Imagine my surprise this past Friday when I took one of my urban hikes through my downtown Chicago neighborhood and walked right into what may be the most unnecessarily dangerous pedestrian crossing in town.
It may be the biggest heist in Chicago history, folks, and it’s right under our noses. Or our feet, anyway. One look at this year’s new Chicago Transit Authority map uncovers the dastardly deed: someone has stolen the Washington/State Red Line station.
This week I took a look at the official visitors websites of my two favorites Midwestern cities: my adopted hometown of Chicago (ChooseChicago); and Ohio’s Queen City, Cincinnati (CincinnatiUSA). In doing so, I found that size is no predictor of marketing ability. Both visitors websites fall flat in the storytelling department, among a host of other faults.
Yesterday, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless announced on its blog that the organization will ‘track any efforts to crack down on homeless people riding the CTA.’ The statement highlighted and was in direct response to my recent opinion pieces here and on Huffington Post Chicago decrying recently installed Chicago Transit Authority signage barring ‘continuous riding’ that the agency appears intent on applying only to homeless riders.
No, the Chicago Transit Authority has not yet budged from its thinly veiled discriminatory policy of throwing homeless people out of the ‘L’ system at terminals. Over the weekend in these pages and on my Huffington Post Chicago byline I posted a series of questions about the policy that I had submitted to CTA’s media relations department along with the seriously spin-meistered answers that I received back. Yesterday, those posts unexpectedly made waves locally and nationally.
During the past few weeks of waning daylight, waxing chill, and growing holiday spirit, the Chicago Transit Authority has been busy installing new signage at rail terminals on the CTA ‘L’. The message on the signs is clear, and a bit ominous: they demand an additional fare from any rider who wants to depart the terminal in the opposite direction from which they arrived. Are the signs aimed at the homeless?
No one could be more thrilled than I am about the end to the CTA operating funding impasse. For transit users like me, the draconian cuts threatened in January would have essentially confined me to my neighborhood–and most likely have pushed me and many others out of Chicago.
The Chicago Reporter reveals that the Chicago Housing Authority ‘Plan for Transformation’ may have helped disenfranchise thousands of Windy City public-housing voters. And the CHA is taking no responsibility for the problem.
Given me and my big mouth, it had to happen sometime. Today debuts Downtown Local, my (most likely allegedly) weekly podcast look at life, love, and folly from the heart of downtown Chicago. I’ll use the podcast to expand on issues I cover in my regular blog posts, as well as to share new stories–and, of course, rants.
The title a beautifully incisive quote from New East Side resident Eric Frost, poobah of the nascent downtown discussion board WindyChat, when asked why his kids prefer to romp in the playground of Daley Bicentennial Plaza instead of in Lakeshore East Park. I interviewed him over coffee at the Randolph Street Intelligentsia in an effort to delve deeper into the residential opposition to the Chicago Children’s Museum’s planned move from Navy Pier to Grant Park.