WBEZ | Illinois Department of Transportation http://www.wbez.org/tags/illinois-department-transportation Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Illinois to receive influx of money for high-speed rail projects http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-receive-influx-money-high-speed-rail-projects-90143 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/High Speed Rail_Getty _ File.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>The State of Illinois is getting a boost of funds for its high-speed rail projects. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced that Illinois is one of five states receiving more than $336 million to buy next-generation trains.</p><p>Guy Trigdell, spokesman with the Illinois Department of Transportation, said it hasn't been announced yet how much of the money will go to Illinois.</p><p>"We're one of the states that will be expanding high-speed rail. We are the hub of the midwest for a system of trains that will be radiating out of Chicago," said Trigdell. "Our signature line is Chicago to St. Louis."</p><p>According to Trigdell, the money will go to purchase seven new trains with 48 cars. He said the Chicago to St. Louis line is expected to be up and running by 2014.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Additionally, "States will be working together to identify a uniformed set of standards and develop some consistent specifications for all passenger trains that will be used," said Trigdell.&nbsp;</p><p>Transportation officials say President Barack Obama's administration has kicked in more than $10 billion to lay the groundwork for Illinois and other states to develop higher speed rail networks.</p></p> Thu, 04 Aug 2011 20:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-receive-influx-money-high-speed-rail-projects-90143 State to track incidents of 'dooring' bicyclists http://www.wbez.org/story/state-track-incidents-dooring-bicyclists-85643 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-25/Bicyclists_Getty_Justin Sullivan.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>If you're riding your bike and you run into an open car door, the state of Illinois wants to hear about it.</p><p>Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday announced that Illinois is now tracking such accidents - known as "dooring" crashes. Quinn's office says the goal is to determine where road improvements and public outreach efforts may be needed to protect bicyclists.&nbsp; The governor says he wants to make roads safer for everyone.</p><p>Information on dooring will be collected and analyzed by the Illinois Department of Transportation. IDOT's Division of Traffic Safety is giving law enforcement agencies across the state instructions on how to begin recording dooring crashes.</p><p>Data from police departments that already track dooring collisions, including Chicago, will be included in Illinois' traffic statistics, retroactive to May 2010.</p></p> Mon, 25 Apr 2011 15:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/state-track-incidents-dooring-bicyclists-85643 All aboard: Illinois gets moving on high-speed rail http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-01/all-aboard-illinois-gets-moving-high-speed-rail-83168 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/high speed rail London Getty Kitwood.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>The governors of Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin have turned down federal funding for high-speed rail service. But in Illinois, the sentiment is&nbsp; &ldquo;All aboard.&rdquo; The proposal for improvements along the Chicago-St. Louis corridor aims to connect arterial regions. And now, the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.dot.state.il.us/">Illinois Department of Transportation</a> is asking for public input on the plans.<a target="_blank" href="http://elpc.org/"><br /><br />The Environmental Law and Policy Center</a> has worked throughout its 15-year history to develop and promote high-speed rail in the Midwest. <a target="_blank" href="http://elpc.org/elpc-staff">Howard Learner</a> is the center&rsquo;s executive director and he joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> to share what these meetings hope to accomplish.</p></p> Tue, 01 Mar 2011 14:42:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-01/all-aboard-illinois-gets-moving-high-speed-rail-83168 Why not rename Balbo Drive to 'Santo' Street? http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/why-not-rename-balbo-drive-santo-street <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/AP101203011412.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img title="" alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-December/2010-12-03/AP101203011412.jpg" style="width: 475px; height: 326px;" /></p><p>The passing of Ron&nbsp;Santo has Chicagoans thinking of fond memories the popular personality gave them. So why not honor his life by renaming a street?