Transit and road improvement projects that increase efficiency and reduce emissions are at risk. Photo of Red Line and Dan Ryan traffic, looking north to the Chicago Loop.
Chicago is currently a non-attainment area.
That means we don’t meet National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) “for pollutants considered harmful to public health and the environment” (read more), standards which are regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Six pollutants are measured across the country (note 1). We currently don’t attain standards for particle pollution, specifically Particulate Matter 2.5; they’re particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers and “referred to as ‘fine’ particles and are believed to pose the greatest health risks”. Additionally, we’re a maintenance area for the 8-hour ozone standard. It is this designation that puts a large portion of the region’s transportation funding risk. Continue reading What is attainment? How Chicagoland may lose $90 million in federal funding annually
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
Grid Bits is a new series I’m experimenting with – it comes in the same vein as Grid Shots. While Shots features photos our Flickr group contributors take, Bits is a collection of abstracts on diverse topics around Chicagoland. Each paragraph is a new story.
Photo of project advertisement in front of the future Oakton Street station.
Continue reading Grid Bits: Tolls rising, BRT on Western, Andersonville needs bike parking
The Apps for Metro Chicago competition started on Friday, June 24, 2011. It aims to gather free and useful web and mobile applications (created in any programming language). It’s sponsored by the City of Chicago, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), Cook County, and the State of Illinois. You can enter as many apps as you want in two categories, Transportation and Community, and the “Grand Challenge.” You don’t have to be a Chicago resident!
The Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) train tracker website was developed with web standards so that it could work on all browsers, no matter how “dumb” the phone. By developing with standards and for many platforms, your app will get a higher score. You can create a duplicative app for the competition, but you must add unique features or create an innovative design! “Creativity” (uniqueness) will help your app score higher. Continue reading App contest for Chicago transportation and community in progress