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Posts from the "Streetsblog Chicago" Category

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Today’s Headlines

  • Mayor Touts Infra Projects of 1st Term, Promises to Grow Divvy to 6K Bikes in 2nd (Sun-Times)
  • CTA Inking $32.5 Million Deal With Wireless Providers to Provide 4G Service in Subways (Tribune)
  • Metra Riders Discuss System Improvements They Want to See in the Wake of Fare Hikes (Herald)
  • Man Dies From Injuries 5 Years After Being Struck in Portage Park (Sun-Times)
  • Driver Crashes Into Corner of House in Washington Heights (DNA)
  • Emanuel Open to Adding Ped Countdown Signals at Intersections With Red Light Cams (Tribune)
  • Mayor’s Motorcade Has Run Red Lights 5 Times Since November (Expired Meter)
  • Loop Train Lines Will Be Rerouted for Construction Work This Weekend (DNA)
  • Chicago to Indianapolis Amtrak Service Extended for Another 2 Months (Sun-Times)
  • DNA Looks at The Campaign to Add a Sidewalk on 130th by Rosebud Farm Stand

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA


Due to a funding shortfall, Streetsblog Chicago has suspended publication of orginal articles. Please see Streetsblog Editor-in-Chief Ben Fried’s message about the hiatus, and my post about the effort the revive the site via local fundraising. In the meantime, I will continue to produce Today’s Headlines as a service to readers.

If you would like to see Streetsblog Chicago return to daily reporting on sustainable transportation and livable streets issues, please consider making a contribution to the Streetsblog Chicago Resurrection Fund. Donations are not tax-deductible at this point, but all donors will receive an email stating that their money will be returned if daily publication of original articles has not resumed by April 8, three months from the start of the hiatus.

Feel free to contact me at greenfieldjohn[at]hotmail.com or 312-560-3966 for more info about how your donation will be used, or to discuss ideas for other possible funding sources. Stay tuned for updates on the fundraising effort via the Streetsblog Chicago Facebook and Twitter accounts, and occasional posts on the website. Thanks for your support!

- John

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Today’s Headlines

  • CDOT Releases 2014 Bikeway Report, Plans to Extend Vincennes & Milwaukee PBLs This Spring
  • 43rd Ward Candidates Respond to Questions About Walking, Biking, and Transit (BWLP)
  • Amtrak Kicks in $12 Million for Union Station Work. Does This Mean No More Leaky Ceilings? (Sun-Times)
  • DUI Crackdowns Planned for Bridgeport & Gresham — Which Had 2 fatal Crashes in 1 Week (DNA)
  • Opinion: Transportation Upgrades Would be a Benefit of Locating Obama Library in Lawndale (Crain’s)
  • Transport Notes Checks Out the CTA’s New Battery Electric Buses
  • Anti-Cam Candidate Pete DeMay Put 10,000 Fake Parking Tickets on SW Side Windshields (DNA)
  • Michael Withers Biked 267 Miles in a Week to Win Active Trans‘ Roll the Cold Challenge Crown
  • Ridiculous, Kickstarter-Funded “Squirrel Truth” Ads Debut on the CTA (RedEye)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA


Due to a funding shortfall, Streetsblog Chicago has suspended publication of orginal articles. Please see Streetsblog Editor-in-Chief Ben Fried’s message about the hiatus, and my post about the effort the revive the site via local fundraising. In the meantime, I will continue to produce Today’s Headlines as a service to readers.

If you would like to see Streetsblog Chicago return to daily reporting on sustainable transportation and livable streets issues, please consider making a contribution to the Streetsblog Chicago Resurrection Fund. Donations are not tax-deductible at this point, but all donors will receive an email stating that their money will be returned if daily publication of original articles has not resumed by April 8, three months from the start of the hiatus.

Feel free to contact me at greenfieldjohn[at]hotmail.com or 312-560-3966 for more info about how your donation will be used, or to discuss ideas for other possible funding sources. Stay tuned for updates on the fundraising effort via the Streetsblog Chicago Facebook and Twitter accounts, and occasional posts on the website. Thanks for your support!

- John

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Hope to See You at Tomorrow’s Pedway Pub Stroll, Benefitting SBC

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Steven Vance took the above photo of the Pedway’s stained glass gallery while we were reconnoitering the route.

