Renovated Morse and Thorndale ‘L’ stations have new bike parking

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Morse’s new bike parking area. Photo by Justin Haugens. 

The Chicago Transit Authority’s Morse Red Line station in Rogers Park, recently renovated, now has 45-108 new bike parking spaces (on what looks like 9 racks); the capacity depends on how people lock up their bikes. The bike rack type is called the “campus rack” and “hangers” are what you lean a bike against and lock to. The bike parking area is partially sheltered, has some lighting, is visible from multiple streets, and very close to a station entrance. The area is in the site of what used to be a retail space at approximately 1400 W Lunt Ave, at Greenwood Ave on the west side of the ‘L’ viaduct.

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Morse’s new bike parking area. Photo by Justin Haugens. 

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Thorndale’s new bike parking area. Photo by Rudy Luciani. 

The Thorndale Red Line station received the same racks with an identical capacity. According to an email conversation I had with a CTA staffer and a staffer in 49th ward Alderman Joe Moore’s office, the area will be fenced with “two (2) 10′ openings exiting the bike lot to the north (sidewalk) and east (alley)”; these will not be gated entrances. A DIY bike repair stand, the seventh in Chicago (all installed in 2012), was also installed. The bike parking area is on the south side of Thorndale, across the street from the station entrance, in what used to be a car parking lot.

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Thorndale’s DIY bike repair stand. Photo by Rudy Luciani. 

I am awaiting funding cost and source information from the CTA.

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Open thread: Should the Illinois legislature grant driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants?

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Photo of Wacker Drive traffic in Chicago by John Iwanski. 

The Illinois legislature is expected to consider a bill to allow people here illegally to obtain a driver’s license after going through the same procedures as people who are currently allowed to obtain a driver’s license (exams and fees, etc.). The bill is still being drafted.

This is an “open thread”, designed to spark a discussion. I’ve attempted to present all the latest news and facts on this issue, but I’ve not found any opposing viewpoints except for a debate in Michigan (see Further reading at the end). 

On Friday, November 16, the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board called for legislation to be passed, citing these benefits:

  • To get the licenses, illegal immigrants would have to pass the same vision, written and road tests as someone getting a regular license. If that leads to more driving training, it could make the roads safer.
  • Police officers making a stop would know who is driving the car. With the threat of deportation lessened, illegal immigrants would have less of a motivation to leave the scene of an accident.
  • Families would be less likely to see a family member deported after a routine traffic stop.
  • Health care providers would have an easier time identifying patients. If an illegal alien with contagious spinal meningitis goes into a coma, for example, it’s difficult to identify the patient’s contacts, who need to be treated. A visitor’s license would make that possible because it would contain personal data.
  • Backers of the measure say New Mexico experienced a huge drop in the number of uninsured drivers after licenses were made available in 2003. That doesn’t square, however, with numbers from the Insurance Research Council, which lists New Mexico as the state with the second-highest number of uninsured drivers. But if granting visitor’s licenses persuades even some illegal immigrants to get insurance, that could lower rates for all of us and benefit accident victims.

Continue reading Open thread: Should the Illinois legislature grant driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants?

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Take action: Residents in 4 wards have opportunity to directly influence expenditure of $4 million on infrastructure

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The walls of the Mess Hall community center in Rogers Park are covered in project proposals, in 2010. Photo by Samuel Barnett. See more photos from Barnett.

Major updates, 11:17 AM

We received an email Participatory Budgeting Chicago manager Thea Crum, at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s (UIC) Great Cities Institute, that four alderman will be conducting participatory budgeting in their wards, committing $4 million in discretionary spending (which is short of the $5.2 million in menu funds they have available).

The four alderman are:

  • Leslie Hairston, 5th
  • John Arena, 45th
  • James Cappleman, 46th (see details below)
  • Joe Moore, 49th

Continue reading Take action: Residents in 4 wards have opportunity to directly influence expenditure of $4 million on infrastructure

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