Today’s Headlines

  • Residents Will Contest Proposed Tower Next to Renovated California Station Tonight (Curbed)
  • CTA Debuted Electric Buses Wednesday to Test If They Can Last 100 Miles (Tribune)
  • New Edgewater Strip Mall Begins Construction Around Corner From 24-Hour Red Line Station (DNA)
  • Court Monitor Appointed to Track IDOT After Quinn’s Patronage Hiring Scheme Unraveled (Tribune)
  • Metra Board Chair: We Need Fare Hike Because We Stopped Using Capital to Cover Operations (Tribune)
  • CrossRail Is One of Several Options to Link Disconnected Metra Lines (Itinerant Urbanist)
  • Screening Your Bag for Explosives Before Entering CTA “Not Overly Inconvenient” (Sun-Times)
  • Divvy’s Valet Service – The Endless Dock – Finishes Season on Friday
  • Columbia College Animator Draws Faces of the CTA (Sun-Times)
  • Hundreds Ask for Better Bus Ride on North Lake Shore Drive (Red Eye)
  • Two-Story Building on Damen Next to Bloomingdale Trail Sold for $3.5 Million (DNA)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Matt F

    RE: Screening your bag for explosives — you have a misleading title.. the article is about how it would violate civil liberties and would be mostly ineffective. It has nothing to do with convenience and they are clearly not endorsing bomb screenings.

  • Fred

    Somewhat random question: does anyone know what the “rails”, for lack of a better term, that run along the roof of some buses are for? Are there electronics or something in them? You can see what I’m asking about in the Sun-Times electric bus picture. I’m asking purely out of curiosity.

  • The Divvy valet service was such a good idea. Now if my morning docks were always not empty…

  • Big Buck Hunter

    All these liberals protesting housing are themselves exacerbating the problems they claim they want to help, specifically income inequality.

    http://m.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/10/why-are-liberal-cities-so-unaffordable/382045/

  • BlueFairlane

    I’m not sure what you’re getting at here, though there are a number of ways of looking at this. It stands to reason that housing prices are going to be a function of supply and demand. (A generally conservative philosophy should believe strongly in supply and demand.) San Francisco is a good embodiment of that. Lots of people want to live there, but the supply of housing is limited because it’s an already dense city built on the tip of a tiny peninsula. There’s just not that many places left to build unless you make things tall. Thus, huge demand combined with short supply equals high prices.

    I should think you’d applaud this, though I’m not surprised at the hesitation you might feel about admitting that more people want to live in liberal cities.

  • I wish there were a button on the kiosk to press to register, “I tried to get a bike and couldn’t,” so they can tell when people are interested but unable (either to dock or to undock, depending).

  • rohmen

    Agreed with everything you write, but I think the Atlantic article is trying to make the point that the liberals in and around SF who complain about the lack of affordable housing are often the same liberals who decry tearing anything “historical” down to create more density in the housing stock, which is one of the potential (and I stress that word, especially in the case of SF) ways to make housing less costly.

    The point the Atlantic article is apparently making is well taken (liberals who want more affordable housing often stand in the way of options that would create more affordable housing when it would hurt the historical nature of a city and/or environmental concerns), but the flaw in the article is that it fails to acknowledge one of the very reasons companies and people flock to places like SF in the first place ARE for the City’s historical features and environmental beauty.

    Allowing unchecked development to cure affordable housing problems does no one any good if you fundamentally destroy what was driving the demand in the first place. The Mission District is no longer the Mission District if you fill it with 25+ story buildings, and much the same can be said about the majority of the rest of SF’s neighborhoods. There needs to be a balance between preserving the character of a place and allowing it to grow, for sure, but it’s not as simple as telling historical preservationists and environmental activists to just get out of the way and everything will be better, which seems to be the Atlantic article’s unfortunate conclusion.

  • duppie

    One flaw I see with the article is that it doesn’t explain why these cities became liberal in the first place and whether the same cities would develop different if the majority of the population was conservative.

    The article appears to be looking for cause and relationship that may not exist. Ie. it concludes that the housing market is restricted because it is liberal, where it may be restricted due to other reasons beyond it’s citizens political and social views. (limited space, historic significance, etc.)

  • duppie

    The official name for these rails is “roof fins” and they are there “to better conceal the roof-mounted equipment and provide a more streamlined appearance.”

    http://www.chicagobus.org/news/cta-newest-buses-hit-the-streets

  • Fred

    Interesting, they are purely aesthetic. Thanks for the info!

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    Might be aerodynamic to stop wind drag???

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    I also believe there is an issue of semantics regarding “affordable housing”.

    There is “affordable housing” in the sense that subsidized housing should be made available to low income individuals.

    Then there is “affordable housing” in the sense that people who don’t qualify for a subsidy, but manage to live within their means in a reasonably affordable situation in rapidly gentrifying areas.

    Then there is “affordable housing” in the sense that if you build more housing you will have less upward pressure on pricing which has a wider affect on all individuals.

    In areas that are rapidly gentrifying and where new housing stock is being built its the people in the middle that live in (for lack of better terminology) I will call “used housing”. These may be the apartments in two and three story buildings over shops, smaller homes/flats, etc. When these buildings are torn down and replaced by mid-rise buildings the assumption that increased supply will be affordable to the previous tenants is not always true. And then there is a roll over affect. Once you can price an apartment at $1,500 per month for a one bedroom, on the next tax reassessment, other properties tax rise accordingly. Once taxes go up, landlords raise rents, or small property owners sell out. Again more loss of affordable housing for people in the middle.

    Just because you increase the supply of housing doesn’t necessarily correlate in terms of making housing more affordable.

    I’m not necessarily against creating more dense housing, especially in areas that can support it with transportation, but I also understand that once that door is kicked open, it does create pressure to build more. Once you use up the easily available property like vacant lots, it may create pressure to start tearing down other available housing stock to build larger buildings.

    Right now, I’m wondering if staying in the city is worth it as all I can see is my property taxes skyrocketing, I don’t see affordable housing in my future unless I flee the city.

  • Floyd Thursby

    income inequality is driven by federal reserve policy. The two parties manipulate the economy by shoveling piles of money to wall street and the banks. The result is the rich get richer and the middle class gets poorer. This is why we are seeing the price inflation in certain classes of real estate right now. Taxes of course hurt the middle class even further, but the inequity in income starts at the fed.

  • i <3 keto

    Ron Paul!! Lol just kidding. Half of Americans pay no income tax. Get a clue

  • i <3 keto

    You’re wrong about tear downs. New housing filters.down. those who are.displaced by tear downs can still upgrade at no cost living in former ritzy homes that aren’t brand new, but still nicer and cheaper

  • Floyd Thursby

    Ron Paul calls that a good start (half not paying federal income tax). However the federal income tax is not the only way people are taxed. None of this changes how the fed is causing income inequity.

    http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/yellens-insouciant-denial-inequality-is-growing-due-to-the-very-fed-policies-she-long-championed/

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