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
M. Jantzen visited Chicago earlier in August 2011 and recently uploaded photos from his trip.
Upon arriving at Midway Airport, one is presented with three distinct types of fare vending machines. One takes cash only. Two take credit cards. One dispenses multi-day passes. Two add value to Chicago Cards. O’Hare Airport only has two types of machines and they have small signs above them that say “Cash only” or “Cash and credit.”
Fifty feet away from the vending machines, in the paid area, are two units of double deck bike racks that can hold 28 or more bicycles. It’s well-used, even in the “less warm” months of the year.
You’ll pass the CNA building (333 S Wabash) on any of the elevated Loop ‘L’ lines. I like it because it’s not grey, black, or blue.
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.
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
Bombardier, of Montréal, Québec, announced via a press release on its website Wednesday, July 20, 2011, that the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), has exercised an option in its contract for the 5000-series rail cars that expands the number of cars on order by 300, to 706 cars.
You may have seen the CTA testing its new train cars – at least one of the cars is painted like in the photo above. The first of the incoming new cars will be used on the Blue Line. Photo by Jeff Zoline.
According to the CTA’s first press release about ordering these trains in 2006, 200 cars were initially ordered, then another 206, and now the final 300 cars available in the original contract.
This announcement will no doubt bring unwarranted criticism against the CTA, centering around the CTA’s budget and how the agency must cut service and raise fares to stay operational. “If the CTA has $933 million to pay for new train cars, how come it doesn’t have money to run a bus route past 7 PM?”
Continue reading Bombardier building 706 rail cars for CTA and Congress’s view of transit
Recent additions to our one-week old Flickr group, where Grid Chicago readers add their photos about sustainable transportation in Chicagoland. This is the first post of an occasional series. Add your photos!
Photo of cyclists crossing the Kinzie Street protected bike lane, which will have a bike-friendly metal decking come August or September of this year. By Nicholas Norman.
Busking at the Clark/Lake Blue Line station. If you’re a musician and want to play in the (four) approved areas of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) system, you must obtain a permit from the CTA. It doesn’t seem this is one of the approved areas. By Joshua Koonce.
Elderly Chicagoans attempt to cross Western Avenue. Must I say more? By Joshua Koonce.