Today’s Headlines for Wednesday, June 5

  • Good Transit, Walkability, and Bike Facilities Are Part of What Makes Chicago Great (Curbed)
  • Yard Social Club Argues Metra Extension Into Kendall County Could Enable Sprawl
  • Hoffman Estates Police Officer Killed in Motorcycle/Van Crash in South Barrington (Sun-Times)
  • Rahm Emanuel Completes 900-Mile Bike Trip Around Lake Michigan (Facebook)
  • WBEZ Talks With Ex-Messenger and Bike Touring Legend George Christiansen
  • Here Are 12 Urban Escapes That Would Be Great Bike Ride Destinations (Curbed)
  • Lynda Will Present on SW Side Bike Issues at MBAC Meeting This Thursday 3-4:30 PM at City Hall

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  • Kevin M

    The Yard Social Club makes some excellent points, including transit-induced sprawl in outer-ring ‘burbs and the need for re-organizing the RTA.

  • Downgrade

    You can’t have it both ways. Either you want to:

    (1) encourage suburbanites to use transit to commute to Chicago; or

    (2) lecture those suburbanites on your pet theories of exurban development.

  • Kevin M

    Technically, I think you can have both–if, in (1), you are referring to all suburbanites (not just those in the exurban areas).

    But assuming you are referring to just exurbanites in your first point, then who’s trying to have both of those? I took the YSC post to be all-in on your second point–that encouraging exurban development with a Metra extension is not a good idea (from the general public’s economical or environmental standpoints).

  • Austin Busch

    Yes and,

    1) Kendall County is more a suburb of Naperville/Aurora, which is where many of them will be commuting to. It would be better to see the business community there help rethink it as a nodal center for the transportation network.

    2) This is further out than the Amtrak stop on the California Zephyr,
    meaning the distances covered are more in line with interstate travel policy than regional transit.

  • Downgrade

    As much as you might think people should not live in exurban areas like Kendall county:

    https://grist.org/sprawl/2011-08-26-the-curse-of-the-exurbs/

    the trend is not going away — either in Chicagoland or elsewhere.

    So you can either:

    (1) build train service (and build support for state spending on transit); or

    (2) watch more residents move to the exurbs — residents who will see driving as their only transportation option — and vote down spending on transit that doesn’t serve their community.

  • Kevin M

    Re: (2)
    Residents will not continue to move to the exurbs as the cost of driving becomes more expensive / less subsidized. YSC was also making the point of the public subsidization of sprawl that needs to be called out and halted. This is the broader point that the Metra extension plan falls within.
    Personally, I’d love to see passenger rail to Oswego, Plano, etc. I’d like to see trains running to all of the surviving railroad communities with their quaint, dense downtowns (e.g. Galesburg). But the balance of highway/road/car funding vs. transit needs to shift a lot further before that railroad to sustainability opens all across the prairie.

  • Carter O’Brien

    Have you done any research on the pros and cons of floodplain development? There is a reason most of the state’s population resides in the Chicago Metro area.

  • Downgrade

    Actually, super commuting from far exurbs is an increasing trend

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/21/realestate/extreme-commuting.html

  • Downgrade

    Flood plain development is a key issue for development, but that should not affect ALL of Kendall county.

  • Carter O’Brien

    You’re right, but it’s also just one of a dozen reasons why sprawl is unsustainable. Your “trend” article is from 2011. A lot has changed since then in terms of the economy, known risks related to climate change, and just recently, a doubling of the gas tax. There’s a reason why a majority of people across the globe now live in urban areas, that’s the larger global trend, and that is most definitely not going to change – it’s going to intensify.

  • Dennis McClendon

    Surely it’s somehow relevant that Kendall Area Transit’s express bus from Oswego to the BNSF failed for lack of ridership.

  • Downgrade

    Actually, Kendall County is still growing much faster than nearby counties, according to this Crain’s Chicago Business article from 2018:

    https://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20180330/ISSUE01/180329848/kendall-county-west-of-chicago-sees-growth