I wrote several weeks back about Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s budget proposal and her ideas to help reduce traffic conditions downtown. Her idea to increase taxes on ride-shares in the downtown loop area passed this week by the Chicago city counsel when they approved the 2020 budget.
Lightfoot’s office foresee’s this tax revenue will raise $40 million for the city, which will then be used to improve the busing lanes that lead in and out of downtown. The entire purpose, according to Lightfoot’s office, is an attempt to decrease congestion in the downtown loop during peak rush hours. The increased downtown fees would apply between 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., when traffic is worst. The rest of the time, trips downtown would have the same fees as the rest of the city.
The combined city taxes on a solo Uber, Lyft, of Via trip that starts or ends downtown will rise from 72 cents to $3. The taxes on a shared ride downtown would rise from 72 cents per trip to $1.25 per trip.
For the purposes of the congestion tax, the boundaries of downtown would be North Avenue from Lake Shore Drive to the north branch of the Chicago River, the north branch of the Chicago River from North Avenue to Grand Avenue, Grand Avenue from the north branch of the river to Ashland Avenue, Ashland from Grand to Van Buren Street, Van Buren from Ashland to Desplaines Street, Desplaines from Van Buren to Roosevelt Road, and Roosevelt from Desplaines to Lake Shore Drive.
Both Uber and Lyft have criticized this tax as they have stated it hurts low income passengers who need the app to travel downtown. This did not deter Lightfoot or the city council as the budget passed 37 to 11.
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According to AAA, the 2019 Thanksgiving Holiday will be the busiest travel week of all time. AAA estimates more than 55 million travelers this year. 49.3 million Americans are expected to travel by automobile, which would be the most since 2005 and a 2.8% increase from last year.
With that in mind the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and Illinois State Police have provided the following travel tips, including what to bring with you before you hit the road. This is incredibly important this year as parts of central and southern Illinois could be hit with a couple different winter storms.
Cell phone and charger
• First aid kit
• Water and high-calorie, non-perishable food
• Boots, hats, gloves and extra clothing to keep dry
• Crank radio and flashlight
• Sack of sand or cat litter
• Windshield scraper and brush
• Tool kit and tow rope
• Booster cables
• Compass and road maps
Be careful this week if you are traveling by car to see family and friends. You could be faced with nasty weather along with an abnormal number of vehicles on the road.
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There is encouraging news in Chicago traffic news. Traffic fatalities are down 30% in the city compared to this time last year. There were 108 traffic deaths through October 2018 compared to 77 so far this year.
This is good news for the city and particularly the cities’ transportation department which implemented “Vision Zero,” a plan aimed to eliminate all traffic fatalities in Chicago by 2026. Vision Zero’s plan includes changing intersections to make them safer, road user education and improving transit use in high crash areas, is an international road safety project.
The plan is also using used crash data to identify high-crash corridors and areas, which were prioritized for safety improvements. The areas include downtown Chicago and seven neighborhoods, such as Belmont-Cragin on the Northwest Side and Englewood on the South Side.
I don’t think anyone can say at this point what has caused the decrease in traffic deaths. I think we all hope that the money and time spent by Vision Zero is making our streets safer. I think a more detailed look at the data on the type and location of the traffic accidents will help us answer those questions. Let’s hope this trend continues.
If you or a loved one has been seroiusly injured in a Chicago truck accident or Chicago car crash, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J . Bryant, for a free gujarati fuck video at 312-614-1076.