Loop Link Bus Lines Launch In Downtown Chicago

The Chicago Tribune (among other outlets) reported last month that the Chicago Transit Authority (“CTA”) finally launched the long awaited loop link bus lines. Loop link are bus only dedicated lanes that run through Madison, Washington, Clinton and Canal Streets. The bus only lanes were designed and constructed to increase the speed of bus traffic in the loop, while also making streets safer for bicyclists and pedestrians.

I have seen the construction of these lanes from start to finish, and it has been a huge relief for those that work or live in the loop that the construction is finally completed. One of the touches that the construction includes is a dedicated bicycle lane located adjacent to the bus lanes closest to the curb. Although it doesn’t appear so in the first month of use, the purpose of the loop link is to decrease congestion for everyone: drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians. Also, it’s important to point out that the bus lanes are separated from the normal lanes with raised concrete curbs, which prevent normal vehicles from driving through and using those lanes. You can click here to view a photo of one of the completed bus stop stations from the Chicago Street Blog.

To me this is a huge improvement for the CTA and downtown Chicago. For one, the lanes and stops are aesthetically pleasing. Now, the real question is whether they will help with traffic congestion downtown. It will take more than a month to know exactly understand the effectiveness of loop link and whether car accidents and bicycle accidents will decrease. Regardless, it is a step in the right direction.

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No Injuries Reported After Bricks Fall From Loop Building

Several Chicago news outlets reported this morning that several bricks fell from a downtown loop high rise at the 200 block of West Van Buren. Building inspectors have been notified.

Thankfully no one was hurt from this incident. I bring this up because several months back a woman lost her life when she was struck by a gargoyle that fell from a Presbyterian church in the South loop. That church had failed multiple inspections in the past, including for unstable structures at the top of the building.  The church failed annual inspections twice in 2011; and in 2010, 2009 and 2007, according to records from the buildings department.

One of the citations from the last failed inspection included “failing to maintain exterior walls of a building or structure free from holes, breaks, loose or rotting boards or timbers and any other conditions which might admit rain or dampness to the walls.”

It is important for the inspectors in this building that had falling objects this morning to locate the issue and hold the building’s owners accountable to ensure that the proper corrections are made. This includes all unstable or potentially unstable objects to be secured properly. This was not done by the church in the South loop last year and it cost a family to lose their mother. The odds of someone being struck by an object are minute but it can happen as it did in the South loop last year, and all possible precautions should be taken.  In that case the the church is facing a wrongful death claim on behalf of the woman’s surviving children,  alleging that they did not properly secure objects which were known to be unstable.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago premises accident or Chicago construction accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.