Today’s Headlines for Monday, May 16

  • How Can We Build Support for Properly Funding Transportation Infrastructure? (Tribune)
  • Bridgeport Alliance: 31st St. Bus With No Morning Rush Service Won’t Draw Riders (DNA)
  • The 606, TOD Blamed as Factors in Exodus of Latinos From Logan Square (DNA)
  • Mitchell: Ride-Share Rules Would Make It Harder for Black People to Get Jobs, Rides (Sun-Times)
  • Muggers Targeted People Leaving Rogers Park ‘L’ Stops in 3 Recent Attacks (ABC)
  • Help Sought for Identifying Man Who Filemed Upskirt Video on Brown Line (Fox)
  • A Roundup of Summer Road Construction Projects (Tribune)
  • Anti-TOD With 75 Units, 140 Spots Planned a 3-Minute Walk From the Morgan Stop (Curbed)
  • Osterman Approves Development Near Argyle Stop With 15% Affordable Units (DNA)
  • Why the City Should Remove Its Pedestrian “Beg Buttons” (WBEZ)
  • This Year’s Riverwalk Vendor Lineup Announced (DNA)
  • Cosmic Bikes Is Now Open in Jefferson Park (The Chainlink)

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  • ohsweetnothing

    All of the links seem to go to the Curbed anti-TOD story.

  • johnaustingreenfield

    Thanks. Something weird happened, but it’s fixed now.

  • ohsweetnothing

    No prob! I’ll delete the original comment since it’s no longer relevant.

  • ohsweetnothing

    Another article about Logan Square gentrification that goes a little something like…
    1) Latino population decreasing, white population increasing
    2) Glosses over total population loss during the same time frame
    3) Asks local neighborhood group/resident, who blames 14 year (in this case) phenomenon on projects that have occurred in the last 2-3 years
    4) Doesn’t bother to ask anyone with any sort of subject matter expertise…again

    …the issue is certainly worth discussing, but it’s getting worse than tedious to see local press write the same 3 articles year after year. I’d go so far as to say it’s even counterproductive at this point.

  • Having “Beg Buttons” in the city is nuts.

    Firstly, half the ones I’m aware of don’t appear to do anything at all when pressed — walk cycles come up whether they’re pressed or not, and of the same length.

    Secondly, when I hit an intersection where I WILL NOT get a walk light without pushing the button, I’ve been trained to stand there like a dope waiting for one! Often the pole with the button is 8′ or more away from the handicapped ramp/crosswalk where I am waiting, the sign battered or turned away, so there’s no way to know that THIS is one of the very few where it MATTERS and I actually have to push the button.

  • If you want to get rid of a beg button, try asking your alderman–and be prepared to strongly make your case and wait, wait wait. They should submit a request to CDOT to have it turned off.

    I had this done at Ashland and Leland in Ameya Pawar’s ward. Far from a “low pedestrian traffic” area, there’s a park, school, and church all at that corner. I noticed that no matter if the button were pushed, the signal timings were the same; the only difference is that people walking didn’t get a signal (and therefore no indication of if it were safe to cross six-lane Ashland).

    At first a CDOT engineer lied and told me the timing of the signal to cross Ashland was longer when the button was pressed, so I timed it ( That was not the case and I kept pressing to have the button removed. Eventually it was removed ( and it remains that way to this day. It was a lot of “effort” in timing, recording, and continually following-up with the alderman and CDOT, but now I’m happier knowing that people who don’t think to push a button will be able to cross safely there.

    Many of these buttons are in neighborhoods where they never should have been and definitely shouldn’t be now, given the number of people walking. I would encourage more people to write their aldermen and women’s offices to have them “studied” and removed; and expect pushback from CDOT for no reason.

  • There aren’t any in my (extremely gerrymandered) ward, that I know of, and no other Alderman is interested in anything I have to say.

    Which is its own shame, really. Within a six-block walk from my house in every direction are SEVEN wards. All narrow bits and corridors and ears and legs and tails sticking off their gerry-dragons. I keep getting the impression it’s not MEANT to be governable.

  • johnaustingreenfield

    Thanks for your successful advocacy on this and sharing your experience, but it’s a little harsh to say the CDOT engineer “lied” to you — sounds more like an honest mistake.

  • John, it was after multiple email chains with the same engineer who repeatedly made that case after I presented video evidence with timing…

  • Pat

    CDOT for reasons that escape me, actually installed a beg button at Diversey and Orchard almost a year or two after the TJs went in. I’ve seen people standing there waiting for the signal not realizing there is a button because frankly, I can’t think of any other ones in this high pedestrian traffic area.

  • Toddster

    The piece says 400 out of 3,000 signalized intersections have “active” beg buttons which is a little over 13%; plus there are even more buttons out there that don’t work. That seems like a high percentage to me. I rarely come across them, “working” or not…or maybe I just don’t notice them.

    Is there any data on where they’re located?

  • cjlane

    At the very least, they all have to actually do something, or none of them should exist.

    The one nearest me is a “do nothing”–EXCEPT it apparently did work immediately after the Groundhog blizzard, as that was the only way to get the signal to cycle. Never seemed to work before that and certainly does not now.

  • Any not working should be removed, just like any other piece of street signage that is not currently in effect.

  • Anne A

    Ouch! Even though my ward stinks in terms of progressiveness on ped and bike issues, at least it’s a cohesive, non-gerrymandered ward.

  • Anne A

    Unrelated topic worthy of attention: bad bike lane conditions on the west side. Over the weekend, I rode a portion of the boulevard system and took photos of some of the atrocious conditions I saw: blocked drains, flooded lanes, and some places where bike lane markings were almost completely worn off (Hamlin, in particular). The worst of what I saw was in East Garfield Park, North Lawndale and the north edge of Little Village and included portions of the 12th, 24th, 27th and 28th wards.

  • planetshwoop

    I was thinking about this as I’ve seen lots of situations near my house (near Lawerence & Pulaski) where contractors dig up part of the road and then replace it with extremely shoddy asphalt, creating an extraordinarily bad road surface in a piece of the bike lane.

    Perhaps we can do what some of the ward offices recommend and do a bike lane audit: Review the parts you ride on and call in to 311/SeeClickFix where there are any blockages or potholes. Goal would be to cover most of the bike lane network to ensure paint is refreshed, dangerous potholes fixed, etc.

  • Anne A

    This is an issue right now with the Dearborn bike lane, which is a mess due to utility construction in the Loop. Part of it was dug up and patched with rough concrete previously. There’s construction towards the north end of the Loop now.

  • I was SeeClickFix-ing everything I saw for a while, but itjust got depressing.

    311 (or whoever it is) would sit on it for two weeks and then mark it resolved when zero had been done. I had to report the same problem over and over for months to get it fixed.

    I wish more aldermen would walk the ward on, say, a quarterly basis, recruiting volunteers with clipboards or iPads and going block by block — councilmen who do this in other cities then have a staffer keep an eye on the reports and make sure they get dealt with in a reasonable timeframe, and not just band-aided or trashed.

  • You’ve got one of the good ones. Did you see what they did to the 2nd, 1st, and 11th? Aside from districting the aldermen’s houses out of them (which happened in quite a few wards in the last redraw), it’s a freaking plasmodium, not a compact shape.