Photo of a Metra Electric train at Millennium Station by Jim Watkins. Mike Payne has proposed using the Metra Electric system as the Gray Line, run in “rapid transit” fashion by the CTA.
We posted on Tuesday about Metra’s online survey and open houses to gather public input which will help the commuter rail agency develop its strategic plan.
Randy Neufeld commented on that post:
This is an example of what is broken. Metra should not do a strategic plan. Metra, CTA, and PACE should do a strategic plan together. What’s next, competing in Congress and Springfield to fund competing strategic plans? RTA and CMAP should require a unifed transit plan for the region. Transit funding is in crisis. This is no time for Metra to plan solo.
The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) has existed since 1974 and has its own strategic plan (“The Way Forward”). From its mission statement: “The RTA’s primary responsibilities became [in a 1983 reorganization] financial and budget oversight of CTA, Metra and Pace, and regional transit planning issues”.
The three service boards operate in a well-defined geographic and economic region, serving the same customers, the same communities, connect with each other at the same stations, and even have similar routes. They should be “acting regionally”.
CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein and 43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith. Photo by Steven.
The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) recently began the process of installing hundreds of signs citywide in an effort to educate motorists about the state law requiring them to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk. The signs cost $400 each, sited and installed, a relative bargain for infrastructure that will raise awareness of pedestrian safety, calm traffic and possibly save lives.
At a press conference yesterday in Lincoln Park by the Brown Line’s Diversey station, CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein and 43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith discussed the benefits of the signs. They also crossed Diversey several times to demonstrate the signs’ effectiveness, with drivers usually, but not always, stopping for them without being prompted. The event was particularly timely because the previous night a young girl named Monet Robinson was killed by a hit-and-run driver on the West Side. Here’s a transcript of Klein’s speech:
Continue reading Halting words: Klein and Smith discuss the new “Stop for Pedestrians” signs
A Rock Island Metra train heading towards Blue Island across 95th Street in Chicago. Photo by Jeff Zoline.
From a Metra news release:
Furthering its goal of soliciting input and engaging in dialogue with its major stakeholders, Metra is asking its riders, the public, elected officials and others for their help as it begins to craft its first strategic plan in several decades. You can offer input by coming out to one of our public open house forums [calendar below] throughout the region. You can also provide input by completing a short survey actively available here from 7/2/12 until 8/10/12.
All meeting materials are on the Strategic Plan webpage.
CITY OF CHICAGO
Tuesday, July 10, 4 PM – 7 PM
Board Room, 13th Floor
547 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60661 Continue reading Metra seeks public input to develop first strategic plan in decades