Today’s Headlines

  • Transit Agencies Seeking 100 Volunteers to Test Ventra Ticketing App (Sun-Times)
  • Rail Advocates: Gutting Amtrak Would Discourage Businesses From Moving Here (CBS)
  • Pedestrian Mark A. Cipolla Killed After 2 Allegedly Drunk Drivers Collide in Joliet (CBS)
  • Hit-and-Run Driver Fatally Strikes Pedestrian in Mount Prospect (Sun-Times)
  • 7 People Injured in 2-Car Car Crash in Elk Grove Village (NBC)
  • 5 Injured in 3-Vehicle Collision on Bishop Ford (CBS)
  • Elderly Couple Woken Up By Driver Tearing Through Their House at 3 a.m. (WGN)
  • Cyclist Seriously Injured in Wood Street Dooring Sues for Damages (Keating)
  • Kevenides Has a Close Call While Biking on Milwaukee Avenue
  • Transit-Oriented Development Planned for Lot Next to Roosevelt ‘L’ Stop (Curbed)
  • Half-Baked Idea Refuses to Die: Bike Tax an Issue in 43rd Ward Debate (DNA)

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  • BlueFairlane

    Kentucky’s version of Kevenides was hit while bicycling a couple of months ago, sustaining minor injuries. I like imagining the face of the driver’s insurance agent when he read the accident report.

  • Alicia

    Michigan resident here. I had the misfortune of having to drive to Chicago last year and I will never drive in Chicagoland again. It was miserable. I will never repeat that mistake – and if I can’t take the train to Chicago, I probably won’t visit nearly as often.

  • If you have to travel from Michigan to Milwaukee, I recommend bypassing Chicagoland traffic via the Muskegon to Milwaukee ferry. Here’s a write-up of my experience on it:

  • Alicia

    I’ll think about that if Amtrak service does end up getting cut back.

  • R.A. Stewart

    Very cool writeup, John! One of our daughters went to college in Kalamazoo, and I kinda fell in love with Michigan. But *not* with the interminable, traffic-choked, truck-dodging slog around the bend of the lake. (And I’m from Chicago and used to our awful traffic.)

  • Thanks!

  • R.A. Stewart

    I was semi-willing to give Governor Rauner the benefit of the doubt when he was elected, though I didn’t vote for him. But his apparent willingness to put transit and passenger rail on the chopping block among his first acts in office, and his out-of-hand dismissal of making the state income tax progressive, have me very dubious that he’s serious about governing. He is already looking more like a combination of ideologue and guardian of the privileged, in the Scott Walker mold. Who could have thought I’d be more pessimistic about our state and city than I was six months ago, but I’m there.

  • cjlane

    “Half-Baked Idea Refuses to Die: Bike Tax an Issue in 43rd Ward Debate”

    Well, why don’t we license (tax) bikes at the same rate per pound for a CIty Sticker as the heaviest passenger vehicle–which is about 6500 pounds, and $136.54 annually. So, that would mean that for a *really* heavy bike (70 pounds), it would cost $1.47–or pretty much less than it would cost to produce and mail the sticker, nevermind the cost of administering the program.

    If you want to charge $25 to “license” (ie tax) a bike, on some theory of the use of the public streets, then the city tax on cars should be in a similar ratio to the space they take up and the wear and tear–and yes, there would be consideration given to the gas tax, as adjusted for what portion of Chicago streets are maintained/improved out of the state/federal gas tax (not sales tax on gas) funds (and excluding any $$ for limited access roads, ie freeways). So, since your typical car is about 100 times the weight/size of a bike (yes, there are smaller ones, but looking at typical), the annual city sticker price would have to be $2500. Sure, give credit for the state license–and deduct $100. And assume, for argument sake, that the state/federal gas tax funds pay for half of the road maintenance. So, $1200, per year, for cars, and (as now) 50% more for trucks/SUVs, so $1800.

    Seems eminently reasonable. Anyone think that would have any unintended consequences??

  • BlueFairlane

    The ferry is fun as a lark, but it’s incredibly expensive as an actual transportation option.

  • R.A. Stewart

    No, no, no, we should tax bikes at twice the rate of cars, because a biker in fluorescent spandex annoyed me once.

    And while we’re at it, 50% *less* for trucks and SUVs, because America.

  • cjlane

    “because America.”

    I believe that is properly written as:

    “‘cuz: ‘Murica. F*** YEAH!!”

    Okay, tax bikes at twice the rate bikes are taxed–so $600/year for a city sticker for a car–7 times a much as now.

  • Alicia

    I live north of Flint. Driving is easier in this part of the state, but public transportation is generally worse.