Today’s Headlines

  • Specifics on Governor Rauner’s Proposed $112 Million Cuts to the RTA (Crain’s)
  • Emanuel Says Rauner Cuts Would Balance Budget “On the Backs of Working People” (Sun-Times
  • CTA: Slashing Our Budget by 7% Would Result in Deep Service Cuts, Fare Hikes (Tribune)
  • Advocates Deliver 12K-Plus Signatures to Rauner Asking Him to Kill the Illiana (Active Trans)
  • Man Charged With Murder After Pursuing Officer Involved in Fatal Car Crash (Tribune)
  • Metra Predicted No Major Impact to Service Due to Cold, but They Were Wrong (CBS, Sun-Times)
  • Sewer Project Will Force Rerouting of Harlem Buses (DNA)
  • Kevenides Downloads the Bike Shield App, Which Alerts Drivers When a Cyclist Is Nearby
  • Turin Bike Shop in Ravenswood Offering Free Maintenance Classes (DNA)
  • Transport Notes Looks at Ways to Speed Up South Lake Shore Drive Buses

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  • With Chicago to Rockford rail I gave Rauner the benefit of the doubt, now all that is out the window. If Rauner gets his way we can kiss state funding for future capital projects goodbye let alone funding for basic maintenance/service.

    Guess this means we need to rely on the Statehouse and Madigan (ugh) to prevent these cuts.

  • ohsweetnothing

    So if the Tribune article is correct: $105M cut to CTA BUT $120M additional for IDOT’s road and state construction fund? This is fiscally conservative policy in action?

    Priorities.

  • what_eva

    The problem with the Bike Shield app will be that the drivers that are the most dangerous to cyclists are exactly the same drivers who would *never* download the app.

  • Fred

    I expect all of the state funded Amtrak routes to be cut during Rauner’s tenure. Cars and airplanes are the only acceptable forms of human transport.

  • Fred

    The theory* is: public transit money is for ongoing operations where IDOT money funds new construction projects. You can campaign on “I built X new roads/bridges creating Y jobs”. “I adequately funded public transit”… not so much.

    Politicians care about 2 things: campaigning and personal legacy. If a given project/program is not something they can campaign on or put in a history book, its fair game to cut.

    *I’m not endorsing this theory, merely explaining it

  • ohsweetnothing

    Oh yeah I get it. Just think it’s something that’s definitely worth calling out.

  • True, but there’s absolutely no downside to having as many people as possible — file it under “Can’t hurt, might help.” Personally, on those rare occasions when I find myself behind a wheel, I’d be glad to get some advanced warning that there’s a person on a bike in my vicinity.

  • BlueFairlane

    Yeah … and I’m not sure how encouraging drivers to fiddle with their phones will accomplish much in the way of safety for bicyclists. I’ll file this concept in the same category as “Drive-thru Liquor Store.”

  • It’s a “set it and forget it” app — once you activate it, there’s nothing else to do.

  • BlueFairlane

    Which means drivers will be driving down the road one day and some alert they’d forgotten about will go off. Their first instinct, then, will be to go digging for the phone, drawing their attention from the cyclist they’re supposed to be looking for.

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    But when you have too many alarms going off, eventually you tune them out.

    Just like employers that plaster signs everywhere in the workplace about everything. Eventually the employees tune out the messages.

  • BlueFairlane

    So the best-case scenario, then, is that people wind up completely ignoring this app.

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    Probably. And I would have to presume its not any good unless the cyclists have the app. So what driver would want an app that annoyingly alerts you to only some of the bikers. Just keep you focus on the road where it should be. Anything that’s a distraction isn’t a good thing and the lawyer promoting the app should know it.

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    Well a bike helmet usually can’t hurt and might help too, but there’s resistance by many. The trouble with being alerted is it might not tell you exactly where the bike is in proximity to you. And if the biker is across the street going in the opposite direction taking that time to find a bike in motion could be enough of a distraction to miss a pedestrian stepping off the curb in front of you.

  • The problem with the Bike Shield app is that not everyone has an Apple or Android smartphone.

  • R.A. Stewart

    I still prefer the ingenious little devices (they normally come in pairs) that I’ve relied on for decades to alert me to the presence of bicyclists. I got them long ago for free, and while they are showing their age and I’ve spent a fair amount on accessories to keep them accurate, they have yet to fail me.

    The catch is that to work properly, they have to be connected to an actively functioning brain. That’s probably why we so seldom see them effectively deployed on our streets and roads these days.

  • R.A. Stewart

    You’re right–unless Democrats in the legislature put brains and spines in gear, and come up with ideas that don’t involve selling out Amtrak passengers along with transit riders, state university students, and the poor and disabled.

    In other words … you’re right.

  • I never thought I’d be saying the phrase, “Thank God for Mike Madigan!”

  • Fred

    Yes. “Tough budget cuts” is politispeak for “the sick, the poor, and the mentally ill will suffer.”

  • Ryan Wallace

    According to data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, Android and iOS accounted for 96.3% of all smartphone shipments

    http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS25450615

  • That’s not everyone.

  • And a sizeable percentage does not own a smartphone at all.

  • A Bike Shield app representative contacted me and so I downloaded the app. There were some grave problems with its design and I let them know. They said they were working on it.

    To the bigger problem, though, which is distribution. This app will be *useful* to a (limited) group of people who ride bicycles or motorcycles when a (several times) larger group of people who drive also use it.

    The rep. said that out of 5,000 installations, 75% were by drivers. This isn’t really the best way to report the metric, and I’m sure they can give better details if asked again. That’s because when you turn on the app it asks you what mode you’re using (car, bicycle, motorcycle) so the app makers can tell on a per minute basis what modes are primary uses.

  • Fred

    Without a million+ downloads *in Chicago*, this app is useless.

    A helmet has a FAR better chance of preventing injury.

  • Odd that you’re suggesting our house and senate actually do something right when they’re responsible for Rauner’s election in the first place.