Today’s Headlines

  • After Crash, NTSB Considers Emergency Recommendations to the CTA (Tribune)
  • Passenger Files First Lawsuit After Blue Line Wreck (Sun-Times)
  • City Plans to Bring 4-G Wireless to 12 Miles of Chicago Subway (DNA)
  • Former CTA Manager John Plante Tapped for Metra Board (Sun-Times)
  • Walgreens Plans to Install Ventra Machines in the Coming Weeks (RedEye)
  • Emanuel: Red Light Cameras Removed at 18 Intersections “Were No Longer Needed” (DNA)
  • Osterman Questions Removal of Red Light Camera at Hollywood and Sheridan (DNA)
  • Red Light Cam at Belmont/LSD Drew The Most Tickets in Early 2013 (DNA)
  • Despite Gains, Driving Still Twice as Popular as Transit or Biking Among Millennials (Crain’s)
  • To Help Case for South Shore Access, LAB Makes Chart of Bikes-on-Board Policies
  • Is it Foolish to Ride a Divvy Without a Helmet? (Sun-Times)
  • Green Machine Cycles Opens at 1634 W. Montrose With Focus on Cargo Bikes (Patch)

Get National Headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Anonymous

    The logic behind the removal of the red light cameras escapes me. Do we really believe that the behavior change was voluntary and will continue without red light cameras?

  • I’ve asked CDOT for more info on this. Hopefully we’ll get a response.

  • Anne A

    Green Machine sounds like a cool shop. I hope it’s a success.

  • BlueFairlane

    I’d be shocked if there is a reasonable response to be had. Nothing known about this makes sense, so there must be something unknown.

  • jkm

    I always use a helmet for my regular bike, but do not feel a need with the divvy. Its a slower, heavier bike by design that forces you to ride more cautiously (not that i ride unsafe, but in areas where narrow streets force you to be in the door zone, i am probably going 5-7 mph slower on a divvy).

    As divvy use for me is for more spur of the moment trips where it is more convenient than other options, I’m not going to carry a helmet at all times, just to satisfy others.

  • Peter

    LOL… John you need to contact ESPN1000 and educate them on divvy :-) Their show just went off topic to do a 3 minute rant on the problems they have with divvy. Some of what was said is due to them not being informed about how the system works…other parts of the rant funny but true. You might have to wait for the podcast if you missed it (just happened so maybe around 10:15-1030am), but you should take a listen. Could be a good opportunity for some sort of ESPN Divvy challenge (LOL) for Carmen DeFalco :-)

  • Anonymous

    Yes. Cargobike smugness comes to the (far) northside. Finally! We’ve been missing out on that. I’ll have to check it out soon.

  • Mishellie

    I looked through their website and now really want a soma.

    Oops.

  • No, I won’t use a helmet on Divvy, because I don’t want to bring a helmet around everywhere I go. I’m not going to bring a helmet around with me if I ride it 2 miles to the grocery store or something. Just another thing to carry with me.

    Getting kind of tired being berated for not wearing one by people; drivers should wear helmets, too, after all, they would reduce head injury in a crash. Give us more protected bike lanes so we don’t need to wear a helmet. Some of the last bike crash deaths I can remember, the victim was wearing a helmet.

  • I’ve got a Soma Double Cross, which I’ve ridden from coast-to-coast twice. It’s served me well.

  • The Dutchman is calling cargo biking smug?

  • Mishellie

    Stop it thats the one I was looking at haha.

    I just got a new bike! ( KHS vitamin b) and I’m poor. Don’t tempt me! (too late haha.)

  • Anonymous

    It’s not obvious that the reason they’re being removed is that they don’t bring in sufficient revenue?

  • It’s unlikely that’s the reason. The cameras don’t cost much to operate, and the one at Hollywood and Sheridan brought in $383K in tickets last year.

  • Anonymous

    That’s true, that one did surprise me. I’m very cynical about RLC’s, as there is little evidence they actually work. Longer yellow lights is the real answer, but the city refuses to go there.

  • Little evidence that they actually work, other than these 18 successful locations?

  • Anonymous

    Where exactly are the city’s statistics backing any of this up? They publish NOTHING regarding RLC’s and their effectiveness or lack thereof, nor do they publish anything showing that they actually choose intersections with high crash rates to begin with. It’s trivial to find studies showing that the single best way to reduce red light running is to increase yellow light times to MUTCD minimums, which Chicago’s 3-seconds-everywhere policy does not meet.

