Today’s Headlines

  • Tribune: Nearly Half of Red Light Cams “Did Nothing to Make Drivers Safer”
  • Fioretti and Garcia Say They Would Suspend Red Light Program if Elected (Tribune)
  • 2 Dead, 1 Injured After SUV Driver Strikes Lamp Post in South Loop (DNA)
  • 1 Killed, 2 Injured in Wrong-Way Crash on 4100 Block of South LSD (RedEye)
  • Oak Park Police Arrest Charge Man With Sexual Assault, Robbery on Blue Line (Oak Park)
  • Chicago’s Dark Viaducts Are Often the Site of Violent Crimes (Tribune)
  • O’Hare Branch’s Damen Stop Reopens; Grateful Merchants Offer Freebies (RedEyeDNA)
  • Does It Make Sense to Rehab Some Vintage Stations but Demolish Others? (Tribune)
  • Activists Stage a “Black Lives Matter” Protest on the Red Line (RedEye)
  • Credit Union for CTA Employees Is Moving to Beverly (DNA)
  • The CTA Holiday Train Gave Out Free Kids’ Books on Saturday (RedEye)
  • John Investigates the Giant Street Grid Mural on the 300 South Wacker Building (Reader)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • duppie

    Re: Fiorretti and Garcia comment. Will Streetsblog be reviewing the candidates and where they stand on active transportation issues., or are you you not allowed due to your non-profit status?

  • Runthelighr

    Let’s hope we get a mayor who makes decision based on fact, and not based on ways to unfairly increase revenue. The camera program is on the ropes, thankfully. Hopefully this recent reporting by the Tribune (a legitimate news operation, not a website like this) will be the final nail in the coffin.

  • David Altenburg

    Was “Runthelight” already taken?

  • alexfrancisburchard

    You post this with a handle that basically is a typo of run the light, and you expect anyone to take you seriously? I hope that if they get rid of the cameras they station police at all those intersections and real crime rises as a result of the actual need to enforce traffic laws.

  • We don’t endorse candidates, but we will be reporting on candidates’ positions on sustainable transportation and safe streets issues.

  • I just love how the tribune article was written with the assertion the red light cameras didn’t increase safety yet the results of the study they commissioned found that there was a significant reduction in side/angle crashes, the most dangerous type of accident that occurs in urban environments. There was a similar increase in rear end collisions, however, rear end collisions are about 4 times less likely to involve fatalities.

    The tribune knew what they wanted the conclusion to be before they wrote the story.

  • Runtheligjt

    Oh yes, the old argument that cameras “free up” police. Traffic stops are one of the most effective ways to fight crime- it gets unlicensed, uninsured drivers off the road, as well as drunk drivers. Also finds people with warrants forthwith arrest, and possible people with illegal weapons. Seems pretty effective to me. Those, by the way, are facts. How is making routine traffic stops a bad thing?
    I hope if and when the cameras are gone you feel less safe walking and riding your bike.

  • So you’re denying that the tribune’s own study found that the number of side/angle collisions was reduced? Are you then also denying that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics say that side/angle collisions are about 4 times more likely than rear strike collisions to involve fatalities?

    These aren’t huge leaps of logic to take and no one is denying that the red light camera system was administered improperly, perhaps even corruptly. But, the facts absolutely point to red light cameras increasing safety.

  • duppie

    No one is arguing that routine traffic stops are a bad thing, but if we get rid of traffic cams, the alternatives are a. hiring more officers, b: reassigning officers, or c: do nothing and accept that the overall number of traffic violations that get written will be reduced, and the number of crashes and the severity of them will increase again.

    I’ll put my money on option c.

  • duppie

    The whole camera discussion seems focused solely on whether or not it improved driver safety.
    I may have missed it, but was there any analysis on whether the installation of cameras improved the safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users?

  • ohsweetnothing

    Have any of the candidates said anything on sustainable transportation and safe streets issues? I know Fioretti and the “progressives” have railed against Divvy, bike lanes in exchange for parking spots, RLCs and BRT…but what about Garcia?

  • BlueFairlane

    I’ve been saying for at least two years that the red light cameras might just be the nail in Rahm’s coffin, and that he’d better be careful how he sells it. Oddly, enough, it’s about the only thing he’s done I support.

  • No, there was also no discussion on whether it reduced motorist and passenger injures, either. Here’s our rebuttal: http://chi.streetsblog.org/2014/12/22/why-the-tribunes-red-light-camera-story-is-garbage-journalism/

  • The Tribune’s commissioned study authors, though, were acting like normal researchers and produced, in my opinion, a report with no bias (however possible that may be). The authors were essentially replicating previous studies, including one of the federal government in 2005, and came to conclusions no different than any other study.

    You’re correct in that the Tribune failed to account for the difference in injury outcome, which forms the basis of my rebuttal: http://chi.streetsblog.org/2014/12/22/why-the-tribunes-red-light-camera-story-is-garbage-journalism/

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    Regarding the viaduct story. From my experience getting light replaced under the CTA viaduct near my home in Edgewater took about six months of grousing to the alderman’s office, weekly 311 calls, calling CTA and getting shifted from one department to another. It was the CTA’s responsibility, but no one would admit it. Finally I went to a Red Ahead meeting, collected people’s business cards and pelted them with emails. They do a good job at the stations, but their other viaducts are badly lit sometimes.