Today’s Headlines

  • Lawmakers Laud Illiana at Naming Ceremony for South Suburban Airport (Sun-Times)
  • Wicker Park Committee Endorses 1 Wicker Park TOD Proposal, Pans Another (DNA)
  • Blue Line Closed for Construction Between California & Logan This Weekend (DNA)
  • Brother and Sister Fatally Struck on Unofficial Shortcut Over Metra Tracks (Tribune)
  • Man Dies 3 Days After Truck-Bicycle Crash in Archer Heights (Tribune)
  • Teen Who Killed Man in DUI Crash Last Year Gets 90 Days Prison (Daily Herald)
  • U. of C. Study: Talking to Strangers on the ‘L’ Is Good for You (DNA)
  • Don’t Let Your Bike Be Another Statistic — Watch This Active Trans Anti-Theft Video

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  • With 1.8 million people living within 15 minutes of the site, the region — which includes the south suburbs, Will County and the Kankakee area, would make up “one of the largest cities in America,” Quinn said. “It’s important that it have a balanced transportation system.”

    There is so much bullshit to that statement, it’s hard to know where to start.

  • Fred

    I really hope the South Suburban Airport/Illiana “progress” is just being used by Quinn & Co to gather votes leading up to the election and that both project die a horrible death shortly thereafter. The exact opposite of Emmanual and BRT.

  • Assuming a driving speed of 60 mph and also assuming that you could drive on a direct route to the airport site (i.e. as the crow flies) here is a 15 mile radius circle around the site. 1.8 million people within 15 minutes of the site? If it were 600,000 people, i’d be surprised.

  • Guest

    Picture didn’t post for some reason

  • Here you go:

    http://mcdc.missouri.edu/cgi-bin/broker?_PROGRAM=websas.caps10c.sas&_SERVICE=appdev&latitude=60468&longitude=&sitename=&radii=15&units=bgs&cntypops=on&_debug=

    Within a 15 mile radius of Peotone: 300,000 people. Just goes to show you how bad our media is in this region when a patently false statistic is printed as fact.

  • Maybe he was talking about a 15-minute airplane ride.

  • Fred

    Will and Kankakee Counties only have a combined population of about 800,000. No idea where those other million people are coming from.

  • Fred

    Or 15-minutes “as a politician travels”!

  • what_eva

    Nice work by the Sun-Times reporter accepting it as fact.

  • You have to draw a 27 mile radius circle to get 1.8 million people. Of course, you’re only a couple of miles away from encircling Midway at that point.

  • norrin_raddical

    Sad anytime someone gets hit by a train, but this is disappointing considering a legal crossing of those tracks is less than a block away (assuming my locations are correct on the map, I am not from the area so I had to sleuth this out). As someone who lives in a divided neighborhood network from the NW side Metra tracks I was curious what conditions they had to deal with.

  • Guest

    Image didn’t post originally

  • Guest
  • norrin_raddical

    Sorry the million posts above, posting an image is not quite intuitive the first time you do it. If any Admins want to take down the guest posts, those were all from me. Cheers.

  • R.A. Stewart

    If I could upvote this a thousand times I would. I’m not going to follow the link to the Sun-Times article until I’m more confident of being able to keep my breakfast down.

  • R.A. Stewart

    No worries, I have done those multiple posts myself for similar reasons. Thanks for posting the image. It does make a tragic situation seem even sadder.

  • Fred

    “There is no pedestrian walkway or crossing nearby, according to Metra spokesman Michael Gillis.”

    Something doesn’t add up. I would certainly consider a crossing a short city block way as “nearby”.

  • R.A. Stewart

    That also illustrates what I always used to think when I drove south on I-57 fairly often, and after driving miles and miles and miles past open country, finally saw the sign for Peotone: what a load of crap calling this “south suburban.” Anyone who says that seriously is advocating a magnitude of sprawl that ought to make even an Illinois politician ashamed.

  • CL

    For some reason, a lot of people are unwilling to walk 10 yards to cross legally. I notice it all the time when I’m driving — people jaywalking through busy traffic, edging further and further into the street until someone lets them cross, when there is a light a few yards away.

  • Fred

    Don’t worry…should this boondoggle get built it will undoubtedly be renamed after a state level politician or a P3 corporate entity. Chicago – Pat Quinn Airport or Chicago – Walgreens Airport.

  • JKM13

    If they want to take some of the planes ruining the NW side w/the O’hare runway changes (which appeared to have been done to negatively impact the largest number of people in the area with no discernable improvement in arrival times), fine by me.

