Today’s Headlines

  • Kennedy Lane Closures at Ohio for Bridge Work Start Tonight (Tribune)
  • Ammonia Leak Shut Down the O’Hare Blue Stop for 3 Hours Yesterday (Herald)
  • After O’Hare Blue Crash, Feds Wants Systems to Run Braking Tests (Tribune)
  • 2 Main Entrances of Harrison Red Line Stop Will Close for 6 Weeks (DNA)
  • Developer of New TOD at Polish Triangle Cites BRT as a Motivation (DNA)
  • Driver Accused of Causing Motorcyclist’s Death After Road Rage Incident (NBC)
  • Winners Chosen in Metra’s Safety Poster & Essay Contest (Tribune)
  • Southeast Side to Get Dirt  Bike Park North of Lake Calumet (DNA)
  • Chicago Mag‘s Picks for Chicago Bike Week
  • Is the World Naked Bike Ride Legal? (Chicago Mag)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Anne A

    Big Marsh park is great news for the SE side. I hope it will provide incentive for CDOT to better maintain that section of Stony Island and keep it rideable.

  • Fred

    The DNA Harrison Red Line link redirects to the streetsblog admin login.

  • Fred

    I know it’s Friday and all, but an hour later and still not addressed.

    Is it just me, or does it seem like there is significantly less admin involvement on this site than there was initially? At launch, it seemed like John and Steven were logged in all day responding and participating. Now it seems like they log in twice a day, if that, and nothing more. It seems like there is a lot less discussion in general occurring on this site.

  • Typo notification: it’s ammonia, not amonia.

  • ohsweetnothing

    I find that discussion happens in waves here…

  • Thanks for heads-up about the error and sorry for the late response; I had a commitment this morning.

    Back in our Grid Chicago days, when Steven Vance and I were each only posting 2 or 3 articles a week, we tried to respond to just about every reader comment. We carried this habit into the early days of Streetsblog Chicago, even though our writing output roughly doubled.

    After some discussion with Streetsblog editor-in-chief Ben Fried, we decided it would be more useful for our readers if we spent more time producing new content and less time writing comments. That’s why, nowadays, we’re more likely to just respond to questions in the comments section and referee as necessary, rather than engage in the discussion.

  • Alex_H

    Complaining that a broken link wasn’t fixed within an hour seems like a bit of an overreaction to me. John and Steven are extraordinarily engaged with this site, to my eyes. And to think, we lucky readers benefit at no cost to ourselves!

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    Comments regarding Polish Triangle:
    1) Seems like a lot of units to stuff into the space. Smaller units generally means higher turn-over. What makes a community stable is long term residents.

    2) TOD versus preservation. Taking some of these well proportioned city streets and sticking mid-rises in, may mean eventually the look and feel the the street which is attractive now, may not be so in many years time.

    3) New construction. Because of the high cost of the new retail space it can take a couple of years before long term tenants can be found unless they are national chains. Again that often makes the street less attractive.

    4) I hear from a reliable source in a local chamber that Ashland BRT is dying a slow death. Perhaps Rahm wants to get past the spring election.

  • Fred

    Thank you for the clarification. I’m glad to hear that this was a conscious decision and not a sign that things aren’t going well. I was a little worried that you were concentrating your efforts on other projects. I feel better knowing that you have just changed your priorities on site interaction. Keep up the good work!

  • Fred

    I’ve been noticing the change in interaction for several weeks now and been thinking about posting. It was just the lag in link fixing that finally pushed me to do so.

  • BlueFairlane

    Re: #4

    I’ve long thought the undeniable link between Rahm’s political fortunes and the kind of sustainable transportation initiatives this site advocates had been strongly underplayed on the site. Rahm’s on shaky ground, and all he needs is for the right name to declare in order to go into full-on panic mode. It makes political sense that he’d put the brakes on anything as big as BRT until after the election.

  • Thanks Fred!

  • With apologies to Mark Twain, reports of the death of Ashland BRT have been greatly exaggerated. However, there may be some truth to the notion that the project is being back-burnered until after the mayoral and aldermanic election, although CDOT chief Rebekah Scheinfeld claims that is not the case. Meanwhile, it’s possible that construction on the Loop BRT will start later this year.

  • Rahm’s most obvious potential challenger, Cook County board President Toni Preckwinkle, has voiced support for better transit funding via the Transit Future campaign: http://chi.streetsblog.org/2014/04/04/cnt-and-active-trans-launch-transit-future-funding-campaign Not sure where the the other likely challenger, CTU president Karen Lewis, stands on transportation issues.

  • Mishellie

    Would there be any advantage to waiting on Ashland BRT until Loop BRT has gone in? Could it be a too much too soon thing?

    I don’t think so, obviously, but I could see that it seems like a lot of BRT when right now we don’t have any.

  • 2Fast2Furious

    #2 who cares about preserving some abandoned buildings. there are high rises at 3 of the 6 corners already at that intersection.

    #3 most of these retail shops are already EMPTY. so when you hit rock bottom things can only get better.

  • I’m pretty sure even the most ambitious plans didn’t have groundbreaking happen for the Ashland BRT construction until after next winter, regardless of any other considerations …

  • BlueFairlane

    Lots of politicians voice a lot of support for a lot of things. That’s the nature of their job. But the support Preckwinkle voiced in the linked piece was fairly tepid and unspecific. I wouldn’t take that as any promise to continue the Rahm-Klein legacy.

  • I don’t think so. The basics are that the Ashland BRT is a much more complex project and needs more time to be designed.

  • Me, too. There’re a lot of factors: newsworthiness, controversy, timing, people’s own reading habits, and us being busy writin’!

  • Right. And what’s not being pushed well, I believe, in the Transit Future campaign is that it’s really up to the Cook County Commissioners to do something about it. Toni could write the legislation but she needs them – and residents – to approve it.

  • #1. I’m feeling the same way. I feel this is that century old strategy of proposing more than is possible and preparing for the community and the alderman to force you to cut back on the number of units.

  • Anne A

    Expensive new retail space that only attracts franchises doesn’t necessarily enhance the vitality of a neighborhood business district. Long-vacant new retail space doesn’t help either. Getting that new retail space is certainly a mixed bag.

  • 2Fast2Furious

    What is wrong with franchises? They are far more likely to be successful than “mom and pop” stores.

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    My source was from the CTA, not CDOT.

  • Alex_H

    The CTA is “a local chamber”?

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    No, sorry for my jumbled comment. My local chamber source, the director, was at a CTA meeting where the issue was discussed among other items.

  • Anne A

    When all that lasts is franchises, every neighborhood business looks like every other neighborhood business district. It’s good to have SOME franchises, but having local business districts *dominated* by franchises is boring as hell. One Subway isn’t distinctive from another Subway. Chains do not any local flavor to a neighborhood. If there’s nothing unique in a neighborhood, people don’t necessarily have any personal loyalty. It becomes disposable.

    Unique local businesses can build loyalty in a way that generic franchises can’t. Their odds of getting established are more challenging than a franchise because they don’t have a prepackaged concept handed to them, and the financial advantage of quantity buying through a big chain. Independents have to develop their own product line, brand, marketing, etc. Social media makes marketing easier. Franchises having the advantage of quantity pricing through a corporate structure is a BIG advantage.

    I have a number of friends who have opened and operated small neighborhood businesses. Talking to them has been quite an education.