Today’s Headlines for Monday, May 7

  • For the Third Time, Crain’s Cites Toronto’s Failed Airport Train as a Best Practice
  • Hit-and-Run Driver Hits 5 People, Killing 1, on Eisenhower Ramp After Cab Breaks Down (WGN)
  • Hit-and-Run Driver Seriously Injures Boy on Bike in Portage Park (Sun-Times)
  • Hit-and-Run-Driver Strikes Man on Sidewalk, Pinning Him Against a Porch (ABC)
  • Residents Argue That LFT Separation in Uptown Will Actually Create More Conflicts (Tribune)
  • ABC Looks at the Progress of the Entire Trail Separation Project
  • Dockless Bike-Share Companies Gripe About Chicago’s “Lock-to” Requirement (Tribune)
  • Parks Advocates Argue That Car-Free Cornell Shouldn’t Be Counted as Parkland (Sun-Times)
  • Today Is Crossing Guard Appreciation Day — Thank Your Local CG (Chicago Crusader)
  • May Events on the Lakefront Trail (Active Trans)
  • The 606 Will Be Closed to the Public for a $35 “Fun Run” Benefit on Saturday, June 23
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  • Tooscrapps

    That’s interesting about the 606 considering their permit page states:

    Athletic Events/Rentals
    No Run, Walks, Races, or Bike Rides are allowed on the Bloomingdale Trail.

    https://www.the606.org/visit/permits-rentals/

  • JEK

    The rules don’t apply when you make the rules? There are free CARA timed 5Ks in Humboldt park every Saturday and they don’t close the park.

  • Chicagoan

    The 606 is becoming far too privatized.

  • You can’t really do a race on it without closing it. I hardly think it’s a sign of privatization.

  • JEK

    As I just noted, there are 5Ks in Humboldt Park every Saturday and the path is still in use by the public. I’ll be interested to see the turnout for this one. Not sure what type of runner pays to run a 2.7 mile race, that’s not a normal distance for any standard race. Why not find a way to extend it to 3.1 mi and advertise it as a 5K at least?

  • Carter O’Brien

    The event page states “Proceeds from the race supports ongoing public programming at The 606,” which makes this different from the CPD rules, which are described as being in place to keep the 606 from being reserved by private parties, which I gather is allowed to a limited degree in the pocket parks. The block party following the race also appears to be open to the public.

  • Tooscrapps

    Any event that charges an entry fee is a private party, especially when you have blocked off the whole trail. I don’t disagree with allowing these types of events, but I don’t think any party or organization should get to sidestep the rules in place.

  • Cameron Puetz

    The trail separation plan for Uptown just seems poorly thought out. Swapping pedestrians for cyclists doesn’t solve the problems with intersections at Montrose, Wilson, and Lawrence. Also sending cyclists on an unwanted detour is likely to create a demand path of cyclists riding on the pedestrian route, similar to the path that existed through Jane Addams park before flyover construction began. The routing also fails to address that Montrose, Wilson, and Lawrence are all popular east/west bike routes with significant numbers or cyclists turning on and off the LFP.

  • Carter O’Brien

    “Any event that charges an entry fee is a private party.”

    An event and an event organizer are not the same thing.

    In this case, the event is open to the public, you just need to pay to attend. That is different from other private events the rules describe; they list weddings, for example, where the private entity getting the permit can obviously exclude anyone they see fit.

  • Tooscrapps

    And the rules clearly and prominently state this:
    For The 606, the Chicago Park District does not permit any runs, walks, or rides on the Bloomingdale Trail.

    Do as I say, not as a I do.

  • Matt

    A month old article from Crain’s doesn’t feel like it should qualify as “today’s headlines.” Additionally, could you clarify where in your linked article they cite Toronto as best practice? In fact, Joe Cahill explicitly mentions the criticisms levelled at the Toronto project and suggests that he agrees with the sentiment. As he reiterates: this is a private investment (minus the stations), that several private companies appear to believe will be profitable. Why stop it? We need more transit in the city, not less.

