Today’s Headlines

  • Active Trans Study: Most Drivers Don’t Stop for People in Crosswalks (Tribune)
  • Video: Tone-Deaf CBS Report on Loop BRT Claims “Cars Are No Longer Welcome Here”
  • Clueless Tribune Piece on Gas Tax Revenue “Roads May Crumble as People Go Green”
  • Other Publications Weigh in on Chicago’s 2nd Place Ranking in “Bicycling” (Chicagoist, DNA)
  • Actress Molly Glynn Killed While Cycling on N. Branch Trail During Friday’s Storm (Tribune)
  • Days After Receiving Probation for 2nd DUI, Driver Critically Injures Trooper (Sun-Times)
  • Woman Dies After SUV Driver Strikes Her Jeep on the Dan Ryan (Tribune)
  • A Beginner’s Guide to Ride-Share and Taxi Apps (Crain’s)
  • The Northwest Side Needs a Big-Picture Transpo Plan, Not Just Bike Lanes (Urbanelijk)
  • Proposed Lincoln Park Condo Tower Would have More Parking Spots Than Units (DNA)
  • Owner of Beloved Dive Club Foot Blames Permit Parking for Closure (Eater)
  • CTA “Hero” Warns Fellow Passengers About Wet Seats With Signs (CBS)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Thanks. On Friday, we had a link to Osterman’s update on the project: http://48thward.org/your-ward/argyle-streetscape-project

  • ohsweetnothing

    I’m curious as to what the SB community’s opinion of residential parking permits are. I know a few elected officials that absolutely hate them. One even (jokingly?) said to me and a group once that he was going to introduce an ordinance banning them in the city!
    I get the intended purpose, but also can imagine the headaches they bring with them.

  • Oops, must have missed it. thanks!

  • Katja

    That Tribune/RedEye piece made me sad on the inside.

  • Yeah, i can imagine the crazy complaints you get from permit holders.

    Personally, i think they should go away. Why should the public maintain a parking spot for the private use of an individual? Allowing people to reserve convenient parking spaces only encourages greater use of cars.

  • jared

    But it makes it more inconvenient for someone else.

  • R.A. Stewart

    I was going to write a rebuttal to the Trib, but there is so much wrong with that story I don’t know where to begin. Well, I guess highlighting an insane rant from a Reason Foundation spokesperson near the top of the column would be a start.

    Not to mention the little problem of, shall we say, the shaky hold on English grammar. (“The changes in how people are traveling is not good news for Illinois’ crumbling infrastructure.” They isn’t?)

  • that’s a fair point but i meant more along the lines of predictability of having an available space. The out-of-neighborhood driver has a search for a parking space built-in to their experience. The local, permit-parking driver has greatly reduced this effort, making owning a car much easier.

  • ohsweetnothing

    I used to live on a residential parking permit street but didn’t own a car. What I did notice is that the street to the north of my apartment was always almost completely occupied while my street was rarely over 2/3 occupied for an entire block (I literally never saw it completely occupied).
    I have to imagine that would be infuriating to guests/customers that drove into the area. Especially as most of the homes on my block had garages.

  • Katja

    My street was non-permit up until the end of July. Apparently they made it permitted because of a popular restaurant that opened nearby. It is a pain in the buttocks; I don’t own a car, but when my parents come from out of town, now they have to park elsewhere (or I need to pay money for them to have guest passes). Parking on my block is about the same now as it was before, no more or less full. It’s just now more of a pain to ask people to come visit via non-CTA or bike methods.

  • rohmen

    That quote from the Reason rep is so disingenuous that it boarders on laughable. Considering Reason almost certainly believes a gas tax shouldn’t exist in the first place, let alone government-funded and controlled infrastructure, it’s a pretty safe bet to disregard anything that comes out of their mouths in relation to what the Trib is focusing on.

    That said, the article posses an interesting question. Infrastructure in this country is in a pretty sorry state, and new sources of revenue to support needed projects (like bridge repair for example) is going to have to come from somewhere.

  • Anne A

    In my neighborhood (and several others I’m aware of), permit parking zones were added to prevent people from using entire blocks as free park & ride lots near transit stations. This happens with with CTA and Metra. Permit parking varies quite a bit by individual block and by the needs of neighborhood residents. In places where park & ride is the issue, parking might only be restricted from 8-10 am on weekdays, or something similar. Near popular restaurants or bars, restricted hours are likely to be much longer.

    The blocks in my ‘hood with permit parking got it by the majority of residents for a variety of reasons – their own parking, traffic hazard created by commuters parking close to corners/driveways or parking for visitors, contractors or caregivers, Where there is a park & ride lot with available spaces close to the station, commuters should park there.

