Category Archives: Chicago driving
No, the headline for this piece is not a typo.
Interstate speed limits that are too low are dangerous and the speed limits on metro Chicago Tollways like I-88, I-294 and I-355 fit this description.
Transportation engineers world-wide almost unanimously advocate posting speed limits based on the free-flowing 85th percentile speed. This is the speed below which 85% of cars actually travel when not impeded by traffic or heavy visible enforcement. The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) has published a report that explains how this method works, why it works and the dangers of not using it.
Ron Mendoza is a bike rider who says he’s been doored five times in the past five years with three of the incidents occurring in the past nine months.
Mendoza was the focus of a story in DNA Info, when a driver allegedly opened a vehicle door into the path of his bicycle on Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park on Tuesday.
The Humboldt Park resident was taken to the hospital, treated and released.
The driver who says Mendoza “came out of nowhere,” was issued a ticket for opening a door into traffic and could face a steep $1000 fine. The fine for a dooring violation was recently doubled.
Despite the Illinois Secretary of State’s announcement that it will initially roll out it’s Temporary Visitor’s Driver’s License program in a small, limited pilot program, applicants have been getting frustrated with long lines and an inability to sign up according to the Chicago Tribune.
The pilot program which allows illegal immigrants to acquire a special Illinois driver’s license, began scheduling appointments to for people to sign up last Tuesday at four of the Secretary of State’s driver’s services locations. The process is being done by appointment only over the next three months at the limited number of locations. But all potential 4200 appointments were scheduled by 3 PM on Tuesday.
“If This Van’s a Rockin’ Don’t Come a Knockin’” was the bumper sticker that brought pretty much every teenage boy in the late ’70′s to fits of smirks and giggles.
Back in the’70′s, custom vans were huge. For better or worse, the custom van has fallen out of favor. But many of the custom van culture’s adherents have stayed true to their passion–a passion which inspired two young local filmmakers to produce a documentary on the topic.
In Vannin’ – A Documentary, filmmakers Andrew Morgan and Nick Nummerdor focus their cameras on the small, but intense sub-culture of custom van owners. Most of the film is spent checking out the tricked out customized vans and interviewing their fanatical owners at the 40th National Truck-In.
The Columbia College grads are hosting a sneak preview of Vannin’ Saturday at the Patio Theater, 6008 W. Irving Park (just west of Austin) at 6:30. Admission is only $5 (cash only).
Chicagoist has an interesting interview with the filmmakers you should read.
For more info, check out the film’s website.
By Moe Torrist
On November 1, 2013, you announced your resignation as Chicago’s Transportation Commissioner. In the wake of that announcement, you have received the heartfelt thanks from those who seek to eliminate cars from the streets of Chicago.
But please don’t think that Chicago’s motorists are ungrateful for all that you (along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel) have done, in your brief two and a half year stint as Transportation Commissioner. To that end, we, the motorists of Chicago, would like to offer our sincere thanks for all of your good works. In particular, we would like to sing your praises for all of the following accomplishments…
Gabe Klein will ride his bicycle into the sunset as the city’s Commissioner of Transportation at the end of November.
Klein, announced his resignation Friday, leaving a position he held for two and a half years to rejoin the public sector according to the Chicago Tribune.
Klein was hired by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to push a heavy, pro-bike, pro-pedestrian, alternative transportation agenda which included the Divvy bike sharing program, restarting the Bloomingdale Trail project and overseeing Emanuel’s promise to build 100 miles of protected bike lanes by the end of his first term.
But Klein had raised the ire of many Chicago drivers by spearheading the city’s new speed camera enforcement system–a program that looks to generate tens of millions of dollars a year. Despite the lack of corroborating crash data to substantiate the need for speed cameras, supporters bought into Klein’s claim it would reduce pedestrian crashes–in particular juvenile pedestrian crashes.
That’s a big number, but RedEye has put together an impressive, data heavy report really breaking down the city’s numbers on stolen vehicles.
In this graphic heavy piece, RedEye shows where you’re more likely to have your ride ripped off, your chances of getting it back and general trends in grand theft auto Chicago-style.
Perhaps the best news is that car thefts seem to be decreasing as 2012 saw a 10% decrease in stolen autos, and 2013 seems like it will continue the trend as only 8,809 vehicles were taken so far this year.
The bad news? If your car is stolen you have about a 5-6% chance of ever seeing it again.
Where’s the best places to go to have your car stolen? Well, mainly south side and west side neighborhoods. The 6th ward, in particular, seems to be the city’s stolen car capitol according to the report.
Check it out yourself at RedEye, “Chicago auto theft: By the numbers.”
This first phase of the TVDL program will begin as a pilot program where undocumented applicants can get their TVDL by appointment only at just four Secretary of State Driver’s Services facilities. Walk in applicants will not be allowed.
The four locations for the TVDL pilot program will be Chicago West, 5301 W. Lexington Ave., Springfield, 2701 S. Dirksen Pkwy. Chicago North, 5401 N. Elston Ave. and Bloomington, 1510 W. Market St.
The program will expand to all 25 state Driver’s Services locations in January. Applicants will still need to make an appointment to begin the application process.
Apparently, a lot as evidenced by the ribbon cutting ceremony which took place Saturday morning.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and Alderman John Pope (10th) were some of the bigger name pols who showed up to officially open a new span of Lake Shore Drive between 79th and 92nd according to DNA Info.
A two-mile extension of South Lake Shore Drive opens to motor vehicles Sunday morning at 9 AM according to the Sun-Times.
US Route 41 aka Lake Shore Drive got moved several blocks east, adjacent to the old U.S. Steel plant.
The new extension starts at South Shore Drive and 79th and ends near 92nd.
Here’s the full Sun-Times report, “Two-mile South Lake Shore Drive extension to open over the weekend.”