  • Carter O’Brien

    You completely omitted the context, “permit” refers to the actual permitting process, as is clear from the proceeding sentence:

    “Permits & Rentals

    Any organized event at The 606 requires a permit from the Chicago Park District. The cost depends on the event type and needs of the event, and some parks have restrictions as to what events can and cannot take place. To learn more about the process visit: http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/permits-and-rentals/

    For The 606, the Chicago Park District does not permit any runs, walks, or rides on the Bloomingdale Trail. The four access parks have more flexibility and can be permitted as a station for a run, walk or ride at street level.”

  • Tooscrapps

    I understand the context. I just don’t think any event/organization should be above the stated rules. The Trust for Public Land and Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail (the organizers) are not the same as the Park District.

  • Carter O’Brien

    The “stated rules” are on a website run by a group you don’t seem to acknowledge is a formal partner of CPD. If I follow your logic through to completion, the rules are themselves completely bunk as they aren’t on an official City webpage.

    This is not a private event such as the CPD generally issues permits for. This is an event being conducted by two formal partners of CPD, and one being done to fund programming for the 606.

    If you don’t recognize there is a difference there, well, yikes. The whole park district functions this way, with many (if not most) parks having friends groups that have fundraisers designed to supplement CPD’s budgets for any given park. And even then, a key difference here is that CPD wasn’t the group that spearheaded the creation and fundraising for the Bloomingdale Trail in the first place.

  • Tooscrapps

    I’m grateful for their work. I still don’t agree that they should have a monopoly on certain events for a public space.

  • Carter O’Brien

    I guess I’m not understanding exactly what your complaint is – are you saying you just don’t want any events like these, or that you think private groups should also have the ability to host them? Friends groups (across the board) are accountable to the public, as they have public meetings and forums. So while any closure of the Trail can be a tough pill for users to swallow, I do see a very large distinction between this one and the more “free market” version.

    I work on the Museum Campus, and believe me when I tell you to be careful what you wish for – the LFT and Columbus have been privatized to a degree that is routinely frustrating. Lollapalooza’s set up and breakdown screws up a huge surrounding area for over a week at this point. Just my opinion, but this seems like fairly small potatoes in the big picture (again, I do see the slippery slope, which would be my concern).

  • Austin Busch

    A major concern is that the Chicago has bad history with privatization contracts going in the city’s favor, like the Skyway’s underpricing or the parking meter debacle. It could work great, but will the fine print hold the city accountable for its failure?

  • rduke

    Chicago not holistically understanding or planning for bicycle riders properly!?! Color me shocked.

    Bike friendly city my ass.

  • johnaustingreenfield

    Sorry, forgot to include the third link to last Friday’s op-ed.

    “This is a private investment (minus the stations), that several private companies appear to believe will be profitable. Why stop it?”

    Toronto is a perfect cautionary tale for why we should stop the O’Hare Express. The privately funded service got dismal ridership at $20 US a ride. It’s doing better now that the fare has been lowered to $9, but taxpayers had to bail out the private investors with a heavy public subsidy. In effect, the public is being forced to pay for a service that is still only used by relatively wealthy riders, which is inequitable. Let’s not let that happen in Chicago.

  • Anne A

    I find it rather ironic that Alderman Beale is complaining about dockless bike share. He hasn’t been very supportive of bike infrastructure and generally hasn’t taken any noticeable interest in bike issues.

    When I’ve talked to people in my ward (19th) about bike share, the vast majority of people really don’t understand how Divvy works, or how critical it is to have sufficient station density in order to provide quality bike share service. In low density neighborhoods (most of the dockless bike share service area), it would be difficult to create sufficient station density without placing a lot of stations in front of people’s houses. Some people might be okay with that, but I think that many would complain about it.

    From what I’m seeing so far, not having docks is offering a lot more flexibility for low density areas. I’m seeing the bikes in use and I’ve been using them myself. I’m very curious to see how this plays out over the 6 month pilot program. I don’t see this as a substandard option, but as one that could be a better fit for low density areas.