Discussing TIFs, Trump and Boneheaded Road Users on “Chicago Newsroom”

Yesterday I had the pleasure of joining veteran newsman Ken Davis on his CAN TV program “Chicago Newsroom” to discuss recent local and national transportation stories. We had a spirited conversation that threatened to become a heated debate when the question of whether lawbreaking cycling is a bigger problem than reckless driving came up. But overall it was a fun dialogue with an insightful interviewer. If you’re short on time, here are some of the highlights.

  • Carter O’Brien

    “Coming to a stop” includes not proceeding until the coast is clear! FFS…

  • what_eva

    did the police check his phone yet to see if he was texting?

  • kastigar

    ““What I heard was that there was a vehicle parked on the street that may
    have obstructed [Vasquez’s] view” of the of Noah and Rachel, the source
    said.”

    This is common, Intersections regularly have blocked views of the streets from trucks and SUVs parked near the intersection. Often any vehicle can be parked immediately adjacent to a crosswalk.

  • ohsweetnothing

    “In the wake of this tragedy, Alderman Arena and the Chicago Department of Transportation are planning to expedite plans for sidewalk bump-outs at this intersection, which will calm traffic and shorten pedestrian crossing distances. The project had previously been postponed due to opposition from drivers, on the grounds that the removal of rush hour parking restrictions on this stretch of Central to allow the bump-outs would delay motorists.”

    Anyone else noticing a fucked up pattern?

    Proposed safety improvement –> driver resentment –> foot dragging/delay –> serious injury/death –> safety improvement moves forward.

    Drivers and pedestrians are literally paying in blood to make it easier to navigate the non-motorized environment. Infuriating.

  • Carter O’Brien

    Wouldn’t surprise me. In one of the larger /facepalm moments I’ve had recently I found out that the letter of the law permits one to legally park right up to a crosswalk, not the solid striped line where traffic is required to stop, which would make more sense to me from a visibility POV.

    When I complained about an intersection near me that has visibility problems (exacerbated by people blowing through stop sign problems), our CAPS cop told me that the only solution is to request a physical standalone “No Parking” street sign for the corner through the alderman. So I did so, but that’s hardly a systems fix.

  • Carter O’Brien

    Actually, look at this image from the prior story here:

    http://chi.streetsblog.org/2016/11/14/driver-who-killed-noah-katz-2-in-jefferson-park-charged-with-misdemeanors/#comments

    The guy is turning left across Central to go south. I can’t even see how a car illegally parked *in* the crosswalk blocks that field of vision. There is no possible way a parked car blocks his view of people crossing the street, as they had to have already been over halfway across the street to be in the southbound lane the guy was turning on to.

  • Anne A

    I’ve had similar problems at intersections close to home, where large vans and behemoth SUVs park right up to the crosswalk, creating significant blind spots. Many of the people doing this are parked in front of their homes and do this every day.

  • dorcas84

    I live in this area and part of the problem with this intersection is that northbound traffic backs up at the light at Lawrence so that left turning vehicles can’t see the southbound traffic – which moves pretty fast. So they creep into the intersection with their eyes in the opposite direction of the crosswalk, waiting to floor the gas as soon as there is an opening. My guess is this guy was so fixated on the southbound traffic that he wasn’t looking at where he was going. :(

  • Guy Ross

    Can we simply have a ‘shall not impact another road user who is obeying all relevant aspect of the law’? As I write this, it is mind-blowing to again realize that this is not actually reality.

  • Carter O’Brien

    That sounds like a spot on assessment/really nicely articulated. Fully agree and I also routinely see this kind of behavior as drivers turn left from a dead stop/side street onto an arterial with traffic speeds varying drastically from one direction to another.

    At some point I think the City needs to think about minimizing left turns in general – we should learn from UPS (and I’m a southpaw!).

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