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Posts from the Streetsblog Chicago Category


Today’s Headlines

  • CMAP: Number of Miles Driven in Chicago Has Been Flat Over Last 15 Years (Crain’s)
  • Man Charged in DUI Crash That Killed Off-Duty Chicago Police Officer (WLS)
  • State Rep. Al Riley Opposes N. Red Line Transit TIF, Was S. Red Extension Built (eNews)
  • The Bike Bridge That Berny Banned Is Finally Going to Get Built (DNA)
  • Joe Cahill: Banning Driverless Cars in Chicago Is an “Utterly Dumb Idea” (Crain’s)
  • Some Boaters Wanter More Car Parking at Chicago River Boat Houses (Tribune)
  • Panel Discussion on “Have We Reached Peak Driving” Today at Northwestern U.
  • Show Your Support for Manor Greenway at Meeting 6:30 Tonight in Horner Park
  • Active Trans‘ Kickstand Classic Fundraiser Takes Place in Bartlett Sunday

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA


Today’s Headlines for Wednesday, September 21

  • Active Trans Heralds Chicago’s #1 Ranking in Bicycling Magazine
  • Why Won’t the Tribune Run Active Trans Letter Debunking Their Latest Anti-Bike Op-Ed?
  • Go Bronzeville’s Ronnie Harris Discusses Efforts to Improve Ped Safety With WBEZ
  • CTA Plans to Have Security Guard With Dog Patrol Red Line’s Belmont Stop (DNA)
  • Renting a Car in Chicago Involves Extra Hassles for Young Adults (RedEye)
  • Lots of Lane Closures on Lake Shore Drive This Month (DNA)
  • Cubs’ Ben Zobrist Rode His Bike to Saturday’s Game in Full Uniform (NBC)
  • This Saturday Families Invited to Camp on The 606 for Free, With Tents Provided (DNA)

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Talk Transportation During Go Bronzeville & Streetsblog Meetup at Baderbrau


Next month Go Bronzeville, a campaign to help Bronzeville residents take advantage of the many transportation choices in our city, is co-hosting our monthly reader meetup. This will likely be the start of a series of hangout sessions for Streetsblog Chicago readers and members of transportation advocacy groups and organizations in various parts of town.

The upcoming event takes place on Wednesday, October 5, 6-8 p.m. at Baderbrau, one of Chicago’s newest breweries, located at 25th and Wabash. Streetsblog’s meetups are always a great opportunity to hang out and network with folks who are passionate about sustainable transportation and livable streets. Here are the details:

Go Bronzeville / Streetsblog Meetup
Wednesday, October 5, 6-8 p.m. (probably somewhat later)
2515 S. Wabash, Chicago

Baderbrau is an 11-minute walk south from the Cermak-McCormick Place Green Line station. For a shorter walk, you can also access the brewery via several CTA bus routes. The nearest Divvy Station is at 26th and Indiana, by Mercy Hospital — from there it’s a 5-minute walk northwest to the taproom.

The brewery doesn’t serve food, but you’re welcome to bring your own.


The taproom has groovy artwork. Photo: Baderbrau

Hang out with Go Bronzeville’s Ronnie Mathew Harris and Streetsblog’s John Greenfield and Steven Vance, as well as Go Bronzeville members and Streetsblog readers. Come learn more about how Go Bronzeville is working to improve transportation options and equity in the neighborhood known as Chicago’s “Black Metropolis.” John and Steven look forward to getting updates on transportation issues in the area for possible coverage on the website.

RSVP for the event on Facebook if you like.

Streetsblog USA
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Highlights From Park(ing) Day Around the Globe

Today is Park(ing) Day — a day to demonstrate how scarce street space can do so much more than store parked cars. Around the world, people are setting up camp in parking spots and turning them into public spaces.

Here are some of the fun and creative installations we’ve come across on social media. Just for fun, vote for your favorite at the bottom.


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Today’s Headlines for Thursday, September 15

  • Council Approves Plan to Let 1.5M Drivers Contest Red Light Tickets (Sun-Times)
  • Driver Who Injured Girl, 11, in Chatham Charged With DUI, Hit-and-Run (Tribune)
  • Neighbors: Traffic Controls Needed on Vincennes Block Where Driver Struck Girl (CBS)
  • Driver Who Killed Norman David Esho Charged With Dunning Murder (DNA)
  • After Falling Concrete Injures Passenger, 3 Union Station Tracks Closed (Tribune)
  • Police: Teens Have Been Robbing People Near West Side Blue Line Stations (Sun-Times)
  • Beale & Burke Propose Ordinance Banning Self-Driving Cars (Chicagoist)
  • CTA Killjoys Ban Skateboarding Onboard ‘L’ Trains (CBS)
  • Celebrate International Day of Peace on 9/18 With Music, Processions on The 606
  • Illinois Bike Summit Takes Place This Monday in Bloomington-Normal

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Seattle Moves to Lower Neighborhood Speed Limits to 20 MPH

Image: City of Seattle

Image: City of Seattle

Seattle is getting serious about reducing the threat of lethal motor vehicle speeds.

The city is moving to lower speed limits on neighborhood streets from 25 mph to 20 mph later this year. On big arterial streets, the city will determine speed limits on a case-by-case basis, but the default will be reduced from 35 mph to 30 mph, and on downtown arterial streets it will be 25 mph.

