Today’s Headlines

  • Broadway Protected Lanes Will Improve Safety in Uptown (DNA)
  • Schwartz’s Wrigley Traffic Study Pushes Transit, “Divvy Bike Night” (Crain’s)
  • Illinois Transportation Coalition Pushes for Better Infrastructure Funding (Post-Dispatch)
  • Waguespack Worries About Divvy Again, Implying It’s a Waste of TIF Funds (Sun-Times)
  • Fioretti: Let Cabs Use the McCormick Place Busway (Sun-Times)
  • Drunk Driver Gets 5 Years for Killing Grandmother Near 65th and Pulaski (Tribune)
  • Firefighter Suspended After Department SUV rolls Into Sherman Park Lagoon (Tribune)
  • Lathrop Homes Redevelop Plan Includes Bike Lanes and Parking (Patch)
  • Highland Park May Reject Fining Parents Whose Kids Don’t Wear Helmets (Tribune)
  • A Ride on a CTA Bus With Broken Air Conditioning is Gonna Make You Sweat (RedEye)
  • Reducing Pedestrian Fatalities? What’s the Hurry? (LSD)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Julia

    Wrigley has a bike valet?!?! They ought to publicize that so much more! We’ve always taken the bus, since we didn’t trust our bikes on the street during game day.

  • Anonymous

    it’s next to the left field entrance, super convenient for those cycling down Waveland, I use it all the time

  • Are they ever going to stop calling people who just ride bikes and want it to be safer “bike enthusiasts” in the media? I have a little tattoo of a bike on my leg and I don’t want to be called a “bike enthusiast”, but I guess I would be.

  • No problem, just tell them to label you an “avid cyclist.”

  • I know, I’m preaching to the choir. But when I read that, I feel like they’re painting cyclists as people who want pet projects and special favors from the City, but the safer infrastructure is supposed to help everyone. They don’t paint drivers who want parking as “avid motorists”

  • Yup, and apparently it gets used more and more each season.

    It’s posted on their website: http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/chc/ballpark/transportation.jsp?content=bike

  • Evan Jenkins

    Also, new Divvy Bike stations coming this week: http://divvybikes.com/stations

  • The Wrigley Transportation Plan recommends four new traffic signals. When there aren’t games or concerts (which is most of the year), these will be unnecessary. It will reduce pedestrian capacity at these intersections, delay pedestrians (and bicyclists, which has the smallest mode share accessing the stadium), and be a large cost. The plan also recommends increasing the length of some signal cycles. It’s not clear whether the signal cycles would be this long only during stadium use, or at all times.

    Those are the shortcomings I find in the plan. The plan recommends a lot of other, more detailed changes, like creating temporary turn lanes, having more traffic control aides post-game instead of pre-game, reducing the number of taxis trying to approach the stadium, and increasing the visibility and awareness of the bike valet.

  • Scott Sanderson

    The Wrigley bike valet is great; I have used it several times. Only issue is that it closes after the game, so if you want to go out to the bars or eat, you need to remember to get your bike first.

  • Fred

    LoganSquareDriver would be proud.

  • I would worry most about those increased signal cycles. If they allow too much traffic to move on Clark, pedestrians waiting to go across Clark will have to wait longer.

    I wish the whole Clark corridor there (and in other spots) were a pedestrian/transit mall. Who is really driving to all those bars and who needs to during the games? Make the buses go faster, put a ton of Divvy bikes there, and make it easy to be a pedestrian. How much does it cost for a new traffic signal?

  • Jakub Muszynski

    It will be very interesting to see where the first pedestrian/non-motorized traffic streets will pop up in Chicago. We do have some plazas but i’m thinking Milwaukee Ave in the Wicker Park neighborhood along with parts of Clark St would make excellent walk-able streets.

  • Lincoln Square already has a little pedestrian plaza on it but I personally would love to see the whole street (Lincoln between Lawrence and Leland) pedestrianized. It would remove some parking but I see a lot more people walking in to the square than driving to it. And they could do some neighborhood programming, outdoor seating, etc. with the extra space.

    And every time I go to Wicker Park I have the same thought. Milwaukee Ave is a good candidate.

  • Jakub Muszynski

    A whole street would be interesting, I think Chicago could take two routes in opening up the street to people and less so for cars and trucks. Removing half of the parking could be a easier sell to some stray opposing businesses and NIMBYers. The ultimate goal or other possible route would be to remove all parking on this stretch. I dream a street where pedestrians are dedicated half or even more of the street, sounds awesome. Restaurants and people would love that outdoor space.

  • Anonymous

    Why do you feel the need to snarkily attack Waguespack all the time?

    He’s not worried about Divvy, he’s worried about TIFs. TIFs are a largely unregulated slush fund controlled by the mayor’s office (read Joravsky if you don’t think TIFs are wrong) that strips tax money from every other taxing district, especially the largest, CPS.

    So, the point isn’t that money shouldn’t be spent on Divvy, it’s that money spent on Divvy should go through normal budget procedures, not come out of the slush funds that the mayor’s office controls.

    Just because you happen to agree with this particular use of the slush fund does *not* make the slush fund right.

  • I don’t think starting my last post on Waguespack with three paragraphs of extolling his virtues qualifies as a snarky attack: http://chi.streetsblog.org/2013/07/16/whats-up-with-waguespack-the-aldermans-view-of-parking-conversions/

    I read Joravsky regularly (my buddy Dave “Mr. Bike” Glowacz interviews him every week for a podcast), and I am anti-TIF. Waguespack is doing a city a big service by hammering Emanuel on the fact that TIFs take money away from the public schools, and it’s ridiculous that the mayor is spending $55 million on the UIC basketball stadium, using money that could have helped save the 50 schools he’s closing. Heck, even Alderman Arena is opposing that arena.

