Today’s Headlines for Tuesday, September 3

  • Lightfoot floats congestion pricing as a strategy to address city’s budget deficit (Curbed)
  • Driver who killed Myrna Logan, 81, and reportedly tried to flee released without charges (CBS)
  • Hit-and-run driver who struck Lee Davis, 59, in East Garfield charged with homicide (Sun-Times)
  • Driver struck cyclist Richard Williams, 56, in East Garfield and fled the scene (CBS)
  • Minivan driver who ran red killed car occupant Kenneth Smith, 28, injured 3, fled (ABC)
  • Navy Pier Flyover closing for a month as second phase nears completion (Sun-Times)
  • Father and daughter ride tandem from Evanston to Toronto for start of college (Tribune)

I’d like to give a big thanks to everyone who has donated so far this year to help us raise $50K by our December 1 deadline in order to win the $50K challenge grant from the Chicago Community Trust. Can you help us win the grant by chipping in? You can make a tax-exempt donation here.

Thanks for your support, and enjoy the rest of your summer.

– John Greenfield, editor, Streetsblog Chicago

  • Austin Busch
  • Maybe that’s a good idea, to market Congestion Pricing as a revenue generater. One of the issues with Red Light Cameras is that angry drivers thought they were for revenue rather than safety. So calling Congesting Pricing a revenue thing rather than a traffic management tool is that you short circuit that whole line of complaint.

  • Reality Check

    A Loop congestion tax (if it is a tax on ALL drivers, and not just ride share) will have (at best) an uphill climb in the City Council. It will be dead on arrival in Springfield.

  • Tooscrapps

    I wonder if the parking meter and City-owned garage leases have clauses relating to a congestion cordon.

  • 70 year lease to Illinois Tollway Authority. Springfield problem solved.

  • My guess is no. Garage lease probably never occurred to them. And the parking steal seems to just care about total dollars not where or how c

  • Tooscrapps

    I get your point, but the Illinois Tollway Authority is not the right body for this. They have plenty of cash, which they are required to spend on roads and roads alone. If the State could have tapped the tollways for cash, they would have a long time ago.

  • Reality Check

    Not sure that Illinois Tollway charter would allow it to take over surface streets in the Loop. Or whether the deal for that would even be approved in the City Council, after the parking meter lease took away City control of the streets.

  • rohmen

    Can they just do its as a tax surcharge placed on all parking garages (public and private) and meters in the Loop? Springfield doesn’t need to sign off on that.

    The meter deal may be an issue for public parking, but maybe not. Easier to implement than tolling anyway. Even if you just hit private garages/lots (while likely unpopular with businesses), that would capture the majority of the end users anyway.

  • They spent money on improving the shoulders for bus usage. So why not improve the loop for bus usage. They also spend money on congestion relief. Of course that is by building more lanes, but there is no room for more lanes in the loop so they could meet their “mandate” for congestion relief via congestion pricing. The city makes money too through the lease. A proper lease, of course, not like the parking steal.

    OK so this is just idle fun speculation. But hey…

  • planetshwoop

    Partner a congestion tax with safe streets. It’s always baffling to me that the Loop is filled with on way streets as if we need to speed things up.

  • Reality Check

    Chicago and Cook County have both hiked parking taxes over the last few years, and both are dependent on the tax revenue from parking garages.

    Adding a congestion/loop parking tax will not only draw blowback from Loop garage operator and local businesses. A congestion/loop parking tax runs the risk of depressing parking garage business, and thus significantly reducing a revenue stream for both the City and Cook County:

    https://urbanmatter.com/chicago/illinois-lawmakers-hike-parking-garage-taxes-highest-nation/

  • rohmen

    And therein lies the rub with using congestion pricing as a revenue tool. Congestion pricing is obviously meant to cut down on congestion, so a degree it would be a success if less people drive in and park less. Not so great in terms of balancing the budget, though it could still work as a short term injection method, with the understanding that the City and County need to get off dependence on parking revenue pretty quickly.