Today’s Headlines for Friday, March 2

  • 1 Dead, All Inbound Lanes of Eisenhower Blocked After Crash (ABC)
  • Reckless Homicide Charge for Fatal 2016 DUI in Craigin (Sun-Times)
  • Active Trans Discusses the Increase in Chicago Traffic Deaths in 2017
  • CTA Service Temporarily Suspended After White Powder Found at Lake Red Line Stop (CBS)
  • Armed Private Security Guards Have Begun Patrolling State Street in the Loop (Sun-Times)
  • Fox Picks Up the Story of the Reckless 606 SUV Security Guards
  • Blue Line Overcrowding Is a Good Problem to Have — Here’s How to Solve It (Transport Nexus)
  • Oswego Continues Its Push for a Metra Station (Tribune)
  • Biss Confused Cost of Weekly, Monthly CTA Passes During Gov Debate (Sun-Times)

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  • F. Hayek 69

    The increase in pedestrian deaths is probably caused by an increase in marijuana usage. The states that legalized it were the only states to see a rise in pedestrian deaths. Hmm.

  • Tooscrapps

    Yah, that’s not true.

  • planetshwoop

    Given the current enthusiasm for “driverless cars”, I wonder if the driverless CTA cars that the author calls for on the Blue Line would fly. In theory, it’s a no brainer — the proof of concept has been active for some time at O’Hare. (Further evidence: when the O’Hare operator crashed into the station.)

    Given how much the CTA has invested in cameras and ideally new equipment, this seems like a viable way to relieve over-crowding.

  • johnaustingreenfield

    There’s actually a kernel of truth to those statements, but it’s best to avoid jumping to conclusions. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/28/business/pedestrian-deaths-marijuana.html

    Brackets and emphasis are mine:
    “Over the first six months of 2017, pedestrian fatalities rose sharply from a year earlier in [4/7 of the] states that had legalized ***recreational***l marijuana, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association [including Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington — as well as the District of Columbia.]”

    [BUT]

    “In Alaska and Maine, pedestrian deaths are so few that any changes may not be statistically sufficient to identify a clear connection to the drug. Even in Colorado, a 12 percent jump in pedestrian deaths meant the total rose to 37 in the first half of last year, from 33 in 2016. Massachusetts was the only state in the group where such deaths ***decreased*** — by one.”

    “In the rest of the country, such deaths declined. [They didn’t decline in Illinois during that period — they stayed flat at 27 fatalities. And pedestrian deaths rose somewhat in Illinois for all 12 months of 2017, from 44 in 2016 to 46 in 2017. F. Hayek 69 is arguing that pedestrian deaths probably rose for the year because we legalized medicinal marijuana. Is he or she also arguing that ped fatalities *didn’t* rise during the first six months because we didn’t legalize recreational marijuana?”

    But, again, the experts and advocates quoted in the article say we should keep a look out for a possible connection between the legalization of recreational marijuana, and a rise in pedestrian deaths but not read too much into this preliminary data:

    “We are not making a definitive, cause-and-effect link to marijuana,” said Richard Retting, a traffic safety engineer at Sam Schwartz Consulting who was the author of the study. The data “is a marker for concern,” he added. “It may be a canary in a coal mine, an early indicator to address.”

    “I’d be cautious about drawing a direct link to any potential cause,” said Jason Levine, executive director at the Center for Auto Safety, an advocacy group in Washington, D.C. “But it’s certainly worth trying to figure out why those numbers are what they are.”

  • Tooscrapps

    There are plenty of states that saw significant increases in ped fatalities that didn’t legalize marijuana. MO, MS, LA, TN stand out. Saying that that ‘only’ states that legalized it saw a rise is flat out false.

    And ya F. Hayek 69 didn’t define what they mean by legal. Does decriminalization count?

  • Carter O’Brien

    My guess is we will hear a lot of concerns about safety and medical emergency situations in general.

  • Chicagoan

    As well as the continued march toward complete automation and the loss of jobs.

  • Jeremy

    I do not like using private contractors to provide police services, even if the patrols are off-duty police. How are employees trained if they aren’t CPD? Does HLSA Security have sufficient insurance to cover assault claims? We may also see issues like what happened on the riverwalk, where private security was closing down parts of the path and not allowing walking of dogs. Assign more police to the area if crime is such a problem.

    I also see this with Loop parking garages that hire people to direct traffic. What are their qualifications and who is responsible if someone is injured?

  • Jeremy

    Instead of asking about the cost of day care, the question to Pritzker should have been: “What is the hourly rate for a plumber to disconnect toilets inside a Gold Coast mansion?”

    https://chicago.suntimes.com/chicago-politics/billionaire-illinois-governor-hopeful-jb-pritzker-let-mansion-fall-into-disrepair-saved-230000-on-taxes-on-uninhabitable-3-7-million-home-watchdogs-democrat/

  • Cameron Puetz

    The Loop parking garages are also obstructing the public way. Why should drivers exiting their garage get priority over pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers?

  • Cameron Puetz

    Trains are easier to make self driving than cars because of the controlled environment. Many systems already have automated trains. Driverless trains however don’t do anything to relieve over crowding. That requires either more trains or larger trains. Either of those requires a major capital project to upgrade the Blue Line.

  • Tooscrapps

    They shouldn’t and legally don’t. I don’t give it to them.

    If you were to get hit, both the driver and the person waiving him through would certainly be liable.

  • planetshwoop

    Sadly, it’s the law of physics over the laws of people.

  • F. Hayek 69

    You are fake news.

  • Carter O’Brien

    Did you say “trained”? That falls in the not sure whether to laugh or cry category.

  • Carter O’Brien

    Can I be fake news as well? I bet it pays a lot better than my real job.

  • planetshwoop

    The columnist implied that you could increase capacity significantly if you switched to driverless trains because of the massive labor cost savings.

  • Cameron Puetz

    The problem is that labor costs aren’t what’s stopping the CTA from adding trains. The Blue Line is already running at its electrical capacity. Trains can’t be added without making them more electrically efficient or overhauling electrical distribution systems. Automaton is attention grabbing, but doesn’t address the fundamental problems limiting service.

    Also, while labor costs are substantial, they not going to make or break adding rush hour trains. The cost savings from cutting operators wouldn’t be enough to fund a massive service expansion. I’m using data from the Brown Line because it’s more available, but I expect the Blue Line to be similar. The operator is less than 15% of the cost of running an eight car train.

    Source:
    http://www.chicagonow.com/cta-tattler/2013/01/why-the-cta-runs-shorter-trains-at-off-hours-to-save-money/