Today’s Headlines for Thursday, July 21

  • Driver Who Killed Dr. Gary Toback Cited, Family & Colleagues Mourn Toback (ABC)
  • Man Charged in Hit-and-Run Crash That Killed Firefighter in Rogers Park (WGN)
  • Chicago Woman Charged in Minivan Crash, Home Invasion in Wilmette (Tribune)
  • Tribune: Heatwave May Slow Metra Commutes, Make Walking & Biking “Miserable”
  • Money From Sale of Skyway Will Be Used for Property Tax Rebates (Sun-Times)
  • Street Closures Planned for Construction of Massive “Vista” Tower on E. Wacker (DNA)
  • App Would Allow Residents to Buy Parking Permits for Visitors Via Smartphone (DNA)
  • Pokemon Go Is Encouraging People to Walk Around Chicago (Curbed)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Bud

    Toback article not actually linked to the headline; Wilmette home invasion there instead.

  • ryanwc

    For lack of a better place to vent, I’m going to comment here that I’m angry that the Active Transportation Association gave a quote to the Trib today telling people to avoid biking or walking at the hottest times of the day.
    There’s nothing dangerous about heat in the 90’s for anyone who already takes part in these activities. Avoiding biking today at any time is silly, unless you just don’t like the heat, which is fine. But avoid walking!! That’s just batshit crazy.

    Today’s actual forecast on is about 2 degrees higher than the average daily high for Orlando in summer, with about the same humidity. Is it unsafe to walk outside in Florida at mid-day? All summer?

  • johnaustingreenfield

    Here are the ATA statements, below, I don’t think the advice is particularly off-base. It does make sense to stay out of the sun during the hottest time of day when you’re in a hot place. Hence the tradition of taking a siesta or a long lunch in hot countries and the old saying “Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun.”

    That said, I think slow biking on shady streets is one of the most sensible ways to get around on hot days, as long as you’re careful to avoid getting overheated and stay hydrated. I’ve been using a thermos-style insulated water bottle this summer, which is great. It’s fun to drink ice water on a hot day hours after you’ve filled the bottle.

    “Many people continue to bike during extreme heat, but ‘it’s certainly not for everyone,’ said Ted Villaire, a spokesman for the Active Transportation Alliance.

    As with other types of outdoor physical activity with high temperatures, the Alliance recommends people drink plenty of water and avoid overexertion, take it slow and avoid biking and walking at the hottest times of the day.

    ‘And if it gets too hot for you, consider hopping on a bus or a train,’ Villaire said.

  • Anne A

    I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest that people take it a little easier in extreme heat/humidity. I agree with John’s comments, especially about riding on shady streets. I think that’s one of the best ways to cool off if one is riding at an easy pace and drinking enough water to avoid getting dehydrated.

  • ryanwc

    A few things.

    1) there’s nothing particularly extreme about today’s heat and humidity, except in the fever brains of TV weather forecasters who like to hype things. The forecast is for highs in the low to mid-90s depending on where in the area you live, and the low 90’s or high 80’s tomorrow. TV forecasters are about ratings. They could plausibly say it would be 98 as of 5 days ago, and once they had people convinced, they kept going with it even though the meteorology doesn’t suggest it anymore.

    2) There is no strong tradition of siesta in Indochina, in sub-Saharan Africa, or in most hot countries. The siesta is cultural, not a health issue.

    3) I have no objection to people deciding for themselves not to be active on a hot day. It’ s a comfort issue after all, and everyone’ comfort level is different.

    But it is not a safety/health issue for people in normal health. The safety issue is simply this. Be hydrated. But that’s a safety issue every day.

    For an “Active” organization to tell people to avoid activity when it’s in the mid-90’s suggests that there is a health/safety issue for people in normal health. That’s baseless.

    Old proverbs repeated by people who prefer not to sweat don’t change that essential truth.

  • Anne A

    When it’s humid enough for the heat index to be above 100 degrees, as it is right now, that’s a good enough reason for me.

  • BlueFairlane

    Considering we live in a city that once saw a heat wave kill 739 people over a five day period, I think advising caution on a day when the heat index hits three digits makes a lot of sense.

    The vehemence you show in your protest puzzles me. I wonder if the heat’s getting to you.

  • Anne A

    Perhaps we can move on to another topic now and call it a day.

  • cjlane

    “a heat wave kill[ed] 739 people”

    well, not very many of them were in ‘normal’ health, so while you are right, he’s not realy wrong, either.

  • Pet P

    It’s not unreasonable to suggest people be cautious outdoors when heat and humidity are higher than normal. Sure a healthy person who is well hydrated will likely do just fine, but not everyone fits that criteria. Some people don’t just know what to do on their own. Think of what the roads are like during the first snowfall of the season, for comparison.


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