Today’s Headlines for Tuesday, October 27

  • 66 Arrested for Blocking King Drive During Protest of Police Chiefs Conference (Tribune)
  • Emanuel Proposes Additional $0.02 Fee for Uber, Using Revenue to Cut Costs for Cabbies (Tribune)
  • Driver Fatally Strikes Bike Rider in West Humboldt Park (DNA)
  • After Cyclist Was Injured at Fullerton/Halsted/Lincoln, DNA Looks at Safety Issues
  • Keating: Driver Who Struck Cyclist in Lincoln Park Made an Illegal Right Turn
  • $300K Settlement for Bike Rider Who Was Injured by Hit-and-Run Cabbie (Kevenides)
  • Suburban Man Charged With Attacking Female CTA Train Operator (CBS)
  • DePaul Plans 125-Car Garage as Part of New Building That’s a 6-Minute Walk From ‘L’ (DNA)
  • Leaking Water Is Still a Problem at Recently Rehabbed Clark-Division Station (Tribune)
  • Are CTA Riders Offering Their Seats to Seniors? (RedEye)
  • How *Not* to Use the Bike Rack on the Front of a CTA Bus (WGN)
  • Take a Quick Survey on Bicycle Communities & Culture for a Loyola Grad Student Project

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  • carfreecommuter
  • Re: Fullerton/Halsted/Lincoln

    I lived in the neighborhood in the late sixties and knew that intersection. Back then there were still electric bus trolley lines above Fullerton. The NW Halsted/Lincoln corner still had a building and the southwest Fullerton/Halsted corner did not have the cute cutout kiosk with benches mini-parklet. Otherwise the corner is pretty much still the same as then. There have been improvements to the street though. I see two bumpouts have been added. One where the accident happened, the same cute SW Halsted/Fullerton corner. And the other across the streets at SE Fullerton/Lincoln.

    Some call bumpouts improvements. Many drivers likely see them as obstructions. And there you have it. What is important? Saving lives or speeding up traffic.

    So pedestrian/bikers want safety while drivers want free flow. There is an answer that will satisfy both desires. Tear out the sidewalks and replace them with dedicated bike lines with hard curbs. Ban pedestrians from that corner and force them to use the safer corners just one block away in every direction.

    These changes respond to both safety and traffic flow. Look, changes in the city always mean compromise and trade offs for someone at least. Aren’t we getting a little sick of every time there is a problem in the city drivers have to take it on the chin? Why is it always drivers that have to give up a lane or lose turning space to new concrete.

    Pedestrians already are the slowest things in the street. It already takes them forever to get somewhere, so adding another five or ten minutes to their trip will seem like nothing. And aren’t they already boasting about how healthy walking is. So go get some more of your vaunted exercise.

    But no. They want it all. You see where this is going right? Where have we seen this play before? That’s right. Just up the street at Lincoln/Wellington/Southport. Dots. Lots of Dots. Lots and Lots of Dots.

  • Matt F

    I can agree with you halfway — As a DePaul grad I think that banning pedestrians from Fullerton/Lincoln/Halsted is a terrible idea. So many students walk through that intersection and if anything it needs to be safest for pedestrians first.

  • Cars, being the fastest things around, are best able to make UP delays from slowing down for thirty seconds or spending an extra 45 seconds at a light.

    Compared to the total length of your trip, it’s a rounding error.

    Suck it up. Nobody owes you the right to move at a constant, free-flowing 40MPH throughout the city.

  • cjlane

    “Compared to the total length of your trip, it’s a rounding error.”

    The longer the trip takes, the less the rounding error would be. Thus, someone walking 5 miles (ie, an hour-plus long trip), but having to take a 2 minute detour is “less delayed” than a person in a car taking the same trip (presumable 15 minutes) having a 30 second detour/delay.

    Not that that goes to the point, but it doesn’t aid the point.

    Also: the same thing can be said about “inconvenient” bike routes, which always cause a lot of shouting from a segment of the bike community. Suck it up! (not you, particularly, Elliott)

  • 45sec or even 2min sitting in your car at an intersection is much more likely to be comfortable at all times of day or night than standing on a street corner, or even waiting on a bike.

  • BlueFairlane

    Even if I thought your idea had merit beyond some sort of Swift-like parody piece (which I don’t), this location is not a place where it is possible to ban pedestrians. You can take out the sidewalks if you want, but hundreds of people an hour will still walk through there.

    I agree with you that the dots are dumb.

  • Yeah, weak Swift.

    Actually I like the dots. I think they would do wonders for this corner. Of course, almost anything done will improve it. My guess is that it’s confusing for drivers as well. Like children, drivers want the grown-ups to set limits.

    Two weak bumpouts are clearly not doing it. At the moment there is zero paint in that intersection. It seems to me that gobs of paint has the potential to clear things up and if nothing else alert everybody that there is a lot going on there.

    In my humble opinion I think the culture of the neighborhood is a critical factor in preventing the needed change. Imho again, I think the people who live there (not the students but the invested) still don’t accept that they live in the city. A city where car culture was force fit and force fed. The early settlers (say 1950’s) felt they had no choice and the current settlers want it all. “It all” is car and city. But that’s the same as wanting suburb and city in the same place. Sorry, can’t happen.

    So the choice is either kick out the pedestrians and bikes (or kill enough of them) to get your suburb, or accept pedestrians and bikes and place much tighter limits on car usage.

  • As I said above, my comment was a weak attempt to do a Jonathan Swiftian Modest Proposal. I assume everybody that reads this blog knows that getting rid of pedestrians anywhere in the city is crazy-nuts.

    As for the other half, drivers deserve to take a lot of hits to the chin. It’s payback for ruining our city. Read Jane Jacobs, Death and Life of Cities, or reread it for what I mean.

  • BlueFairlane

    The problem with your parody, I think, is that it wasn’t absurd enough. I can see a lot of people in this neighborhood making that exact proposal with complete sincerity. (And it being this particular neighborhood, it probably wouldn’t be all that modest.)

    I like everything about the Lincoln-Southport-Wellington mess that relates to traffic control. I just hate the dots. Transport a version of that intersection that doesn’t involve dots or some similar gimmick to this spot, and I think you’d solve a lot of problems.

  • I’m not wed to the dots myself, although I am comfortable with them. But yeah, that’s what I mean by lots of paint. Well beyond the crosswalk stuff.

    The point of the over-the-top-dots, imho, is grab attention to the fact that there is a lot of potential users of different modes happening there. So if not dots it would still need to be something that someone is going to object to as over-the-top. Would cubes work better for you? Or painted tree icons or “Hello Kitties?”

    Yes, though, we are on the same page.

  • Matt F

    word

  • cjlane

    But that’s not the point you chose to make.

    If the argument is “not that much longer, given the length of the trip”, then that applies equally to all modes, and everyone should suck up relatively minor inconveniences.

    If the argument is “*people in cars* should suck it up”, (1) that’s not going to persuade anyone who doesn’t already agree with you, and (2) is going to lead to “and I don’t care about you, either” responses.

    The former gives one the viewpoint neutral high ground. The latter notsomuch.