  • Greg

    I was biking through Peotone last weekend and saw the sign, “Chicago 40”. Doesn’t sound suburban to me. It also would have been nice of the Sun-Times to point out that no airlines have expressed any interest in using this airport.

  • >> She said everyone in the neighborhood uses the shortcut and that Metra trains regularly blow their horns to warn those crossing.

    “Trains blow horns to state that they see you,” Huddleston said. “The train wouldn’t be that close to you and they’d still let you know. They know people cross all the time.
    “It even be little kids up there,” she said. “You try to keep the kids off but you can’t, it’s a shortcut to get on the other side. It’s fast. Up and over.” <<

    Wow.

  • Another news report says the two were looking for scrap metal.

    http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/Metra-Train-Strikes-Kills-Pedestrian-270398821.html

  • BlueFairlane

    According to Google Earth measurements, the distance from Homan to the path under the railroad at Trumbull is 250 feet. I don’t see the thought process that decides saving that 250 feet is less trouble than having to climb up a limestone block wall, then scramble down the other side and cut through what looks like a junk yard.

  • Note: I deleted several comments that were all repeats of the original Google Maps screenshot.

  • The Sun-Times article read like a press release.

  • duppie

    That development on Division will deliver $10,000,000 disposable income each year to the neighborhood? That means that the average unit will bring almost $130,000 of disposable income to the neighborhood?

    Am I the only one that finds that assumption preposterous?

  • Fred

    Exactly, and you can’t even use the excuse that the extra distance is a burden for elderly/disabled since you have to be fully able bodied to shimmy up and over the embankment.

  • norrin_raddical

    Thanks Steven!

  • The airlines (united and american) have already said that they have no interest in a south suburban airport. I can’t imagine southwest being interested. Why would any airline want to be in Peotone? Airlines hardly put up with being in money-losing small cities; they’re not going to the middle of farmland.

  • Str0ng

    They will go there if they get Essential Air Service subsidies from the government, which are just giant wastes of money and Republican welfare to a lucky few

  • Str0ng

    Depending on the timeline sure. Regardless, there is no excuse for rejecting it other than a petty powertrip.

  • what_eva

    I find myself torn on this. It’s obviously wrong that people can’t walk 250 feet west to the viaduct for a legal crossing. That said, if this statement is true, it’s done often and Metra/BNSF knows about it.

    Like norrin, I’m not familiar with the area, so all I have is a little bit of google street maps cruising, so take the following with a grain of salt. It appears that the vacant lot east of Homan has fencing at the tracks (which can also be seen in the CBS2 video), but on Homan where it curves along the tracks, it’s just a wall that is in terrible shape, some limestone, some railroad ties. In some places, it looks like it’s only 5-6′ tall and fairly easy to scramble up.

    If the wall is in bad shape and that easy to scramble up, why doesn’t Metra/BNSF have a fence at the top? If you go one block east, there is a dead end on Christiana at the tracks. Similar wall in terrible shape, but it has a fence at the top of it. I know a fence won’t necessarily keep people out, but it’s at least something else.

    I just feel like Metra/BNSF may have been able to do more to keep people off the tracks in this spot.

    Given the later story that they may have been gather scrap along the tracks, then these two may have been up there anyway, but at least do more to keep others from using this as a shortcut.

  • Nathanael

    This is why England ended up passing a law requiring the fencing of all railroad tracks in the entire country — over 100 years ago. Overkill, but it worked.

  • Nathanael

    There’s even a wall? Yeah, this doesn’t add up. This isn’t a shortcut, this is deliberate trespassing.

  • Nathanael

    NOW it makes sense. Trespassers trying to vandalize the railroad. This does not make me sympathetic.

  • cjlane

    It has always been contemplated primarily as a cargo airport. If FedEx and UPS and DHL were to relocated 2/3s of their metro air facilities there, it would be semi-plausible. If the transoceanic cargo haulers did, too, it would be more so.

    Given ORD’s current global ranking for air cargo, Peotone is premised in part on taking some business away from Indy–which is close behind ORD in US rankings, in cargo tonnage–#1 is Memphis (fedex), 2 Anchorage (asian), 3 Louisville (UPS), 4 Miami, 5 LAX, 6 JFK, 7 ORD, 8 Indy (fedex #2)–and pitching an intramodal hub that is reasonably close to every population center bt the Appalachians and the Rockies.

    The instructive case is Mirabel airport, outside Montreal. It’s not a goal that seems worth the investment.

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