Today’s Headlines

  • Chiberia II Causes Metra Delays, Havoc on Some Local Roads (Tribune)
  • Teen Who Killed Elderly Niles Pedestrian Charged With DUI  (Suburban Chicago)
  • Driver Who Intentionally Struck Bike Tour Group Gets 5 Years (Kevenides)
  • Opinion: New Metra Safety Technology Is Overdue (Sun-Times)
  • Ex-Metra Police Chief Says Scathing Report Is Unfair (NBC)
  • CTA Has Doubled Its Hiring of Veterans (CBJ)
  • As Driving Declines, More People Are Choosing Transit (Progress Illinois)
  • Homeless Seeking Shelter Draw Complaints From Other CTA Passengers (Depaulia)
  • Talking With Business Owners About Bike Lanes (Columbia Chronicle)
  • Edison Park Residents Whine About Parking Meter Enforcement (BGA)
  • Sick of the Cold? Go Urban Spelunking With This Interactive Pedway Map (DNA)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • CL

    It’s going to be -15 tonight. It’s fine with me if homeless people want to sleep on the CTA. This is an emergency situation.

    I’ve encountered soiled cars this winter, and it’s disgusting, but this happens because we don’t provide public restrooms. There should be self-cleaning restrooms in the CTA stations — I understand the CTA’s reluctance to provide them, but we can either deal with restrooms or deal with people using the train cars, where we sit down.

  • Joseph Musco

    Who will excuse us before God for the loss of such a great number of people, who could be saved by the slight assistance we could give them? – St. Vincent de Paul

    Charity is the cement which binds Communities to God and persons to one another . . – St. Vincent de Paul

    [I]n the kingdom of charity, one prefers to suffer some inconvenience rather than inconvenience the neighbor. – St. Vincent de Paul

    We cannot better assure our eternal happiness than by living and dying in the service of the poor… – St. Vincent de Paul

    On the $33 million in city TIF funds going to a new DePaul basketball arena during a time of social service cuts, “If anything, DePaul has been generous to Chicago,” – DePaul president Dennis Holtschneider

  • Alex_H

    What is a self-cleaning restroom? (Genuine question, not snark!)

  • CL

    It’s what it sounds like — it’s designed for cleaning fluids to be released like a touch-less car wash (when nobody is inside), or for robotic arms to clean — basically cleaning that happens without humans. I’ve never seen one in person, but if you google it you can see examples in other cities.

  • BlueFairlane

    I used one outside Coit Tower in San Francisco. They’re pretty nifty.

  • Kevin M

    I, too, am fine with homeless people taking refuge on CTA trains or buses. We should be doing much more for these people.

    I’m not a fan of self-cleaning bathrooms. I tried one in Tornoto and it was malfunctioning. I’ve got to imagine they cost a ton of money. What would work well, I think is a regular bathroom located near a station’s headhouse (where there are staff) that required 50 cents to enter. The nominal fee could be used towards supplies & maintenance. Though it may not entirely cover the cost, it would deter people from wrecking the bathroom. If they have to pay for it, they’re likely to use & respect it.

  • BlueFairlane

    That would defeat the purpose. Homeless people who take refuge on the train have no money. I doubt when faced with the choice of relieving themselves in a rest room for 50 cents or on a train for free, they’ll choose the rest room.

  • It would be great to look at other cities with a large homeless population and see how they deal with this issue. The Tokyo subway system seems to have fairly nice, free restrooms at every station, but the dynamics are pretty different over there, so perhaps it’s not a useful best practice.

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    Pay toilets were common in Chicago up until the 1970s when they were made illegal. I just think public restrooms at CTA locations would for the most part become refuges for homeless and less desirable individuals. For years, public restrooms at city beaches were known as hangouts for hookups. Anyway, one only has to take a deep breath on a hot day at any of the red line stations north of Addison to get know its not only the trains that are used as restrooms.

  • Guest

    The state of CTA railcars has been deteriorating rapidly. I have a hard time believing that that much trash accumulates between 95th st. terminal and 35th street every day, but I keep getting on at 35th and being astounded. I don’t think they are actually cleaning them between runs.