At CTBA’s blog, I’ve written a post about how much Chicago ought to fear Trump’s threat to take away federal funding from “sanctuary cities” that don’t cooperate with federal agencies to enforce immigration laws. The answer: it all depends on the courts. Two legal standards—one on “germaneness” and another that legal scholars appear to just … Continue reading Chicago and Trump’s sanctuary city threat
In Chicago, part of the deal with being an alderman (we have 50) in a city where nearly all policy decisions go through the mayor’s office is that you get $1.3 million per year to spend on any infrastructure projects you want. I forget who said this, but it’s basically “walking around money” for elected officials … Continue reading What does aldermanic “menu money” pay for?
I just picked up (ordered to my Kindle) The Invention of Brownstone Brooklyn, an American urban history classic that’s been on my list for years. It explores how, and why, between roughly World War II and 1980 northern Brooklyn transitioned from a prime candidate for slum clearance and urban renewal to the treasured capital of New … Continue reading The invention of gentrification: Ten notes
Previously on the blog, I’ve written about the short-term decline in bus ridership (couched in medium-term stagnation and long-term catastrophic decline) in the context of drastically reduced service, a theme I also picked up at City Observatory. But, as Chicago finally reaches the long-anticipated Great Inversion of Transit Ridership—that is, in July 2016, L ridership … Continue reading Why is CTA ridership down? A new theory
Something a little different, a month before the election. But not too different! Though I haven’t written about it much, my interest in neighborhood and regional demographic changes extends to the political effects of those shifts. At some point, I’d really love to look at those changes within Chicago, for example in how competitive progressive … Continue reading Chicago’s newly Democratic suburbs
Last week, Ken Davis was gracious enough to invite me on his show, Chicago Newsroom, on CANTV. The actual show lasted only 30 minutes, but we kept talking, and a nearly hour-long video got posted to their YouTube page. Topics included: Why Chicago is still suburbanizing Maps from the Washington Post I reference in the … Continue reading City Notes on TV!
The Chicago Dispatch is out with its August issue. Check out Sandy Johnston speaking about the history of the South Side’s missing L line, today’s Metra Electric commuter rail, which was until just a generation or two ago an effective rapid transit line for the city’s south lakefront. What led to its downfall, and how … Continue reading The August issue, and a podcast
When this blog really got going, most of the energy came from a desire to answer questions I had about Chicago, and sometimes cities more generally. Over the last several years, I’ve taught myself (and been taught) a fair amount about finding data, manipulating it, and making maps to help get those answers. But obviously there … Continue reading The Chicago Dispatch
I have an entry in this year’s “Best of Chicago” issue of the Reader: There were supposed to be more of them. It was in the Plan. (You know which Plan.) In the Plan, diagonal streets spanned the city like the Hancock Center’s Xs, creating crosstown routes and turning perfectly perpendicular intersections into junctions of … Continue reading In praise of diagonal streets
Last fall, new-ish CTA president Dorval Carter—who has said in interviews that making bus service better will be one of his top priorities—re-introduced the “X route” expresses along Western and Ashland during rush hour, and, perhaps more excitingly, announced a stop consolidation program that would notably reduce travel times even on the locals. This morning, … Continue reading More bus improvements in Chicago