Today’s Headlines for Thursday, July 19

  • Sign an Active Trans Letter in Support of Bus Lanes Without Road Widening on LSD
  • CTA Plans for Accessible Stations, Although Funds Aren’t Available (Tribune)
  • Metra Struggles With Overcrowding, Broken Air Conditioning on BNSF (Tribune)
  • DUI Charges in Crash That Killed Walter Bajorek, 65, in Round Lake Park (Tribune)
  • Police Officers Injured in Crash While Responding to Call Near United Center (ABC)
  • NBC Chicago: Obstructed Bike Lanes Are an Increasing Problem for Cyclists
  • Developer Breaks Ground on $18M Logistics Center in Little Village (Block Club)
  • Sterling Bay Unveils $5B Plan for Lincoln Yards With up to 5,000 Units (Crain’s)
  • After Quitting Chicago DoBi Pilot, Ofo Is Scaling Back N. American Operations (Quartz)
  • Fast Facts About the History & Present Status of the CTA (KPAX)

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

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  • Random_Jerk

    ‘NBC 5 Investigates took a 30-minute bike ride through the Chicago Loop and came upon 18 partial or full bike lane obstructions’ – that could translate to $1800 or more in revenue for the city in 30 min… My current bike commute takes 15 min, and everyday I see plenty opportunities to write a ticket. Drivers and bikers as well have no regards for rules of the road. I don’t blame them – there is almost zero enforcement. City of Chicago already have Traffic Management Department. Why can they get 15 people, put them on the bikes and give them authority to ticket for traffic violation? Seems like a very simple thing to do. Vision Zero = Zero Vision….

  • Jeff Carlson

    Because of its proximity to Union Station and Greyhound, Clinton Blue Line should be at the top of the list for accessibility. There is a continuous stream of passengers lugging suitcases up to street level.

  • Kevin M

    I agree with you that Chicago streets feel like the wild west. History tells us that they always have, actually. The debate over street usage is as old as sewers under them.

  • Tooscrapps

    You could have a few teams of officers that stand at intersections in the Loop during the rush hours ticketing illegal turns, blocking the box, and failure to yield. Move them around the Loop to different intersections each day and do it all summer long.

  • Kevin M

    “At Wednesday’s board meeting, Metra announced that it is reissuing a
    request for proposals for new rail cars. The new RFP, to be issued later
    this year, will be open to alternative rail car designs after Metra got
    just one response to its initial request for new bilevel gallery cars.”

    Please, we need more bicycle capacity. I don’t think Metra’s current management has generally cared much for accommodating bicycles (Quinn made ’em do it, bless him), but maybe if Active Trans and some other agencies pushed hard enough, this could change.

  • planetshwoop

    Why do we think this is a revenue opportunity missed instead of a shameful misuse of resources? Make it a revenue opportunity and you make the behavior OK because you just pay the fine.

    Double-parking, blocking bike lanes, speeding — it isn’t bad because you could get ticketed. It’s bad because you’ll really hurt someone.

    Unless/until you redesign streets in the Loop for traffic to be 20mph instead of 35-40, no amount of enforcement will fix this.

  • planetshwoop

    Also, I think the escalators are from WWII. They seem like the escalator equivalent of a Studebaker.

  • planetshwoop

    In today’s edition of the Trib, it also mentioned a class action lawsuit claiming the city way oversteps its bounds with issuing too many tickets and fines, and that it has become a burden on the poor.

    We’ve discussed all of this before, but you have to be careful of the consequences of enforcement uber alles.

  • Cameron Puetz

    The Gallery cars used by Metra were once a common commuter coach design, but have fallen out of favor with other commuter railroads. Metra is the last railroad still buying antiquated design. Most have switched to bilevel cars where the first floor is at platform level and the upper floor spans the whole width of the car. These cars are popular because they allow for roll aboard boarding making them more accessible to wheelchairs, bikes, strollers, and passengers who have difficulty climbing stairs. Also, most have two sets of doors, which reduces station dwell times. The market forcing Metra to consider modern car designs should increase service quality. Alternate designs should have been considered the last time Metra bought cars.

    This design developed for GO in the 1970s has become one of the more popular designs.

  • Tooscrapps

    Sorry, but no. No one is forcing people to break these laws. Just like no one is forcing people to speed past cameras. These are safety issues, not tickets for failure to pay the meter.

    I’m on board with equitable fines, but there should be enforcement nonetheless. Being poor doesn’t give you a free pass to endanger other people.

  • Tooscrapps

    Sure, but the money to redesign and upgrade safety facilities has to comes from somewhere. Ticket revenue going right back into redesigns would be a great place to start.

  • Guest

    The new class action lawsuit is not about whether tickets should have been issued. It concerns the legal issue that certain parking/traffic fines in excess of $250 are illegal under state law, but Chicago has charged those fines anyway.

  • Carter O’Brien

    Yep. We’ll see if Chicago finds a way to claim a home rule exemption.

  • Cameron Puetz

    Imagine if instead of blowing money building the useless Block 37 Superstation, we’d built airport style intertermial connections to link Union, Ogilvie, the CTA Union Station Transit center, Green/Pink Line Clinton Station, and Blue Line Station into and actual Superstation. Start at the by building a tunnel under canal to intersect the tunnel that connects Union’s headhouse to its concourse. Going north, run the new tunnel to Ogilvie and terminate it in the French Market. Modify the Clinton Green/Pink Line station to also link up with the French Market. Going south either run new tunnel down Canal and extend the Clinton Blue Line Station’s mezzanine level to connect, or jog the tunnel under the CTA Union Station Transit Center and run it down Clinton to the Blue Line Station. Either way, on the way by send an elevator and escalator to the shelter in the Transit Center.

  • planetshwoop

    If you increase ticket revenue, it is not going to be “lockboxed” into a source for infra improvements. Ticket revenue is going to go into the general revenue, and infra improvements goes out the capital budget, which requires bonds (usually).

    Look, enforcement, sure. I’m not arguing there should be no enforcement. But don’t imagine for a moment that you can fund your dream infrastructure on the back of enforcement dollars. It creates a lot of questions of equality and how you fund your city.

  • Tooscrapps

    I’m not saying it will fully fund it, but if more enforcement dollar means less money coming from bond issues or tax increases, great. I’m not naive, obviously smart spending is a bigger issue.

    However, I am ok with penalizing selfish, inconsiderate, and dangerous motorists until the message is received.