Today’s Headlines for Monday, April 2

  • Critics: IL EPA Let Corporations Dictate How to Spend $109M Volkswagen Settlement (BGA)
  • Rauner Is Opposed to Any Gas Tax Increase for Infrastructure (INN)
  • 3 Killed After Ambulance Driver Crashes Into Building in Bellwood (Tribune)
  • Teen Fatally Struck Man Walking in Aurora Saturday Night, No Citations (Sun-Times)
  • Chicago Man Gets 5 Years for Fatal DUI Crash in Kendall County (Tribune)
  • Woman Attacks a Stranger While Riding CTA Bus on North Michigan (NBC)
  • Construction Along Two Lake County Metra Lines Will Result in Schedule Changes (Tribune)
  • Downtown Parking Lots Disappearing During Construction Boom in Ride-Share Era (Tribune)
  • SRAM Decries Distracted Driving, Faded Chicago Bike Lanes (Business Insider)
  • The South Shore Line Reintroduces Bikes on Board Service for Spring (WIMS)
  • Michigan DOT Is Sponsoring Additional Amtrak Service to Holland, MI, for Tulip Fest

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  • Chicagoan

    Few empty lots of land in the Loop nowadays, which leaves me to wonder how much longer the northwest and southwest corners of Van Buren & Wabash can stay parking lots.

  • Matt

    The BGA’s complaints seem a little unfounded from an environmental perspective. The administration should engage the public more on their plans, fair enough, but realistically if they did the result would be an extremely car-centric approach as we’re talking about the entire state. A far better approach is to focus on the diesel pollution from Metra trains, not just because they’re a significant local, Chicagoland, source of pollution, but because it will help with Metra’s image and value proposition. Now if only we could agree to properly electrify the network…

  • Tooscrapps

    Hopefully not much longer. That area feels like a dead zone. Maybe the sprucing up of the CNA building and movement of Northern Trust workers there gives the area a jolt.

  • david vartanoff

    Or rebuild the curves of the L to be less sharp.

  • Chicagoan

    They aren’t that sharp, look at the building squeezed into the southwest corner of Hubbard & Wells. These developers will make it happen if the developer is willing to do so. Tons of room at each of the aforementioned lots of land, definitely more so than the Hubbard & Wells lot.

  • planetshwoop

    I would ask you consider if you should link to articles by the “Illinois News Network”. While it is indeed free online “news”, it is effectively a PR arm from the Illinois Policy Institute that masquerades as journalism so it will be picked up by struggling newspapers.

    I’m not trying to suggest you need an ideological filter for the kind of stories you publish; I feel that they are deceptive and not worth amplifying. If the same article was effectively a press-release from the IPI and SB linked to that, readers would know about it. Their journalism doesn’t come with the same footnote to know the voice behind the story.

  • planetshwoop

    I’ll be interested to see if the taxes charged on Uber/Lyft can make up for the gaps in revenue caused by decreasing the total number of spaces in the Loop. The city is dependent upon the parking garages for a lot of tax $$, so if it’s waning, they money gap will show up soon enough.

  • david vartanoff

    When the State St Subway was built the curves were designed to allow both higher speeds and potentially longer cars than the original system. In my view every chance they get the curves should be eased as was done for instance around Harrison where there was a very sharp S curve necessitating very slow speed.

  • Tooscrapps

    I wonder what the speed/time savings would be if they straightened the Brown/Purple North Ave curve over the health center parking lot.

    I’m sure it wouldn’t be worth the cost, but still curious.

  • johnaustingreenfield

    Good catch, but this is an important story and I didn’t see it elsewhere. I suppose that the IPI propaganda aim is to say, “Hey isn’t it great that Rauner won’t support raising the gas tax hike!”, I’m guessing most Streetsblog readers would argue that the opposite is true. But I’ll keep this info in mind in the future, thanks.

  • rwy

    The sharp curves are part of the charm of the L.

  • CIAC

    By your logic, Streetsblog shouldn’t link to the Sun-Times or the Reader either since they are partly owned by the labor unions. The Illinois News Network may have an agenda at times (I don’t read their articles enough to know) but that article is very even-handed and straightforward. It doesn’t make sense to automatically dismiss articles based simply on who owns the publication.

  • planetshwoop

    No, that is not my logic. The model is quite different between INN and the Sun Times.

    Reader and ST are owned by labor unions (maybe? I don’t know, but I’ll believe you). But they are not involved in the editorial process that I’m aware of. The business model is to make money, and that is their stated aim.

    The business model of INN is to distribute free news to papers with their specific ideological view. Since they know that many papers are struggling, it helps their budgets to pick up the news for “free”. The journalists are undoubtedly under a specific editorial mandate and while the money is supposedly coming from “the Franklin Center”, this appears to be a wash. The address of the Illinois Policy Institute and INN are the exact same — even the same suite number.

    from the INN mission statement is:
    INN acknowledges the challenges faced by today’s media companies. Cutbacks and reductions in force have negatively affected news coverage across the state. Our aim is to provide specialized content of the broader issues of interest to Illinoisans. We believe that our focus and consistency complements the efforts of commercial media in Illinois and beyond.

    Ie, we feed our very specific message as “news” to get papers to pick it up because it helps our cause.

  • johnaustingreenfield

    Yes, last June former alderman Edwin Eisendrath and a consortium of investors, including several unions, purchased the Sun-Times and the Reader. https://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2017/10/09/hallelujah-reader-editorial-staffers-ratify-a-contract

  • CIAC

    “The business model is to make money, and that is their stated aim.”

    I don’t think that the labor unions invested in the Sun-Times because they thought the two papers, directly, would provide a good return on their investment. It’s obvious they did it for other purposes. It may not be abundantly clear how they are influencing the news product but I guarantee they will at some point, if they haven’t already.