Today’s Headlines

  • Report: The 5th Most Populous State Had the 5th Highest Number of Bike Deaths (Tribune)
  • Warehouse & Shipping Companies Are Dropping Support for the Illiana (Crain’s)
  • Amtrak Blames Decrease in Ridership on Delays Caused by Freight Trains (RedEye)
  • Emanuel Defends Random Bag Checks at ‘L’ Stations (Sun-Times)
  • Bill Savage: The CTA Searches Are Nothing But “Security Theater” (Crain’s)
  • CTA Has Been “Quietly” Testing Controversial Geolocation Technology (RedEye)
  • Motorist Fleeing Cops Takes a Crash Course at Hoffman Estates School (Tribune)
  • RedEye Looks at Proposals for Bus Rapid Transit on Lake Shore Drive
  • Tower at 11 S. Green, Several Blocks from Train, Will Have Low Parking Ratio (Curbed)
  • Northwestern’s New Lakefront Garage Eliminates Surface Lots, Trees (Tribune)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • David Altenburg

    Thanks for injecting a bit of sanity into the bike deaths report. Related: http://xkcd.com/1138/

  • duppie

    The headline on the crash course is pure gold. Well done!

  • Fred

    Even the companies poised to benefit most from the Illiana have said they won’t use it! Just one more week until the election then this terrible boondoggle can finally die the horrific death it deserves.

  • CL

    I didn’t realize they were planning to eliminate streets and surface lots at Northwestern. Parking is already so tight there. Man…

  • what_eva

    There isn’t an overall drop in parking (or at least not significant), they’re replacing surface lots with garages. The new garage referenced here replaced a 2 level garage that was at the south end of campus. There’s another being built or maybe completed by now on the north end of campus replacing the surface lot outside SPAC, that’ll have athletic facilities in it as well.

  • Thanks!

  • Sure thing. There should be more on the report on Streetsblog USA later today.

  • Social_werkk

    My mom, who is a pretty patient individual, said she’d never take Amtrak to come visit me again because of all the delays due to the freight. I understand her frustration as someone who has taken Amtrak numerous times.
    It frustrates me to no end that this country does not have a national high-speed rail system. I completely understand why we don’t have it ($$ in politics, lack of political will, etc.) but it doesn’t make me less angry.

  • Matt F

    I gave up on Amtrak when my buddy Brian was coming back from Pittsburgh (to Chicago). They got delayed by a freight line and took an 8-hour detour through Ann Arbor Michigan. He missed his entire work shift and almost got fired.

  • Especially in the Midwest there are lots of good candidate routes for high speed rail.

  • ‘He says the company still supports the road but, when questioned, conceded that what it specifically endorses now is “the concept” of the road. “I couldn’t speak with enough certainty about the details of the current proposal to take a position,” he said.’

    That’s in line with the other two former supporters. None like where the proposal has gone, to an alignment that doesn’t help their logistics/intermodal businesses, and one that makes the state the “underwriter”.

  • Social_werkk

    Yikes. To be fair, I’ve known folks who have missed a day of work due to a delayed flight but with Amtrak you’re almost guaranteed to experience a delay.

  • The reason for the low parking ratio at 11 S Green Street is because it is Planned Development 1181 and this number was likely negotiated before the project was introduced to council in 2013 and passed in February 2014.

    The property is walking distance to downtown, and 0.5 miles to two CTA stations on three different lines. I think we’re at the point where the city should start requiring planned developments to contribute cash to bikeways and bike-share.

  • Katja

    Maybe the Englewood Flyover and its concomitant reduction of Metra traffic will help.

    That said, if he was delayed and went through Ann Arbor, I doubt he was delayed on Chicago’s south side.

  • C Monroe

    sounds like something happened with the train or track so they bused them north to Ann Arbor

  • Fred

    I still believe that the Illiana is only in the news to garner south suburban votes for Quinn, and as soon as the election is over it will be shelved until politically advantageous again.

  • Matt F

    The delay was in Indiana IIRC… freight taking over the tracks. No bus, someone decided to turn the train towards Ann Arbor. I was on an Amtrak once that moved us to a Geryhound for a similar reason. Basically, Amtrak is more trouble than it’s worth.

  • R.A. Stewart

    I hope you are right. Still, there’s nothing more immortal than a really bad idea.

  • Kevin M

    Taking the big picture: The state of Amtrak’s unreliability problem/reputation is a very good thing for every opponent of alternative mass transit–and especially of intercity passenger rail service. The last decade of Amtrak strong ridership gains are beginning to flat-line due to increasing freight congestion coupled with lack of improved service and infrastructure investment.

    The core issue at hand is whether or not the U.S. will consider re-shifting its transportation policy to a more balanced approach that puts an increased emphasis on efficient (mass) transportation systems. The baby boomer generation overwhelmingly is still in control of government–at all levels across the map, and their generation was the first to witness the demise of the formally-world-class American passenger rail service in the wake of the birth and boom of the heavily-subsidized Interstate Highway and commercial air travel systems. The boomers in power today grew up believing that America’s future (ie. /their/ future) was hitched to the automobile. Old dreams die hard–even in the face of new, hard realities (pollution, congestion, limited resources, oil-wars, etc.). These boomers went on to raise children (in the suburbs) that were told trains are for kids and cars are for young adults, and so some of their auto-dream-future mentality has carried forth.

    Talk about delays, our country’s transportation strategic vision is like an Amtrak train stuck on a sidetrack due to a freight train pulling oil tankers and automobiles.

  • Alex_H

    Just want to speak up about having had generally positive experiences on Amtrak over the past 11 years on the Lincoln Service line. :)

  • Big Buck Hunter

    There are none. Low population density combined with long distances. Not everything can be like europe

  • The biggest freight delays I’ve been stuck in are in the middle of Michigan, not going into Chicago. The Wolverine service on Friday evenings is routinely (like, every single run) delayed 4-8 hours because of having to sit on sidings waiting for freight trains. People who take it regularly say it’s absolutely predictable, but never accounted for on the schedule.