Photo of La Grange Metra station by Tristan Garrett.
Ed. note: Ted Rosenbaum is originally from Evanston and has a master’s in transportation engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He currently works on public transportation in the San Francisco Bay area, and is on Twitter @RedTosenbaum. His opinions are his own, independent of his employer. -Steven
On Wednesday, July 25, DePaul’s Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development published their report on The 20 “Top Transit Suburbs” of Metropolitan Chicago—An Index Approach. It’s a good thing they put “Top Transit Suburbs” in quotes, because this report has a tenuous link to that phrase at best. Although the abstract says the study aims to evaluate “the region’s suburbs on the basis of their attractiveness to those with lifestyles oriented toward the use of public transportation,” they focus exclusively on Metra access & amenities. Metra is an important part of Chicagoland’s transportation network, and the region’s greatest hope for reducing the car dependence of downtown workers who don’t live all that close to the city. But drawing a straight line from Metra station aesthetics and auto-accessibility to public transportation-oriented lifestyles? That’s a stretch.
Download the full report (.pdf). Continue reading Report lists top transit suburbs with a cloudy definition of transit and suburb
Updated August 24/27, 2011: Active Transportation Alliance launched the Riders for Better Transit campaign today. Read the full agenda, which talks about different funding sources and modernizing Union Station. Take their survey by Sept. 30 and be entered into a raffle to receive a $100 Visa gift card. Ron Burke and Jennifer Henry (see her statement below) write a letter to the editor about the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority’s toll increase.
The Wilson Red Line CTA station was recently voted the worst station “for the third year in a row” by Chicago RedEye readers. Photo by Jeff Zoline.
In the next couple of days, the Chicago-based (but Chicagoland-focused) advocacy organization, Active Transportation Alliance, will launch a new permanent campaign called Riders For Better Transit. This is the Alliance’s first large-scale endeavor into improving transit since they changed their name and mission in late 2008 from focusing solely on bicycling. Their other transit advocacy includes supporting transit-friendly legislation in Springfield.
I sat down with Lee Crandell, Director of Campaigns, at his office (9 W Hubbard) on August 1, 2011, to learn more about this effort.
Continue reading Transit riders to gain a louder voice in new campaign
Update: Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) blogged a new report about this connection. I haven’t read it yet, though.
I am passionate about the nexus of bicycling and transit, and I’ve written often on Steven Can Plan about how bikes are stored on trains in the United States and around the world. When I travel, I look at this relationship closely.
Bikes on the subway in Seoul, South Korea. Photographer unknown.
Recently I’ve had several discussions with people (the latest while volunteering at Pitchfork Festival in early July 2011) about getting bikes on the South Shore Line that goes to Indiana. What I’ve learned is that it will probably take an act of legislation to make this happen, as well as a reconfiguration of the trains. This is what forced Metra to change its policies, but they caved before the legislation passed. Continue reading Open discussion: What suggestions do you have for bikes on trains?