Today’s Headlines for Monday, September 10

  • Rauner Signs Bill Requiring K-8 Schools to Provide Bike/Ped Education (Active Trans)
  • Male Cyclist, 59, Killed in Zion Friday — 4th Serious or Fatal Bike Crash Last Week (Tribune)
  • Delayed DUI Test, No Ticket After Pickup Driver Killed Teen Near Rockford (Tribune)
  • A Refresher on Laws Drivers Need to Obey to Safely Coexist With Cyclists (Ridge 99)
  • Cops Charged With Taking Bribes to Give Crash Data to Attorney Referral Service (Tribune)
  • The Sun-Times Looks at the 31st Street Bus Route’s New Lease on Life
  • Rauner Lifts Road Weight Limit for Market-Bound Crop Haulers (Associated Press)
  • Should Chicago Annex Its Struggling Inner-Ring Suburbs? (Chicago Magazine)
  • “One Toke Over the [Express] Line”: Musk Speaks Bluntly About His O’Hare Plan (Reader)
  • TOD With 24 Units, 7 Spots Ready to Rise by the Southport Brown Line Stop (Curbed)
  • Divvy’s #StallFall Campaign Offers Free Summer Schwag From Cargo Trikes (Block Club)
  • Cargo Bikes, Divvies, Unicycles, Etc. Encouraged to Race in 9/29 HAC Cyclocross Race

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Justin

    That Chicago Reader about the Rogan Musk interview is an embarrassment to journalism. All these sheep piling on Musk. The article tried to spin Musk’s description of his tunnels as “underground snakes” as an eccentric pothead musing, but really that quote comes from musk trying to give a technical explanation of how the tunnels work, with sets up overlapping “snake exoskeelton-like tunnel sections that interlock with each other, that are incredibly strong and almost impossible to break, connected together by double redundant seals that are also nearly impossible to break, and so in an earthquake which is mostly a surface phenomenon, the tunnel would be one of the safest places to be”. The article then tries to spin Musks admission that the “not a flamethrowers” really are not flamethrowers and are just modified roofing torches packaged within an air rifle body, as an admission that Musk conned 20,000 suckers into buying a misrepresented product. In reality, they were very upfront about what the products were, and also they needed to not be flamethrowers for regulatory reasons anyway, because otherwise they would have to go through firearms dealers and not nearly as many people would have been able to buy them. Poor Elon, these basement-dwelling hacks are really out for blood.

  • Musk’s successful pursuits are amazing. The Tesla is both two years ahead of its competition in terms of automotive quality and has been one of the most important pieces of technology driving the efforts to save the planet from global warming (and wetting) caused by fossil fuels.

    But like many geniuses, or what ever one might choose to call various savant-like eccentricities, his abilities are not uniformly spread across every task that might appeal to him. Where you see an attack on Musk I see an intelligent self re-evaluation of his ideas based on feedback from people whose genius lies in other fields. I see a man able to process criticism and change. Even admit he may be wrong.

    Hey just IMHO. But what I really want to see from him is an apology to Jarrett Walker for calling him an “idiot.”

  • And will Rauner lift the budget for rural road maintenance? And more importantly will Rauner lift the taxes paid by the heavier crop haulers? (tl:dnr – maybe the answers are in the article I didn’t read;)

  • Carter O’Brien

    The Chicago Magazine piece is thought-provoking, and kind of an interesting twist from Renn, who I generally associate with the “more density” side of urban planning. There are good points made (and probably a lot more in the actual study being quoted), but adding further sprawl to Chicago’s very expensive and aging infrastructure responsibilities needs to be seriously looked at on a lot of levels. It’s hard not to imagine that almost immediately what we’d see are areas woefully underserved and disconnected from Chicago’s existing and already stretched biking and transit resources.

  • planetshwoop

    The hang-up will be schools. Many of these towns exist to not be in the CPS system. There can be opportunities for students that aren’t totally apparent (add in other kids from Chicago if they have low enrollment; new base of residents who don’t want to live in Chicago but have to live in the city; Niles residents can compete to go to Walter Payton or Northside, etc.)

    A expect a more likely scenario is these towns merge to save costs. This happens elsewhere (consolidated 911; consolidated school districts, etc. etc.) But there’s a lot more that could be done — esp. if you include the ridiculous townships that exist around the region too.

    Some of the thinking behind this came from a really silly point: if Chicago is “losing” people while Houston is gaining people, some of that is because Houston has a massive area. If Chicago annexed more of the region (and I think Toronto set a precedent for that?), it would stay ahead of Houston and more accurately reflect the size of the city.

