WBEZ | traffic http://www.wbez.org/tags/traffic Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago: Weekend traffic closures September 20, 21 & 22 http://www.wbez.org/news/transportation/chicago-weekend-traffic-closures-september-20-21-22-108731 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/road closed.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><strong>Filming a Paramount Pictures Movie aka Probably Transformers 4</strong><br />Saturday-Sunday<br />7am-Noon<br />2900 S. Damen Ave (Abandoned Silo Site) and Intermittent Traffic Pacing on SB/NB I-55 around Damen Ave.<br />Illinois State Police are going to control traffic on I-55 for large effects taking place on the silo site.<br />Helicopter will be in the area doing aerial photography.<br />Controlled explosions and visible fireballs will be taking place.</p><p><br /><strong>Red Bull Flugtag</strong><br />Saturday<br />Burnham Park - No street closures but expect traffic delays on South Lake Shore drive at 42nd st.</p><p><strong>Apple Fest - Family festival celebrating the beginning of fall - Lincoln Square</strong><br />Saturday<br />9am-5pm<br />Lincoln is closed between Leland and Lawrence</p><p><strong>Lakeview Taco Fest</strong><br />Saturday-Sunday<br />Southport is closed between Addison and Newport</p><p><strong>City Made Fest in Andersonville - First ever Local&rsquo;s only Festival</strong><br />Saturday - Sunday<br />Clark st between Argyle and Carmen</p><p><strong>Design Harvest - Celebration of design in West Town</strong><br />Saturday-Sunday<br />Grand Ave closed between Damen and Wood St<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 20 Sep 2013 09:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/transportation/chicago-weekend-traffic-closures-september-20-21-22-108731 Trouble with taxis http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/trouble-taxis-108523 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/taxi thumbnail for timeline cms.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">Curious Citizen Dan Monaghan from Chicago&rsquo;s Wicker Park neighborhood says he can&rsquo;t recall ever seeing a taxicab pulled over. And, to him, that seemed kind of crazy, considering the number of &ldquo;close calls&rdquo; he says he&rsquo;s had with taxis as a bike commuter, driver and pedestrian.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It just seems lawless, like they can get away with anything,&rdquo; he says.</p><p dir="ltr">WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side bureau reporter Odette Yousef hopes data can tease out this claim, as well as answer Dan&rsquo;s core question. Odette&rsquo;s reported on <a href="http://www.wbez.org/cabbie%E2%80%99s-lawsuit-against-chicago-moves-forward-104355">issues some Chicago taxi drivers already have</a> with the city&rsquo;s regulations, as well as <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-hunt-taxi-recruits-105421">cabbie recruitment</a>.</p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="650" src="http://embed.verite.co/timeline/?source=0Am-AbC8HDbXMdG9NV0VtRURYRFpXS0dtOHZCdWRxa0E&amp;font=Bevan-PotanoSans&amp;maptype=toner&amp;lang=en&amp;height=650" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Mon, 26 Aug 2013 12:40:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/trouble-taxis-108523 Traffic congestion's carbon footprint http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-02/traffic-congestions-carbon-footprint-105367 <p><p><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/carusophoto/4017256834/" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/traffic-by-john-caruso-via-flickr.jpg" title="Traffic on I-94 from the Van Buren street bridge. (John Caruso via Flickr)" /></a></p><p>Traffic congestion produced 56 billion pounds of carbon dioxide (CO<sub>2</sub>) pollution in 2011 &mdash; roughly equivalent to the emissions from the electricity use of 3.8 million homes for one year &mdash; according to the Texas A&amp;M Transportation Institute&rsquo;s <a href="http://mobility.tamu.edu/ums/">Urban Mobility Report</a> released Tuesday.</p><p>While the report&rsquo;s main innovation was <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/report-chicago-traffic-bad-leave-early-105360">a new metric that predicted the unpredictably of metro area traffic</a>, it also included for the first time an estimate of the additional CO<sub>2</sub> emissions attributed to traffic congestion. That does not include emissions from cars traveling when roadways are uncongested.