Today’s Headlines for Monday, December 11

  • The Tribune Looks at IDOT’s Proposal to Add Four New Lanes to I-55
  • Person Injured in CTA-Car Crash Near 40th and State (Sun-Times)
  • Police Seek Driver Who Seriously Injured Pedestrian in Pilsen on 12/4 (Sun-Times)
  • ELPC: The CTA Can Help Fight Climate Change by Switching to an All-Electric Fleet (Crain’s)
  • Some Ventra Cards Will Expire at the End of the Month (CBS)
  • Metra Shares Its Playbook on Dealing With Winter Emergencies
  • CTA Riders Who Fall Asleep on the ‘L’ Sometimes Wind up Stranded in Train Yards (Sun-Times)

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  • Jacob Wilson

    “If a lot of people aren’t using these (free lanes), I’ll be flying,” Martinez said.


    ^^The public’s understanding of the urban planning version of trickle down economics.

  • planetshwoop

    If I recall, the last time they did work on the Stevenson, they reviewed adding HOV lanes and rejected it. And again, now we need 4 new lanes (!!) because we’ve never really tried to actually fix the problem.

    Yes, there has been a lot of growth in that area — plenty of new houses. But there’s been tons of logistics firms that have located there too, adding to the mess. So it’s understandable that some new lanes are sought.

    But the giant gaping hole here is that there is a really significant gap in Metra coverage in the area. On the map it looks like there’s something nearby, but that’s a fallacy — the coverage for the Heritage Corridor is terrible. So everyone drives.

    Since congestion is usually non-linear, moving a fraction off of the road onto transit would be a huge win. (You could sell it to homeowners bc their properties would probably appreciate in a way that they wouldn’t with an expanded highway.) I don’t know what rail options exist, or if the other pieces are at capacity (e.g. Union Station) but this seems like the elephant in the room vs expanding tolled roads.

  • Jared Kachelmeyer

    I’d be curious to know what percent of traffic on I-55 at say 8 AM at a certain spot is actually headed to the central business district.

  • planetshwoop

    Allegorically, I know that the traffic often “gets better” after Midway. So it’s a contributor.

    Also allegorically, quite a few people I know who live in that area drive because there is not a decent train option. HC is too sparse on trains, and driving to the Rock Island or BNSF takes too long and easier just to drive.

  • Kevin M

    Mary’s Tribune coverage of ATA’s Ron Burke is unnecessarily convoluted/complicated. All of the focus should be on, “This corridor needs more Metra service”. There should be no mention of “bicycles or walking”, nor any “development patterns”.

    Ron Burke, Mary Wisniewski, or any other advocates of transit (forget biking and walking for a moment) need to dumb their message down for the windshield-view Illinois drivers by simply advocating for more fast commuter trains. Windshield-view cagers will tune out any criticism of a $700M expansion of their highway which mentions “bicycles” and “walking”, as these are clearly apples and orangutans. And these people certainly don’t have the interest or capacity to understand “development patterns”.

    Keep It Simple, transit planners and advocates, or your message will never get through to the windshield-view.

  • Cameron Puetz

    The Summit Metra Station is very close to Midway’s rental car and economy parking facility. If the HC actually ran frequently enough to be useful, it could be worth having a parking lot shuttle bus meet each train.

  • Anyone know, or remember, why the HC runs so infrequently? Is it because of freight traffic?

  • Kevin M

    Yes, I believe that’s the excuse. I think Durbin lobbied a few years ago on behalf of Metra/RTA to get Canadian National (the frieght company that leases HC track usage) to allow more runs.

  • Allan Marshall

    That(for Heritage Corridor), and because Canadian National/CN has been reluctant to approve increases in Metra passenger rail service, on the lines they operate. I remember CN never agreed to allow Saturday service on the North Central Service(Antioch) Metra line, plus forced Metra to turn their last inbound weekday NCS train at Prairie Crossing(junction between the NCS and Milwaukee District North lines), make 2 stops on Milwaukee North(Libertyville and Lake Forest), then have that train express past all stops south of Lake Forest to downtown. Also, CN only approved one additional train a few years back(an afternoon pre-rush hour outbound train), on top of the puny 3 inbound in the morning rush, and 3 outbound in the afternoon rush trains that Heritage Corridor runs(for 7 trains overall each weekday).