  • Justin

    In both the case of Jarrett Walker and the Thailand cave diver that Musk attacked, I see a human being getting frustrated by the cascade of people that don’t even know him, casting aspersions on his motivations and caricaturing him as a Bond villain type character. What did Jarrett Walker Tweet about Musk before he hit back: “In cities, @elonmusk’s hatred of sharing space with strangers is a luxury (or pathology) that only the rich can afford. Letting him design cities is the essence of elite projection.”

    Walker accuses Musk of being (pathologically) hostile to the interests of non-rich people, and in general of having bad faith or evil motivations. Walker may be a transit expert, but he had no expert knowledge of Musk’s internal thinking to cast those aspersions. So Musk fires back, maybe unbecoming of a major corporate CEO, but certainly a reasonable response for any other human. Same thing with the cave diver: accuses musk of having only self-serving motivations, hurts musk’s feelings by projecting this idea that musk doesn’t really care about the trapped children and only is out to help himself, Musk shoots back. So what, that sounds about right to me. I’d do the same thing.

  • Carter O’Brien

    I wonder if just being connected to Chicago’s water and sewer systems would be enough to override any concerns about schools. I think these were major reasons Jefferson Park and Lake View joined Chicago back in the day.

  • rwy

    Getting Chicago’s biking resources seems like a good reason to join Chicago.

    Also, it would be easier for Illinois’s next AG to reform one giant police department over dealing with many tiny police departments.

  • rohmen

    Spot on about schools being the issue. Say what you will about Niles, but I bet the general admission schools are still much better than CPS’ general admission schools.

    There’s a handful of suburbs where it might make sense on the South Side, but Chicago would just be taking on straight-out debt in cases like Dolton, Harvey, etc., with little upside. Also, it’s not like services and schools would drastically improve, and the South Side neighborhoods those suburbs are next to do not function much (if any) better in terms of services.

    On the West Side, Cicero, Oak Park, Berwyn, etc.stand in the way of a lot of the more impoverished suburbs like North Riverside, Maywood, Hillside, etc., so not sure how you’d even connect them to the city effectively.

    Unfortunately, merging has downsides, too. The Proviso Township issues (which includes a lot of now-impoverished West Side suburbs) are a good example. You can look at Forest Park’s efforts to get out and build their own HS as exhibit 1 on why consolidation doesn’t always work well down the road.

  • IMHO you misread Walker’s use of the word “pathology”. Back up to the word before “luxury”. Particularly ones “that only the rich can afford.” Now it is true that Musk is rich, and it is a curse I wish on no one. But Musk actually does real work in spite of his wealth. He is honestly trying to “save the world”. For him the wealth is more a means to an end rather than an end in itself (imho). But lets face it, like power, wealth corrupts. We can only hope that Musk continues to not become too corrupted and can still work to save the world.

    Musk may be a savant (non-idiot). But genius can either be applied deeply or widely but not both. So where Musk goes deep he tends to get it right, but where he goes wide he can drop the ball. See his Rogan interview where he admits that he could be wrong about some of his tunneling ideas. That is a true intelligence working with new information in an area they are newly acquiring. He can learn. That raises my estimation of him as a person.

    And that he has real feelings that can be hurt, also helps me feel better about him.

  • rohmen

    I used to defend Muck on similar grounds, and still think people are too quick to dismiss things he has accomplished with Space X and Tesla. That said, him accusing the cave diver of being a pedophile with (apparently) no support goes light years beyond simply shooting back. Then bringing it back up weeks later for seemingly no reason is beyond explanation.

    At this stage, he’s only still CEO of Tesla because there’s a very strong chance there’s no Tesla without him for many investors, but he’s definitely moved into “actions are hurting the brand” territory as of late, and it can’t be dismissed as simply hurt feelings or poor reactions to personal attacks at this stage.

  • what_eva

    Houston is 627 square miles, Chicago is 234. ie Houston is 2.5 times the size of Chicago area-wise.

    School-wise, I think a lot of suburbs could benefit from school consolidation. Check out this map of Skokie’s school districts:
    http://www.skokie.org/School%20District%20Map%20%20-%20July%202016(1).pdf

    A small part of it is that Skokie is in two townships. The blue part is in Evanston Township, the rest is in Niles. So for high schools, it’s 2 districts with 3 high schools (Niles North and Niles West are the same district). But for elementary, there are *8* on the map, with 6 having big chunks of Skokie (the little bit of 67 I’m not sure anyone lives there, that’s by the Skokie courthouse and some office buildings, maybe there’s a residential building? It looks like 70 has some houses right by the Edens). Again, a small bit of that (the blue/65) is Evanston township, but the rest of that is all Niles township that has been split up to a ridiculous level to the point that one of the districts is 73-1/2 because it split from 73.

    I don’t really know for sure, but I’m under the impression that Skokie is an extreme example, but that in many cases in the burbs, there are still multiple elementary districts per township. Every one of those districts has a superintendent, probably an assistant and some district staff. It adds up quickly.