</p><p>Transportation is responsible for roughly one third of U.S. carbon emissions, making it the second largest-emitting sector (behind electricity generation). Worldwide transportation represents <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090727080836.htm">20 percent</a> of total energy consumption.</p><p><a href="https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=2&amp;cad=rja&amp;ved=0CEAQFjAB&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.uctc.net%2Faccess%2F35%2Faccess35_Traffic_Congestion_and_Grenhouse_Gases.shtml&amp;ei=pasRUbSzLO7xyAHCnIH4Cg&amp;usg=AFQjCNH6HMuR6qigf7k9-9XQbAVN5T1IIA&amp;sig2=FlwgZ9weMMItgkzxSXWgLQ&amp;bvm=bv.41934586,d.aWc">It is difficult to measure</a> congestion&rsquo;s contribution to national carbon emissions &mdash; estimates are sensitive to highly variable factors like driving behavior, vehicle and roadway types, and local traffic conditions &mdash;but the report&rsquo;s stab at quantifying the issue could help further visualize a largely ignored pollution problem.</p><p>Noted climate scientist <a href="http://www3.geosc.psu.edu/people/faculty/personalpages/ralley/">Richard Alley</a> has pointed out that if the roughly 1 pound of CO<sub>2</sub> per mile that cars emit were &ldquo;horse ploppies,&rdquo; instead of invisible gas, every road in the country would be underneath an inch of poop within one year.</p><p>&ldquo;Fuel wasted in congested traffic reached a total of 2.9 billion gallons &mdash; enough to fill the New Orleans Superdome four times,&rdquo; the report reads. That is the same as in 2010, but less than the 3.2 billion gallons wasted in 2005.</p><p>There are a few key ways to improve the fuel efficiency of cars. Scientists and engineers are working on lighter vehicles, more efficient engines, and engines that run on alternative fuels. But advocates of policy solutions say just changing driving patterns can also have a significant impact.</p><p>The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning touts <a href="http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/congestion-pricing">congestion pricing</a> as one such intervention, citing <a href="http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/policy-updates/-/blogs/economic-impacts-of-express-toll-lanes-in-the-chicago-region">long-term economic impacts</a> to boot &mdash; CMAP&rsquo;s Jesse Elam <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2013-02-05/afternoon-shift-road-rage-105356">talked about their plan on The Afternoon Shift</a>.</p><p>Research out of the <a href="http://www.uctc.net/papers/846.pdf">University of California at Riverside</a>, which has its fair share of traffic, found metering ramp entry, lowering average driving speeds to 55 mph and reducing traffic congestion through variable speed limits could each potentially lower CO<sub>2</sub> emissions 7 to 12 percent. The combined effects of one or more of these changes could be greater, their report said.</p><p>&ldquo;Including CO<sub>2</sub>&nbsp;emissions into the [Urban Mobility Report] provides another dimension to the urban congestion problem,&rdquo; said researcher and co-author David Schrank in <a href="http://mobility.tamu.edu/ums/media-information/press-release/">a press release</a>.&nbsp; &ldquo;It points to the importance of implementing transportation improvements to reduce congestion.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>Researchers said they plan to include more metrics of air quality in future reports.</p></p> Wed, 06 Feb 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-02/traffic-congestions-carbon-footprint-105367 Thanksgiving traffic deaths down from last year http://www.wbez.org/news/thanksgiving-traffic-deaths-down-last-year-104079 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/traffic signs.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced traffic deaths over Thanksgiving weekend decreased 63 percent from last year.</p><p>Provisional data from IDOT&rsquo;s crash information unit reported three traffic deaths compared to eight deaths during the holiday in 2011.</p><p>Mike Claffey, a spokesman for IDOT, said even though traffic deaths are down there&rsquo;s still work to be done.</p><p>&ldquo;This weekend there was three too many crashes and the campaign is to drive the number to zero,&rdquo; Claffey said. &ldquo;We want to keep the pressure on anybody who thinks of driving under the influence and we want to keep reminding folks... buckle up.