Our friends at Moxie Chicago put together this nifty flyer for tomorrow’s Pedway tour and tavern crawl, a benefit for the Streetsblog Chicago Resurrection Fund. We’re expecting a good crowd for the event, and we hope to hang out with plenty of SBC readers there. Thanks for your support!

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Today’s Headlines

  • MPC‘s MarySue Barrett Shares Her Experience Co-Shairing Rauner’s Infrastructure Committee
  • Suburban Republican Introduces Yet Another State Bill to Ban Red Light Cams (Herald)
  • Driver Killed in Auburn Gresham Collision, the Neighborhood’s 2nd Fatal Crash This Week (Sun-Times)
  • Trucker Injured After Crashing Into Bedford Park Power Lines, Dozens of Homes Lose Power (Tribune)
  • Families Impacted by Fatal Crash on I-88 Want Stiffer Penalties for Driver (NBC)
  • Mechanical Problems Caused Metra to Cancel 2 Trains This Morning (Tribune)
  • RTA Launches Clever Ad Campaign to Encourage Transit Use (Tattler)
  • Berwyn ‘L’ Stop Gets a Colorful New Tile Mural (DNA)
  • An In-Depth Look at CDOT’s Abandoned Bike Removal Process (DNA)
  • Local Messenger Nico Departago-Cabrera Races a Chicago Cabbie in a Red Bull Ad
  • Successful Kickstarter Campaign Means Artist Can Continue Doing Creative Pothole Fixes (DNA)
  • “Kiddie Cartage” Seminar on Family Biking 7 PM Tonight at Green Machine Cycles (DNA)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA


Due to a funding shortfall, Streetsblog Chicago has suspended publication of orginal articles. Please see Streetsblog Editor-in-Chief Ben Fried’s message about the hiatus, and my post about the effort the revive the site via local fundraising. In the meantime, I will continue to produce Today’s Headlines as a service to readers.

If you would like to see Streetsblog Chicago return to daily reporting on sustainable transportation and livable streets issues, please consider making a contribution to the Streetsblog Chicago Resurrection Fund. Donations are not tax-deductible at this point, but all donors will receive an email stating that their money will be returned if daily publication of original articles has not resumed by April 8, three months from the start of the hiatus.

Feel free to contact me at greenfieldjohn[at]hotmail.com or 312-560-3966 for more info about how your donation will be used, or to discuss ideas for other possible funding sources. Stay tuned for updates on the fundraising effort via the Streetsblog Chicago Facebook and Twitter accounts, and occasional posts on the website. Thanks for your support!

- John

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Join Us Thursday for a Pedway Pub Crawl to Benefit for Streetsblog Chicago

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The Metra platform at Millennium Station. Photo: John Greenfield

Thanks so much to all of the generous readers who have already donated to the Streetsblog Chicago Resurrection Fund, and thanks for all the words of encouragement as we work to reboot the site. Fundraising is moving along at a steady pace, and I’m cautiously optimistic that we’ll be able to return to daily publication of original articles by the April 8 deadline.

To help with the revival effort, our friends over at Moxie Chicago, a meetup group for LGBTQA urban policy and planning professionals, have organized Exploring Winter Walkways: A Chicago Pedway Tour and Bar Crawl as a fundraiser for SBC. The Active Transportation Alliance, the region’s longtime advocacy group for better conditions for walking, biking, and transit, is co-hosting. People of all orientations are encouraged to attend.

As a longtime fan of this interesting and comfy way to navigate the Loop, I’ll be leading the excursion, which meets this Thursday, January 29, at 5:30 p.m. at Infield’s bar. This watering hole is located in the basement of the old Marshall Field’s building, now Macy’s, at 111 North State.  Streetsblog deputy editor Steven Vance will also be on hand to answer your questions about the website reboot.

A $10 admission charge will go towards the SBC Resurrection Fund, and there will also be a raffle for a Divvy bike-share membership, a gift certificate to Houlihan’s tavern (our pub stroll destination), t-shirts from Slow Roll Chicago, copies of my book Bars Across America, and other schwag. In addition, Alt-Cycle Shop has generously offered a challenge grant. If attendees donate an additional $100 in contributions to the SBC war chest, the shop will match the gifts with a Franklin.

