Today’s Headlines

  • Other Media Outlets Catch Wind of Kastigar’s Pro-Road Diet Petition (FOX, ABC, DNA)
  • Residents Worry Street Closure for Sports Center Will Cause Traffic Problems (Southtown)
  • Windy City’s Robust Grid Helps Prevent Atlanta-Style “Traffic Heart Attacks” (Chicago)
  • An Analysis of Crime on the CTA (NBC)
  • Woman Killed in Head-On Crash in Barrington (Tribune)
  • Help Lobby the South Shore Line to Allow Bikes on Trains (Active Trans)
  • More Deets on the Pedestrian Who Chased Down a Cab Driver (DNA)
  • Gallery: Photos of the Blue Line (RedEye)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • BlueFairlane

    I think the Atlanta piece underplays the specific problems with this storm while overplaying the beneficial effect of the Chicago grid and simultaneously ignoring certain realities. One, a storm like this hits Atlanta with the same approximate frequency as a 2011-style blizzard hits Chicago. They are as prepared for their storm as we were for ours, and we still wound up with Lake Shore Drive. Now imagine the conditions on Lake Shore Drive spread all over town. They don’t know how to treat streets, they don’t have the machinery to do so, and this was snow on top of solid ice. The problem in Atlanta wasn’t that the cars had no place to go, but that they just couldn’t move had they wanted to.

    Two, Chicago doesn’t want car traffic on neighborhood streets any more than Atlanta does. All the side streets in my neighborhood, for instance, are one-way, and several of them have been blocked at the main road, creating an artificial cul-de-sac. This site often praises things like that (rightfully, in many cases), but you can’t deny that they lessen the web effect.

    Three, the grid system naturally emerged in Chicago because Chicago has no topography. This is a pancake flat former marsh, so there was never any reason for there not to be a grid. In addition to all Atlanta’s zoning history, the place sits in a very hilly spot with lots of hills and waterways. Imposing a Chicago-like grid on Atlanta would have been a difficult and expensive endeavor.

  • I think this Slate piece did a better job linking Atlanta’s built environment of sprawl and car dependency with the inability for people to get places in Atlanta.

    If people were unable to use their cars to get places in Chicago, because all the other cars were in the way, we’d still have a reasonable experience getting places, reaching doctors and grocery stores, via trains, walking, and biking.