&nbsp;Not honorary, but a full-fledged rename?&nbsp;This is not my idea. It's the idea of Chicago Tribune Columnist Eric Zorn, who in 2008 <a href="http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/2008/07/santo.html">wrote about how there were more deserving Italian-American Chicagoans than Italo Balbo</a>. He was suggesting a more suitable replacement for the Italian general, whose name replaced 7th Street 77 years ago. Zorn did a poll and Ron Santo was the readers' choice. We remembered that movement and I G-chatted up Mr. Zorn today to ask if he still thought Ron Santo would be a good name for that street:&nbsp;</p><p><span dir="ltr"><b>Justin</b>: </span><span dir="ltr">So in 2008 you did a poll about renaming Balbo street. Why?</span></p><p><span dir="ltr"><b>Eric</b>:&nbsp;</span> <span dir="ltr">It's a major street in Chicago curiously named for a leader of the fascist thugs who brought Benito Mussolini to power. I thought Italian Americans could do better.</span></p><p><span dir="ltr"><b>Justin</b>: </span><span dir="ltr">And by better, you mean Ron Santo?</span></p><div><div><span dir="ltr"><b>Eric</b>:&nbsp;</span> <span dir="ltr">Santo was one choice. Enrico Fermi was another popular suggestion. The late Cardinal Bernardin. Florence Scala. There are a lot of famous Italian Americans who weren't on the side of the Nazis in WWII</span></div><div><b>Justin</b><span dir="ltr">:&nbsp;</span> <span dir="ltr">Your readers voted overwhelmingly for Santo, 73 percent!</span></div><div><span dir="ltr"><b>Eric</b>:&nbsp;</span> <span dir="ltr">Ron is -- or was, rest his soul -- pure Chicago (though he grew up in Seattle) -- a man of great talent, courage and passion who beat on against the twin currents of disappointment and disease.</span></div></div><div><div><b>Justin</b><span dir="ltr">:&nbsp;</span> <span dir="ltr">How possible is it to rename a street? Do we have to get IDOT involved in this chat?</span><span dir="ltr"> </span><span dir="ltr">And we aren't talking about that &quot;honorary&quot; bullsh*t. Full rename.</span></div><div><span dir="ltr"><b> Eric</b>:&nbsp;</span> <span dir="ltr">I'd like to get rid of ALL those honorary street names (even Justin Kaufmann Way) but don't get me started. No, it's a city function, renaming streets.</span></div><div><b>Justin</b><span dir="ltr">:&nbsp;</span> <span dir="ltr">Do you think the city or the Italian-American community would be down with this thought? You proposed it when Mr. Santo was alive in 2007. Now that he has passed...</span></div></div><div><div dir="ltr"><span dir="ltr"><b>Eric</b>:&nbsp;</span> <span dir="ltr">The Italian American community is strangely loyal to Balbo (who, to his credit, was a notable aviator when he wasn't doing his fascist thuggery). They've resisted every effort to re-name East Balbo Drive over the years. I'm not the first to propose it.</span></div><div dir="ltr"><b>Justin</b><span dir="ltr">:&nbsp;</span> <span dir="ltr">But you are the first to propose renaming it Ron Santo Way.</span> Balbo is only like, what, 3 blocks? Let's just get a team together, go to the novelty shop and get a couple green and white street signs made and go rogue. I would just need an invesment of like $2k. And I'll have that street renamed by the end of the weekend.</div></div><div><div dir="ltr"><span dir="ltr"><b>Eric</b>:&nbsp;</span> <span dir="ltr">I will visit you in jail.</span></div><div dir="ltr"><b>Justin</b><span dir="ltr">:&nbsp;</span> <span dir="ltr">Well, you should start a petition or at least, start the process with IDOT. That's what Trib columnists are good for.</span> Document it, create a FB page and tweet out your phone call transcripts.</div></div><div><div><span dir="ltr"><b>Eric</b>:&nbsp;</span> <span dir="ltr">Do you know any homeless people who could pass the petitions for me? Cuz I know a guy who could &quot;notarize&quot; them, if you know what I mean.</span></div></div><div><div dir="ltr"><span style="font-weight: bold;">J</span><span dir="ltr"><b>ustin</b>:&nbsp;</span> <span dir="ltr">Hahah.<br /> </span><div><div><span dir="ltr"><b>Eric</b>:&nbsp;</span> <span dir="ltr">You're laughing. Am I a clown? Do I amuse you?</span></div><div><b>Justin</b><span dir="ltr">:&nbsp;</span> <span dir="ltr">Yes, you do.</span> Well, tough day in Chicago. Thanks for chatting about the prospect of giving Mr. Ron Santo a piece of Chicago, forever. We'll see if it catches on.</div></div></div></div><div><span dir="ltr"><b>Eric</b>:&nbsp;</span> <span dir="ltr">Thanks. I am serious that I think this would be a great idea.</span></div><div><b>Justin</b>:<span dir="ltr">&nbsp;</span> <span dir="ltr">Me too. Talk soon.</span></div></p> Fri, 03 Dec 2010 19:53:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/why-not-rename-balbo-drive-santo-street