View from 35th/Bronzeville/IIT station by Brandon Bartoszek
Newcity magazine recently invited me to highlight some of my favorite aspects of the local sustainable transportation scene for their Best of Chicago issue. Here’s what I selected:
Best CTA Station
This city has a number of memorable el stops, like the O’Hare Line’s Damen station, with its fascinating view of Wicker Park’s buzzing North/Damen/Milwaukee “crotch,” and the sparkling-clean, Apple-sponsored North/Clybourn stop, complete with a sleek new seating plaza. But I love the Green Line’s 35th/Bronzeville/IIT station for two reasons. Just north, trains zoom through a super-cool, 530-foot stainless steel tube above the Rem Koolhaas-designed McCormick Tribune Campus Center. And while the Sox/35th Red Line stop is a madhouse after baseball games, CTA blackbelts know you can skip the crowds by strolling two blocks east to the nearly empty Green Line station.
State Street and 35th Street
Continue reading My nominations for some of Chicago’s best green transportation features
Queen’s Landing won’t look like this on Friday: there’ll be a crosswalk and signal here.
As you consider how you’ll walk to the store tomorrow for some gifts from our guide, know that several people are trying to make street crossings safer. This post is a roundup of different news about how street crossings are changing (for the better) in Chicago.
1. Queen’s Landing
I briefly reported on this two Sundays ago in Grid Shots: Pedestrian access edition. The new crosswalk opened today.
2. Crossing Western Avenue in the 47th Ward
In Alderman Pawar’s email newsletter on Wednesday, he mentioned that he requested CDOT to improve pedestrian signal timings at Western and Sunnywide, Western and Irving Park, and Western and Waveland. “Over the summer I learned that families, school children and senior citizens in our ward have experienced trouble crossing [these intersections]”. Continue reading Grid Bits: Street crossings
The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) began construction Thursday, November 10, 2011, to restore a lighted signal and crosswalk at 500 S Lake Shore Drive.
I went on a four-hour bike ride today to gather photos of interesting things, including people walking and cycling in the 65°F warm and windy weather. I came across several places where pedestrian access had become an issue. These issues were manufactured by construction projects, clashing with the City of Chicago’s Complete Streets policy. Continue reading Grid Shots: Pedestrian access edition
[flickr]photo:6054914196[/flickr]Fencing installed to keep pedestrians from crossing LSD at Queen’s Landing
[This piece also appears in Time Out Chicago.]
Gabe Klein’s words were eerily prescient. In July I asked the new Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) chief if he’d consider re-installing the signalized crosswalk that had allowed pedestrians to safely cross from Buckingham Fountain to Monroe Harbor for 17 years until Mayor Daley removed it. “I would like to put it back,” he said. “People are crossing anyway and they’re running across Lake Shore Drive.”
On August 6, during Eminem’s set at Lollapalooza, as dozens of kids ran across the drive attempting to jump the fences on the east side of the festival, two young men were struck by a car, sustaining serious-to-critical injuries, as they tried to sprint across the ten lanes of traffic east of the fountain.
Continue reading After Lolla crash CDOT says Queen’s Landing crosswalk will re-open
[This piece also runs in Time Out Chicago.]
Traditionally the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) has focused on making it easier to drive in the city, but new commissioner Gabe Klein has a different philosophy. Klein, a former executive with national retailer Bikes U.S.A., as well as Zipcar car sharing, came to town fresh from a stint as transportation director for Washington, D.C. There he launched a streetcar system, installed about 100 leading pedestrian interval traffic signals, introduced a circulator bus route and built the nation’s largest bike-sharing system.
Klein and Mayor Emanuel are promising big improvements to walking, biking and transit here, including building the Bloomingdale Trail elevated greenway, creating 100 miles of car-protected bike lanes, and rolling out a robust bike sharing system. They’re also working on creating bus rapid transit corridors and considering novel approaches to improve conditions for walking, including “pedestrian scramble” intersections.
I recently met with Klein, 40, in his CDOT offices, where he’d parked the bike he rode in on, a single-speed Masi cruiser with a beer-carrying crate. He discussed possible locations for ped scrambles and bus rapid transit corridors, the feasibility of the Bloomingdale and bike lane projects, the possibility of reopening the Queen’s Landing crosswalk, and whether he’d ever consider riding in Critical Mass.
Continue reading An interview with CDOT’s Gabe Klein