How far does your expressway avoidance take you?

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Showing undesirable pedestrian and sidewalk conditions under the Kennedy Expressway on Belmont Avenue at Kedzie Avenue. There is a bus stop here, on a portion of the sidewalk that narrows to about 2 feet. It wasn’t until I wrote this post that I realized that there is no bus route on Kedzie Avenue making this bus stop’s location quite ridiculous. There are bus stops in both directions on Belmont Avenue that are actually near businesses and residences. Explore on Google Street View.

I shop for groceries mostly at Aldi. The one nearest my house is 3,725 feet by walking (about 0.71 miles), the Avondale Aldi. The next closest store is 11,102 feet away (about 2.1 miles), the Lincoln Square Aldi, and the third closest is 11,599 feet away (about 2.2 miles), the Wicker Park Aldi. I live at Belmont and California, in Avondale.

I shop at the third closest one the most often. The Wicker Park Aldi is at Milwaukee Avenue and Leavitt Street. The reasons I shop here instead of the other two, considering that it’s two-thirds closer to home, are based on two travel factors: trip chaining (the practice of attaching multiple trips into the same one so one leaves the house less often), and trip quality (the characteristics that make the trip interesting, not interesting, safe, and unsafe). A trip, as counted by transportation planners like myself, is movement from one address to another.

For example, the Chicago Transit Authority counts trips taken on its buses and trains as “boardings”, each time a passenger pays for the bus or passes an ‘L’ station turnstile. When people change routes on the same platform or station, this additional trip isn’t counted because there’s no mechanism to do so. A person who takes a bus to an ‘L’ station is counted twice in CTA’s reports (note 1).

Continue reading How far does your expressway avoidance take you?

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Fatality Tracker: Hit-and-run of pedestrian on Damen overpass, but charges filed

2012 Chicago fatality stats*:

Pedestrian: 19 (9 have been hit-and-run crashes)
Pedalcyclist: 4 (1 is a hit-and-run crash)
Transit: 6

Robert Butler, a 51-year-old resident of Bellwood, Illinois, was killed in a traffic crash on Friday, September 7, at 4:30 AM, on the Damen Avenue overpass of the Stevenson Expressway. He was a pedestrian in probably the least-pedestrian friendly area in the region. The driver and his passenger were arrested; the driver, Anthony Castillo, 23, was apprehended less than a mile away in the McKinley Park neighborhood and charged with:

  • Reckless Homicide-Motor Vehicle
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident w/Injury or Death
  • Possession of Controlled Substance
  • Failure to Reduce Speed

The passenger was charged with misdemeanor possession of cannabis. This story was originally reported by the Chicago Tribune. See a Google Street View image of the crash location after the jump, and more information on this type of highway intersection.  Continue reading Fatality Tracker: Hit-and-run of pedestrian on Damen overpass, but charges filed

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After zero public input on protected lanes so far, community meetings are on the horizon

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Photo by Joshua Koonce. 

I was recently quoted in the Chicago News Cooperative and The New York Times about protected bike lanes. I said, “There’s been zero public outreach on where the bike lanes should go“. I think it’s a powerful statement.

I will describe how that’s true now and how that’s expected to change in the near future. Continue reading After zero public input on protected lanes so far, community meetings are on the horizon

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