Fatality Tracker: Man hit and killed by Metra train at Irving Park station


A Metra train at the Irving Park station in 2010. Photo by Eric Pancer. 

2012 Chicago fatality stats*:

Pedestrian: 27 (12 have been hit-and-run crashes)
Pedalcyclist: 6 (1 is a hit-and-run crash)
Transit: 9
Skateboard: 1 (1 is a hit-and-run crash)

Richard Garza, 56, of Wilmette, Illinois, was hit by a Metra train on the UP-Northwest route at the Irving Park station (3931 N Avondale Avenue) on Friday, November 23. The three tracks are on an embankment and viaduct, and there is no pedestrian crossing. Assuming the train was on time, this happened at approximately 18:17.

To augment the Fatality Tracker posts, I am develop an online spreadsheet so that key research data can be accessed. View it here; keep in mind that not all persons are yet included.

* The information is only accurate as of this post’s publishing time. View previous Fatality Tracker posts.

West Loop gains new transit option with today’s opening of CTA Morgan station


The fully enclosed glass and metal stairways and transfer bridge make an architectural and industrial statement in the growing West Loop neighborhood. 

The CTA has opened two new stations within three weeks of each other. The first was Oakton-Skokie on the Yellow Line in Skokie, Illinois, on April 30, and today the Morgan Green/Pink Line station opened (without fanfare). A grand opening will likely happen June 1.

Continue reading West Loop gains new transit option with today’s opening of CTA Morgan station

How LaSalle Street Metra station maintains hard-to-find reputation


A new intermodal link at Congress Parkway and Financial Place, leading passengers up to Metra platforms, as viewed from the northwest.

If there were a contest for “best hidden train station in the Loop,” the dubious winner would be Metra’s LaSalle Street station. Have you ever tried and failed to find this station, or had to give extremely detailed directions to help someone else find it? If your answer is “yes,” you’ve got lots of company.

So why is it such a mystery?

Much of the signage directing “potential” passengers is small, placed in mid-block locations far out of visual range from adjacent intersections, and doesn’t follow the design standards of Metra signs. The station itself is tucked and hidden behind the Chicago Board Options Exchange; the platforms are also above ground with a single point of entry. This aerial view gives you a point of reference. Continue reading How LaSalle Street Metra station maintains hard-to-find reputation