Today’s Headlines

  • Emanuel Announces Plans to Take Down 50 Red Light Cams (Sun-Times, DNA)
  • Trucker Who Failed to Yield Killed Elizabeth Peralta-Luna and Her Two Children (CBS)
  • Hit-and-Run Driver Critically Injures Teen on Bike in Hermosa (Tribune)
  • Driver Who Fatally Struck Andrew Smith Charged With Felony Aggravated DUI (Tribune)
  • Ron Burke: Plan to Gut Transit Funding Would Be Hugely Counterproductive (Crain’s)
  • How Work on Loop BRT, Washington/Wabash, & Wilson Red Will Impact Commutes (RedEye)
  • Wabash Merchants Concerned About Street Closure for New Station Construction (Tribune)
  • Transport Notes: Study That Found Rapid Service on Metra Electric Impractical Was Flawed
  • A Map of ‘L’ Lines That Shows How Wealth Is Distributed in Chicago (You Are Here)
  • The Story of How Working Bikes Refurbished 50K Cycles (South Side Weekly)
  • What Can Be Done to Make Naperville Bike-Friendly? (Tribune)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

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Due to a funding shortfall, Streetsblog Chicago has suspended publication of orginal articles. Please see Streetsblog Editor-in-Chief Ben Fried’s message about the hiatus, and my post about the effort the revive the site via local fundraising. In the meantime, I am continuing to produce Today’s Headlines on a volunteer basis as a service to readers.

The Chicago Community Trust, a charitable foundation that was one of the early funders of SBC, has been impressed by the outpouring of support the site has received since we announced our hiatus on January 8. Thanks to the generosity of sponsors and readers like you, by February 16, we had raised $34K of the $75K needed to fund a year of operations.

As a result, CCT has very generously offered us a challenge grant. If Streetsblog reaches $50K in donations and sponsorships by our April 8 deadline to reboot the site, the Trust will provide the last $25K needed to resume daily publication of original reporting. In other words, our finish line is within sight.

However, we still have a lot of work to do in order to win that CCT funding that will allow us to relaunch. If you haven’t already done so, please donate to the Streetsblog Chicago Resurrection Fund today. While donations are not tax-deductible at this point, in the very unlikely event that the site does not relaunch by April 8, your money will be refunded.

If you’ve already contributed, thanks so much for helping us attract the challenge grant. As an added incentive to first-time donors, as well as those who’d like to make an additional contribution to help us win the CCT funding, anyone who donates $100 or more from this point on will get a copy of my book “Bars Across America.” Donate $200 or more and we’ll also throw in a copy of the anthology “On Bicycles,” to which I contributed a chapter about Chicago’s West Town Bikes, while supplies last.

We’re hosting a Donor Appreciation Party on Wednesday, March 25, 6-9 p.m. at Revolution Brewing’s Kedzie Avenue taproom, 3340 North Kedzie. All Streetsblog readers are invited to attend this free event, and everyone who has contributed $100 or more will get a complimentary beer courtesy of RevBrew, plus their free book(s).

Please feel free to spread the word about the challenge grant to potential donors, or contact me at 312-560-3966 or greenfieldjohn[at]hotmail.com with leads on other possible funding sources. To keep you apprised on our progress as we enter the home stretch, I’ll be updating the above Donate-O-Meter along with Today’s Headlines each morning.

Thanks again for your continuing support.

– John

  • Cameron Puetz

    Construction related road closures are always a challenge, but Wabash is much worse than it needs to be. There were no signs posted warning that the road was closing. This morning there were no signs warning that you were approaching a closure until you got to the closed road, and no detour information. The TMA was there doing their usual job of making things worse. A little informational signage could go a long way.

  • jeff wegerson

    Re removal of red light cameras. No political spine. It was the same story as the the conspiracy to steal the parking meters. Parking was way under market value. But Daley had no political spine to raise the rates and face the heat. So he either got suckered or more likely thought he could put one over on us by fire-selling them to bankers. A stand-up mayor would have borrowed the money, put in the devices and raised the rates and taken the heat.

    And as a gullible public we let them do it to us. A few whiners is all it takes. A stand-up public would not let the whiners get the way. They are too spoiled as is.

    So now the next mayor will privatize the stop-lights and let some corporation collect the red light fines. For 75 damn years.

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    If a picture says 1000 words, the photo on the front page of the Tribune, (not the website), with Rahm and Rebekah Scheinfeld and two others, they all look like their best friend has died.

    I feel for Ms. Scheinfeld, because I think she’s going to be the sacrificial lamb. I really doubt she was the one behind the lowering of the timing of the yellow lights, but will take the hit just the same.

  • R.A. Stewart

    I think you are right about that.

  • what_eva

    my cynicism on this goes a different direction. I wonder if this is a case where the vendor wants to take those cameras down because they’ve worked (people aren’t running red lights) and are therefore no longer profitable. So then Rahm uses it as a campaign thing to try to counter Chuy’s statement about removing them all.

  • tooter turtle

    Joe Public would have been very angry about higher parking rates, and the city would have had to back down. Just like Joe Public wants to keep open schools with declining enrollments in neighborhoods that have lost population. We don’t want to face the tough choices.

  • jeff wegerson

    It’s not Joe Public it’s corporate style politics. The tough choices are taxing the rich at 90% marginal rates. Now there’s a tough choice.

  • BlueFairlane

    You know, I bought into the shifting population argument on the school closures and was all set up to do my own statistical analysis to prove it, and then just as I was getting started Rahm found $125 million to hand over to a private college for a basketball arena on public land. That really undercut the argument.

  • The thing is, if it were simply shifting population demographics, there are cases with an undersubscribed school whose ‘catchment’ abuts that of a deeply overcrowded school, where a simple boundary redraw would make both schools better fit-for-purpose.

    But in most cases, none of the parents of the oversubscribed school would CONSIDER being moved out of its district, which is why we’ve got a school up by Children’s Memorial where they’re going to build a new wing on top of their playground, put the playground on the roof, and generally stuff it to the gills (but there’s a half-empty school neighboring it that was mooted for closure with plenty of space in its building).

    You would also have far fewer cases where all the kids who live in the neighborhood are bussed (or transported by their parents) to schools half the city away while their local elementary is half empty.

  • Fred

    Is the city helping fund an arena for Depaul, or is Depaul helping fund an arena expansion for the world’s largest convention center?

  • BlueFairlane

    The city is helping fund an arena for DePaul. There’s no question there. We are expanding spending $125 million–at the least, as the price of the thing keeps going up–on an unnecessary arena expansion in a saturated market that will make money for nobody except a private college.

  • BlueFairlane

    And closing 60 some-odd schools did nothing to change those situations. It was a carpet bomb approach that solved no problems but created many.

  • It made lots of empty buildings to sell to charters for almost no money so the charters can run for-profit institutions and not have to prove they educate at least as well as the schools that were closed. :-/

  • Fred

    Ah, so that’s where we differ: You don’t believe it will make any money for the city, I do.

    Ticket taxes, concessions, parking, 100’s of permanent jobs, and thousands of extra people in an area the city wants to become River North-like. Not to mention it would have been the perfect venue for Obama’s second victory party. I’m all for it.