Today’s Headlines for Wednesday, May 25

  • Amtrak Is Seeking a Master Developer for Union Station (Crain’s)
  • Bridgeporters Fear I-55 Noise Walls Will Spoil Views of Skyline, Sox Fireworks (DNA)
  • Hated Meter Concessionaire Raked in $156M in Parking Cash Last Year (Sun-Times)
  • Fines Doubled for Drivers Who Try to Cross Metra Tracks When Gates Are Down
  • Kids Ride Free on Metra Summer Long (Time Out)
  • Public Meeting Wednesday on Plan for Bikeways That Will Take You to Bucktown (DNA)
  • Want to Provide Input to Improve Lake County Trails? There’s an App for That (Tribune)
  • Local Bike Shop Staffer Offer Tips on Shopping for a Cycle (Tribune)
  • Now Arriving: RedEye’s Transit Diaries Podcast
  • Moss Design Proposes Building a Kayak Park on the River — See Designs at CAF Exhibit

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  • Anne A

    I can’t blame folks in Bridgeport for not wanting that wall. I think it would feel prison-like and losing the skyline view would be a big deal.

  • BlueFairlane

    Some of the best skyline views in the city are down there.

  • Kevin M

    Re: the updated Illinois Vehicle code that doubles the fine for crossing RR tracks when gates are down

    Does this law also apply to pedestrians or bicyclists?

  • what_eva

    The Cortland/Wood project. The Wood part makes perfect sense, but why do a greenway on Cortland when the entire stretch is a block north of the 606?

  • johnaustingreenfield

    If you’re riding on Damen and heading towards Elston, or vice-versa, you’re not going to get up on the trail to go 3.5 blocks.

  • what_eva

    Given that Damen and Elston intersect just north of there, there’s a pretty limited group of people who would fall into that category.

  • Jeff Gio

    potentially, but if you leap over the tracks it doesn’t count as crossing

  • Pat

    I don’t think John necessarily means that people are going east to get onto Elston, but rather heading that direction to use the Courtland bridge and head onto Armitage and towards the Lake Path.

    Personally, I find Courtland to be pretty low-stress between Damen and Ashland, but I don’t use it during rush times, so I can’t speak for everyone.

  • Jeff Gio

    LAZ and CPM are parasites on the city’s residents. I’m curious if the city is responsible for motorist’s unpaid parking fines or sabotaged parking meters

  • Pat

    The City does not pay out anything on the violations to CPM, which instead goes entirely to the City. CPM only collects the meter revenues and true-ups.

  • ohsweetnothing

    LAZ is just the parking management company…one might argue that LAZ would still be handling the City’s meters even if the City still controlled them.

  • Jeff Gio

    Thanks for the clarification!

  • what_eva

    I think my point still stands. I don’t think many would be coming from the south on Damen to do this, but rather most would be from the north and could take Elston (especially after the construction mess finishes up).

    My larger point is that we have a limited budget for greenways, why spend that money on Cortland when it could likely be better spent in other gaps in the network.

  • Pat

    People would be coming from the south on Wood. Bike lanes are more useful and inviting when they are connected. People taking Wood north to Courtland to use the bridge need a connection too.

  • johnaustingreenfield

    I hear you. Wood and Cortland are already fairly pleasant streets to bike on — it’s just a matter of knowing that they’re there. But adding pavement markings and signs will help shepherd people onto these routes, and if they can do something about the horrific Cortland/Ashland intersection, that will be a big improvement.

  • what_eva

    “greenway” makes me think of more than just paint and signs, which don’t cost much. I think more of some curb extensions, etc like on Berteau. Are you going tonight/report on the plans tomorrow?

  • dr

    A datapoint: I ride the 606 to Rockwell everyday in winter, but I ride Cortland in summer. The 606 is simply too congested for responsible bikers after 5pm in the summer. For that reason, I am much appreciative of the new Cortland lane.

    Additionally, Cortland is a heavily used connector from both the Metra, and as a connector to Armitage. I would ID it as one of the most heavily used “side-streets” in the city.

  • Fred

    Re: railroad crossing fines

    If dancing with a train isn’t enough of a deterrent, I can’t imagine a fine of ANY amount will be.

  • Fred

    Does the vehicle code otherwise apply to pedestrians?

  • planetshwoop

    Parasites — why do we think that? I mean, sure, Daley underpriced the deal and then squandered the money, but no one seems to be as furious at the parking companies in the Loop, who also charge for parking?

    There are many many many things that were bad about the parking meter deal. But it’s easier to park than when there were the terrible meters, and the higher costs of parking means fewer people drive.

    Within 10 years, if the contract allows, they’ll have variable rate parking to encourage more people to park during off-peak.The prices won’t just keep going up, LAZ will work to optimize their revenue soon once they hit a ceiling.

  • Pat

    I think parasites is strong, but the whole way the deal went down with such speed and was jammed through the council strongly hints at corruption. Any longer term look at this deal would have rejected it immediately.

    Those that collude with the corruption of City of officials are no better than the corrupt officials themselves.

  • skelter weeks

    There are a lot of bike riders on Cortland eastbound at Ashland.
    I know, because I see them across the street, waiting at the light, as I turn from Ashland to east Cortland at speed on my bike!
    Later, losers!