Seattle DOT Director Scott Kubly and council members Mike O’Brien and Tim Burgess announced the proposal yesterday. The new rules need to be approved by the City Council.

Mayor Ed Murray promised to lower speed limits last year as part of Seattle’s Vision Zero initiative, which aims to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030. So far the city had been testing slow zones around schools. The blanket speed limit reduction would be much more comprehensive, affecting 2,400 miles of neighborhood streets.

The advocacy group Seattle Neighborhood Greenways led the campaign for lower speed limits, rounding up support from a variety of community groups. The city’s proposal is “really good,” Seattle Greenways policy director Gordon Padelford told Streetsblog.

Read more…

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McMansions Fading Away?

Just a few months ago we were being tolderroneously, in our view–that the McMansion was making a big comeback. Then, last week, there were a wave of stories lamenting the declining value of McMansions. Bloomberg published: “McMansions define ugly in a new way: They’re a bad investment –Shoddy construction, ostentatious design—and low resale values.”  The Chicago Tribune chimed in “The McMansion’s day has come and gone.” Whither are these monster homes headed?

Even “Downton Abbey” is past its heyday (Highclere Castle)

Even “Downton Abbey” is past its heyday (Highclere Castle)

First, as we’ve noted, its problematic to draw conclusions about the state of the McMansion business by looking at the share of newly built homes 4,000 feet or larger (one of the standard definitions of a McMansion). The problem is that in weak housing markets (such as what we’ve been experiencing for the better part of a decade in the wake of the collapse of the housing bubble) the demand for small homes falls far more than the demand for large, expensive ones. So the share of big homes increases (as does the measured median size of new homes). And indeed, that’s exactly what happened post–2007: the number of new smaller homes fell by 60 percent, while the number of new McMansions fell by only 43 percent, so the big homes were a bigger share (of a much smaller housing market).  Several otherwise quite numerate reports gullibly treated this increased market share as evidence of a rebound in the McMansion market; it isn’t.

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Today’s Headlines for Tuesday, September 13

  • Aldermen Approve Plan to Correct “Procedural Errors” With Red Light Tickets (Sun-Times)
  • Bridgeport Alliance Releases Video on the Struggle to Win 31st Street Bus Pilot (DNA)
  • RTA-Funded Study Suggests Evanston Could Relax Parking Requirements at TODs (Tribune)
  • The Tribune Looks at the Argyle Shared Street’s Learning Curve
  • Kamin Looks at Riverline Development’s Potential to Boost Riverfront Access (Tribune)
  • Dodge Protected Bike Lanes Debated at Evanston City Meeting (CBS)
  • Work on Final Segment of North Branch Trail Extension Is Underway (DNA)
  • Don’t Stop Believing: These Jukeboxes Will Help You With Your Car-Free Journey (DNA)
  • How Not to Be a “Backpack-Wielding Ass-Hat” on the CTA (RedEye)
  • Working Bikes Anniversary Party & Fundraiser October 25 at Lagunitas Brewery

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How Unrepresentative Is Your Regional Planning Agency?

Do the people who make transportation funding decisions in your region represent the people who actually live in your region?

The Texas Department of Transportation isn't exactly a model of diversity either. Image: Jay Crossley

Who makes decisions at the Texas Department of Transportation? These guys (and one woman). Image: Jay Crossley

After sitting through dozens of meetings presided over by a legion of white men, Texas transportation reformer Jay Crossley wanted to find out. He recently released the first phase of a report on the Austin region’s Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, examining how representative its decision-making boards are in terms of gender, race, and geography [PDF]. (Disclosure: The report was crowdfunded and some Streetsblog staff contributed.)

Crossley found that women, people of color, and urban residents are significantly underrepresented at CAMPO — with potentially profound consequences for transportation policy.

Here’s a visualization of how people of color are underrepresented on CAMPO’s most important decision-making bodies — the Technical Advisory Council and Transportation Policy Board — relative to “the people of CAMPO” (i.e. resident of the entire region):

Read more…


Today’s Headlines for Thursday, September 8

  • Vista, Chicago’s 3rd-Tallest Building Officially Breaks Ground (Curbed)
  • Concerned About Gas Prices, Public & Commercial Fleets Explore Alternatives (Tribune)
  • O’Hare Bound Blue Line Trains Won’t Stop at Harlem for Two Weeks (DNA)
  • $1.5M Metra Rail Tie Replacement Project Starts in Hinsdale Saturday (Patch)
  • 35-Year-Old Man Critically Injured After Crashing Car Into Building on NW Side (Tribune)
  • Ramirez-Rosa Is Combining Several Residential Parking Zones in the 35th Ward (DNA)
  • Ravinia-esque Music Venue Proposed for Douglas Park (DNA)
  • Lots of Events on the Lakefront Trail This Month (Active Trans)
  • David Barish Tells a Story About Being Doored This Sunday at “That’s All She Wrote
  • CTA Hearing on Proposed Transit TIF for RPM Next Tuesday at DePaul (Active Trans)
  • Chicago Perimeter Ride Leaves From Buckingham Fountain on 10/1 at 9 AM

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA