Today’s Headlines

Proposed Parking at Belmont-Clark Tower Reduced from 74 to 39 Spaces (DNA)

Chicago’s BRT Manager Discusses the Upcoming Loop Project (National Geographic)

Metra Hopes Anemometers on Trains Will Reduce Wind Delays (Herald)

McKinley Park Pedestrian Death Is 2nd Vehicular Homicide in 1 Week (ABC, CBS)

Drunk, Wrong-Way Motorist on Lake Shore Drive Kills Law Student (DNA)

An Exposé on the Dangers of Riding Metra by a Convicted Drunk Driver (CBS)

Realigning Wentworth in Chinatown Lauded as a Win for Pedestrians (DNA)

Bus Benches Chosen in 49th Ward PB Vote; Greenway Not on Ballot (DNA)

Looking Back at the Early Chicago Bicycle Scene (Tribune)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Anne A

    About Metra air quality – it’s still not great, but it’s a lot better than it was before the air filtration improvements they made a few years ago. Back then, if you were in the first 2 or 3 cars of an outbound train, you could smell and taste the diesel in the air. I’ve been on some trains recently where I thought the filters might need cleaning, because the diesel smell and taste was back.

    There’s never been any doubt in my mind that the air quality is better when the trains are inbound (locomotive pushing) vs. outbound (locomotive pulling, trailing exhaust over the cars. Wind direction seems to make a difference. If the train is outbound into a strong headwind, noticeable diesel inside the train is much more likely than it is when there’s a crosswind.

  • Anne A

    Realignment of the Cermak-Wentworth intersection would be very welcome. I’ve found it a ped nightmare for years.

  • Fred

    The anemometers will not be *on* trains, they will be along train lines. Being on a train would just read whatever speed the train is traveling when in motion.

  • Fred

    Commenters on other sites are proposing that the Wentworth connector should veer east and align with the highway ramp instead of to the west to connect with an otherwise quiet Wentworth. Doing this, they say, would prevent Wentworth from becoming more auto-oriented and more dangerous for pedestrians. What are the the Streetsblogosphere’s thoughts on this?

  • Is the Loop BRT really happening this year? That’s a lot to get done for construction that hasn’t started yet.

  • I can’t be certain, but there’s probably more north-south thru traffic on Wentworth than there is from the I-55 ramp to NB Wentworth.

    In fact, checking the numbers, it appears only 2,750 vehicles daily travel on the feeder, whereas 6,600 vehicles travel on Wentworth daily.

    With only 10,900 vehicles / day on Cermak, you could easily (easily!) make a case for a Chinatown Roundabout with these numbers, but it would require demolishing more buildings for bike/ped accommodations.

    As it is, the feeder ramp doesn’t need 3-4 lanes in each direction. It needs 1 or 2.

  • Simple

    The whole point of aligning the new Wentworth with the old Wentworth is so that the new street extends the pedestrian friendly characteristics of the old one — serving local access and not becoming an extension of the highway.

  • The highway on-ramp doesn’t need higher throughput. Right now, that intersection is a massive pedestrian nightmare, and un-dog-legging it (plus the other narrowing/whatever methods they have planned) will be literally a lifesaver on a monthly basis.

    Plus, right now if you want to get to Chinatown it’s massively inconvenient by car — and it seriously depresses housing values, even, because if you live there you feel kind of stuck in a corner not near anything (except Chinatown) (and the El, yay El — though that station is really inconvenient and dangerous, especially the southern exit that dumps you between highway ramps).

    Reconnecting the street grid like this will not only help Chinatown, but the entire area of river-adjacent stuff the north end of the connector will attach to. My kid went to day care in River City for several years, and OH MY BOB is it really hard to figure out how to get there on a regular basis, because so many streets don’t go through or are one-way or are full of people WANTING TO GO ALL THE FAST. I can easily imagine people living in that area (which is heavily residential) adoring the ability to bike down to Chinatown simply for dinner.

    The south end of Wells as it stands has a whole bunch of flat (often gravel) surface parking lots; if there were a through-connection to actual economically-viable areas it might become attractive to stack the parking into a garage and use most of the land for denser, more awesome uses than just warehousing cars.