Today’s Headlines for Thursday, September 27

  • 2 Teenage Boys Shot Dead Near Sox-35th Red Line Station (Tribune)
  • Woman Killed, 2 Injured in Crash Near Comiskey Park (Sun-Times)
  • Driver Fatally Struck Michael Martin, 54, in South Suburban Harvey (Sun-Times)
  • WGN Looks at How the “Dutch Reach” Anti-Dooring Technique Could Save Lives
  • Crowded Blue Line Is 3 More Rush Hour Runs, 5000-Series Cars (Tribune)
  • Illinois Tollway Looks at Embedding Equipment in Parts of I-294 (Tribune)
  • Illinois Uber Drivers Who Got Hacked Will Receive $100 in Settlement (Tribune)
  • Architects Will Discuss Design Process for Obama Center on 9/27 at CAF

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

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  • Anne A

    I’m happy about the additional blue line runs at rush hour, since I sometimes need to use it then. I’m not as happy about the 5000 series cars. Facing sideways with people’s bags right in my face isn’t pleasant.

  • Carter O’Brien

    I really, really, really wish they would actually get some user feedback before spending the kind of money they do on these things. Facing sideways is undesirable on multiple levels. You slide back and forth on the seat when the train lurches forward or stops unexpectedly early, the bag/butt in face issue is a real thing, but it also just makes it difficult to move through the car – taller people sitting across from each other can effectively take up all of the space that has been theoretically created to increase capacity. I am a much bigger fan of the Brown Line cars that simply removed some of the forward facing seating to open up the middle of the cars.

  • ohsweetnothing

    People should have the courtesy to take their bags off and place them on the ground, especially if they’re large enough to be right in people’s faces. Given the rush hour crunch (when will train cars ever be comfortable for those 4 hours of the day??) and the need for luggage capacity, the 5000 series are a huge improvement over the older models that run.

    Needless to say, I was very pleasantly surprised, as someone who regularly commutes via Blue Line, to see them pulling into the station last week.

  • Carter O’Brien

    People should be more courteous in so many different ways… Smart phone distraction has become the death of common CTA courtesy.

    I think backpacks worn on both shoulders are the primary culprits, as they turn the bag into a firm extension of your body, like a turtle shell. Those wearers often are lacking any clue when they bump into people, or my personal (least) favorite, when the clueless inadvertently use a seated passenger’s lap as a resting space for their bag. I’ve found that just wearing a backback only on one shoulder at least makes the bag flexible, that way you can tuck it into your side and shift it as needed to make space for people.

    But again to these new cars, that middle space is often crammed full of legs and feet, there isn’t even a place to put a bag the same way there is when you’re standing and facing a seat that is in turn facing forward.

    And what bags qualify? I don’t think it’s realistic or appropriate to expect a woman to place a bag she’s got her wallet, keys, etc. in on a floor. Other issues are when the weather is totally nasty – I don’t think many
    people are going to place a bag on a gross, wet, slushy floor, even if it theoretically is in the common good.

  • ohsweetnothing

    You’re correct and I should recant my “place them on the ground”, as I rarely do so even when the floor is bone dry! Instead, either on the ground or (what I and lots of others do in crowded cars) take the bag/purse/briefcase (I use a tote..cuz I guess guys can’t call em purses lol) off of your back/side and carry it so that it is between your legs. You have to widen your stance slightly, but it takes up far less room than the alternative and you don’t risk smacking someone in the face with your Kanken.

    Re: the new cars, legs and feet are much easier to move than seat fixtures. The aisle is wider, which allows for more flexibility and lets people pass those with luggage more easily.

  • Carter O’Brien

    Yeah, between the legs is my default when the train is bonkers crowded. Looking forward to trying the new cars, I rode the Blue Line outside of rush hours yesterday so I just got the “vintage” aka grungier experience. : p

  • Anne A


    The ONLY thing I like better about the seating configuration on the 5000 series cars is that it allows more flexibility for bringing bikes on board.

  • Anne A

    The sideways facing seating is TERRIBLE for people with leg injuries who can’t fully bend knees/ankles to get feet clear of other people who aren’t looking where they’re going.

    If you have injuries or bad knees and the sideways seats are all you can get, you risk further injury from fellow passengers. Been there, done that. It sucks.

  • Carter O’Brien

    Yes and yes. When I was hobbling around with a busted foot in a walking boot last winter I definitely got a very real taste of how absolutely nerve wracking the L can be. It also redoubled my profound anger with every L stop without an elevator – until I realized that at least the downtown L stop elevators were usually so disgusting it was preferable to plod my way up and down stairs.

  • rwy

    See I like the center facing seats. I don’t have my knees against the seat in front of me.

  • Anne A

    Over the years, I’ve gone through several rounds of walking with crutches or a cane for an extended period of time due to knee, foot or ankle injury. Way too many times to count, I have been unable to tuck the injured leg back and had it kicked or stepped on when I was forced to use a sideways facing seat. ’nuff said.

  • Carter O’Brien

    I can’t keep the car series #s straight, but I like these new cars, they seem like the Brown Line ones and not the Red Line ones. They definitely smell better as well!

  • Kevin M


    NYC’s Metro has had aisle-facing seats for a long time. It just makes sense from a capacity issue.