After a quick drink at Infield’s the group will depart at 6 p.m. for a stroll through the Pedway, an overlooked layer of the Chicago’s sustainable transportation network. The system includes below-ground tunnels, street-level concourses and overhead skyways, covering about five miles and connects over forty city blocks. For more background on the Pedway, here’s an article I wrote on the subject a few years ago.

Along the way we’ll see numerous retail and dining establishments, take a peek at an indoor pool, pass by a couple of inviting spas, and get an interesting view of one of Chicago’s prettiest green spaces. We’ll end up at Houlihan’s, 111 E. Wacker, known for its old-timey décor and tropical fishtanks, around 7 p.m. Stick around for more drinks, food (available for purchase) and socializing. At the end of the evening, I’ll lead a group back to State and Randolph via a different Pedway route.

Thanks a million to Moxie, Active Trans, Divvy, Houlihan’s, Slow Roll, and Alt-Cycle for helping make this event happen. And thanks to you, our loyal readers, for your continuing support of our effort to re-launch Streetsblog Chicago.

- John

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Today’s Headlines

  • Driver Fatally Strikes 12-Year-Old Boy in Elgin (Tribune)
  • Man Who Killed Musician in Wrong-Way Crash on I-290 Charged With DUI (Sun-Times)
  • Hit-and-Run SUV Driver Seriously Injures Crossing Guard in West Pullman (ABC)
  • Uber Driver Charged With Kidnapping, Sexually Assaulting Passenger (DNA)
  • Motorist Falls Into Chicago River Following Crash on Congress Parkway Bridge (Tribune)
  • DUI Strike Force Patrols in Jefferson Park This Weekend (DNA)
  • City Gets 1,800 Applications for Shared-Cost Sidewalk Repair Program (DNA)
  • Outpouring of Support for Sick Girl After Her Nurse’s Car Was Trashed by Dibs Thugs (DNA)
  • Roll the Cold Winter Biking Challenge Is Doubling as a Fundraiser for Active Trans (RedEye)
  • Ordinance Against Valet Parking in Tow Zones Moves Forwards in Committee (Sun-Times)
  • A Hoosier Tries Out Divvy, Likes It (Elkhart Truth)
  • Ex-Postman Is on a Mission to Make Sure Chicago’s Street Signs Are Correct (Sun-Times)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA




Due to a funding shortfall, Streetsblog Chicago has suspended publication of orginal articles. Please see Streetsblog Editor-in-Chief Ben Fried’s message about the hiatus, and my post about the effort the revive the site via local fundraising. In the meantime, I will continue to produce Today’s Headlines as a service to readers.

If you would like to see Streetsblog Chicago return to daily reporting on sustainable transportation and livable streets issues, please consider making a contribution to the Streetsblog Chicago Resurrection Fund. Donations are not tax-deductible at this point, but all donors will receive an email stating that their money will be returned if daily publication of original articles has not resumed by April 8, three months from the start of the hiatus.

Feel free to contact me at greenfieldjohn[at]hotmail.com or 312-560-3966 for more info about how your donation will be used, or to discuss ideas for other possible funding sources. Stay tuned for updates on the fundraising effort via the Streetsblog Chicago Facebook and Twitter accounts, and occasional posts on the website. Thanks for your support!

- John

45 Comments

So Long for Now, But Hopefully Not for Long

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Last night, Steven and John celebrated the achievements of the last two years with a dinner at La Zacatecana, where we hatched the plan for our original blog Grid Chicago back in 2011.

Over the past two years, Steven Vance and I had the privilege and pleasure of bringing you the latest in sustainable transportation and livable streets news via Streetsblog Chicago. It’s been fascinating to track the exciting developments taking place in our region during that time, from bus rapid transit, to Divvy bike-share, to the Bloomingdale Trail. It’s also been satisfying to serve as advocates and watchdogs, whether it’s alerting the Chicago Department of Transportation about faulty crosswalk signage, or raising awareness of the folly of the $1 billion-plus Illiana Tollway boondoggle.

