What is Go Garfield Park?

Go Garfield Park is a City of Chicago program that offers free resources, activities, and support to East and West Garfield Park residents to encourage them to walk, bicycle, and take transit more often.

The focused campaign effort runs from June 1 through September 30, 2016. Go Garfield Park is one of five similar programs being implemented in Chicago neighborhoods between 2013 and 2016. Previous programs include Go Bronzeville in 2013, Go Pilsen in 2014, Go Albany Park and Go Edgewater in 2015.

The goals of Go Garfield Park are the following:

  • Reduce drive-alone trips in Garfield Park.
  • Increase trips made by foot, bicycle, transit, and carpool.
  • Increase the use of bike share, particularly at stations within Garfield Park.
  • Foster a sense of community around walking and bicycling activities.
  • Support local businesses and community efforts.

The Go Garfield Park program invites East and West Garfield Park residents to order free, customized information packets containing their choices of maps, brochures, and helpful resources on transportation options for getting around East and West Garfield Park, the City of Chicago, and beyond. Local outreach staff, hired from within the neighborhood, will assemble customized packets and deliver them to residents’ homes, along with a gift.

Go Garfield Park is hosting events, such as themed neighborhood walks, guided bicycle rides, and workshops to help residents get out and experience their community and their transportation options. Our outreach staff also appear at other community events to provide helpful information to residents about walking, bicycling, and transit in and around East and West Garfield Park.

Where did this idea come from?

Many communities in the US have run similar programs that have successfully helped people drive less and bike, walk, and take transit more often. The City of Chicago wanted to try out this type of program, and applied for grant funding for a pilot project in five different neighborhoods over four years.

Where did the project funding originally come from?

Go Garfield Park is funded by federal Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality (CMAQ) grants, administered through the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) put in an application for this very competitive program, and was fortunate to be selected to receive funding. The goal of the program is to improve air quality by reducing the number of drive-alone trips made in five neighborhoods.

Why Garfield Park? Why now?

CDOT evaluated a number of potential community areas for this program. Garfield Park rose to the top because there is strong local interest in raising the profile of walking and bicycling in the neighborhood, local organizations who are interested in partnering, and also because the launch and expansion of Divvy Bikes (bike sharing) presents a unique opportunity to get the word out about this transportation resource through the Go Garfield Park program.

Why spend money on marketing instead of installing facilities and paying for more services?

We know that there are many infrastructure needs in Garfield Park, and we will do our best to connect community members with resources (both at the City and beyond) that can help address these needs. In the context of this program, however, CDOT was learning from national and international research that has shown that marketing and promotional activities are essential to helping people walk, bicycle, and take transit more often, and that these kinds of investments are extremely effective, dollar for dollar.

What happens when the program ends?

In order to use program funding efficiently, this program is intended to be a limited-term, focused effort in one neighborhood at a time for several months at a time. Fortunately, Garfield Park and surrounding communities already have many great organizations and individuals working towards increasing walking, biking and transit in the community, so we are here to connect residents to the great initiatives already taking place and build more momentum.

What’s with those blue bikes?

Bike sharing has come to Garfield Park, and it’s called Divvy.

Thousands of bikes are available to you: 24 hours per day, every day of the year, all over Chicago. Pick up a bike from any station and drop it off at any other. Once you’ve purchased an Annual Membership or 24-Hour Pass, all your trips less than 30 minutes in duration (most bike trips!) are free. Trips that last longer than 30 minutes incur additional usage fees.

Twenty-Four-Hour Passes are available for purchase for $9.95 from any Divvy station. You may also use any station to redeem the FREE 24-Hour Pass from your Go Garfield Park Go Kit. Just enter the code when prompted. A credit or debit card is required to ride Divvy bikes.

Annual Memberships can be bought online. Annual Memberships with monthly installments cost $9.95 per month and require an annual commitment. You can also purchase an Annual Membership at a reduced cost of $99. Learn more about Divvy memberships here.

Sign up online at divvybikes.com/signup. You must be 16 years or older to use a Divvy bike.

CDOT now offers the Divvy for Everyone (D4E) program for Chicagoans who face financial barriers or who do not have a credit or debit card. Sign up for a discounted membership for $5 at Central States SER at the Garfield Workforce Center (10 S. Kedzie Ave.) or learn more at divvybikes.com/D4E.

Learn more at divvybikes.com or by calling 1-855-55-DIVVY (1-855-553-4889).

Bike riding safety & responsibility

We like to keep our events fun, free, and informal. You are responsible for your own safety (and that of your children) when attending an event and when riding your bike. Wear a helmet and please follow the rules of the road (stop at all stops, ride with traffic, stay to the right, etc).

I have a bike in the garage. Where can I get it repaired?

You can bring your bike to Ciclo Urbano, a full service community bicycle shop located just north of us in Humboldt Park (2459 W. Division St.). They repair bikes and sell parts, accessories, and both new and used bicycles.

Shop Hours:

  • Mondays - Thursday 11am - 7pm
  • Friday & Saturday 11am - 6pm
  • Sunday 11am - 5pm

Where can I get a bike?

  • Divvy offers bike share bicycles in Garfield Park! Try out the new stations for 30 minute rides. Learn more at divvybikes.com.
  • Purchase a new or used bike at Ciclo Urbano located in Humboldt Park (2459 W. Division St.).