Log in or sign up to share your carfree commentary!
by crandell | 04/29/2010
Great news just out from the Active Transportation Alliance: Illinois House Bill 43 has passed the Senate today by a vote of 33-15, and now will head on to the Governor. This bill will create a safer environment for all pedestrians in the State requiring vehicles to stop for peds in crosswalks. Find more info on the Active Trans blog in a little bit at http://www.activetrans.org/blog. Join Active Trans at Mother Hubbard's at 4:30 PM today, Thursday, for a big celebration. Mother Hubbard's is at 5 W. Hubbard Street between State and Dearborn below the Active Trans office.
by crandell | 01/28/2010
I noticed the other day that CDOT had adjusted traffic lights at a couple intersections on my street to give pedestrians a few seconds head start to begin crossing before cars get a green light. This is called a Leading Pedestrian Interval, or LPI (check out this Streetsblog video about LPIs). This is one of those many progressive things I've read about other cities doing and wished I'd see at home. So I'm happy to see this tool being used in Chicago as the city learns that pedestrians should be the priority on our streets.
by crandell | 04/06/2009
In celebration of the Burnham Centennial, I'm sharing an idea to enhance the public realm in my neighborhood. I've lived in Lakeview for six years, and while I love it, I've always felt that it's missing a quality public gathering space. The various sub-neighborhoods kind of have their own little centers, but you can't really inhabit those places. Most of the sidewalks are too narrow and there aren't places to sit. I grew up near Annapolis, Md., which has a harbor with a plaza where people would hang out to talk, eat ice cream, drink coffee, etc. And Lakeview alone is almost three times the size of Annapolis, so we should be able to support a place like that. Anyone who has lived in a European city also knows what a pleasure a nice centrally located plaza can be. But even some other neighborhoods in Chicago have such places. I'm thinking of Giddings Plaza in Lincoln Square, which is a great, active public place.
by itakethetrain | 07/20/2007
You've probably noticed that some of our crosswalks around Grant and Millennium parks have gone missing over the past couple years. The crosswalks were closed in the name of improving traffic flow. The idea is that if we can get some of those pesky pedestrians out of the way, cars can move more easily. Of course, if we really wanted to improve traffic flow, we should close down Millennium Park -- with it's over 2 million visitors a year, it's a constant source of traffic congestion.
This is, of course, sarcasm. But it is indeed this strain of logic that justifies destroying public spaces in an attempt to "improve traffic flow." And sadly, in its attempt to improve traffic flow, the city is actually causing even more traffic by trying to pack even more cars into downtown.