Today’s Headlines

  • Rahm: I’m Happy Speed Cams Are Working, Not Worried About Cash (Sun-Times, DNA)
  • City Plans to Repave 333 Miles of Roads in Wake of Brutal Winter (DNA)
  • City Council Subpoenas Insurance Records From Three Ride-Share Companies (Tribune)
  • Off-Duty Chicago Cop Killed When Suburban Police Chase Ends in Crash (Tribune, DNA)
  • DUI Charges Filed Against Wrong-Way Skyway Driver (Tribune)
  • Statistics Geeks Rejoice! Divvy Data Explorer Is in Effect (Transitized)
  • More Coverage of the Growing Popularity of Helmet Cams (WGN)
  • Ex-Architect Opens “Non-Snobbish” Bike Shop in Evanston (Medill)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • David Altenburg

    Is it possible to get a list of the planned repavements? I assume by the time a FOIA request came through, most would already be paved.

  • duppie

    Can we vote on the Divvy Data Challenge? I think Shaun should win. The tools he creates are informative, interactive and great looking. Well done, sir!

  • CL

    I don’t know, I have a feeling the FOIA will come through long before they finish

  • CL

    Wow, the story about the police car chase that resulted in a death is horrible. We have to wait to see if there was another reason the driver fled, but it sounds like a young driver panicked because they had weed in the car — now someone is dead and the driver has the death of a Chicago police officer on her hands forever.

  • Monk E. Sea

    Sounds like we have a Gov V. Gov race on our hands! Who will cross the red tape finish line first?

  • cjlane

    Saw a list of (some?/all? of) the ‘added’ projects somewhere on the web (trib? ST?). And I think that most of the other major pieces are on the CDOT/City website somewhere–might have to dig thru aldermanic sites, too. Water dept related repaving would be findable thru the planeed water/sewr main replacements, which can be found on Water dept site + aldermen again.

    The gas line replacement related paving would probably require talking to peoples gas.

  • Matt F


    have you guys seen this:

    A Lyft driver was ticketed and had his car impounded for driving a Lyft car.

    You should reach out, it seems like a big deal.

  • No Ur Fax

    That guy was not following Lyft rules or his lying. He is a criminal.

  • Kevin M

    RE: City Plans to Repave 333 Miles of Roads

    Will SB-Chi investigate the cost effect of Chicago’s long-standing approach to paving roads on top of iron streetcar lines instead of tearing out the tracks and re-building the roads from the foundation up? Do Chicago’s streets need resurfacing more often due to having streetcar tracks underneath?

  • Interesting idea — how about a guest post?

  • BlueFairlane

    While I have no facts or legitimate knowledge, this is one of those questions that tempts me down a path of random speculation. My gut answer is to say I can think of two reasons why streets paved over old rail might wear more quickly, but that ultimately I don’t think it makes much difference.

    One possible effect of paving over rails, depending on how they fill the space around the rail to create a smooth paving surface, is that there may be small voids left next to the metal. If drainage is sub-par, these voids might hold water and either increase in size, undercutting the pavement, or do the free-thaw/salt expansion thing.

    The other effect owes to the fact that asphalt isn’t so much a solid as an extremely viscous liquid. It flows very slowly, but over time the lower friction over the rails might allow it to flow more quickly along that surface. Alternately, movement over the metal edge of the rail might cause more wear on the asphalt’s lower surface. But I’m no engineer, so these are just guesses.

    I think the larger issue with Chicago is that the sheer size of the city means the city is far more likely to patch asphalt than to repave. Every time you poke a hole in the paved surface, you create a small void where water can pass. There’s very little way to patch it well enough to prevent this. This creates a weakness which freeze-thaw cycles quickly exploit. Add to this the sheer volume of salt we pour on the streets. The salt disolves and flows into the cracks, then precipitates out as water evaporates and expands, increasing the cycle. This will automatically be worse in a winter like the one we just had.

    I’m just speculating, though. You got me thinking.