In Biking Illinois, I mention that you can avoid the high parking fee at the Chicago Botanic Garden by riding your bicycle there via the North Branch Trail. You don't even have to ride all the way from home -- you can park in several forest preserve lots that are only a few miles of pedaling away. Yesterday the Cook County Forest Preserve District increased the incentive to exercise, announcing that the cost to park at the garden will go up $3 on April 1. Although the garden is in suburban Glencoe, the parking fee will be a downtown Chicago-like $15 per car. That's almost double the cost of parking there just five years ago.
Admission is still free, so ride your bike and snicker as you pass the lazy people opening their wallets at the entrance!