Today’s Headlines for Tuesday, April 21

  • Loop Link BRT Construction on Washington Starts Tomorrow (DNA)
  • Sun-Times: Claypool May Become Emanuel’s Chief of Staff; Rauner Appoints 2 CTA Board Members
  • Emanuel Scoffs at Idea of Approving “Right to Work” Zones in Exchange for CTA Funding (Capitol Fax)
  • Plan Commission Approves TOD Towers at Max Gerber Site in Logan Square (Curbed)
  • Trucker Who Killed Tollway Worker, Injured State Trooper Gets 3 Years in Prison (NBC)
  • No Prison Time for Hit-and-Run Driver Who Killed Cyclist Jeffrey Schultz in Forest Park (FPR)
  • Man Charged With Hit-and-Run After He Crashes Car Into Riverside Yard, Flees on Foot (Sun-Times)
  • Active Trans: Removing Kinzie PBLs Would Be a “National Embarrassment”
  • New Austin Alderman Impatient for Divvy to Reach His District (DNA)
  • Glenview Public Schools Offer Bike Riding Classes for Kids (CBS)
  • RedEye Transit Reporter Tracy Swartz Heading to Tribune, Offers CTA Tips as a Parting Gift

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Anne A

    Right to work zones? More like “have no rights” zones.

  • David Altenburg

    Congrats to Tracy Swartz, but I’m going to miss her reporting. Looks like John now stands alone as the pun king of Chicago transportation journalism!

  • The real issue is Rauner holding holding the CTA hostage for reasons of political ideology. It’s an attack on urbanism as well. “Give up your unions or I’m going to shoot your city.”

    I give him grudging credit for the tactic. It’s one I wish urbanists would be willing take. Heck, I wish we could find ways to take the offense.

    I was at a meeting last night where someone was concerned that the Broadway Ave. bike lanes would be extended north beyond Foster to Devon. Granted Kenmore and Winthrop are halfway decent routes and there would be some redundancy having bike lanes on Broadway, but a better purpose of bike lanes, especially between Hollywood an Devon is to squeeze Broadway into a pedestrian friendly street. The goal is to make north shore drivers complain enough to fund the missing lakefront parks north from the end of the drive to Evanston.

    We hold their route to downtown hostage until they come up with the funds for the lakefill.

  • BlueFairlane

    I see two negative effects of your scheme.

    1. A person does not use beneficial things as a threat. By using bike infrastructure as a threat, you are strongly suggesting not only that bike infrastructure isn’t beneficial, but that you’re placing it solely as a punishment.

    2. When you say “We’re holding this hostage until you do this thing,” you are effectively promising to release your hostage if they comply. Which means that if, somehow, people came up with a billion or so dollars to build a mile of landfill park, you’d have to remove the bike infrastructure. I don’t think that’s a good strategy.

  • No it’s self release. They can release themselves to where they ought to be and we get to keep the bike lane. Or whatever. It could be bus lanes or more diagonal parking.

    The reality is that our neighborhood is being held hostage by the cars. We can not have decent pedestrian experiences or quality bike lanes because our neighborhood is being held hostage by cars and car drivers.

    Get your mind off of the metaphor and into how we can change a bad reality. It’s not a scheme. It’s a recognition that something badly needs changing for what could be a vastly improved urban environment.

    Remember, it’s a win-win-win. We get the bike lanes. They get the four lanes only (2 each direction) mini-drive to downtown. We get a new park on the lake with even more bike path lanes. The citizens of Illinois get more public lakefront. All because we take back our neighborhood street from too many cars.

  • BlueFairlane

    My mind’s not on the metaphor. It’s on the specifics of what you’re saying. You’re saying the strategy should be to build new bike infrastructure on Broadway not so much to have bike infrastructure, but to use it as leverage to prompt trading it away for something else. (That something else being an expensive landfill project that would benefit a very small piece of the city, and that’s never going to happen anyway.)

    This all makes no sense. If you can build new bike infrastructure on Broadway, why not just consider that the win? Why do it with the goal of getting rid of it?

  • You’re not paying attention. I said we can keep the bike lane or whatever. I want both. Nearly all of Lincoln Park is expensive landfill. It happened. It benefits a lot of people, not the slice along the lake.

