a beautiful world *sniff sniff*...but i guess we would have to invade a country that has a lot natural resources of bike accessories...yuk yuk yuk

stephen / December 10, 2003 2:04 PM

That Vespa is boss, man. Nice.
I used to bike all over the place, on a lovely Marin, until some bastard thieves figured out it was good and stole it from a city bike rack. I think the next bike purchase I make will include some sort of force field, lasers, spikes, or possibly really mean dogs. Those of you that have a bike and ride it in the city, be careful when you lock. If anyone knows of good bike deals, pleez let me know. ;)

brian / December 10, 2003 2:57 PM

I ride a carpet during the week and a broom on the weekends. You haven't really done the lakeshore til you've ridden by broom down the whole length of it with your girlfriend in back.

Good times.

Shylo / December 10, 2003 3:11 PM

Being said girlfriend, I can second brian's broom-riding emotions. Plus, i wear a confederate flag tanktop during. Whoosh!

Carlos D. Butler / December 10, 2003 3:36 PM

When I'm in Chicago, I walk or use CTA mostly. I'll take a cab if the CTA seems inconvenient, it's late or I'm in a hurry.

In a week, I move to the South Side and imagine I will be using a car a lot more often. Not too many places I go that are within walking distance. Public trans seems like an afterthought out there. I may pull the bike out of mothballs, but it needs a lot of work.

Bigman / December 10, 2003 3:37 PM

I go everywhere in my new Hummer. It's pretty tight - 22" chrome spinners and everything. I even drive it just a few blocks to the store. It's good to be seen in. When it comes to gas, my ride is like a turkey - gobble gobble gobble.

Ian / December 10, 2003 3:54 PM

My cape...

Wendy / December 10, 2003 7:19 PM

Um, I like my car. I need it to get to work and while I guess it would be nice to take the CTA and read, that's not an option for me, and I have to say that being able to blast my music without headphones, control the heat, and stop off wherever I want isn't exactly a nightmare. I take the bus or the el when I go out on the weekends, but I'm all about the car sometimes.

And I never have to worry about getting home from the Abbey after a concert.

LS / December 10, 2003 7:28 PM

When the weather permits, I ride my bike. When the weather doesn't permit, I ride my bike -- wool socks, rain pants, balaclava and a fender, and I'm set. Beats standing out on a cold El platform, and always faster, too.

tony / December 10, 2003 8:07 PM

Car or "car service," for the most part. The el is too far a walk to be really useful and the buses are mad slow, yo. Only problem is parking sucks, esp. during the summer months, 'cause for some reason people really like to go to the lakefront and they take up all the parking spots on the street. I mean really, what's so special about the lakefront.

jmo / December 10, 2003 11:02 PM

we just moved back down to the city and I LOVE losing the car and walking. Only trouble is? Not decent grocery close by. And my bike was stolen in the city years ago. The EL is awesome, buses are WAY less so unless the stop is front of where you are and where you are going. So the scooter option may be a better option for those days I'm carting groceries around. Otherwise, my clogs carry me :)

Shasta MacNasty / December 10, 2003 11:30 PM

I take Metra to work in the Loop from the burbs. other than that, I use the car. I'd like to ride a bike more often. I have a friend in the Evanston Bike Club who keeps bugging me to join. Maybe when the weather gets nicer...

alex / December 11, 2003 12:26 AM


Ruthie / December 11, 2003 3:07 AM

I bike for short trips (even micro-trips of a block or two). I feel safer biking than walking, appreciate being outside in the cold for a shorter period of time, and enjoy being able to travel where I want, when I want, without having to wait for anything or anyone.
For longer hauls, the buses and trains give me lots of time to contemplate the meaning of life and work on my knitting.

robert / December 11, 2003 9:13 AM

Bike although it causes car drivers more rage because I go faster than they do. Then walking followed by El and bus. Cars suck in the city.

kegz / December 11, 2003 10:53 AM

Know anyone that uses a Share-A-Car type deal? I saw a couple 24 hour parking spots for this at the Jewel in Andersonville and was wondering how that works. Do you sign up to check the car out online or ? Sounds like a good idea if you only need the use of a car once in a while and don't want all the hassle of owning one.

Benjy / December 11, 2003 11:21 AM

I use my car to get to work and out to see my parents in the suburbs. But in the summer when the weather's nice, I like to use my bike when I can. Occasionally I'll use a bus, but I live too far east to make the El practical. The one drawback to my apartment is the mass transit access.

Craig / December 11, 2003 11:32 AM

I work in the West Loop, so I take the El (and a bus) from Evanston and it's perfect. I've read more books in the past 3 months than I did in a year of driving to work in (shudder) Des Plaines... not to mention the workout my iPod receives! The only downside is missing the last purple line express and having to red line it all the way north. On the weekends it's all car-- the lack of purple line express again makes downtown el rides unbearable. Thus a contributing factor for moving southward this Spring...

Jake / December 11, 2003 12:06 PM

El to work, car for groceries, cabs to bars. If I had stayed in Michigan, I would have at least one DUI by now guaranteed. Everyone I know in Michigan drives drunk. I do every time I go back... That's one of the reasons I moved to Chicago: fear of getting a DUI.

Katie / December 11, 2003 1:40 PM

I drive to work, and I like to think I have the best commute in the city: driving opposite the heavy traffic on Lake Shore Drive. Smooth sailing all the way to Rogers Park, and a beautiful view every morning. Evenings and weekends are walking, blue line, and cab.

Luke / December 11, 2003 1:44 PM

> Know anyone that uses a Share-A-Car type deal?

That's probably the I-GO program. A co-worker used to use it for whenever she needed to go to CostCo, but I think she decided it made more sense to just rent a car for an entire day instead.

You pay $125 in initiation fees, then $6 an hour plus 50 cents a mile. Gas is included. It's a great idea in theory and smarter than owning a car, but it's too expensive to work for me. A combination of bicyling, walking, CTA'ing, cabbing and renting will always be faster, cheaper and more convenient than I-GO.

You can easily rent a car for less than $40 plus gas (I'm renting one at Christmas for three days for $55, plus gas), but $40 gets you only 4 hours and 30 miles. That fails the IKEA test: In the history of modern commerce, has anyone ever made a trip to IKEA and back in less than 4 hours? I think not.

stephen / December 11, 2003 2:40 PM

Ah, hell, you don't even need a car for food shoppin' anymore. Go use peapod! :)

GB store

Recently on Fuel

Urban Ethos [26]
What is Chicago's "urban ethos"?

Cool Glass of... [16]
What're you drinking?

Supreme Decision [22]
What's your reaction to the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act?

Taking it to the Streets [20]
Chicago Street Fairs: Revolting or Awesome?

I Can Be Cruel [9]
Be real: what is the meanest thing you've ever done?

View the complete archive

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15