Today’s Headlines

  • Orseno: Metra Fare Increases a Possibility for Next Year (Sun-Times)
  • Driver Fatally Strikes Cyclist in Garfield Ridge (DNA)
  • 2 Men Held on $1 Million Bail Each After Police Chase Ends in Fatal Crash (Sun-Times)
  • After Neighbor’s Death, Residents Want Speed Cam by Goethe School (DNA)
  • CPS Safe Passages Program Is Expanding (Sun-Times)
  • Don’t Let Opponents Water Down North Branch Trail Extension (Active Trans)
  • 60-Room Hotel Proposed for Plot Next to Red Line’s Chinatown Stop (DNA)
  • Sheridan Road Reconstruction in Lakeview Will Last Through October (DNA)
  • Active Trans Video: How to Make Your Bike Unattractive to Thieves (Chainlink)
  • Griping About Careless Pedestrians & “Pathletes” on the Lakefront Trail (Tribune)
  • New Generation of Foamers Uses Facebook and Flickr (RedEye)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Kevin M

    RE: “Foamers”

    Perpetuating a denigrating label for a innocent interest group is not a welcome message to visitors to this blog–especially when members of this interest group are likely to visit this alt. transit blog.

    Nowhere in their article did RedEye use this term. I respectfully request you retire this label from use on StreetsBlog.

  • Sorry, I couldn’t resist the opportunity for alliteration. From now on I will instead use the non-pejorative terms “rail fan” or “train buff.”

  • CL

    There is a derogatory term for people who watch trains?? Wow. You never know what you’re going to learn on Streetsblog.

  • R.A. Stewart

    Thanks, John! I appreciate your listening on this.

    I skimmed the article in the Trib yesterday and was heartened to learn about young people taking an interest in trains. Honestly, it seems to me that if passenger rail is saved in this country, the many rational arguments in its favor will be necessary but not sufficient. There have to be people as well who just plain love trains, and love them as viscerally and passionately as Tea Party-type politicians hate them.

  • Karen Kaz

    Also consider some of us have no idea what “foamers” even means. I get the desire for clever headlines but it shouldn’t come at the expense of clarity.

  • Point taken. It’s a widely known term among railroad professionals and enthusiasts. A “foamer” is a rail fan who gets so excited about trains that he or she foams at the mouth.

  • Are there opponents of the north branch trail extension? What is their gripe?

  • Metra fare increases are ALWAYS a possibility. The headline could have also been: Metra CEO can’t rule out possibility that BNSF trains will be late this month.

    The Metra board heard a presentation from senior staff about Metra’s annual peer fare review that shows Metra has consistently had lower fares per mile (for monthly zone pass buyers) than any of its legacy commuter rail peers (SEPTA, MNR, LIRR, NJT, and MBTA).

    The Sun-Times article left out some things the same board members said, including that DeGraff asked staff to look at innovative financing, including public-private partnerships, land value capture (when Metra service is shown to increase the value of nearby land, can Metra capture some of that increase?).

    Also missing from the discussion from the S-T article is that the board discussed relative incomes and cost of living in the Chicago region versus its peers, which are all Northeast. In essence, Metra staff said that the difference in Consumer Price Index between Chicago and its peers is 10%, leading board member Carlson to say that Metra fares should be ~90% of the peers.

  • Alex_H

    It’s a truism that people on online message boards tend to be bitter, cynical, and whiny, and that their discussion will reflect the same.

    I once found myself on a railroad enthusiast forum. It was the happiest forum I’ve ever seen in my life. Nothing but gushing posts about trains and train-watching. :)

  • Roland Solinski

    Tree loss and security concerns. They don’t oppose a connection but they want an on-street route.

  • Fred

    If the Lake Front Trail was a road, politicians would be falling over themselves to throw money at increasing its capacity.

  • R.A. Stewart

    Aw, I like that thought. :-) I’ll bet birdwatching forums are the same way.

    Almost makes me think we should spend time every day doing things that make us happy. What a concept, eh?