Today’s Headlines for Tuesday, April 24

  • Tribune Editorial: If We Want Decent Transportation, We Need to Find New Ways to Fund It
  • Metra Looks at Ways to Ensure That All Fares Are Collected (Tribune)
  • Aldermen Overwhelmingly Vote to Save the Dodge Avenue Protected Bike Lanes (Daily Northwestern)
  • Wilson/Lamon, Site of an Aldermanic Showdown 3 Years Ago, Will Keep Eastbound Traffic (Nadig)
  • U. of I. Shuttle Bus Company Faces Civil Rights Lawsuit for Racist Marketing (Sun-Times)
  • The Shuttle Company Doxed Customers by Publishing Personal Info on “Wall of Shame” (Daily Illini)
  • South Works Developer Says the Project Is Still Happening (Crain’s)
  • Schaumburg May Spend $10.2M on New Road for Motorola Campus Redevelopment (Herald)
  • Working Bikes Partners With Tinley Park Church for Cycle Collection Drive (Tribune)

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  • planetshwoop

    A few days ago, I was taking the train to the suburbs with my 3 y.o. son. He loves trains, so we were walking around the Jeff Park station before boarding to look at the highway, the el, etc. A man who was wandering around the station came up to us and yelled a few things before drifting away. We weren’t scared, and it just felt like city life.

    Arena happened to be getting into the station at the same time. He turned around and quickly checked to make sure we were OK and asked if he could help. We were fine, it really wasn’t a big deal, but he was clearly concerned and cared.

    There is so much controversy and criticism of him. I’m sure he’s not a saint, but I felt that he actually acted as a public servant in that moment, trying to make sure he did the right thing.

    I don’t know what the city would be like if all 50 aldermen were like him. But I think it would be pretty awesome.

  • Chicagoan

    I’m sure Alderman Arena is a very nice man, it’s just that his ward is full of loonies (And racists too).

  • Anne A

    He’s a decent guy. I’m glad he was looking out for you after that stressful moment.

  • Kevin M

    That is nice that Arena stopped to support you. However, it is too bad that he doesn’t support people with mental illness (which, by the way, also indirectly supports everyone). Arena voted in 2012 in favor of Emanuel’s 2012 budget, which closed 6 of the City’s 12 mental health clinics: https://psychcentral.com/blog/chicago-closing-half-its-mental-health-clinics/

  • Chicagoan

    I believe Jeff Park’ers dislike him for other more nutty reasons, though.

  • rohmen

    Not that Arena isn’t fair game to attack on that issue (and deserves it), but didn’t the budget pass on a 50-0 vote? Literally no Alderman that’s been in office since 2012 stood up and voted no, including the ones touted to be much more progressive than Arena.

  • johnaustingreenfield

    Yep, the city council unanimously passed Emanuel’s 2012 budget, which included the mental health clinic closings:
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/16/chicago-2012-budget-passe_n_1097183.html

    All of the aldermen in the Progressive Caucus who were in office at the time voted for that budget, including Arena, Leslie Hairston, Roderick Sawyer, Ricardo Muñoz, Scott Waguespack, and possibly a couple others on this list: http://chicagoprogressivecaucus.com/who-we-are/

  • ugh… that tribune editorial is the dumbest ever and I’m heartbroken to see CMAP support stupid ideas like a VMT tax.

    JUST RAISE THE DAMN GAS TAX!!!

    Worrying about rising fuel economy standards eroding your revenue source requires you do absolutely no research on the history of the nation’s MPG. It’s pretty much hovered in the low 20’s for the past 50 years.

  • planetshwoop

    That needs to happen more at the federal level than the state level. Illinois (and Chicago’s) gas taxes are pretty high, relatively speaking. (Not that they can’t be higher, but that’s happened, largely.)

    The article misses the bigger point that the RTA has been saying for some time. It was funded via retail sales taxes, and a) the composition of that has changed, which is a problem and b) I think it hasn’t grown as more sales have moved online. (I think more of those taxes are collected than the used to be, but still.) It feels like updating this formula is a better option, but it involves the politically difficult process city-suburb negotiation, which is too bad because we all could benefit if they figured it out.

    VMT will go nowhere unless it’s opt-in because of privacy fears. If you put it as a % of your auto-policy, one could imagine a situation where you have forced insurance agencies to become your compliance tool. (I know it exists elsewhere, but I think it’s unlikely here bc of the red-light issues.)

    I don’t know what the answers are.

  • mkyner

    Metra would not need to add turnstiles to all the stations – just the really busy ones, like downtown. The suburban stations could have ‘tap on tap off’ posts for Ventra cards, similar to the Minneapolis or Saint Louis light rail stations. I imagine that would be cheaper than turnstiles and ensuring the platforms at each station are controlled access.

    Riders would be forced to tap on/off at the downtown terminals to get through the turnstiles, but it would be up to them to tap on/off at the suburban stations. If they don’t have another tap after a certain amount of time, their card would be charged for riding the full length of the line. IIRC, the rail system in Sydney, Australia uses a method like this.

  • what_eva

    I wouldn’t bother with the downtown stations for inbound, people can just exit. If they don’t tap off somewhere else, they get charged from tap on to terminal. Reverse you’d need to get a tap on or else no way to stop people from just walking out of the station at the far end.

  • what_eva

    I’ve noticed in at least some cases that I’ve only gotten hit for state sales tax online, not the locals as well (Cook, Chicago, etc). Not sure if that was right or if there’s a gap in law that allows it?

  • CIAC

    I don’t think the consolidations you are talking about took away any mental health services. They just concentrated the services into fewer locations so that it was more cost efficient and thus more could be offered.

  • mkyner

    The idea behind the turnstiles downtown is that it forces there to be a tap at one end the journey. In the afternoon, you’d tap at the downtown stations to get on your train. At the suburban station where you get off, you’d tap at the post to show your ride is over. If you don’t tap, then after a certain amount of time goes by and your card has not registered an ‘off’ tap somewhere, that’s when you’d get charged for going the full length of the line.