The Results Are In: 2017 Chicago Streetsies Winners
We asked for your input and hundreds of you voted. Here are the best Chicago transportation happenings of 2017.
Best New Transportation-Related Policies: The new ride-hailing fee to fund the CTA
In November Chicago became the first major city in the U.S. to pass a tax on ride-share with the revenue earmarked for transit infrastructure, a good idea that New York City is now considering emulating. The additional 15-20-cent fee won’t be a hardship for Lyft and Uber passengers, who studies show tend to be relatively affluent, but the projected $16-21 million in new CTA funding will help keep ride-hailing from further reducing transit ridership.
Best New Bike Infrastructure: Lakefront Trail separation
While $12 million of the funding for this project came from Ken Griffin, the hedge fund billionaire who helped bring about the Bruce Rauner administration, which oversaw cuts to regional transit funding, our readers chose not to look a gift horse in the mouth. Separating bike and pedestrian traffic along most of the 18.5-mile path will help prevent crashes and reduce conflicts. Now if only we can get the authorities to install guardrails along the new Lake Shore Drive-adjacent bike routes…
Best New Transit Facility: The Wilson station reconstruction
What was it that took the Wilson station rehab over the top: the addition of elevators, the creation of a Red-Purple transfer, the brand-new entrance on Sunnyside, the restoration of the 1923 Gerber Building, or the jazzy art installation “Arpeggio” by Sri Lankan-British artist Cecil Balmond? Whatever it was, Streetsblog readers seem to be stoked about the completion of this $203 million project, slated for the end of this month.
Best None-of-the-Above: Equiticity launches, starts bike libraries
Equiticity, the new mobility justice group, started in November by Slow Roll Chicago cofounder Oboi Reed, hit the ground pedaling. At the launch party Reed announced that the organization was partnering with We Keep You Rollin’ a bike group in the Riverdale community area (which includes Altgeld Gardens, Golden Gate and other enclaves) led by Deloris Lucas, and several community groups in North Lawndale to start bike libraries. The full fleets, featuring hundreds of dockless bike-share cycles provided by Ofo and Jump Mobility, are slated to launch in April.