Today’s Headlines for Thursday, May 19

  • An Update on the Chicago Riverwalk Project & Cleanup of the River (Chicago Reader)
  • Metra Restarts Work on Extending Service to Kendall County (Tribune)
  • Police: Gold Coast Road Rage Shooting Leaves 2 People Injured (DNA)
  • Chainlink Members Discuss Last Night’s Ride of Silence Memorial to Fallen Cyclists
  • Active Trans Wraps Up 2-Week Bike Ed Class for High School Students
  • Multiple Incidents on CTA Tracks Caused Delays on Yesterday’s Evening Commute (NBC)
  • Noise Wall Proposed for the Stevenson Expressway in the 11th Ward (DNA)
  • Summer by Rail Train & Biker Blogger Praises Chicago Cycling Infrastructure
  • Summer by Rail Also Checked Out the Transit Center and Bikeways in Normal, Illinois
  • Chicago’s Becoming More Like Amsterdam: People Are Throwing Bikes in Our Waterways (DNA)
  • Active Trans’ Clare McDermott Discusses Their Upcoming Bike the Drive Ride (WGN)

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  • Kevin

    The donate-o-meter went down. Is that a typo or did someone pull a donation?

  • Chicagoan

    What’s everyone think about Chicago having lost almost 3,000 people in 2015?

    I’m curious if the city will still have a population gain in the 2020 census.

  • johnaustingreenfield

    Nope, that was a typo. Fixed, thanks.

  • BlueFairlane

    For a population the size of Chicago’s, 3,000 people is within the statistical margin of error for “flat.” For that matter, so is 25,000. We’re on a plateau, and small year-by-year swings will probably put us a short distance on either side of that for the next several years.

    My own thought is that, depending on whether the economy stays semi-stable so that there is job availability in other places, the plateau will tilt into a downward trend. I expect the population losses among African-Americans to continue at the pace it’s been going, and the budget situation in the city and state will dampen the inward migration that might have made up for that. Families will flee the school system at an increased pace, and they’ll be replaced mostly by young singles. Household numbers may increase, but household size will decrease substantially.

  • Chicagoan

    After all the years of population loss in the censuses, it’d be nice to have the city eek out anything positive…25,000 would be great.

  • 2 additional & important factors:

    Lake Michigan.

    Our enduring appeal to immigrants.

    https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045214/1714000/accessible

    “Foreign born persons, percent, 2010-2014

    20.9%”

  • The Bicycle Lobby would show up at your door if you pulled a donation.

  • I’m anxious about the slow population growth, concerned for Chicago, and I generally support what @BlueFairlane:disqus said.

  • BlueFairlane

    If I’m correct about your motivation in citing Lake Michigan as a factor, I think that makes a difference in the very long term … say, 30 to 50 years. But we’re not there yet, and I think there’s a long way to fall before we get there.

    As far as immigration, that effect is already built into the trend as it’s running now. I don’t see that factor increasing, though there are a number of potential scenarios that could see show a rapid and significant decrease. (Say, if the fall election goes a certain way.)

  • I do indeed look at the long game – but I don’t think we’re 30 years from where being on a great lake is widely understood to be a gamechanger. I’d say 10, tops, with climate change accelerating infrastructure issues across the SW and SE and other parts of the world.

    On immigration, that figure is about as low as it’s ever been, it actually has plenty of historical precedent to go up if anything. If Trump wins Chicago’s population changes will be the least of America’s problems.

    I guess I have a far more optimistic view of Chicago than most based on my personal experience here. Nothing happening today strikes me as insane as the Bernie Epton/Harold Washington campaign, the City grinding to a halt during the 79 Great Blizzard (which led to the ouster of Bilandic), homicides routinely approaching 1,000 a year in the early and mid 90s, the Heat Wave summer of 95, etc. We’ll be fine.

  • what_eva

    What impact on sprawl does a commuter rail expansion have? Is Metra expanding to Kendall a good idea? My gut says no.

  • rohmen

    “Families will flee the school system at an increased pace, and they’ll be replaced mostly by young singles.”

    This is happening in many major cities, and it’s going to have potentially interesting impacts going forward. Increasingly, the core neighborhoods within 5 miles of the loop (and similar CBD in major, popular cities) are becoming populated either by people who do not yet have (and may never have) kids, or people that have families and can afford high rents and mortgages (i.e., the fairly well off). That’s not all bad, or even avoidable, but at some point it’s going to have to become a bigger part of the conversation when we talk about transit.

    Many people talk about the evils of sprawl, and would like to see more compact cities with higher density, but we’re literally creating cities now where only a select few can afford to live in the neighborhoods close to downtown with good transit options. All of the new TOD developments (except for the LGBT-friendly development announced today) have been on the pretty extreme high end for rents. That’s fine, and losing a car can help afford the increase, but that does automatically exclude a huge percentage of people right from the start, and telling those that are pushed to the fringes that they shouldn’t have moved to the fringes to begin with when they have to drive everywhere isn’t going to be a solution.

  • Fred

    It may or may not. More likely the new stations will just steal riders that are currently driving up to the Aurora or Rt 59 stations.

    The best part of extending into Kendall County will be that residents will have to start paying the RTA tax. Currently Kendall residents are benefiting from Metra without paying for it.

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