    I’m annoyed at Waguespack for, after previously moaning about Divvy stations taking up a few car parking spots, implying that Divvy is a wasteful expenditure of TIF funds on par with the stadium. The TIF money spent on Divvy, which is a useful program serving a huge swath of the city, is less than a tenth of that budgeted for the basketball boondoggle.

    When I spoke to Waguespack’s chief of staff, he said the alderman’s goal is to maximize the number of Divvy stations in his ward, so it’s pretty lame for Scott to turn around and imply the system is a waste of funds.

    Speaking of which, I learned today that the Divvy station at Wood and Division, by the Smokedaddy BBQ joint in Waguespack’s ward, which occupies two car spaces, is averaging 60 bike rentals a day. Scott needs to wrap his head around the fact that the number of people you bring to a business strip is far more important than the number of cars.

  • From 12 PM to 12 AM, if every person who parked their car in the two (former) spaces here stayed the maximum two hours, you could hold 12 cars! If each car remained for an hour, that’s 24 cars! To reach 60 cars in these two spaces in this timeframe, each car could only park for 24 minutes – definitely not enough time for lunch or dinner.

  • Anonymous

    Was that piece you wrote on him complimentary? Sure. Yet in this one, you’re right back on the snark. There are plenty of machine hack alderman much more deserving of such treatment.

    Regarding parking spaces, you still don’t get that when he complains about parking spots, he’s usually doing it based on the meter deal, which hangs over all of these projects people like that take up parking spots. There was a recent thing where to take out 2 spots (I forget whether it was for a rack or a Divvy station), CDOT said he has to replace it with *10*.

    You want to ask a tough question, ask Klein why his boss effectively ratified the meter deal with the recent changes rather than finding a way to get out of it.

    There’s a bunch of other comments in this very post about pedestrian streets, etc that are simply not possible due to the meter deal.

  • What do you mean I’m right back on the snark? That “complimentary” article was the only somewhat critical piece I’ve written about Waguespack. I like Scott, which is why I hate to see him on the wrong side of an issue.

    Nope, Scott has also suggested that replacing car spaces with Divvy spots could be bad for business: “Bike shares, People Spots … what will that do to businesses?” The Smokedaddy stat shows there was nothing to worry about. By the way, I just had an interesting Twitter exchange with the alderman about this: https://twitter.com/greenfieldjohn

    Streetsblog had several posts about why Emanuel’s meter deal reboot was a bad idea, but you can’t blame Klein for that. As CDOT has shown, there are creative ways of getting around the meter contract. If the city really wanted to pedestrianize Milwaukee, they could find a way.

  • Anonymous

    What I mean is that in these “Headlines” posts, if there’s anything Waguespack says that you don’t like, you get snarky. You are snarky in THIS POST.

    And you now have Waguespack against People Spots? Need I remind you that the first one is in the 32nd and he got Tunney to put the replacement meter spots in the 44th?

    And if you really think there’s a way around the meter deal for the number of spaces that are on Milwaukee, I have a nice bridge to sell you

  • What do you mean *I* have Waguespack against People Spots? I didn’t put those words in his mouth. I think we gave plenty of airtime to Scott’s views on People Spots in that previous post. He’s generally for them, but he has been known to complain about the prospect of converting parking spaces for them, as he did with the Bucktown proposal: “Loss of parking is huge. Everyone wants more. And this removes two [spaces].”

    Waguespack would be the first to acknowledge that large-scale parking removal on Milwaukee is a possibility. If he didn’t think so, why would he bother surveying a local community group about whether they thought it was worth removing half the parking on Milwaukee in Wicker Park to make room for protected lanes?

    Bottom line: Waguespack’s a good guy, and he’s one of Chicago’s best aldermen. But even with politicians I like, I feel compelled to call them out when they make wrongheaded comments about public space and transportation, and I reserve the right to use snark to do so.

  • BrownBrown

    Good call. I live on a pedestrian street in Madrid, and am amazed there aren’t more of them here. It is a fairly new development, though, and I think it came about right before the economic crisis here. There are a lot of ways to pedestrianize different intersections or streets in the city. The road diets and pedestrian scrambles are a great step in the right direction and I’m envisioning pedestrianized bicycle streets for the popular stretches of Milwaukee.

  • Cameron Puetz

    Additionally, the 10 spots would be in a completely different part of the ward so the neighborhood bearing the cost would see little benefit from the project. Based on comments made by Waguespack’s Chief of Staff in the article John linked to above, it sounds like issue was the raw deal offered to satisfy the meter contract. The main objection seemed to be shifting the meters to different neighborhood. It’s pretty understandable that there’s push back in Roscoe Village to converting free parking spots to metered spots so that a people spot can be built 3 miles away in Wicker Park.

  • Cameron Puetz

    The editorialized, sensational headlines really detract from these “Headlines” posts and damage the blog’s overall credibility. Inserting your own take into something as simple as linking to someone else’s article either comes off as a snarky attack or trying to put words into someone’s mouth.

  • I don’t think “sensational” is accurate, unless you’re saying our headlines are top-notch (if so, thanks!) As for “editorialized,” that’s the point of this blog. We’re not trying to present the news from a “fair and balanced” perspective; we’re looking at it through a pro-sustainable transportation lens.

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