California Blue Line station photo by Clint.
2012 Chicago fatality stats*:
Pedestrian: 7 (6 have been from hit-and-run crashes)
A man was killed by electrocution after apparently attempting to cross the CTA Blue Line tracks at the California Blue Line station early morning on Wednesday, August 1. From the Chicago Sun-Times:
“It looked like he wanted to get to the other side (of the platform),” and tried to do so by crossing the tracks, a Shakespeare District police sergeant said. As he did so, “he grabbed on to the third rail and that was it.”
A CTA spokeswoman said the man touched the third rail on the southbound tracks.
Electrocution was the preliminary cause of death for the victim, who remained unidentified but was believed to be in his 30s, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said Wednesday morning. An autopsy is scheduled for later performed Wednesday, but the sergeant said it did not appear to be a suicide or criminal incident.
* The information is only accurate as of this post’s publishing time and includes only people who died in the Chicago city limits. View previous Fatality Tracker posts.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood swung through Chicago this afternoon as part of a national tour to publicize federal stimulus funding for transportation projects. Joining Governor Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel for a press conference outside at the CTA’s Logan Square stop in frigid, blustery weather, LaHood heralded a $20 million TIGER III (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant for Chicago.
According to the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), $16 million will go towards fixing slow zones on the Blue Line between Belmont and Damen, in combination with money for the project from a CTA operating surplus. This work will allow trains to travel more than twice as fast in some locations, cutting the travel time from the Loop to O’Hare by several minutes.
The remaining $4 million of the grant will go towards Chicago’s new bike sharing system, slated to launch next summer. Added to the project’s existing $18 million Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) funding that will pay for the first 3,000 bikes and 300 docking stations, the TIGER money will allow the city to eventually add 1,000 additional bikes and 100 more stations.
Chicago originally applied for a total of $50 million in TIGER III funds, $40 million for the Blue Line and $10 million for the bike share system, according to CDOT. Here’s a transcript of LaHood’s remarks at the press conference.
Continue reading Ray LaHood stops in Logan Square, announces $20 million in stimulus funds for Blue Line repairs, bike share
All three of today’s Grid Shots photos come from Eric Rogers and feature the Kennedy “Expressway.”
Passing Blue Line trains. With the Chicago Transit Authority’s new 5000-series train cars, the Blue Line will get the Pink Line’s 2600-series cars, to replace the butterfly doors (the oldest car in the system). Read more about the distribution on Chicago-L.org.
A Blue Line train races traffic.
Stand over a Chicago highway for five minutes and you’ll quickly realize that the traffic never ends. This is the Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94) near Montrose.
As always, we invite you to add your photos of sustainable transportation in Chicagoland to the Flickr group.