Chicago Sun-Times

Public garages tend to be a little spooky, full of harsh shadows. So DePaul University hopes students and faculty are noticing a difference in the lighting at their Sheffield parking garage on its Lincoln Park campus, where the old 210-watt metal halide lights have been replaced with 90-watt LEDs.

The new lights use 60 percent less energy than the old lights and require no bulb replacements for about six years, according to DePaul. DePaul couldn't provide the cost of the change, but the university expects to make back its investment in three years. The lights are also supposed to provide more uniform light and increase visibility.

The lights are a product of EvoLucia, the lighting division of Sunovia Energy in Sarasota, Florida.

Last week's ride asked to identify the El crash that killed 10 people and led to a recommendation to phase out wooden cars.

The answer is the rear-end collision involving a Chicago Rapid Transit elevated train and a Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee interurban train at Granville station on Nov. 24, 1936. A northbound el train of eight wooden and steel cars was stopped, waiting for clearance onto a local track, when the North Shore express, made up of three steel cars, slammed into it from behind at just 10 mph. Federal investigators attributed the number of casualties to the fact that the steel coaches telescoped through the wooden rear coach of the El train, destroying it.

Carl Rollberg at Calumet Park got in his answer at 6 a.m. -- and was the winner!

Del Valle and Bikes

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Earlier this month, the Ride had a story about how the Active Transportation Alliance is hoping the next mayor will further Mayor Daley's work to make Chicago welcoming to bicycles and pedestrians.

At least one mayoral candidate has come forward on this issue -- City Clerk Miguel del Valle. On his campaign-focused Facebook page, Del Valle said he wanted to make Chicago "one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the world."

"Let's make Chicago one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the world," del Valle wrote. "Let's add bike lanes. Let's ensure quality pavement..." del Valle wrote. "I will work with the City Council, the Chicago Department of Transportation, and the Active Transportation Alliance to launch bicycle friendly initiatives. Let's keep this going."

Del Valle says his son is an active cyclist.

For our last ride trivia quiz, the question was: what Chicago street is the maiden name of a lady who became one of Chicago's leading socialites?

The answer is Honore, named for Chicago real estate developer Henry Hamilton Honore. His daugher, Bertha, married Potter Palmer of Palmer House fame.

Janet Heifetz of Chicago was the first with the right answer, and she gets the umbrella.

This Monday is a favorite event for transportation geeks like myself -- The William O. Lipinski Transportation Forum at Northwestern University. The topic this year is public transit for Chicago -- and will include a panel discussion with CTA President Richard Rodriguez, Metra acting executive director William Tupper, Pace executive driector T.J. Ross and Illinois Tollway executive director Kristi Lafleur. The "four tops" from Springfield are also on the schedule -- Michael Madigan, Tom Cross, John Cullerton and Christine Radogno.

The last Ride Trivia Quiz asked "What Chicago street was named after a 7-year-old girl? Her father became mayor."

The answer is Cornelia, whose grandfather was subdivider Walter S. Gurnee. Gurnee was mayor from 1851 to 1853.

No one got this answer -- but we had some good guesses. Ada, like Cornelia, was named for the granddaughter of a subdivider. Berenice was named for a subdivider's daughter. But neither of those men became mayor.

A subdivider, if you're wondering, is someone who divides land into building sites.

Schweebing Around

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Check out this Reuters video, which shows a New Zealand transportation innovation, the Schweeb, an see-through capsule carried on a monorail. The occupant pedals, bicycle-style, to move it forward. The inventor thinks it's a pollution-free solution for crowded cities. "Schweeb" sounds like a device from a Dr. Seuss story -- as in "... And next came the Mimbys, all riding their Schweebs..." I'd like to try it, but couldn't imagine it here. The state's too broke to fix most of what it has now...

Ride Trivia Quiz Answer

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This week's question asked what event brought 250,000 people to Soldier Field in September 1954. The answer was the Catholic Marian Year Tribute. Sheila Wade was the first with the correct answer. I got a lot of responses on this one -- some readers were there.

Recent Comments

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