Introducing “The Chicago Transportation Authority” — Your Source for Info and Advice

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For more than six years, Streetsblog Chicago has been the Windy City’s daily source for sustainable transportation advocacy, and now we think it’s time to mix things up a bit with a new weekly feature. We’re launching “The Chicago Transportation Authority,” an info and advice column that will answer your burning questions about biking, walking, and transit issues, history, etiquette, and more, as well as covering traffic safety and public space topics. (In case you’re wondering, yes, we did check in with the Chicago Transit Authority about the name and, no, they’re not planning to sue us.)

The idea for this feature was inspired by such storied sources of wisdom as the Chicago Reader’s late, great “The Straight Dope” question-and-answer column; the Washington City Paper’s “Gear Prudence” bike info source; and even the “Savage Love” advice column by ex-Chicagoan Dan Savage. The goal of “The Chicago Transportation Authority” will be, as “Straight Dope” author Cecil Adams used to say, “fighting ignorance,” but we also want to make sure that, as a reader-supported publication, SBC is providing transportation news that you can use.

Here’s how it works. Send us the question that you want answered via email (jgreenfield[at] or a tweet (@streetsblogchi). You can also post a query in the comment section of this article or on our Facebook page. No question is too big or too small, whether you’re curious about the effectiveness of Chicago traffic cameras, have a query about an obscure bit of ‘L’ system history, are wondering about proper Metra etiquette, or are just looking for a low-stress bike route to the beach. If we’re not qualified to weigh in on the subject, we’ll seek out an expert on the topic who is.

Each week we’ll run a column with the answer to one or more of the inquiries we’ve received. While we can’t promise we’ll be able to respond to every question we receive, we’ll do our best. (Some questions may simply be answered with an email from us or — sorry — not at all if we get too swamped.)

Big thanks to Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices, P.C. for generously offering to sponsor this new feature. “Keating Law Offices is honored to support Streetsblog Chicago’s work promoting sustainable transportation and safe, livable streets,” said attorney Michael Keating. “Streetsblog’s work is directly aligned with Keating Law Office’s mission to fight for vulnerable users of the roadways. We look forward to this new Streetsblog column that will shed light on important and interesting local transportation issues and, in turn, help make our commutes safer, easier and a little less taxing.”

So go ahead and send in those questions. We’re looking forward to putting on our thinking caps (bike helmets?) to answer them.

This post is made possible by a grant from the Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating Law Offices, P.C., a Chicago, Illinois law firm committed to representing pedestrians and cyclists. The content is Streetsblog Chicago’s own, and Keating Law Offices neither endorses the content nor exercises any editorial control.


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