Today’s Headlines for Thursday, June 22

  • Cyclist Found in Street After Being Dragged, But CPD Isn’t Looking for a Hit-and-Run Driver (NBC)
  • CMAP: Chicago Metro Region Is Losing Its Families (Crain’s)
  • Residents Weigh in on Plan to Pedestrianize Cornell at Jackson Park Framework Meeting (DNA)
  • New Metra Seats Will Include Cup Holders, But Will Leave Half of Riders Facing Backwards (Sun-Times)
  • Active Trans Ran a “Kids on Wheels” Bike Education Course in Northbrook
  • The Belmont/Western Overpass Project Is Almost Completed (DNA)
  • Stevenson Ramp to LSD Closing Saturday Night (DNA)
  • Marketing Firm Sets up an In-House Bike Shop for the Bike Commuter Challenge (Active Trans)
  • Ride With the North Branch Trail Alliance This Saturday (Active Trans)

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  • Chicagoan

    Facing backwards on the train isn’t a good experience.

  • Kevin M

    You know what I would use 10 times more often than a cup holder? A permanent strap or bungee in the bike area of the car so that I didn’t have to always remember to bring my own. This would cost a pittance to Metra.

  • planetshwoop

    I don’t understand the fuss about this? The CTA train also has seats where you would sit backward. It’s not an uncommon design.

    (I sold train tickets for European trains in college and was always baffled by this request. On longer distance trains, the seats would be fixed and in some cases, the train would “turn around” after pulling into the station. So you can’t really ever promise a forward seat. Not applicable in Chicago of course, but I’m curious about how traveling backward makes people seasick, as is claimed in the DNA article.)

    I do think the bigger issue (which Steven has documented well) is that the train design is seriously seriously outmoded. Paying for new cars for a 1950 design is dumb, but Metra tends to favor conductors over customers.

  • johnaustingreenfield

    Count me as one of the people who gets ill riding backwards. The reason this change is an issue on Metra is that currently conductors (or passengers) can flip the seats so that they all face in the direction of travel. On the other hand, you can also oriented two seats so that the passengers face each other, which is nice for families and groups of friends (assuming no one minds riding backwards.)

  • planetshwoop

    Do you get ill if you have to ride backwards on the CTA? I’m just curious.

    (Little about the new designs makes sense to me.)

  • hopeyglass

    CTA is hit or miss, but riding BART in SFbay area made me sick ALL the time, even if I wasn’t plastered going from the City to the Town. Even under the Bay, where it’s dark and you can’t tell which direction is which.

  • johnaustingreenfield

    Yep. One reason I dislike the current CTA car design is there are few opportunities for sitting forward. Sure, I’m kind of fussy in this respect, but I’m guessing a fairly high percentage of riders share my preference.

  • johnaustingreenfield

    So you’re saying that riding BART made you want to…

  • Carter O’Brien

    I don’t mind riding backward, but riding sideways can be a drag as people tend to bounce into each other every time the train lurches or stops unexpectedly. One thing I’ve noticed is that the allegedly high-capacity cars on the Red Line are often not being maxed out as people won’t use open seats when there are two above-average sized people sitting on either side (which is often), not to mention when people sprawl their legs out (which is also often), it makes it difficult to maneuver through the car so people just keep doing what they always have, clustering in the doorway area.