  • Fred

    I have at least 2 family members who have died in car wrecks while wearing seat belts, but that doesn’t mean I plan to stop wearing one any time soon.

    Bike helmets are worthwhile to a point; just like all safety devices. A helmet isn’t going to save your life you fall in traffic and get hit by a car, and a seatbelt/airbag isn’t going to save your life if you cross the center line and head-on collide with a semi. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be worn for the many other types of accidents where they could help. A helmet will help if the bike comes out from under you or if you go over the handlebars; both events that are independent of bike infrastructure.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, this smug, cargobike riding Dutchman is well positioned to comment on smugness ;)

    There is nothing wrong with being smug about your lifestyle choices. It’s people’s lack of self-awareness and inability to recognize that they are smug that I find undesirable.

  • Yes, I agree, which is why I’ll usually wear one downtown where there’s a lot of traffic. But at rush hour when I’m just riding Divvy to the red line, I don’t feel like I need one, because most of the traffic is stopped anyway.

    But for trips around my neighborhood I’m on small residential streets and rarely feel the need for a helmet…

  • Fred

    Your argument is backwards. In the loop where I’m likely to get hit by a car if I fall, there is no point in wearing a helmet since I’m going to die either way. In places where a fall is not likely to result in death, say on a small residential street, is the exact time I want to be wearing a helmet.

  • Peter

    Darwin at its finest :-)

  • Mishellie

    I think we should all wear a helmet at all times! After all – there is always a chance of tripping, falling, being knocked over. Even in my apartment – my damn cat is always tripping me up. /sarcasm.

  • Honestly, I’m not sure even 5 second yellows would help much. It would help the people who genuinely can’t get out of the intersection before the red, yes. But there have been times when it’s me in that situation, and I’m entering the intersection (because I cannot safely stop in time) on what I consider a severely orange light, and two cars BEHIND me also run the red.

    They could have stopped. They should have. By my personal standards, *I* was running that red, and they were in some cases THIRTY FEET behind me when I crossed the crosswalk — and yet they felt entitled to enter the intersection anyway.

    Those people? Will not be helped by lengthening the yellow. They’re going to keep running reds because they feel they have a right to.

  • Montrose the ‘far’ northside? Heck no, it’s 4000ish, and the city goes up to 7800ish. :-> Far northside for me is like Loyola or Morse on the red line … of course, I live at Wilson and Pulaski, and grew up at North and Clybourn. Suburbanites used to marvel that I lived ‘downtown’ when I was in high school and I was all CH’YEAH RIGHT I have to walk over an hour to get downtown from my house!

    It’s all perspective.

  • Anonymous

    there’s certainly truth to that, some people are just a-holes, no question. *But*, the point is that the supposed justification is to reduce accidents, yet the city went to RLC’s instead of first trying extended yellows.

  • Courtney Cobbs

    I’m a “Millenial” and the main reasons I drive my car are: my job demands it and 2, sometimes I just don’t have time to take a trip by bus that will take me twice as long versus one in my car. Right now I’m strapped for cash and buying a bike (along with a helmet, a lock, a basket for it, etc) just isn’t in my budget.
    I hope in the near future I’ll have a job that doesn’t require that I have a car, but based on the field I’m going into, it’s highly unlikely. A big reason some employers demand their employees drive is because transit tends to take longer.

    I sincerely believe in the “if you build it, they will come” mantra when it comes to mass transit. Build it up, make it on par with driving (or faster), and people will ride.

  • Thanks for the feedback. I definitely don’t have a problem with people who feel they need to use cars for things like a long commute, transporting family members and cargo, road trips, etc. The goal is to reduce unnecessary car trips so that everyone, whether they’re walking, taking transit, biking or driving, can get where they need to go efficiently.

    If buying a bike, lock and basket isn’t in your budget, perhaps Divvy bike-share is an option. It’s only $75 for a yearly membership (less than a monthly CTA pass) and you don’t have to worry about buying a lock or a basket, or storage, maintenance and theft. Some shops, like Heritage Bikes, offer discounts on helmets for Divvy members. The system doesn’t serve the whole city yet, but if there are stations in the areas where you need to go, it might be a cheap alternative to buying your own bike.

  • Courtney Cobbs

    Thank you for responding, John. I would much rather not have to drive-it would certainly save me a lot of money. It’s just my job demands it.

    I’ll certainly look into Divvy. I’ve heard a lot about it.

  • Sure thing. Let me know if you have any questions about how Divvy works. I’ve been using it more often lately and it’s pretty fun.

