Chicago Sun-Times

July 2007 Archives

Lost in transit

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From pornography and racy pictures to dentures and prosthetic body parts, people leave some unusual things on CTA buses and trains.

What's the strangest item you've seen left on a bus or the L?

Today's Ride had tales from the CTA Tattler about a Bridezilla on the L and a man who danced a jig and cackled like a madman for 15 minutes straight.

Who's the strangest character you've encountered on the L?

My worst nightmare

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This lady is lucky to be alive:

A woman was injured late Friday night when she was struck by a Red Line train in the Edgewater neighborhood, authorities said.

The incident happened shortly before midnight at the Berwyn Avenue Red Line station, according to Chicago Transit Authority spokeswoman Wanda Taylor.

The woman, who reportedly had been drinking, apparently fell onto the tracks accidentally, police News Affairs Officer Amina Greer said.

She was on the southbound tracks when she was struck by the train, Taylor said. The woman was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.

A Lincoln District police officer said the woman was "OK" and "had minor injuries."

Following the incident, power was shut off on the Red Line between the Wilson and Thorndale stations for about an hour, Taylor said.

No other CTA customers were injured in the incident, according to Taylor.

The Southtown had this story today about the City Council raising questions about the firm hired to handle security at O'Hare and Midway.

Think aldermen are right to be concerned? Are you?

New lane configurations and temporary ramp closings are scheduled this week for the Dan Ryan Expy.
Some, you've already noticed. Here's what to expect for the rest of the week:

On Friday, drivers on the inbound Dan Ryan can expect a new lane configuration. The inbound lanes between 87th Street and 71st Street will be shifted to the right to allow crews to work on the far left lane next to the CTA L tracks. Drivers will still have access to all available exit ramps.

On Saturday night, traffic will be reduced to two lanes on the outbound Dan Ryan from Roosevelt Road through 31st Street, between 11 p.m. and 9 a.m. Sunday. During this time, ramps will open and close as crews set up a new lane configuration.

By 9 a.m. Sunday, there should be three express lanes and two local lanes available to drivers, the Illinois Department of Transportation said.

Robbins Bros., a California-based jeweler, is looking for couples who met on the CTA and would be willing to get engaged at a Blue Line station.

The couple with the best meeting story wins $2,500 toward the purchase of an engagement ring.

Interested? If so, you can submit a 200-word essay to A winner will be chosen within the next three to four weeks, a Robbins Bros. rep said.

Excuses, excuses

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People get really creative with the excuses they give State Troopers after they've been pulled over for speeding. What about you? Have you ever made up a story to get out of a ticket? Did it work?

The CTA, at its board meeting Wednesday, said it will spend $14.7 million to speed up the repair of slow zones on the Blue and Red Lines.

By the end of the year, the CTA will eliminate all slow zones on the Blue Line between Division and Grand, and on the Red Line between Clark/Division and Grand. A larger project to repair the slow zones from Addison to O'Hare will soon go out to bid, but it's not clear whether the CTA will have money to pay for the work, which could be completed in 15 months.

The Blue Line has been "hemorrhaging" riders on the slow zone-riddled O'Hare branch, CTA President Ron Huberman said Wednesday. Ridership was down nearly 5 percent in May, compared to the same period last year.

So clearly, riders aren't just complaining about delays. They're finding other ways to get where they're going.

The CTA plans to test a new recording device on its buses that would keep tabs on unsafe bus operators. Read more here.

CTA President Ron Huberman also acknowledged that the CTA needs to work on its communication skills when things go wrong. Huberman was referring to the service disruptions on July 3 and July 7. But the same criticisms were leveled at the CTA after last year's Blue Line derailment, which happened a year ago today.

The CTA says it will review its emergency response plans and also plan to send additional personnel to trains stuck between stations, so that riders are kept more informed about what's going on. The CTA will also launch a hotline that would allow employees to report problems to management without having to worry about action being taken against them.

Sun-Times reporter Leslie Baldacci had a story today about some of the bone-headed driving moves she's seen on Chicago-area streets. Have any more you'd like to add to her list?

If you ride Metra's UP West of Northwest Lines, you might want to attend next week's public meetings on proposed expansions of both lines.

Metra wants to increase service on the UP W from 59 to up to 80 trains per day, improve options for reverse commuters and reduce bottlenecks on the line.

The UP NW project would extend service to a new station in Johnsburg and increase the number of trains.

Because of an increase in rider complaints, city cab drivers are getting more citations this year for everything from unclean or damaged vehicles to reckless driving, abusive behavior and talking on cell phones.

What kinds of experiences have you had with Chicago cabbies? Good or bad.

Do you think cabbies get a bad rep, or are too many of them violating the rules of the road?

Were you there?

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Last night, thousands of CTA L riders were trapped on train cars or stranded on L platforms after power to the elevated lines in the Loop was knocked out for over an hour.

The service disruption couldn't have happened at a worse time, since July 3 is typically the CTA's busiest day, thanks to the fireworks at Grant Park and the Taste of Chicago.

Were you one of the people who got stuck? If so, tell me about it.

Is there a CTA or Pace bus route that you avoid taking because you know it's either going to be late, filthy or just plain unpleasant because of rude passengers, cranky drivers or some other fill-in-the-blank annoyance?

By the same token, which Metra line has a tendency to make you late for work?

In short, which bus or rail lines aren't worth the fare?

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from July 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

June 2007 is the previous archive.

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