Today’s Headlines for Tuesday, September 8

  • Pilot of Prepaid Boarding Station for Loop Link Is Being Delayed Until Next Year (Tribune)
  • Crime Has Dropped Along CPS Safe Passages Routes (DNA)
  • Sterling Bay Is in “Advanced Talks” to Buy the Finkl Steel Site (Curbed)
  • The Wall Street Journal Calls The 606 “More Democratic” Than The Highline
  • Man Charged With Fatal Hit-and-Run at 95th/Vincennes Held on $250K Bail (Sun-Times)
  • Lisle Village Clerk Faces Upgraded Charges Based on Previous DUI Record (Tribune)
  • Police: Thieves Have Been Ambushing Red Line Commuters at Sox/35th (NBC)
  • New 3-Note Chimes Remind Metra Crews to Slow Down at Curved & Bridges (Tribune)
  • Free CTA Rides for First Day of School Today (ABC)
  • After Complaints About School Bus Company, Orland Park Is Replacing It for Some Routes (Tribune)
  • Meet Melissa Hulting, Founder of Bike & Walk Park Ridge (Tribune)
  • Park Ridge Mourns the Loss of a Tree That Stood in the Middle of a Street, Calming Traffic (Tribune)

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  • I’ve been wondering what those chimes were fore.

  • RW

    Really unfortunate that Loop Link features are continually getting gutted/delayed. After the traffic it’s caused in the loop for construction, I feel that the project and BRT in general in Chicago are getting dug into a deeper and deeper public opinion hole. I hope this doesn’t set it up for failure.

  • The delay of the prepaid boarding pilot isn’t a big deal. Hilevitch’s article is overly dramatic, with statements like “Loop Link construction… has exacerbated already horrific traffic congestion.” The dedicated lanes and bus-friendly stoplights alone should make a big difference for commute speeds, as long as the CPD does a good job of enforcing the bus-only lanes.

  • RW

    Agreed re the article. However wasn’t the plan for prepaid boarding to exist at all stations, then that was pared to one as a trial? I’m worried that it will end up failing in the court of public opinion.

  • That is true, but we’ve known about that for more than a year: http://chi.streetsblog.org/2014/07/23/central-loop-brt-will-skimp-on-key-rapid-features/

  • David

    The Tribune article exposes this project for the boondoggle that it is. I mean, how could the CTA and CDOT just now discover that not all bus platforms are created equal? Are you kidding me? Seems like a pretty basic thing.

    The next article will likely be along the lines of “traffic signal prioritization will not be added due to …”

    I agree with the comments about the shelters as well, they certainly won’t protect people from the weather. This project will be a complete failure, and just seems unnecessary. It will be fun to watch it taken down in a few years.

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    Has anyone explained how it making sure people who do not pay their fares will be monitored?

  • Nope, they’re considering a few different options that are currently used in other cities.

  • cjlane

    “as long as the CPD does a good job of enforcing the bus-only lanes”

    hahaha. I’m in the middle of the loop every weekday, and it is exceedingly rare to see CPD involved in any traffic-related enforcement.

    PS: If they can’t/won’t add officers to Town Hall in response to a growing number of *armed* robberies, they ain’t going to divert sworn officers to ticket cars in the bus lane.

  • I’m guessing they’ll make an effort at strict enforcement in the first few months or weeks, and then ease up once drivers have gotten used to the new street. Hopefully we’ll get camera enforcement in the future.

  • Why bother? The goal is to move people around the loop not make money. For many it would be their second or third Transit ride in their journey anyway and be free anyway.

  • Boondoggle implies something useless or not worth the effort. Let’s see how well used this thing becomes. If it actually is useful for a lot of people then the missing detiails will be insignificant. It will be fun to watch the clamor for more in a few years.

  • cjlane

    I’m guessing two weeks, tops.

    For it to work at all, they need to threaten medallion suspensions–it won’t be driving in the red that causes the greatest issue, but stopping.

  • cjlane

    Were the routes even *mainly* circulator routes, I’d completely agree, but the routes are mostly just the loop section of longer routes.

    Even with that, I don’t disagree.

  • david vartanoff

    $32 million for 8 shelters and a few thousand gallons of paint???

  • Anne A

    “Loop Link construction… has exacerbated already horrific traffic congestion.”

    This part is NOT overly dramatic. I’ve been dealing with the effects every day in the Loop. Of course, part of it is coming from the Wabash closure where the new El station is under construction. Having Block 37 residential construction with its lane closure on Randolph doesn’t help. The effects I’m seeing on a daily basis are a significant increase in congestion and road rage. I can hardly wait until the BRT construction is done.

  • Anne A

    And if that’s all they do, it will be about as effect as the “no turns” signage at the ped scramble at State & Jackson. Drivers will obey as long as someone is there writing tickets and go back to their scofflaw ways afterwards.