Monday, February 26, 2007
Today is a good day to rant about transportation
1) Recently revived talks of the Crosstown Expressway: maybe a good idea many decades ago but it's TOO LATE now. Cutting a multilane highway directly across a fully built-up city? wtf are you thinking?! Not to mention that it would be in our neighborhood. We're not directly in the path but very close, less than a mile. I often look at our neighborhood and the funny angled stump-ends of blocks created by blasting the Kennedy Expressway across the landscape in the 1960s. How many houses were lost? How many commercial centers destroyed? (at least one - at Irving Park and Pulaski - which has never recovered) How many neighborhoods were chopped in half, forever changed by this massive concrete barrier? And now the legislature, and the mayor, have revived talk of the Crosstown. Dear Mr. Blagojevich: Please kill this idea right now. This is not 1960. The solution to highway congestion is not to erase big chunks of the city those highways serve.
2) Daily announcement on the CTA: "Sorry, folks, but we have to go 6 mph through this very long portion of the tunnel because of track repairs." Tribune article this morning: "The CTA is running at 6 mph because the tracks are so deteriorated that trains can't be permitted to run any faster, but there is no money for repairs. At all. Repairs will not be done any time soon, so welcome to your new crappy commute." Apparently my on-fire train a few weeks ago is going to become a more common occurrence. Dear Mr. Blagojevich: If the stupid RTA can't pay for basic capital improvements to preserve the safety of its hundreds of thousands of riders, something has to change. Forget the ridiculous plans for an express train to O'Hare - let the out-of-towners going between the Hilton and O'Hare with their five oversized pieces of luggage take a cab. The daily riders, the taxpayers, the workers and students of Chicago, want trains that function correctly, and on predictable schedules. Who the hell mismanaged an entire transit system into the ground? Who can I fire?