    Look, it never hurts to think big when one is thinking public works. It’s not an either or. You go ahead and argue for just the lanes. That’s fine. That helps my arguments. But when the car complainers complain that it will take them too long to get downtown, we say, fine build a mini-drive in the lake. It’s your problem to find the money. If they don’t, fine we still have the bike lanes.

    We don’t have to present it as hostage taking or a threat. That’s just between you and me and we are on the same side.

  • BlueFairlane

    I said we can keep the bike lane or whatever. I want both.

    Then where’s your leverage? You were proposing leveraging the ability of drivers to get from the north side to downtown. Now you’re proposing … what? “We hold their route to downtown hostage until they come up with the funds for the lakefill.” What the heck does that mean? You’re proposing another Lake Shore Drive, parallel to Lake Shore Drive? I don’t mean to be combative, and this will be my last comment on this, but really, man, the whole thing’s just a puzzle.

    Also, while a lot of Lincoln Park is landfill, it wasn’t very expensive. It’s mostly debris from the Chicago fire. So if you want to burn down Roger’s Park and push it into the lake, you can probably get by cheap. But building a mile of new fill wide enough to justify the effort would easily cost a billion dollars, and probably much more than that.

  • cjlane

    And not even questioning why we would surrender the (yeah, mostly semi-private) lakefront to an extension of the 8 lane road?? Why is that just accepted as a fine plan?

    Not to mention that it’s basically *three* miles from the north end of LSD to Calvary Cemetery, not merely one.

  • We would likely do better face to face. A couple billion dollars is cheap enough. The expense is likely more in the labor.

    My goal is to “calm” Broadway by taking out a traffic lane each way. Car drivers will complain. So my reply is they should find another way or take their time.

    That’s it. Your complaints at least so far have been about tactics rather than the goals. So I count you as an ally.

  • A 4 lane extension is all that is needed and that would be dramatically different than an 8 lane. Some of the road would be via tunneling while other parts would have earthen berming on one or both sides.

    Money? Whatever. Our goal at the moment is to not to think too small.

  • cjlane

    I’m opposed to a road in the lake.

    How about a bike route in the lake, and that’s how we achieve inter-mode safety?

  • Several new bike routes and pedestrian paths and new beaches etc. I have always liked the Proppe & Greene plan. Here’s an unclear version -> http://www.gpdchicago.com/urban_planning_and_design.htm#lakefront .

    I get that you are opposed to a road in the lake and if it were a choice between the two I too would select the non road version. Well, you mean highway because we would want some roads for older and handicapped to get there with their coolers.

    You would support access roads, yes?

  • cjlane

    “You would support access roads, yes?”

    Access roads to get to the bike and hike trail, in the lakefront park?

    If by “roads” you mean “bike and hike trails”, sure. But if you want to put car-accessible turn arounds (and then, inevitably, parking areas) in the proposed North Lakefront Park, then I’m opposed to that, too. (and I don’t live nearby, so If hauling a cooler, it would be via a car) Not every piece of every park needs to be readily accessible to every person.

  • I agree that not every bit of part needs accessibility. There’s the part of Lincoln Park behind the totem pole that has no accessibility to anybody.

    But we would be talking about such a big addition to Lincoln Park that there is no way it gets built without some car access.

    Anyway my thought was to use the park as one of several levers to reduce car lanes on Broadway and Sheridan. My thinking goes “cars have outstayed their welcome in our once peaceful lakefront communities of Rogers Park and Edgewater and must now leave. We understand you will suffer some hardship, but we have suffered decades of hardship by your presence. Your (forced on us) welcome has run out, it’s time to go. You had plenty of time to collect enough money to extend your Lake Shore Drive expressway and you squandered it. So too bad, we really don’t care about your pain or the fact that now you have to come up with the money to extend your drive. That’s your problem. ”

    You, cjlane, are now adding a new fear into car drivers thinking. It is possible that people like you will find the money and build the lakefront extensions and exclude the cars completely. Nothing like healthy competition to speed things up.

  • cjlane

    ” no way it gets built without some car access”

    I’d say “no car access”, or no way it gets built.

    Obviously, there’s need to be some way in which to accommodate emergency vehicles, but that is *it*.