The decal on a taxi window says “LOOK! For Cyclists”.
I don’t report on doorings as often as I report on non-dooring crashes* but I should as it’s something we can affect with road design, a common theme of my writings. There isn’t much to say about dooring at the moment, but an article published on Wednesday about a new campaign in New York City to reduce dooring incidents between taxi passengers and cyclists caught my attention. Then two other things caught my attention.
New York City awareness campaign
Transportation Nation reported on a new video advertisement and decal being shown in all 13,000 New York City taxicabs in an effort to reduce dooring crashes. All yellow cabs in the city have a small TV for passengers; they’ll soon show a short clip about looking for cyclists before opening the door. A window sticker will say the same thing.
The message not to fling cab doors open without first checking for bicyclists will be hammered home in a video message that will play on all 13,000 Taxi TVs (assuming passengers don’t turn them off first). “Take out a friend,” reads the message on the video. “Take out a date. But don’t take out a cyclist.”
Continue reading Doorings in Chicago and NYC are still a sorry state but one of them is doing something about it
A press conference was held last Thursday at the southeast corner of Dearborn Street and Madison Street to announce the city’s first pedestrian plan. Present were commissioners of transportation and public health, Gabe Klein, and Bechara Choucair, respectively, Metropolitan Planning Council vice president Peter Skosey, and various CDOT staff.
After 20 minutes of speeches from Klein, Choucair, Skosey, and Active Transportation Alliance director Ron Burke, CDOT pedestrian program coordinator Suzanne Carlson and Klein applied a diamond shaped decal to a sidewalk corner across Madison Street. The bright yellow “sticker on the street” says, “Be Alert. Be Safe. We’re all pedestrians.” It’s part of the Pedestrian Safety Campaign launched last year that also included 32 mannequins scattered around Wacker Drive and then to other sites, as well as orange flags at certain crosswalks, and a somewhat grotesque ad campaign on trash bins and buses.
The Pedestrian Plan has its merits and faults. The document is nicely designed, easy to read, informative (it does a great job introducing people to “pedestrian safety tools” that are mentioned later in the plan), but still speaks to the car-centric profession of traffic (transportation) engineering exhibited in Chicago. Continue reading Chicago’s first pedestrian plan includes great ideas, lacks some information
A Megabus is seen turning in 2007 at the intersection (Adams and Canal Streets, next to Union Station) of a deadly pedestrian crash last week. Photo by Thunderchild7.
2012 Chicago fatality stats*:
Pedestrian: 10 (6 have been hit-and-run crashes)
Pedalcyclist: 4 (1 is a hit-and-run crash)
Donna Halstead was crossing Adams Street along Canal Street on last Tuesday, August 7, when she was struck by the passenger side mirror of a double-decker Megabus driven by Shemeka Hudson, fell to the ground, and later died. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the driver “was cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian” while state and city law require drivers to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks (where Halstead was crossing). Continue reading Fatality Tracker: Woman killed after Megabus hits her crossing downtown street
This is the second story of two about the “Designing Chicago” launch party. See “Why do these people love the CTA?“
Greater Good Studio of Logan Square intends to build a mobile app that will showcase a new map of the CTA. It will have some other features as well, but determining what those are will be left up to backers who help contribute to the app’s fundraising on Kickstarter. The studio is led by George Aye and his wife Sara Cantor Aye, two Chicago designers.
According to George, the CTA prints out 750,000 copies of its system map every year. “I want to make it smaller, easier, more usable on the go, for someone that’s not very familiar with it. I’ve talked to Dennis McClendon [the original designer of the current CTA map], and others who agree, that the map is more useful for people who’re somewhat experts on the system.”
The Ayes want to raise $125,000 via Kickstarter to create this app. And those who “back it” at a certain level are invited to become developers of the app. It’s crowd sourced funding, and crowd sourced design. Continue reading Logan Square designers are attempting to figure out if a crowd can fund a new CTA map
Photo of the northern entrance to Holstein Park by YoChicago1.
The stop sign has become obsolete, at least in the place where I’d expect most people want it, in front of a popular neighborhood park bustling with children.
No, those who are driving past Holstein Park aren’t stopping on their own, without the presence of a stop sign. The reverse is true: they are not stopping in the presence of a stop sign. The device is no longer used. Watch this video uploaded by “mea2214” of people driving east on Lyndale Street at Oakley Avenue (in the 32nd Ward). Here’s the Street View location.
Watch the video on YouTube.
Continue reading Chicagoans make stop signs obsolete at Holstein Park
Marie Ullrich on Milwaukee Avenue.
It’s annoying to see your job or your city portrayed inaccurately in the media, but as someone who spent years as a Chicago courier I was pleasantly surprised by Faster!, a short by filmmaker Marie (“MAH-ree”) Ullrich, which has played several international festivals. Although it’s a work of fiction, the writer/director/producer did a solid job of realistically depicting the nuts and bolts of Chicago’s bike delivery business. You can view the trailer for Faster! here (embedded below). Other locally filmed, bike-related projects she’s completed include an award-winning ad for Chrome messenger bags and an experimental short about ghost bike memorials.
Now Ullrich is trying to raise $35,000 via a Kickstarter campaign to shoot The Alley Cat, a full-length movie starring Jasper, the female messenger who is the main character from Faster!, played by Jenny Strubin. While the short follows Jasper on a rough day of courier work, the action in the feature film would revolve around a late-night alleycat (underground courier race) gone awry. Ullrich hopes to shoot the movie this summer before she leaves town for a full-time gig teaching in Michigan. I recently sat down with her at Café Mustache in Logan Square to get some background on her work and the deets about her future plans.
Continue reading Marie Ullrich wants to deliver a feature-length movie about bike messengers