&rdquo;</p><p>To help cut down on the number of traffic deaths this holiday season, IDOT launched a partnership with law enforcement called the &quot;Drive to Survive&quot; campaign.</p><p>Police will be out in force, pulling drivers over who are not wearing seatbelts and cracking down on drunk driving through the end of the year.</p><p>Claffey said the department has boosted its effort to educate people about driving safety, including highway signs that tally the number of traffic deaths to date this year.</p></p> Wed, 28 Nov 2012 14:11:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/thanksgiving-traffic-deaths-down-last-year-104079 Top traffic bottleneck to get improvement study http://www.wbez.org/news/transportation/top-traffic-bottleneck-get-improvement-study-98501 <p><p>Illinois officials will begin engineering studies for reconstructing the "Circle Interchange," located west of Chicago's Loop.</p><p>The point at which the Kennedy, Dan Ryan and Eisenhower expressways and the Congress Parkway converge has been labeled the nation's top traffic bottleneck.</p><p>Gov. Pat Quinn said Monday the $40 million, two-year study will identify needed improvements, cost and construction schedule.</p><p>Quinn's Transportation Department wants suggestions from taxpayers in nearby neighborhoods and businesses, Chicago city officials, the Chicago Transit Authority and the University of Illinois at Chicago.</p><p>The interchange has not been improved in its 50-year history. It handles 300,000 vehicles daily -- 26,000 trucks -- which travel at below ideal speeds for more than 14 hours a day.</p><p>Preliminary analysis calls for additional lanes on key ramps.</p></p> Tue, 24 Apr 2012 09:58:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/transportation/top-traffic-bottleneck-get-improvement-study-98501 Speed cameras come to Chicago school zones, but do they work? http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-02-07/speed-cameras-come-chicago-school-zones-do-they-work-96163 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2012-February/2012-02-06/020712 Seg A1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago lead foots beware: Yesterday, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed off on a plan that would allow the use of speed cameras in school zones and parks. Mayor Rahm Emmanuel says the move will protect children; critics argue the cameras are an excuse to bring in some much-needed revenue for the city.</p><p>WBEZ reporter Alex Keefe explained the details, and&nbsp;Kristen McQueary, who covers state politics for WBEZ and the Chicago News Cooperative, told <em>Eight Forty-Eight </em>what the plan says about Gov. Quinn's legislative style. Thomas Goetz, executive editor of <em>Wired </em>magazine, compares the Chicago plan to systems that use dynamic speed displays instead of cameras.</p></p> Tue, 07 Feb 2012 21:55:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-02-07/speed-cameras-come-chicago-school-zones-do-they-work-96163 Naperville council votes to end red light cameras http://www.wbez.org/story/naperville-council-votes-end-red-light-cameras-93703 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/archives/images/cityroom/cityroom_20100610_akeefe_1238416_Red _large.png" alt="" /><p><p>West suburban Naperville is ending it's red-light camera program. A split vote on Tuesday resulted in the council nixing the red light camera program. They cited statistics that show red light cameras have reduced collisions at some intersections.</p><p>But two of the city's three cameras must be removed during upcoming construction. Council members have debated whether it makes financial sense to keep the last camera.</p><p>Karen DeAngelis is the Director of Finance for the city of Naperville. She said the average net monthly revenue is $65,000 dollars from all three cameras. The average monthly maintenance is $29,000 dollars. DeAngelis said the remaining camera is at the least violated of all intersections, so it may not result in the city making money off of it.</p><p>Councilman Bob Fieseler said that's in part because motorists have become more cautious and there are now fewer violations.</p><p>"Let's take government out of the enforcement business until there's a problem," Fieseler said.</p><p>Fieseler said the question remains as to whether violations will creep back up without the cameras.</p><p>In January, Naperville will go back to catching motorists entirely the old fashioned way with police officers.