Today’s Headlines

  • Officer Fatally Strikes Pedestrian on Darkened South Chicago Street (Tribune)
  • Judge: Driver Not Guilty of Felony DUI Because Pedestrian “Came Out of Nowhere” (Tribune)
  • Wrong-Way Driver Kills Senior on Route 173 Near Antioch (Sun-Times)
  • More Than 50 Killed and 300 Injured in Wrong-Way Crashes in IL Since 2005 (NBC)
  • Police: Drunk Motorist Drives Past Marked Squad Car, Runs 5 Stoplights (Sun-Times)
  • Subway 4G May Cause Some to Switch Lines — And Bill Savage to Ride Less (RedEye)
  • Bill Savages the Traffic Cam Program: “Everyone Agrees They’re About Revenue” (Crain’s)
  • Elk Grove Village Is Seeking Input on Its Bike Plan (Active Trans)
  • Shocking News: Drivers Are Griping About Unplowed Side Streets (Tribune)
  • On the Other Hand, Alderman Ed Burke’s Street Has Been Plowed 5 Times (Sun-Times)
  • Meanwhile, Moreno Is Using Campaign Funds to Pay for Extra Plowing (DNA)
  • Chicago Mag Offers a Quiz to Determine Whether or Not Drivers Have the Right to “Dibs”

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  • David Altenburg

    So we have a judge who things teleportation is a real thing? Wow.

  • Anne A

    I certainly don’t agree with Bill Savage on the red light/speed camera issue. To give 2 concrete examples, I’ve seen significant improvements in driver behavior and safety by the cameras at 115th St. and 127th St. crossings on the Major Taylor Trail, especially 127th St., which used to be a real speedway there. Many neighbors wanted those cameras because it was hard for them to walk or bike across the street or pull out into traffic when they were in their cars. It’s now much safer for everyone there. The 115th St. cameras have more of an impact for trail users, who are grateful to have a safer crossing.

  • Anne A

    Campaign cash for snow removal – much more effective advertising than any signage. Wish my alderman would do that. Too many sidewalks in our neighborhood are in terrible condition.

  • ohsweetnothing

    I genuinely don’t get why it’s a problem that the Red Light/Speed Cameras both earn revenue AND increase safety? I’m almost certain the City has said that about both programs.

    As an aside, between the faux-Eureka RLC editorial and the 4G bellyaching (serious question: Does 4G affect your ability to talk on the phone? I thought that was just data?), this Bill Savage guy strikes me as a treat of a person.

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    Rather than a statistic that can’t tell us much, of the 50 dead from the 300 wrong way crashes, it would be interesting to know how many are drunk driving related, how many are fall asleep at the wheel or health related and how many because of bad road design and how many occurred between 12:00 midnight and say 5:00 am?

    To find a solution, you have to pin point the cause. If its a poorly designed intersection or on highway ramp causing drivers to be mis-directed with with no other factor, certainly a redesign or better lighting may be called for. However if its DUI, its time to have some serious criminal penalties applied to DUI cases.

  • In re side street snow, I have to wonder if Streets and San actually look at the data that Clearstreets.org uses to make their (wonderful!) visualizations.

    Because I’ve been sitting here refreshing them several times a day since the snow started falling, and the number of neighborhoods going from blank to plowed has seriously plateaued. As of 11PM Monday, certain areas were thoroughly plowed. The expansion of same to the whole city seemed to stall sometime midmorning on Tuesday, and now the areas that were blank and white at 11PM Monday are for the most part still white, with a few of them going to “completely plowed on all streets”. Why not plow straight lines as far as one-way-ness will allow to increase the number of people with a plowed non-arterial street within 1/3mi of their home?

    Instead, Streets & San appears (given the data available to me) to be perfectly clearing certain areas, sometimes more than once, and pretending other huge swathes of the city don’t exist. And yes, I do know that ‘ran the plow through once’ does not equal “perfectly clear, needs no further attention,” but even running a plow through once is something a lot of neighborhoods would appreciate happening sometime within the first 48 hours after cessation of blizzard.

    There has got to be room to improve this. It’s 2015, for goodness’ sake.

  • jeff wegerson

    Beam me back, Scotty! Quick!

  • jeff wegerson

    Lets see. There are two options here – make money or lose money. Hmmmm, I wonder which will get more complaints?

  • Anne A

    What I’m wondering is why we’ve had such a huge increase in wrong way incidents, especially on highways? Is it an actual increase, or just an increase in reporting? So many of these happen on highways where the ramps have not changed in a long time.

  • Anne A

    I know Bill. He’s a good guy and fellow cyclist, which is why this piece surprises me a bit, coming from him.

  • ohsweetnothing

    Thanks for posting the Active Trans questionnaires. I really wish the fourth question didn’t give the respondents so much wiggle room…although there was a “comments” section so I guess that means everyone is in favor of increased traffic enforcement in some way, shape or form!

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    The 50 deaths reported are since 2005. So I don’t know if that signifies an increase or not.

  • Nah, Bill’s a good guy, just a professional curmudgeon along the lines of his idol Nelson Algren. He’s a scholar of Algren and Chicago history in general as a professor at NWU. Here’s a writeup of an epic bike ride I did with him across the entire city, a commute he does on a regular basis: http://newcity.com/2012/06/19/checkerboard-city-savage-ride/

    Just don’t get me started on his brother, sex columnist Dan Savage — what a jerk! Just kidding, he seems like a nice person as well. You can meet Bill Savage in person and judge for yourself at Cuneen’s bar in Rogers Park, where he bartends on Thursdays.

  • Anne A

    Seems like we’re hearing about wrong way crashes in the news practically every week. That used to be a rare thing, hence my comment about the increase in reporting.

  • Anne A

    I’ve spent some good times chatting with him at the Beverly end of that long trip at a favorite neighborhood coffeehouse.

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