Today’s Headlines for Tuesday, February 9

  • Active Trans Provides More Arguments Against Widening the Stevenson
  • …While MPC Discusses Why They’re Supporting the Plan
  • Researchers Who Studied Chicago Bikeways Argue Sharrows May Be Counterproductive (CityLab)
  • Cyclist Who Suffered Skull Fractures in Logan Crash Has Made a Full Recovery (The Chainlink)
  • DNA Readers Respond to Photo Project Highlighting Red Line’s Black/White Divide
  • CTA Asking People Who Are Riding Trains in a Continuous Loop to Exit & Pay Fare Again (RedEye)
  • Derailment Caused Delays on Metra’s BNSF Line Yesterday (Tribune)
  • 2 Different Alleged DUI Crashes in Riverside 10 Minutes Apart (Tribune)
  • How St. Stanislaus Was Saved From the Wrecking Ball During Kennedy Construction (DNA)
  • Motor Row Streetscape Will Include Gateway Inspired by Vintage Tourism Posters (DNA)
  • Interactive Quiz: Where Do You Prefer to Sit on CTA Trains? (DNA)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Chicagoan

    Really loving the Motor Row streetscape project. That area has a lot of potential, much of it still unrealized. Also like the vintage theme.

  • I looked up the TIF obligations for that project. Over $8 million. I’m not sure what in the project costs that much, and the DNAinfo article doesn’t describe if any of it will be used to make it safer and more pedestrianized on the 5-lane road.

    There’s one rendering, however, that shows a curb extension, so that’s a good thing for walking. But it’s a wide road and people drive very fast.

  • Chicagoan

    It definitely mentions wider sidewalks, so there’s that. And yes, the street is a speedway often times. If TIF money is involved, can the community push for a more complete project?

  • BlueFairlane

    I don’t see that variable pricing gimmick for the toll lane on 55 working the way Rauner and Co. say it’s going to work. For one thing, congestion is high enough that any lane will clog instantly unless it gets priced something astronomical. But once the price hits that level, traffic will drop precipitously. The cost will then fall, and the lane will clog instantly. Nobody will ever know what they’re paying, and a lot of drivers who should otherwise be watching the bumper in front of them will be squinting to see what the price sign says and doing math. It will be fun to sit somewhere on the shoulder and watch the signs play ping-pong, though.

    This is just an excuse for an otherwise cash-strapped state to keep expanding highways. They can con everybody into letting them build another lane and funnel some cash to private companies.

  • FPJ

    Well, my understanding is that it has worked elsewhere. I assume they’d do some statistical smoothing on the price changes so that it wouldn’t ping pong all over the place. You are right, though, the toll required to keep it free flowing will be much higher (on a per-mile basis) than any of the Illinois Tollway rates.

    I’d support it if the revenue produced was used to maintain roadways and fund transit alternatives. In a PPP arrangement, it isn’t at all clear that will happen, though….

  • RW

    For what it’s worth, I know that the I-70 express lane in Colorado uses dynamic pricing. I’ve never seen it at the max, but it tops out at $30 for a 13-mile stretch of road. Makes the Tollway looks cheap by comparison.

  • BlueFairlane

    But have these other places where it’s worked already been at such a high level of congestion?

    As far as where the money goes, I think it’s a safe bet that if the politicians–especially these politicians–aren’t clear, then it’s going someplace the public doesn’t want it to go.

  • planetshwoop

    The easiest (and cheapest) way to squeeze capacity from a roadway is carpooling. They looked at (and rejected) an HOV lane some years back. Congestion seems more in line with our tendency to fine/fee everything to avoid any taxes.

    A bigger issue is that Metra coverage in the area is poor. Many people l know in the area drive BC train options are limited.

  • FlamingoFresh

    Down in Florida they are converting all their HOV lanes to HOT (High Occupancy Toll) lanes because of the under utilization of these lanes, due to the fact that no one cares to attempt to car pool. The district figured they’d get more lane utilization, as well as money, if they started charging these lanes.

    Everyone has a price both in traffic delay and money. You experiment with different rates to charge the divers to find an equilibrium where there is enough ridership in these toll lanes that it’s still a time advantage over the regular lanes but doesn’t reach over capacity due to the low fare.

    In order to promote and transition towards a public transit (mass transit) system, cities will need to overtime start tolling roadways within the downtown to force the car owning drivers out of their cars and into public transportation. If you think about it, the less cars on the road leads to less congestion which leads to more efficient public transit due to less vehicles on the road. From there the needs of any additional infrastructure can be determined based off of the “new roadway environment”