We’re thankful to editor-in-chief Ben Fried and the rest of the Streetsblog staff for mentorship that has helped Steven and me hone our journalist skills. We’ve appreciated the contributions of talented freelancers, including Anne Alt, Lorena Cupcake, Justin Haugens, Eboni Hawkins, Daniel Hertz, Shaun Jacobsen, Melissa Manak, Papanek, Lisa Phillips, James Porter, Oboi Reed, and Daniel Ronan. We’ve especially enjoyed getting to know you, our readers, through your thoughtful comments on the site, and at several meet-ups at drinking establishments around town.

While Streetsblog Chicago will be going on hiatus after today, I will be working hard in the coming weeks to raise funds to resurrect the site. We’ve already gotten feedback from local transportation and planning leaders who want to see the site return. I know that thousands of readers value Streetsblog’s unique perspective on walking, biking, and transit issues, which you can’t get from any other local news source.

As Ben wrote earlier today, the Streetsblog Los Angeles model proves that it’s possibly to have a thriving, locally funded transportation news website — I’m sure LA editor Damien Newton’s advice will be invaluable as I take steps to revive the Chicago site. I’m optimistic that grant money will be available to help resume Windy City publication.


However, Streetsblog Chicago is also going to need support from readers to pull this off. If you’ve come to depend on the site to stay informed about the latest efforts to make our city a better place to walk, bike, and ride transit, please consider making a contribution to the Streetsblog Chicago Resurrection Fund. Donations are not tax-deductible at this point, but all donors will get a receipt stating that their money will be returned if daily publication has not resumed by April 8, three months from now.

Please feel free to contact me at greenfieldjohn[at]hotmail.com or 312-560-3966 for more info about how your donation will be used, or to discuss ideas for other possible funding sources. Stay tuned for updates on the fundraising effort via the Streetsblog Chicago Facebook and Twitter accounts, and occasional posts on the website.

While the site is on hiatus, Steven will be writing about transportation and urban planning on his longtime blog Steven Can Plan. Be sure to check out his many other online projects, including Chicago Cityscape, the Chicago Bike Guide, Lakefront Trail Conditions, the Chicago Crash Browser, and Close Calls. I’ll continue to write Newcity magazine’s Checkerboard City transportation column, and will likely freelance for various local and national publications, while Streetsblog Chicago is dormant.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for your support. Until Streetsblog Chicago rides again, may your trains and buses always run on time, may your bicycle keep its rubber side down, and may your shoe soles remain free of holes.

- John

39 Comments

Streetsblog Chicago Is Going Into Hibernation – Here’s How You Can Revive It

Update: This post is getting shared a lot — if you’ve landed here, make sure to read John Greenfield’s follow-up post about his Streetsblog Chicago resurrection plan. You can contact John at greenfieldjohn[at]hotmail.com or 312-560-3966 to learn how you can help revive the site.

Just about two years ago, we ran the first post ever on Streetsblog Chicago. Since then, John Greenfield, Steven Vance, and a big roster of contributors have made this site a must-read for people interested in transportation, planning, and livable streets in Chicagoland.

So it’s painful to make this announcement: After coming up short on our Chicago fundraising needs in 2014, OpenPlans can no longer provide financial support for Streetsblog Chicago, and we are suspending publication as of today.

Before I get into the nuts and bolts of what comes next, first let me say that John and Steven delivered the goods. From the earliest storylines about Ashland BRT and IDOT’s protected bike lane ban right up through Oboi Reed’s powerful piece yesterday about the need to provide better bike resources in the city’s black communities, Streetsblog Chicago made an impact on public policy and became a place where people who care about safe streets and effective transit can share ideas.

Where else could you read the inside scoop on the regional planning disaster known as the Illiana Tollway, or a thorough debunking of the Tribune’s vendetta against automated traffic enforcement, or fine-grained coverage of street safety hazards that immediately gets the attention of city officials?

There’s just as much need for Streetsblog Chicago today as there was two years ago, and I wish we could keep the current incarnation of the site up and running. But like many other media outlets, Streetsblog is still figuring out how to build a financially sustainable operating model. The way we were trying to do things in Chicago — with editorial guidance and a fundraising team based on the East Coast — wasn’t working.

The good news is that there’s more than one way to run a Streetsblog.

