Today’s Headlines

  • Cop Who Allegedly Struck Cyclist While Drunk & Fled Acquitted of Felonies (DNA)
  • 2 Dead, 1 Injured in Hoffman Estates Crash (Tribune)
  • Head-on Collision in Antioch Kills 1, Injures 2 Hurt (Tribune)
  • Woman Fleeing Domestic Dispute Crashes Van, Injuring Herself & 3 Others (DNA)
  • Man Runs Over Girlfriend’s Leg With SUV During Dispute (DNA)
  • Several ‘L’ Lines Delayed Friday After Minor Derailment (CBS)
  • Neighbors Grill Smith at Meeting on CMH Development (Sun-Times)
  • O’Connor Nixes Proposal to Make Stretch of Argyle 2-Way (Reader)
  • Metra Woes Blamed on Antique Rail Switches (Sun-Times)
  • Chicago Stolen Bike Registry: More Than 1,100 Ganked in 2013 (RedEye)
  • How I Decide Whether to Ride My Bike During the Winter (Tiny Fix)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • duppie

    That O’Connor story is a great read about how Chicago politics really works. Worth the read.

  • CL

    Friday’s commute from Evanston was a disaster (due to the situation mentioned in the 6th article). Around 5:30 they made an announcement that we should “take alternate transportation” because of the power outage at Howard. So everyone went to the bus stops, where we waited for 20 minutes in ~5 degree brutal cold. I managed to get on a bus, but the bus had to turn other people away because there wasn’t enough space — and more people kept coming as they were turned away from the train. The bus took forever because at every stop, we had to yell at the people in the back to make room for a long line of people waiting to get on. For some reason it always takes forever for people to get the message and move back. Then, we were stuck in horrible traffic because a CTA bus hit a Pace paratransit van in Rogers Park, and emergency vehicles were blocking the road.

    We saw that they were actually running purple trains around 5:50, and some people were angry that they had been told to leave. But 15 minutes later, I saw on my phone that a purple train had derailed, meaning that we dodged a bullet by taking the bus. The people on that train, and on other purple trains, were stuck for two hours.

    I took the bus to Sheridan and walked 20 minutes, getting home at 7:10 p.m. — but it could have been worse.

    Also, I really miss driving my car.

  • Mishellie

    I had a similar morning once on the blue line when there was that fire on the rail near… IDK somwhere. Only they didn’t tell us anything. The platform was beyond packed, people were lining up at the top of the stairs at the Logan station, the train tracker just said “delayed” and they didn’t make any announcements. Luckily, I decided to just give up and get on a bus. I managed to squeeze on, but it took me 2 hours to get to work near Chicago and Michigan. At several of the bus stops, not only was there the “move back” issue, there were people swearing and screaming at the bus driver because there was no room for them to get on and no alternates available. Even cabs aren’t super available in Logan Square in the morning. I will say that the bus driver thought pretty quickly in that she reaized that no one had need of the handicap seating and had people fold all of it up to create more space. But it was an absolute nightmare. I miss my bike SO VERY MUCH this winter, but am simply not hardcore enough to do it in the cold. I missed it the most that day.

  • One thing that’s not mentioned is that making Argyle two-way would calm traffic by making it a “skinny street”:

    It’s also not necessarily the case that making Argyle two-way would significantly increase traffic volume. The street dead-ends a block east of the new building at Argyle and Wolcott, so it’s not like it’s going to turn into a major thoroughfare: Joravsky is a crucial Chicago muckraker, but transportation issues are not his forte.

  • CL

    Yes, it was exactly like that. It shows how essential the L has become, that when people unexpectedly can’t take the train, there are huge problems.

    We need some kind of mass public education about moving back etiquette when people are trying to board a bus in extremely cold weather. People in the back were saying “There’s no room” when there was clearly room — they just didn’t want other people in their personal space. The people in the front were packed together, while the people in the back were refusing to do the same thing.

    Although in their defense, it’s awkward to be the first person to decide “okay we need to stand closer together” and move to be really close to the person behind you.

  • ohsweetnothing

    Really? I think it just shows that Joravsky has added “traffic engineering” to the list of topics he feigns knowledge about. And he clearly understands that about as much as he understands “redistribution” and TIF.

  • duppie

    The comment wasn’t about Argyle per se, but about the redrafting and, doing favors to voters.

    Why do you think Osterman increased fines for bicycling on the sidewalk on Sheridan? Not because it was an issue. Because a full one-third of the 48th ward residents live on that one mile stretch of Sheridan Road and he needs to secure that vote.

    Same with O’Connor. Now he looks like someone who listens to his residents.

  • Mishellie

    Seriously. Into the middle of the trains. Into the back of the busses. Move people. And if you don’t want to walk on the escalator that’s fine but stay to the right. Not to the left. Or in the freaking center.

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    A lot of senior citizens live on Sheridan Road from Hollywood to Devon. The lakefront bike trail dumps out there at Hollywood and too many people were using the sidewalks as a continuation of the bike trail.

    One of the first striped bike lanes in the city was on Kenmore one block west. You’re telling me you can’t go one block west to a much “calmer street”?

  • “Also, I really miss driving my car.”

    Not a comment on your situation, but this statement made me think of something a legislator said this morning at the Illinois House mass transit committee hearing.

    Rep. Jeanne Ives (42nd-R-Wheaton): If there’s a storm, we take the train. I don’t trust the roads, I trust the railroad. How did we get $9.7 billion [for a state of good repair] behind?

  • CL

    It’s a good point — Chicago has a lot of winter-related accidents every year. Investing in transit makes even more sense in cities with harsh winters.