CTA roundup: Dead seniors ride on viaducts that aren't as bad as we thought

Here are a few CTA news items from the last week.

Dead seniors still riding for free.
At least their friends and
relatives are, according to a joint Fox Chicago News and Better
Government Association investigation. From the report:
“RTA spokesperson Diane Palmer says the agency recently completed a
review of more than 400,000 seniors ride free cards. And found 3,000 of
the cardholders had died.” And the RTA is acknowledging the problem. As many of us here have said, dump the free
rides for senior citizens and go back to half-price rides.

Maybe those viaducts aren’t so bad after all. One of the items on my CTA holiday wish list is to “Repair crumbling viaducts, especially north of Montrose.” Now we learn that maybe we don’t have to worry so much. At least for now. A Tribune report notes that because the viaducts were originally built to carry much heavier steam locomotives, the viaducts are still standing today.

Car meets train; car loses. The Tribune photo below is stark proof that a car should never challenge a CTA train. As Cheryl mentioned in her comment yesterday, it’s bad enough that the car driver was injured, but what about the psychological damage to the motorman?

kedzie stop accident.jpg

Chicago Tribune photo by Nancy Stone


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  • I have no sympathy for the driver of that vehicle. I feel horrible for the train operator and hope he realizes it wasn't his fault at all.

  • Those of us who live in the magical part of Ravenswood where the trains run at grade level see this stuff all the time, although not usually with such horrific consequences. Kedzie is especially troublesome because the traffic gets backed up for two blocks during rush hour, but that doesn't justify trying to "beat" the train. The train almost always wins. Also, people don't seem to realize that there may be an inbound and an outbound crossing at the same time. One train goes and idiots assume they can pass safely before the gates go up. This seems to be a factor in many morning Metra vs. pedestrian incidents.

    As for the viaducts, I'm not an engineer, nor do I play one on TV, but while the viaducts may be structurally sound, their crumbliness sure doesn't convey a sense of safety.

  • I see it all the time too, as you are aware. I physically restrained a woman from walking in front of a train a couple of months ago. I only did it because I didn't want to watch.

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