Elevating Chicago

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News and Notes

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Ted Rosenbaum

Former athlete, full-time engineer. I'd tell you more but I'd have to kill you.

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Car companies have to find something to promote during Bike to Work Week, right? Photo by the author.


It's Tuesday.  Ivory Coast plays Portugal at 9am, and if this doesn't get you psyched for the match, then I can't really help you.  Here are some news and notes that'll fill your morning while you wait for kickoff.

  • It's Bike To Work Week!  It looks like there might be a few showers today, but then it'll clear up for the rest of the week.  Go enjoy it, stop at any of the pit stops that'll be all around the city.  The Active Transportation Alliance is all over it, as is Bike Chicago.

  • Oooooh, pretty trains go fast

  • The Trib had a few transportation items yesterday with decidedly mixed results.  First is Dan Simmons' "Reverse Commute Takes Their Time" which ignores the basic fact that commuting in any direction takes time.  I think the bigger story here is that reverse commuting exclusively on transit is possible in Chicago at all.  Let's not forget how good we sometimes have it: many cities don't have anywhere near the robust suburban transit options that Pace and Metra provide.  One of the examples Simmons uses is Carmen Cartegena's Elmwood Park-to-Schaumburg commute.  I'm not convinced that's a true reverse commute, but let's say it is: is it any faster in the other direction?  Can it be done from Schaumburg's residential areas anywhere near as easily as the denser Elmwood Park?  And couldn't the headline just as easily be "Reverse Commute Saves Their Money"?

  • Next up is Jon Hilkevitch's pretty balanced piece (though I'm not enamored with the chip-on-our-shoulder headline) "Chicago on the Low-end of High Speed Rail." He makes the case that as many benefits as HSR may bring to Chicago, it won't be as big a boon for us as it will for other regions, including the planned Florida, California, and upstate New York lines.  He notes that this is partly because Chicago is already a remarkably connected city, especially with two major airports serving the city.  This is also something to keep in mind as the US DOT parcels out HSR funding: as worthwhile an investment as Midwest HSR may be, it's going to be tough for us to make the argument that we're the best place for those limited dollars to go.

  • Finally, last Friday the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) published their draft GoTo 2040 Plan.  You have about 6 weeks to comment on the report, and there will be an open house at their office on South Wacker on August 3.  I'm still digesting all of it and hope to have some preliminary thoughts up later this week.

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