</p><p>Stopping the camera program will pile an additional $200,000 dollars to the city's $1.9 million dollar shortfall in next year's budget.</p></p> Wed, 02 Nov 2011 19:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/naperville-council-votes-end-red-light-cameras-93703 Getouttamyway! (Thoughts on city traffic) http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-14/getouttamyway-thoughts-city-traffic-87827 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-14/380379732_8d3a32beab.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>I've been to Rome, so I've seen the <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPpihEKJk5Y&feature=player_embedded" target="_blank">dark side</a>: a traffic intersection where everybody decides to get where they're going at the same time, so no one gets anywhere. Cairo might be even worse. This isn't a parking lot, <em>it's a street...<br /></em></p><p>City people are always pushing; if you think you won't get caught, you keep moving. The rules don't matter. The signs don't matter.</p><p>But the amazing thing is, in most towns, even though people are constantly pushing their luck, taking crazy chances in traffic, they don't die, they don't get hurt. They get where they're going. And that's a miracle.</p><p>Just take a look at this video, created by New York designer (and School of Visual Arts grad student) Ron Gabriel, who went to a Manhattan intersection, 28th Street and Park Avenue, and watched cars, trucks, bicyclists and pedestrians skirting inches from each other with matter-of-fact ease.</p><p>The near misses (or the exquisite ballet between people and machines) is both maddening and thrilling, especially when Gabriel adds spatial graphics, sound effects and the theme from TV's "Peter Gun" by Art of Noise. This video will make you hate bikers.</p><p></p><p>And so it has always been. Traffic scholar Tom Vanderbilt <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/10/books/chapters/traffic-chap.html?pagewanted=3">wondered</a> how pedestrians, chariots and carts negotiated the very narrow streets of ancient Pompeii.</p><p><blockquote></p><p>The tourist wonders: Was it a one-way street? Did a lowly commoner have to reverse himself out of the way when a member of the imperial legions came trotting along in the other direction? If two chariots arrived at an intersection simultaneously, who went first?</p><p></blockquote></p><p>The answer, says traffic archaeologist <a href="http://www.pompeiana.org/Research/Streets_Research/Streets_Research.htm">Eric Poehler</a>, is Pompeians improvised. There weren't road signs. There were one-way streets. But, studying the "wear patterns at corners as well as the stepping stones set up for pedestrians," Poelher says people just learned to get out of each others way. Just like today.</p><p><hr /></p><p><em>The newest book that explores the history of traffic in old New York, London and ancient Rome comes from Tom Vanderbilt. It's called</em> "Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (And What It Says About Us<em>)" from Knopf 2008. And probably the most dramatic (brand new) essay on at traffic safety comes from Casey Neistat, a New York City filmmaker who purposefully ran into Manhattan potholes, construction sites, moving vans, even a police car to protest a $50 ticket he got for riding outside the bicycle lane. His point: riding in bicycle lanes is dangerous for bicyclists, so unsafe that bicycle lanes aren't worth it. My point: Casey has to mightily (you won't believe what he does) exaggerate to make his case, which makes me wonder if he's got a case, but, if you don't mind the occasional swear word and someone doing stunts without a helmet, Casey's video, </em>"What Happens When You Ride in a Bike Lane<em>" is, in its inane way, delightful. </em> <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. </p> Tue, 14 Jun 2011 09:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-14/getouttamyway-thoughts-city-traffic-87827 Redeveloping Wacker Drive, and Chicago’s riverfront http://www.wbez.org/story/architecture/redeveloping-wacker-drive-and-chicago%E2%80%99s-riverfront <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/riverwalk dan perry.