Four years ago, Streetsblog Los Angeles was in an identical position. After OpenPlans ceased to house the site, editor Damien Newton got to work raising funds for a new non-profit and pulled off a successful revival. Today Streetsblog LA is bigger and more widely read than ever.

Going forward, John Greenfield will be leading the effort to breathe Streetsblog Chicago back to life. This will be challenging and there are no guarantees. Reviving the site from hibernation depends on whether the Chicago community comes together to support it. I know that many people value the work Streetsblog Chicago has produced, and that the site yields tremendous bang for the buck. I’m optimistic that John will pull it off.

Speaking of which, OpenPlans will be channeling every donation we received for Streetsblog Chicago since the beginning of October to John’s new effort. Stay tuned for a message from him about how you can get involved.

Thanks for reading, Chicago. I’ll be rooting for you all the way.

Update

Thanks for everyone’s interest in keeping Streetsblog Chicago going and for the questions about what it takes to run a site like this. Here’s the deal…

Read more…

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Today’s Headlines

  • RTA Chief Proposes RTA Should Have Veto Power Over Transit Agencies’ Budgets (Sun-Times)
  • Blankenhorn Explains Why Commuting in Chicago Is Such a Drag (Chicago Mag)
  • U. of C’s Obama Library Plan Includes Protected Bike Lanes on Stony Island (Sun-Times)
  • Signal Problems Near Belmont Causing CTA Delays (DNA)
  • BNSF Service Disrupted by Switch Problems (Sun-Times)
  • Former Chicago Bear Edward Dyko Killed by Hit-and-Run Driver While Cycling (NBC)
  • Police Ticket 84-Year-Old SUV Driver Who Critically Injured Teen in Chinatown (DNA)
  • Woman Rescues Man Who Fell Onto the Pink Line Tracks in Pilsen (DNA)
  • Developer Pays $9 Million for a Parking Lot, Plans to Use It as Parking for Now (Crain’s)
  • Kevenides‘ Tips for Staying Safe & Legal While Biking on Snowy Winter Roads
  • What Was the Mysterious Black Liquid That Flooded Union Station? (Sun-Times)
  • With a Low of -4 Degrees, Today’s a Great Day to Join Active Trans‘ Roll the Cold Challenge!

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

Streetsblog USA No Comments

Can Seattle Stop Its Highway Tunnel Boondoggle Before It’s Too Late?

Is it too late for Bertha? Photo: WsDOT

Seattle and the state of Washington have a window of opportunity to stop throwing good money after bad. Photo: WsDOT

It’s been one year since the world’s largest tunnel boring machine, “Bertha,” got stuck 120 feet beneath Seattle. Before it broke down, the colossal machine had excavated just 1,000 feet of the two-mile tube that’s supposed to house a new, $3.1 billion underground highway to replace an aging elevated road called the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

Bertha hasn’t budged an inch in the 12 months since. Meanwhile, the bad news keeps on piling up.

Right now, the state’s contractor is busy building a second tunnel down to the machine, so that parts can be removed, repaired, and replaced. In order to keep the second tunnel dry, construction crews have been draining the water table. This work has dangerously destabilized the very elevated highway the tunnel is supposed to replace, and one of the city’s historic neighborhoods — Pioneer Square — is actually sinking as well.

As David Roberts detailed in a recent Grist story, the project could impose billions of dollars in cost overruns on the public. Nobody is certain the machine can be fixed, or if it does get fixed, whether the same problem won’t occur again, farther down its path. In December, the deep-bore tunnel ran away with the voting for Streetsblog’s “Highway Boondoggle of the Year” award.

If there’s anything positive to emerge from the current mess, it’s that local advocates like Cary Moon, who warned against building the tunnel in the first place, are commanding attention again. Moon recently took to the pages of the local alt-weekly, the Stranger, to argue that in light of the tunnel project’s spectacular, slow-motion meltdown, the city should explore other options.

We reached out to her to learn more.

This is a pretty big disaster, it sounds like.

This project identified a lot of risks at the beginning of the process, but the political commitment to it was already high enough at that point that no one really paid that much attention, except for several of us.

They treated us like we were gadflies instead of pointing out honestly and clearly what was probably going to happen. It’s frustrating because all this was known then but no one was listening.

Read more…