  • Ryan Wallace

    You are misunderstanding the point of RLC, they are NOT intended to reduce the QUANTITY of crashes, they are intended to reduce the SEVERITY of crashes. Red-light runners lead to the most damaging (and fatal) types of crashes (mostly right-angle and head-on). Study after study has shown that RLC do drastically reduce the amount of these types of crashes, while often increasing the amount of rear-end collisions (which comparatively cause far less dangerous).

    As for yellow times, the “Chicago 3-seconds-everywhere policy” does comply with MUTCD as its guidance indicates that yellow times should be a minimum of 3 seconds but no longer than 6 seconds. Extending the yellow time is only appropriate at larger intersections where it does actually take a vehicle longer to clear. At standard intersections, extending the yellow does not provide any benefit as drivers will learn the longer yellow time and continue to same behavior as before.

  • Ryan Wallace

    It’s interesting that you say you are strapped for cash, and thus are using a car. A car is far more expensive to use and maintain than a bike (or even public transportation). I will grant you the upfront cost can be prohibitive, but you could definitely save more money in the long run. (Assuming that you could eliminate a majority of your trips by car with a bike ride).

  • Courtney Cobbs

    I guess you missed the point where I said my work REQUIRES that I drive. It isn’t optional.
    Thankfully my mom paid for my car and pays for my insurance. I am responsible for gas and oil changes.
    Trust me, I know taking transit and biking are cheaper. One of the reasons I moved to Chicago was because the transit is decades ahead of where I’m from. Sure, it’s not perfect, but at least there are parts of the city one can live well without owning a car.

  • Anonymous

    This link implies that riding without a helmet is probably better than not riding, and that riding with a helmet may be slightly better than riding without. http://cyclehelmets.org/1016.html

  • Seems like a reasonable stance.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Today’s Headlines

|
Blue Line Service Back to Normal; No Evidence of Criminal Activity in Crash (Tribune, Sun-Times) Metra, South Shore Trains Moving After Delay Due to Suspicious Package (CBS) City Removing Red Light Cameras From 18 Intersections (DNA, Expired Meter) Hit-and-Run Drivers Injure 2 Pedestrians on Fullerton in Separate Crashes (DNA) Candidate Make Pitches to Cook County […]

Today’s Headlines

|
As of Today, CTA No Longer Selling Magnetic Strip CTA Farecards (CBS, Sun-Times) Fire Dept. OKs Location But Divvy Station Removed to Satisfy Resident’s Fears (Tribune) IDOT Bike Plan Meeting This Thursday – Speak Up for Safer Local Streets (BWLP) Woman Killed in Woodlawn After Another Driver Struck Her Car, Sending It Into Pole (DNA) […]

Today’s Headlines

|
Transportation Officials Discuss Big Plans for Union Station (Sun-Times) Active Trans Shares a State Transportation Platform With Gubernatorial Candidates Ventra Records Used as Evidence to Charge Man With 3 Sexual Assaults on CTA (Fox) Private Company Offering Service from Chicago to Madison on Vintage Rail Cars (Travel Pulse) 7 Injured After CTA Bus Driver Crashes […]

Today’s Headlines

|
The Tribune’s Latest Foray in Its Crusade Against Traffic Cams Focuses on Yellow Times CDOT Releases Video of Red Light Crashes (DNA) Mayor’s Office, Fioretti Attack Garcia for Hypocritical Opposition to Red Light Cams (Sun-Times) The New Damen Station Is Getting Rave Reviews (Sun-Times, DNA) …But It Has the Wrong Street Address Number (DNA) Evanston Woman in Critical Condition After […]

Today’s Headlines

|
Claypool Discusses Travel Alternatives During South Red Line Rehab (Tribune, Sun-Times, DNA) Bryn Mawr Station Could Get $25 Million Overhaul (DNA) City Offers a Preview of Loop BRT Corridor (Curbed) CTA Union Chief: If Passengers Can Carry Concealed Guns Arm Rail Workers Too (Sun-Times) Snowstorm Causes 20 to 30 Spinouts on Area Highways (Tribune) RedFlex […]

Today’s Headlines

|
Red Line, Green Line Riders Not Looking Forward to Sharing Trains During Rehab (DNA) Single CTA Train Rides Could Cost $3 Under Ventra (DNA) CTA Closures Due to Wells Bridge Replacement Start Tonight (RedEye, Sun-Times) Chicago Seeks New Red Light Camera Vendor (Sun-Times) CTA Contractor Suffers Minor Injuries After Touching Third Rail, Causing Brief Delay […]