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><a href="../../../../../../blog/justin-kaufmann/video-sarah-jindra-gives-birds-eye-view-wacker-drive-traffic">Traffic has been snarled</a> in the Loop this week thanks to the second phase of <a href="http://www.wackerdrive.org/projects.cfm">Revive Wacker Drive</a>, a major reconstruction of the famous double-decker street. This three year, $366 million endeavor will shore up the stability of the north-south portion of the roadway and will rebuild the Congress Parkway interchange that leads to I-90/94 and I-290.</p> <div>The first phase of Wacker&rsquo;s redevelopment started in 1999 with improvements to the east-west portion of the street. And although it was not the project&rsquo;s primary goal, a second set of redevelopment opportunities arose along the Chicago River. Wacker Drive is just one part of the complex built environment along the river, and Mayor Daley encouraged the project managers to reclaim some of the area in front of the river for public use. You can see the results in the form of the Chicago Riverwalk, which runs along the east-west portion of Wacker near the Michigan Ave. bridge.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The Riverwalk was the first part of a patchwork of plans past and future to improve public access to the downtown portion of the Chicago River. The city&rsquo;s vision for the riverfront was laid out in a 2009 plan developed by Chicago firm <a href="http://www.som.com/content.cfm/www_home">Skidmore, Owings &amp; Merrill</a> and includes wide pathways for walking and biking, a new market district, and theater space. If completed, the project would transform the face of Chicago&rsquo;s downtown. (You can see the entire Skidmore, Owings &amp; Merrill proposal in the extras section below.)</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>One key player in drafting plans for future improvements to the riverfront was Michelle Woods. Woods describes herself as a &ldquo;bridge builder,&rdquo; and in this case her meaning is literal. She is a bridge engineer for the Chicago Department of Transportation and was so heavily involved with the development of the under-bridge connections at Michigan and Wabash Avenues in 2009 that she joked they should rename the bridge &ldquo;Michelligan Ave.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In the audio excerpt posted above, Woods explains what it took to transform the riverfront area along East and West Wacker. (Among other things it took creating new land in the middle of the river and securing an act of Congress.) It&rsquo;s a good reminder of how much work would be involved in developing the north-south portion of the river along Wacker, too. But if you&rsquo;ve been stuck in traffic this week you probably already knew that.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><a href="../../../../../../series/dynamic-range"><em>Dynamic Range</em></a><em> showcases hidden gems unearthed from Chicago Amplified&rsquo;s vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Michelle Woods spoke to an audience at the </em><a href="http://caf.architecture.org/"><em>Chicago Architecture Foundation</em></a><em> in May of 2010. Click </em><a href="../../../../../../episode-segments/chicago-riverwalk"><em>here</em></a><em> to hear her talk in its entirety, and click </em><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/wbez/id364380278"><em>here</em></a><em> to subscribe to the Dynamic Range podcast. </em></div></p> Fri, 07 Jan 2011 17:17:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/architecture/redeveloping-wacker-drive-and-chicago%E2%80%99s-riverfront Wacker Drive: History revealed http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/wacker-drive-history-revealed-0 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/wacker drive.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Phase one of the multi-year project to repair Chicago&rsquo;s Wacker Drive is finished. It's part of the <a href="http://www.wackerdrive.org/projects.cfm" target="_blank">Revive Wacker Drive project</a>. But new construction underway this week is still giving plenty of drivers headaches. Last spring, &quot;Eight Forty-Eight&quot; host Alison Cuddy took a tour of the famous thoroughfare with <a href="http://www.prairie.org/bios/studs/tim-samuelson" target="_blank">Tim Samuelson</a>, the man officially known as Chicago&rsquo;s Cultural Historian.</p><p>&quot;Eight Forty-Eight&quot; wanted to learn more about Wacker Drive before it went under the jackhammer. Samuelson said the design of the two-tier drive was unprecedented in its time.</p></p> Wed, 05 Jan 2011 15:48:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/wacker-drive-history-revealed-0