Building Skyscrapers Over Trains

I came across this instructional video on the same day that I saw that the River Point development off of Canal St. and Lake St. in Chicago has broken ground. This project is being constructed above the Metra tracks leading into Union Station (H/T Atlantic Cities).


Map Ideas


My next map project. Via Transit Maps. This map, called a time-scale map, shows the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) commuter rail network in Boston. This graphically simple map shows distance according to time and the lines are weighted according to frequency. A fare table is provided in the legend, thus the map [...]

Elements of a BRT Station

2nd Ave. BRT Source: NYC Department of Transportation

Via Kevin O’Neil, who asks the question of what makes an ideal bus rapid transit (BRT) station? As you may guess, I have some opinions. But first, some background.

Bus rapid transit, known as BRT in the biz, is a term that applies to [...]

Technical Difficulties

My apologies for those of you looking to check out my site after the nice mention from Streetsblog on Twitter. I’ve been running the site for not quite a year on the WordPress platform and was looking for a new Twitter widget to post my latest tweets on the website. Last night I uploaded the [...]

Transit Disinvestment

Rising up or falling down? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my hometown, Chicago, the CTA raised fares today. Lots of people are upset, and for good reason. In many cases it’s easy to blame the low hanging fruit – mismanagement, corruption, government waste, high salaries and benefits, etc. Often, the 800 pound gorilla in the [...]

Transit Mode and Development Opportunities

I have not mentioned this before, but my favorite planning book in the last year has to be Human Transit. Authored by Jarrett Walker, the book is based on much of what he has been saying on his blog by the same name. Reading his interview with the Urban Land Institute on how developers need [...]

Planning Politics

So who watched the elections on Tuesday night? I was up until 1:30 AM watching the speeches. If you are an urban planner, it’s likely that you pulled the lever for Barack Obama. Because, sadly, the ideals and principles that planners hold dear are more often than not represented by the Democratic Party. And that [...]

The Most Important Transportation Infrastructure You’ve Never Heard Of

View of the Old River Control Structure looking southeast.

It is the Old River Control Structure.

This strays a little from the topics on this blog so let me explain. I just finished reading a fantastic book, The Control of Nature, by John McPhee. In the book, McPhee examines the human struggle to control [...]

Weak Illinois Towns

So I will admit: I am out of my league when it comes to municipal finance. As a transportation planner for a major transit agency in Chicago, I am not expected to know much about municipal finance in my professional line of work. But I do know a bit about Strong Towns. And after recently [...]