Today’s Headlines

  • Judge Throws Out Red Light Tickets, Saying Yellow Phase Is Too Short (DNA)
  • Midlothian Residents March to Raise Awareness of Metra Attacks (Sun-Times)
  • State Street Bridge Closing Until August 23 for Riverwalk Construction (DNA)
  • Joravsky Pedals Ravenswood Avenue to See If Clout Affects Pothole Repair (Reader)
  • Active Trans: Hold Truckers & Cabbies Accountable for Dangerous Driving
  • Baby Girl Born in Van on the Ike on the Way to Hospital (Sun-Times)
  • Meet Tristan Hummel, The Loop Alliance’s Placemaking Specialist (RedEye)
  • Interactive Bus Shelter Ad Asks “Can You Hold Your Breath as Long as Houdini?” (RedEye)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Harry Potter

    Its a mistake IMO to give credence and link to that reader column. Joravsky has a personal vendetta against the mayor and will mislead, omit, twist and skew any sort of facts to make his case. Its bad enough hes doing an insanely unscientific study, but then that’s his way of doing things.

  • CL

    “Judge Throws Out Red Light Tickets, Saying Yellow Phase Is Too Short”

    Hurrah — maybe this will get them to increase the yellow light time to 3 seconds. 3.5 or 4 seconds would be even better. I’ve noticed I drive differently in the suburbs when I know I have four seconds. I drive smoothly and consistently, knowing that if I see a yellow, I’ll have time to either drive through or brake slowly and safely (depending on the distance). In Chicago, I slam my brakes. No red light tickets so far, but I’d rather be able to relax and just focus on driving well.

  • duppie

    The lights in the suburbs have a longer yellow because the speed limits are higher. 3 seconds should be enough if you go within the city speed limits (30 mph or less most of the time).

    Now, if the actual yellow time was less than 3 seconds that would be a problem. But a previous Tribune investigation found no proof that that was the case. (Can’t find a link to the article)

  • CL

    I mostly drive in Evanston where the speed limit is 30. I find that four seconds helps a lot.

    One of the reasons I’m not comfortable with 3 seconds in Chicago is the red light cameras — maybe it’s (barely) enough time at 30 mph, but I don’t like 0.5 seconds being the difference between me getting a hundred dollar ticket or not. So there are probably times when I stop abruptly when I could have just made it. But isn’t it better for drivers to be comfortable and have plenty of time to brake? 4 seconds is safer, and I can’t think of any disadvantages.

  • I think vendetta is the wrong word. His treatment of Emanuel is similar to his treatment of Richard M. Daley: if Joravsky like what the mayor was doing, he wouldn’t have much to write about. However, I was a little annoyed by his rather unscientific takedown of the CTA’s Belmont Flyover project: http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/cta-red-purple-line-bypass-time-saved/Content?oid=13300065

  • duppie

    Maybe depends on your perspective?
    I don’t drive as often as you do, but when I drive I rarely find this to be an issue. That may be because most of the time I drive well below the speed limit due to congestion

  • Guest

    Adding time to yellow phase means that the time the light is green is shortened. The cycletime of a traffic light is pretty standard (84 seconds is the number I heard bandied about), So any extra time spent (longer yellows, LPI’s, one second of all red, etc) is subtracted from the green time.

    Whether that is a disadvantage depends on whose viewpoint you like.

  • CL

    Most people keep driving through the yellow anyway, so I don’t see a shorter green as a disadvantage — a longer yellow just means people have more notice about when they really have to stop.

  • Brian

    And the people who write here bring credibility to the tabla? Every article here is biased and often filled with fiction.

  • Biased? Streetsblog Chicago is a sustainable transportation and safe streets advocacy site, so we don’t claim to be impartial on these issues. Fiction? I believe we have a strong track record for getting our facts straight, but please let us know if you believe there are any factual errors in our articles, and we’ll look into it.

  • Brian

    you constantly regurgitate statistics that you cannot validate – for example, saying traffic will only slow by X% (I can’t remember the number) if BRT is installed on Ashland

  • SlamOrDont

    The 10% number reported by this site in previous Ashland BRT articles is corroborated on page 16 of this report from the Ashland BRT Environmental Assessment: http://www.transitchicago.com/assets/1/brt/AshlandBRTDraftEA_AppendixB-1_20131113.pdf (John properly cited the CTA as the reporting source in the article, which is generally sufficient attribution for a statistic that has entered common knowledge through broad press coverage, especially if the journalist isn’t breaking the story).

  • I attended a lecture and presentation in 2012, sponsored by The Expired Meter, given by a physics researcher who convincingly made the case that it’s safer to speed up when you see a yellow light. Safer from the two perspectives of avoiding a crash and avoiding a ticket.