  • Kevin M

    Wouldn’t it be refreshing (and a real opportunity for a competing news agency) to see a local news report on the potential positive effects of BRT and PBLs in the Loop (and elsewhere in the city)? Since Emanual took office and kicked off a new era of transportation planning in Chicago, it seems just about every major local media outlet is consistently against alternative transportation investment while at the same time in defense of the completely unsustainable status quo.

    I understand their sole interest is to sell controversy, and they sell their stories best by dumbing the narrative down to a selfish, myopic view. Still, there are a lot of intelligent, informed (and, likely, progressive) Chicagoland citizens who don’t appear to be well-served by their local media. Isn’t their underserved market one for the taking? Can’t their eyes be bought, too, with a different point of view news agency?

    The one imperfect exception to the local media drivel is Crain’s Chicago. They seem to actually be informed on the metropolitan area’s need for better transit.

  • skyrefuge

    If there is really so much wrong with the gas tax article, could someone help me out by mentioning at least one thing wrong with it? So far 3 references to it being ‘clueless’/’sad’/’wrong’, but *I’m* clueless about what makes it clueless.

    Seems like a pretty obvious and uncontroversial fact to me that as transportation shifts away from gasoline-powered vehicles, a different funding mechanism will be needed to replace/supplement the gas tax. The gas tax was always an extremely rough approximation of a road-usage tax that only worked because most road users used similar amounts of gas per mile. As that relationship breaks down, that simplified form of revenue generation will have to be changed. Which I think is all that the article is saying. It sure as hell isn’t saying “we need to all keep driving gas-powered vehicles, otherwise we won’t be able to pay for roads”.

  • ohsweetnothing

    Interesting. That makes much more sense to me than “I live near a popular restaurant/bar”.
    Sounds like the real issue is how tailored these zones are. Where I used to live…around the corner from a popular stretch of restaurants/bars and where every building had at least a one car garage…I found it hard to justify an entire block being permit. I probably would have been noisier about it had it personally impacted me.

  • Scott Sanderson

    Yeah, the article fell a little flat, but that guy on the bike looked great.

  • Nice picture, Scott!

  • Harrylee773

    I was interviewed for the article, and the fact that you have to ask this question is one of the reasons I think people are saying that clueless.

    I explained to the reporter that gas taxes are just one of the sources available to repair roads, and that in my ward, the alderman used participatory budgeting to allow voters to determine how much of $1 million budgeted would go to street resurfacing/fixing potholes. That $1 million dollars was independent of any gasoline tax (it’s also known as aldermanic ‘menu money’;), and it presumably comes from sales, real estate or other taxes that all citizens pay, yet there was no mention of that in the article; but the scare quote about having ‘nothing but potholes’ was one of the ‘sharelines’ that the site was prompting readers to share on Twitter.

    Overall, it just seemed a bit one-sided and appeared to hint that those going car free are ‘freeloading’ by using the roads by biking or taking transit without paying in via gas taxes, while not mentioning the altruistic positives that are associated with not driving or driving less. I personally don’t think it was ‘clueless’ but I think the reporter let a predetermined narrative drive the story and can see why other might label it as such.

  • skyrefuge

    Thanks for sharing your perspective. All I can figure is that your (and others’) interpretation of the article is being twisted by some sort of cyclist inferiority complex.

    There is no mention of the positives of not driving or driving less because the article *completely accepts those positives and assumes that they will be only increasing in the future*! The entire second half of the article discusses potential solutions, and there is not even a whisper of a hint of a suggestion that people need to go back to driving more (even though that would be a valid “solution”). Rather, the discussion is entirely about how to adjust the funding sources given the reality of the sustained trend away from gas-powered driving.

    Right up front, the article acknowledges that gas taxes aren’t the only funding source (“gasoline taxes — they are the largest funding source for road maintenance and repair”). It’s not really necessary to discuss the other funding sources, because their existence is irrelevant to the problem. A husband’s income isn’t the only funding source in a two-income household, but if he loses his job, you can’t just say “it’s not a problem because his wife has an income”. There will still be a shortfall regardless of the existence of other funding sources.

  • Harrylee773

    Well, I can’t have a cyclist inferiority complex because I’m not much of a cyclist at all. I’ve been on a bike about five times this year, maybe and never to commute. I didn’t say the article was clueless, just that it can be seen as such because it completely ignores those funding sources when they’re relevant to the discussion of addressing the shortfall. While the second half of the article discusses solutions, it doesn’t include those other sources, nor does it outline who pays for what and how the declining gas tax receipts impact each agency (e.g. state funding pays for highways, city taxes pay for street repaving), so it doesn’t really give the reader an idea of the scope of the issue. Again, I’m not slamming the article, I just don’t think it was very thorough and I know that the reporter at least had some of the information that was omitted.

  • Deni

    I am always surprised by that myself, that Crain’s – a business publication – is more progressive on this issue than any other media outlet. It seems that people in that world understand what congestion cost them in very real dollars.