Wave of the future: is water travel the answer to Chicago’s congestion woes?


En route from Navy Pier to the Museum Campus aboard a Shoreline Water Taxi.

When I visited Bangkok, Thailand, the endless daytime traffic jams made ground transportation a frustrating experience, but the Khlong Saen Saep canal boat service offered a speedy, fun alternative. Chicago already has a decent water-taxi system, so as our city moves toward Bangkok-style levels of street congestion, could expanded river and lake taxi service offer a hidden hope for fast, enjoyable transportation?

“Our waterways are a completely underutilized traffic network,” says Andrew Sargis, manager of Wendella Sightseeing and its Chicago Water Taxi. “If you look at a map of the city, the North, South and Main branches of the river parallel the Kennedy Expressway, the Dan Ryan and Wacker Drive. We should be using that network to move more people and goods and to fight gridlock.” Continue reading Wave of the future: is water travel the answer to Chicago’s congestion woes?

Grid Shots: Water taxi edition


A Chicago Water Taxi travels south on the Chicago River from Ping Tom Park in Chinatown, just south of 18th Street, towards downtown. Photo by Eric Pancer. 

Are water taxis part of sustainable transportation?

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) helped Chicago Water Taxi (Wendella) get a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant to buy a new boat in 2000. It’s easy to understand their efforts to reduce congestion on the road if people who normally drive the route of a water taxi now take the boat. And same for the air quality if the emissions of its engine, measured in person-miles, is better than that of an automobile. But what about its influence on water quality? The Environmental Protection Agency describes all the ways in which boating pollutes water. An article in the Active Transportation Alliance’s Mode Shift newsletter explained water taxi transportation as another local transit option. Continue reading Grid Shots: Water taxi edition

Introducing the Grid Chicago Network


The Grid Chicago Network is a collection of sites with a similar focus on active and sustainable transportation. Their latest posts are listed on the Network page, organized by time and date. We’ll occasionally feature these posts.

We launched it on October 26, 2011, softly, to make sure it worked okay. It does. We included a lot of the sites already listed on our links page. Once an hour, the application seeks out new posts from all of the site’s feeds and presents them in a list on the Network page. The full list of included sites is listed at the bottom of the Network page.

Recent posts in the Network were:

To get your site, or someone else’s site in the Network, fill out the form below. Contact Steven if you would like your site removed from the Network. Continue reading Introducing the Grid Chicago Network