Today’s Headlines for Tuesday, May 29

  • NYT: Elon Musk, Who Wants to Build the O’Hare Express, Is the Donald Trump of Tech
  • Crain’s: Let’s Encourage More Auto Manufacturing in Ilinois
  • Man Found Dead on NW Indiana’s Oak Savannah Trail, Possibly Heat-Related (CBS)
  • Hit-and Run Driver Seriously Injured Motorcyclist in Grand Crossing (Sun-Times)
  • Tribune: After Downtown “Mayhem,” Police Forced Teens to Ride CTA to South Side
  • Metra Warns of Scam Asking Job Seekers to Pay Cash for Employment (Sun-Times)
  • A Non-Cyclist Asks Drivers to Be More Patient About Sharing the Road (Our Chicago)
  • Wear Orange for Gun Violence Awareness at South Side Critical Mass This Friday

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  • Weekend Mayhem? OK true it was still May according to the calendar.

    I had opportunity to use LSD to go downtown to pickup a Due’s pizza. At 5pm every northbound exit beyond North Avenue had a half mile backup of cars trying to get off the drive. Well except for Montrose and Wilson where the exits were closed by flashing blue lights.

    So once again we need to ask why there is no weekend LSD shuttle bus offered by the CTA for summer lake users up and down the drive stopping at each exit and then downtown at Millennial and Maggie Daley Park Parking lots.

  • Cameron Puetz

    To reduce congestion by improving transit access, it’s important to look at where drivers are coming from. A shuttle from downtown parking lots wouldn’t really serve very many city residents. It would really only be useful to people driving in on the highways from the suburbs or further out. A parking lot downtown isn’t a convenient place for most people in the city to start their transit trip. To get city residents to stop driving to the beach, the east/west routes need to extend further east and run more frequently. The 47, 72, and 78 are the only bus routes that reach a beach. All other bus routes stop short of LSD or the ME tracks.

  • Carter O’Brien
  • You’re hitting the nail on the head. Thing is once you get to the lake east/west wise you still need the ability to go up and down it.

  • Courtney

    The 147 and 151 can also get you to the beach. I live in Rogers Park and even though there’s a beach right behind my building I take the 147 a few blocks to a bigger beach.

    I am in full agreement we need to make it easier for folks to take transit or bike to the beach. I look forward to Sheridan Rd having a bus-only lane. It is so frustrating to sit in traffic on Sheridan Rd when you know full well the city could do a much better job.

  • Now if we can just get a weekend bus that stops at all the exits.

  • Cameron Puetz

    The 147 and 151 can you get you to a different beach if you’re already at the lakefront, but they won’t get you from an in land neighborhood to the lake. There are decent options for moving North/South in the city, but East/West transit options are limited.

  • Cameron Puetz

    You still have to address how people get to the lakefront. A LSD shuttle bus only helps people who are already on the lakefront. There isn’t a lot traffic between the beaches (aside from runners and cyclists who are in it for the trip not the destination).

  • planetshwoop

    Irving Park Streetcar! 79th St too (since it’s one of the busiest busses in the city).

  • planetshwoop

    This is really important. But if the beach is to be an asset, it has to be treated more like Wrigley or Navy Pier in terms of access.

    Ravinia Festival provides some model of transit accessibility. You can right to the park if you take the train. But you pay through the nose for the convenience of parking on-site, and if you want to park for free, they have a free shuttle they run from where there is space.

    Could this be a model? I don’t know how to manage beach access. It’s lovely that it’s free, and so many people do use and love it. But it means 25% (or whatever) is asphalt. So I don’t know how to make the parks easily accessible and enjoyable but not dedicated to car storage. It’s terribly sad to ride in in the morning and see all the space sitting empty because the parking is designed for the weekend.

    Undoubtedly a lot of the people coming bring coolers, grills, and loads of crap. (We bring loads of crap to the beach when we go.) I don’t know how you take that stuff on the bus unless you are pretty talented.

    This feels like it should be better addressed through a master plan for Lincoln Park (or for that matter, for the region via CMAP) as the status quo creates significant externalities.

    (Full disclosure: I live in the city and take the LFT by bike 2-3x a week, but drive on the weekends to the beach in the North Shore with my kiddos. So I think about this a lot.)

  • Courtney

    Comment posted to wrong reply. Whoops.

  • Courtney

    Agreed. East-West/ West-east is difficult, especially once you get back Lawrence Rd up North. I realize there are a few other east-west buses once you go past Lawrence but they don’t run as frequently. =/

  • Cameron Puetz

    Ravinia and the Lincoln Park Zoo both offer good examples. They have convenient transit and charge for parking, thus encouraging people to ride transit. The beaches have convenient, low cost parking, and inconvenient transit, thus encouraging people to drive. People manage to get pretty elaborate set ups on the train to Ravinia, so it should be possible to get a beech setup on transit.

    I think the first step is to extend a bus line to every beach so that reaching the beach by transit is practical. In many cases that’s as simple as seasonally extending a route a half mile and turning around in a beach house parking lot, like is done with the 72 North Ave bus. The second step is to charge more for parking so that transit is the cheaper option.

  • Carter O’Brien

    I think the wine-and-dine cooler setups people bring to Ravinia are going to be quite a bit different from what families and large groups tend to bring to the beach. People bring grills, tents, AV setups, etc. Check out the areas by Foster and Montrose on a weekend, I don’t think there is a viable CTA alternative.

    This is not to say we shouldn’t improve CTA and discourage driving, but just from my own experience with a kid, going to the beach via CTA is one thing, but the return trip is a whole different story. That’s when your kid(s) have flamed out, are sunburnt, crabby, tired, hungry, have swimsuits full of sand, etc. CTA would really need to pick up its game to come even remotely near Ravinia and Metra, where the train ride often feels like a big rolling party.

    I think your first step idea is dead on, though. Why CTA stopped sending the #12 to the Museum Campus and 12th Street beach is still beyond me.

  • Scroller

    It sounds like the problem here is not the E-W connections (although they can always be improved). Jeff commented on the back-up to get off north-bound LSD. People coming to the beach from the west would have no reason to use LSD, with the exception of people at Belmont…maybe.

    I think the larger issues is the inequity between the north and south sides (and their beaches). Backed up north-bound exits, tells me there’s a lot of people coming from the south. While I’m not familiar, are south side beaches maintained as well? Do they have the same level on concessions? The same atmosphere? The same sense of safety? I don’t have the answer to these, but based on the above commentor’s observations, I think that might have a larger role in LSD traffic that E-W connections.

    My only question is, who is just getting to the beach at 5pm? To each their own I guess.

  • Cameron Puetz

    At 5:00 p.m. there would have had a steady stream of west bound traffic leaving all of the beaches mixing with heavy general traffic as Memorial Day travelers returned home. When traffic is heavy leaving the beaches it can be hard to exit NB LSD to go west into the lakefront neighborhoods.

  • rwy

    So then the buses would be full of sand on warm weekends?

  • Sure. Maybe people could spread their beach blankets on the floor and not even get off at the beach.

  • Anne A

    Something that happens every summer and rarely gets publicized except on the cop blogs. I hear about it from an officer I know because he works in the 18th district and sometimes has to deal with the mayhem.