Today’s Headlines

  • City Ready to Bid Out Loop BRT, Transit Center, & Washington/Wabash Station Projects (Tribune)
  • New Renderings of the 3 Projects Released (Tribune)
  • State Finally Approves $3 Million Grant for 70 More Divvy Station in Chicago & ‘Burbs (Sun-Times)
  • Opinion: The Illiana Must Be Stopped (Tribune)
  • Motorcyclist Dies After Rear-Ending SUV in Elgin (Tribune)
  • Man Arrested After He Crawled Under a Stopped Metra Train in Wilmette (CBS)
  • More Reactions to MPC’s Report on Economic Benefits of People Spots (DNA)
  • Cab Driving Is Becoming a More Common Occupation for Women (Crain’s)
  • Why Kevenides Loves & Hates Liability Waivers for Bike Events
  • British School Parents Accuse Tow Truck Company of “Predatory Towing” (DNA)
  • Public Meeting on Damen Blue Art Project Wednesday 6 p.m. at Silver Room (RedEye)

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  • ohsweetnothing

    While the tow company did sound like they were being jerks at times in the British School article, it’s laughable to call any of that “predatory”.

    I do think it’s funny that the comments to that article are way less sympathetic to the drivers than any article about speed/red light camera enforcement.

  • David Altenburg

    I suspect the tone of the comments on that article is in large part due to the expense of the school.

    As a parent of a kid who just started preschool, the whole drop-your-kids-off traffic tangle is astounding to me. We create really dangerous street conditions at precisely the worst time and place – around schools while kids are arriving. I understand that it’s difficult for parents to walk or bike their kids to school in a lot of situations (especially for non-neighborhood schools like the British School), but I would love to see schools implement a policy where parents who are dropping off are expected to park a few blocks away and then walk their kids the rest of the way, rather than create such dangerous and congested conditions.

  • cjlane

    “Under the plan, right turns by cars will be restricted at four locations to maintain bus speeds, improve overall traffic flow and protect pedestrians and bicyclists, officials said. The locations are Washington onto LaSalle Street, Madison onto Dearborn, Madison onto Wacker Drive and Jackson Boulevard onto Canal.”

    “restricted”–does that mean ‘banned’, or just limited to certain times?

    Also, the single biggest thing that would help congestion and *vehicle* conflicts would be a bus-only left turn signal from Madison to Clinton, allowing the buses to turn left from the right lane–eliminating the *insane* cut-across-turn-from-whichever-lane driving in front of Ogilvie would smooth *so* many conflicts. Also, of course, a cab ‘platform’/median on Madison, next to the bus lane, in front of Ogilvie, which would keep cabs out of the bus lane and the buses from cutting the left turn.

  • hello

    Make the choice to walk your kid to school. (Hint, that choice begins when you choose the school).

    That was the prime consideration when choosing a school for our daughter – how do we get there? If it involved a private motor vehicle, it was scratched off the list. Maybe some of the “best” schools were scratched off the list…that’s ok, our society’s desire for the “best” education later “matures” to the desire for the most money – not a desire I necessarily want her to have, there is more to life.

    I really enjoy the walk to school every morning with her. I also have the gear and plan to take her to school in a bike trailer, but have yet to implement it – walking has been fine so far.

  • David Altenburg

    Absolutely. That was also a primary factor in choosing where our daughter is going to school. We ride her to school in a cargo bike nearly every day. I’m also encouraging others to do the same and am thinking of starting a bike train through Logan Square if I can find other interested parents (http://guide.saferoutesinfo.org/walking_school_bus/bicycle_trains.cfm ).

    That said, so many other parents are continuing to choose to drive. In fact, I think the dangerous conditions created by driving parents may be a factor in that! By encouraging parents to walk with their children the last couple blocks to school, maybe that will encourage others to walk/bike the entire thing.

  • hello

    “What percentage of morning traffic congestion is caused by children being driven to school?” http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/program-tools/what-percentage-morning-traffic-congestion-caused-children-being-driven-school

  • rohmen

    We recently made the same decision when picking a house to buy, but the genie is out of the bottle for a school like British School. The school really needs to step up and own this problem, rather than just leave it to the parents to figure out. The parents’ solution is to just bog down Halsted, Eastman and Dayton by double parking and flouting the law.

    Meanwhile, if the school worked with the ramp used by REI and Northwestern to set a reasonable short-term rate for parents, or even rented drop-off space from the Buy Buy Baby strip mall or other area businesses for the rather short period where this is an issue to stop the towing, things could be made a lot better.

  • Matt F

    RE: Kevenindes: “Lawyer not happy when people waive their right to sue” I love it.

  • LowSeason

    I’m sorry that finding the right school for ones children isn’t always as simple as picking whatever is closest. It’s a real pity that about a dozen other things may factor into the decision and that – gasp – some of us might actually need to drive [shudder] our kids to school. To see you guys so arrogantly dismiss these things is bothersome. Got any other advice for us on how we should live our lives?

  • David Altenburg

    Perhaps you missed the part where I wrote this: “I understand that it’s difficult for parents to walk or bike their kids to school in a lot of situations”. I would not characterize that as an arrogant dismissal. You’ll note I said that location was a “primary factor”, not the only one. You’ll also note that I said that we bike “nearly” every day. In fact, my wife occasionally drives our daughter to school. I’m actually not the straw man you seem to be looking for.

    Do you ever drive your kids to school? Because if you do, you know that getting stuck in the traffic of other parents doing so is a real hassle. Perhaps if parents with a choice would choose to walk or bike, parents without that choice would actually have an easier time bringing their kids to school.

    To reiterate: I suggested that schools encourage those parents who do drive to park a couple blocks away, not to try to ban driving or do anything extreme. I don’t think suggesting that those who are able to walk a couple blocks do so is arrogant, but if it is, then I’m glad to be arrogant if that’s what it takes to make going to school safer for children.

  • Kevin M

    Hey, whoever you are, nobody’s forcing you to read this blog, so why are you reading and replying to posts that evidently upset you so much that you feel motivated to respond with snarky, exaggerated provocation?

  • hello

    Calm down, I’m not suggesting everyone has the same priorities as I. Drive all you care to.

    I also operate an automobile on occasion. The difference might be that I believe I should reduce that practice (for myriad reasons) – AND that I’m doing what I can to actually reduce that practice (the harder part).

  • Deni

    British School costs something like $28,000 a year, forgive me if I don’t cry a river for them wanting to save a few bucks by parking illegally to drop off their kid. One of those situations where I find jerks on both sides of the issue.

  • cjlane

    “Meanwhile, if the school worked with the ramp used by REI and Northwestern to set a reasonable short-term rate for parents”

    There is (apparently, per a BSC parent in DNA thread) a *TWO DOLLAR* validated rate. If accurate, these schmucks are just inconvenienced by having to drive up and down the ramp, and get validations. The “it’s $13” is a total red herring.

    Which makes me even less sympathetic.

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  • There isn’t parking a few blocks away, either.

    My school (CPS neighborhood non-selective) has a policy that parents don’t get out of cars — pull up into the designated “drop zone,” volunteer parent patrol keeps an eye on the sidewalk traffic, kid gets out of car and walks into school by themselves, parent drives off.

    Works well, when people can be convinced to actually DO it (and not stop their car in the middle of the street and get out to “just run in for a minute” with their kid, thereby corking the entire process for ten minutes).

  • Or just open the car door at-curb in front of the school, let the kid run in, and drive off — it amazes me how even parents of fourth-graders and older feel the need to try to walk their kids to the classroom door.

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