Today’s Headlines for Thursday, April 14

  • Illinois Senate Prez John Cullerton Proposes Taxing Drivers Per Mile Driven (Herald)
  • Active Trans Endorses MPC’s Call to Raise Gas Tax, Registration Fees
  • Ald. Villegas Proposes Raising City Gas Tax to Fund Infrastructure (DNA)
  • Emanuel Submits Plan to Fund Neighborhood Projects Via Density Bonus Fees (Crain’s)
  • Maldonado Wants More Signs to Warn Drivers About Speed Cams (DNA)
  • Cubs Will Widen Sidewalk on South Side of Ballpark, Install Security Bollards (Tribune)
  • Why Was Road Rager Who Pulled a Gun Only Charged With a Misdemeanor? (DNA)
  • Cappleman Says People Living in Wilson Viaduct Will Get Permanent Housing (DNA)
  • Homeless Offered Access to Services During Cleaning of North Avenue Viaduct (DNA)
  • 36th Ward PB Ballot Includes a New Crosswalk, Sidewalk Repairs (DNA)
  • DNA: It’s Not Surprising That Most Brown Line Riders Prefer the Single Seat
  • Atlas Obscura Offers Tour of the Pedway System Saturday (Curbed)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Pat

    The Cubs should foot the entire bill for these “improvements”.

  • Maybe you reported on this Milwaukee BRT proposal in a previous Today’s Headlines. Even though it’s a bit outside our purview it is still of interest. Maybe it deserves and entire article?

  • Re: Homeless.

    Salt Lake City has been a leader for years in homing the homeless. Their experiences saving overall expenses caused by homelessness is documented. The quote by Jackie about needing a space without the psychological burdens of group spaces and needing personal cooking capability is important for many. Having personal social work managers is also important.

  • Chicagoan

    Speaking of sidewalk work, John, are you aware of any plans to eliminate the little concrete island/slip lane at Broadway & Racine (just south of Lawrence)?

  • Chicagoan

    Is giving every homeless person their own space with a kitchenette a reasonable proposition? There has to be some give-and-take.

  • johnaustingreenfield
  • It is cheaper than dealing with the costs homeless people impose on the municipal system otherwise. Every jurisdiction that has tried it (studio apartments, in buildings where social workers etc are available, but with no drug testing, compulsory treatment or other “must qualify for a room” features besides gross income) has saved more than half.

    “Just giving” them a respectable place to live gets over half of them permanently out of homelessness (well — at least twelve years after initial housing effort, which is the longest baseline data we have), and overall is an economic slam-dunk to the city even for those who never ‘graduate’ out of the publicly-provided housing.

  • Anne A

    I hear a LOT from police officer friends about how much time they spend interacting with homeless people. It can be a significant chunk of time, especially if they require emergency medical care. If you only look at reduction in medical care costs and police/ambulance costs, getting homeless people into stable housing could make a huge difference.

  • Chicagoan

    Then, why aren’t more cities implementing this idea?

    Note: I like the idea, I’m just wondering why it’s not more widespread.

  • ohsweetnothing

    One reason is certainly politics. Facts aside, this has generally been a tough sell to residents, especially when you consider the preconceptions many have about the homeless population. It looks as though you’re rewarding them for doing nothing while I slave in an office and can barely make ends make type of logic. It makes it a tough sell to politicians, but hopefully that tide is slowly turning.

  • Plus then they have a better chance at being employed.

    Remove the systemic, crushing stress, and then make sure they have a phone connection and an address — without both of which you’re basically unemployable today.

  • Conservative politicians have spent the past two decades and more (since Reagan on the national level for sure, if not longer) convincing us that any help at all to those who are struggling is a “handout” that nobody “deserves” unless they’re already stable, friendly, un-addicted, clean, and hardworking.

    When most of those attributes are contingent on not being so low as to have no resources at all to use for anything but basic survival, and really not even that, for the most part.

    People become even more negative to the idea of a comprehensive, usable social safety net when you let them think most of the “undeserving” poor are black, as well as criminal and addicted.

    If people could be convinced that this is all a FLOOR beneath which THEY will also not be allowed to drown, instead of an additional “bonus” that people who aren’t them “get” to have, the opposition would evaporate.

    Similarly, the idea of a nationwide basic income (a check everyone gets every year, no matter your household income level or any other factor) “feels” to a lot of people raised in this brainwashing as ridiculous and unfair, even though the jurisdictions who have tried it have found it to be much simpler and cheaper to implement, and it also lets people spend their time on relatively-uneconomic jobs, which is a net massive positive to society — you can’t earn a decent living and pay a mortgage and for your kid’s tuition working in nonprofits, or volunteering at food pantries, or trying to start a new business, or raising a kid, or caring for the elderly — but if there were a basic guaranteed income, then low-paying jobs could “top you up” to something suitable to live on.

    But it SOUNDS like a “freebie” handout to the “undeserving”, and we’ve all been trained that if EVEN ONE “undeserving” person gets anything, we will all die in bankruptcy.

    In fact, most jurisdictions spend far more on drug-testing applicants and forcing them to prove their unemployment status (etc), than they save from blocking fraud.