Today’s Headlines for Monday, September 9

  • Bus driver who racked up 12+ tickets fired, sued after injuring cyclist in River North (WTTW)
  • Videos show attempted traffic stop that led to fatal Englewood vehicle crash (Sun-Times)
  • CNT’s Jacky Grimshaw praises the CTA’s equity efforts in a letter to the Sun-Times
  • After moms shame CTA by making their own pregnancy buttons, CTA finally releases theirs (Tribune)
  • The Tribune looks at the Dickens Avenue neighborhood greenway controversy
  • Curbed recommends low-stress paces to ride a bike in Chicago
  • City closes Taurus flavors, home of the “Sweet Steak” after driver struck it (Sun-Times)
  • Roll N Peace bike ride this Friday 9/13, 6 PM at the Ashland/63rd Green Line station
  • “Motherload” doc on family cycling, including cameos by Chicagoans, screens 9/27 at Constellation

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

  • Tooscrapps

    That WTTW/CTA article is pretty heavy. There was only minor coverage of it when the incident happened and I’m glad to see that it was looked into in greater depth.

    What’s clear from being on the street is that CTA drivers need to do better. It’s a difficult job, but too often there is a sense of blasé-ness about how they operate these huge vehicles. I don’t know if there is pressure from the top about on-time rates or what, but I see way too many instances of speeding, running lights, blocking intersections, and failure to yield to pedestrians (in the crosswalk) and cyclists. Bus drivers bully smaller road users and I doubt you’ll see CPD crack down on a “sister” agency.

    Furthermore, CDOT needs to make the streets better and more coherent for drivers. There are too many blocked bus stops and bus and bike lanes as a result of poor design and lax enforcement. Too many bike lanes are unprotected or suddenly end (see Clark St. at Oak), throwing cyclists into mixed traffic on heavily used routes. The Loop is one big free-for-all. The time to stop catering to motorists has long passed. Lightfoot has a mandate to transform the City and I hope she uses it.

  • Carter O’Brien

    I’m sure bus drivers would *greatly* appreciate having the rush hour parking restrictions actually enforced, so that during these hectic times of the day they don’t have to constantly dodge the illegally parked vehicles.

    BRT hardscaped features to improve bus speed and bunching are a laudable goal, but these projects are expensive and unlikely to be widely installed in any of our lifetimes. Meanwhile, we could be improving the bus situation (which in turn would be improving the cyclist and pedestrian situation) a LOT by properly utilizing existing road controls.

  • Tooscrapps

    Parking enforcement is generally CPD, Dept of Finance, or LAZ in the case of meter enforcement.

    I have seen the CTA (in those Ford Escapes) give out tickets for blocked bus stops on occasion.

  • Carter O’Brien

    Maybe there are too many chefs in the enforcement kitchen, so to speak. For CPD the revenue vs. expense equation doesn’t work I’m sure. No idea what Dept of Finance does for this kind of thing, but certainly one would assume they could delegate out to subcontractors, which is I assume what LAZ is doing. But either way, this is a longstanding embarrassment to all of us. Putting up regulations when there is no plan on enforcing them is the municipal-scaled version of the “Boy Who Cried Wolf.”

  • planetshwoop

    I had seen discussions of putting cameras on the buses so that the enforcement was automatic. Still worth considering.

  • Tower

    Nothing in the article indicated that this crash was due to any illegally parked car.

  • Tooscrapps

    Carter never claimed it was. However, forcing bus drivers to navigate around illegally parked motorists in bus stops, bus lanes, and general travel lanes is unsafe for all street users.

  • Carter O’Brien

    Completely agreed, that would be brilliant.

  • Tooscrapps

    Dept of Finance does enforcement of things like no standing, fire hydrants, bus/bike lanes, zone parking, etc. CPD can also ticket for these.

    LAZ is the contractor for Chicago Parking Meters LLC. Enforcement drives meter compliance (and CPM revenue) and the City gets the revenue from any unpaid meter tickets.

  • Carter O’Brien

    Sounds right, thanks. On a side note, I forgot to ask what’s up with CTA and the residency requirements, do they have an exemption or special circumstances based on how they also reach into the burbs? From that article:

    “Ajayi, 53, of south suburban Richton Park, started working for the CTA in 2000 and made $151,789 in 2018, according to a Regional Transportation Authority database.”

  • Tooscrapps

    Well the CTA operates outside of Chicago as well, so it makes sense that someone could live outside of the City and work for the CTA.

    Anyway, I looked it up and you have to be resident of the “metropolitan area” as defined 70 ILCS 3605/2:
    “Metropolitan area of Cook County” embraces all the territory in the County of Cook, State of Illinois East of the east line of Range Eleven (11), East of the Third Principal Meridian of the United States Government survey.”

  • Carter O’Brien

    Merci. I found a lot of vague descriptions, this is good to know.