The Loop Link In Chicago: $32,000,000 For A Lane Still Filled With Rush Hour Traffic

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Rush hour Chicago provides an untapped income for the city of Chicago. Traffic enforcement could pick up funds from well-deserved traffic tickets. It seems no one is getting a ticket and the chaos continues. The larger question is — after $32 million of taxpayer money to build it, is the Loop Link being used as intended? No, not much, it seems. It was designed for fluid, fast, reliable movement — time-saving, much-needed flow for the city’s buses. Lost? The Loop Link is specially marked bus lanes meant to offer mass transit an unfettered flight during rush hour times. And yet…

The Loop Link

NBC Chicago reports: “But more than one year after opening, an NBC 5 investigates analysis of city records shows it’s not even clear if Loop Link is working.” In fact, it seems quite a lot of the same congestion and chaos exists that the Link was supposed to mitigate. “On numerous occasions throughout an average day, passenger cars, taxis and private shuttle buses can be seen driving in the Loop Link’s red lanes, which are solely-designed for CTA buses and the vehicles that service them.” In other words, the lanes are not being left open for buses.

“I’m feeling very stressed-out trying to make it to the daycare to pick up my kid,” Hsieh said. It makes the commute time very unpredictable,” Hsieh said. “It can range from 15, 20 minutes to 45, even 50.”

That’s a big time difference when picking up a child — or for anyone. NBC5 investigated how many tickets were written:

“A Freedom of Information Act request was filed to learn how often police have cited drivers for driving in the CTA lanes. Each violation is supposed to come with a $90 fine. The answer: Never. Police confirm they have no record of any citation ever written for these traffic interlopers.”

Typical scenes from the troubling unaddressed chaos: “Several sections of the Loop Link allow non-CTA vehicles to make right turns. Adjacent to those lanes are the red CTA-only lanes. In one instance monitored by NBC 5’s Sky 5 helicopter, a passenger vehicle was stopped at a red light, blocking a CTA bus in a red CTA-only lane. Instead of the bus sailing through to the next block, it took it about 85 seconds to finally clear the intersection.”

Images via BRT Chicago and Steven Vance (some rights reserved)

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Cynthia Shahan

Cynthia Shahan, started writing after previously doing research and publishing work on natural birth practices. Words can be used improperly depending on the culture you are in. (Several unrelated publications) She has a degree in Education, Anthropology, Creative Writing, and was tutored in Art as a young child thanks to her father the Doctor. Pronouns: She/Her

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