Neighborhood Affordability: What Does Parking Have To Do With It?

One out of every three spaces. CNT visited the back lots and garages of apartment buildings around Chicago at 4:00 a.m., when tenants are asleep and their cars parked, and found one third of parking spaces empty. This excess parking capacity is a neighborhood affordability issue. Each indoor, underground parking space costs $37,300 to build. Multiply that by all of the spaces in the lot, and the price tag is huge. What if developers applied that money to build more affordable housing instead... Read the rest of this entry »


Don’t Be Fooled: Low Gas Prices Don’t Really Make Car Ownership a Better Deal

Gasoline is at the lowest price it’s been in five years, currently hovering around $2.00/gallon. It captures everyone’s attention. And it lowers household costs, but not as much as one might think.  The cost of gas represents only about 25% of the cost of owning a car. The other costs, like insurance and maintenance – not to mention the cost of the car itself – don’t fluctuate when gas prices do. Even a 50% decrease in pump prices only reduces the cost of owning a car by about 12.5%. We... Read the rest of this entry »


Going for the Gold (Line)

Chicago’s landscape is quickly changing. As was reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Plan Commission has approved a 99-year lease for the development of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. With this immense project beginning to materialize, it is crucial that the city’s public infrastructure grows in tandem. The construction of the Lucas Museum in the Near South Side area represents an important contribution to one of Chicago’s most historically important neighborhoods. A beacon of... Read the rest of this entry »


Take Action: Have Your Voice Heard on the Cook County Budget

Last week, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle released the county budget for fiscal year 2016. While this may not sound terribly exciting, this particular budget holds the keys to building a strong and resilient Cook County. Although there has been much concern about proposed tax increases, this budget actually presents an opportunity to relieve the cost-of-living burden on Cook County families. As she has stated in the past, President Preckwinkle’s bold plan to prioritize the... Read the rest of this entry »


Pioneering Peer-to-Peer, the Next Frontier of Car Sharing

The Chicago area is now home to a new peer-to-peer carsharing service. CNT is spearheading an innovative two-year study in Chicago, in partnership with the Shared Use Mobility Center, and carsharing operator Getaround. Often called “Airbnb for cars,” peer-to-peer carsharing allows car owners to rent their vehicles to others when not in use via an online reservation platform. Since the average car sits unused more than 90% of the time, according to a 2011 Transportation Research Board (... Read the rest of this entry »


Chicago's TOD Ordinance Expansion Will Help City Grow

Growth around our transit system, commonly known as transit-oriented development (TOD), generates its biggest benefits when it includes all households and all neighborhoods. It gives residents choices for how to get around, particularly to jobs, and connects them to economic opportunity. It lowers the cost of living by making it easier for households of all incomes to live with fewer cars. It’s good for the climate with fewer cars on the road. And when it includes all types of households, it... Read the rest of this entry »


Why a Focus on Congestion is Flawed

A recent Texas A&M study on traffic congestion misses the point. According to the report's findings, Chicago-area commuters lose 61 hours every year due to delays costing $1,445 annually for wasted fuel and time.  Yet we should be able to live in convenient places closer to our jobs and amenities, rather than always expect a road will take us there without delay.  Sixty-one hours a year boils down to 7.3 minutes of delay per trip. Two-thirds of area commuters get to work in... Read the rest of this entry »


Ranked Among Worst Cities for Drivers, Chicago Needs More Transit Now

A recent article in the Chicago Tribune’s Red Eye, a publication geared toward young commuters, reported on a study from personal finance site WalletHub that called Chicago one of the worst cities for drivers. After noting the many obstacles Chicagoland drivers face, including congestion, city fees, and volatile weather, the article delivers the somewhat bleak conclusion that at least “some of us can avoid it by riding the CTA or a bike.” It’s clear from this article that car ownership comes... Read the rest of this entry »


Cook County Making Progress on Region's Transit Future

The Cook County Board took an important first step in funding transit when it recently approved a one percent sales tax increase recently to shore up a growing pension deficit. This will bring to an end a longtime misallocation of motor fuel tax dollars in order to fund public transit and aging infrastructure.   The Center for Neighborhood Technology and our partners at the Active Transportation Alliance, leaders of the Transit Future campaign, met with Board President Toni... Read the rest of this entry »


Cook County Should Shore Up Past Debts to Focus on Our Transit’s Future

It’s no secret that Cook County’s finances are seriously challenged. As the region debates solutions, now is a time for our leaders to make a bold statement and seize a great opportunity to invest in the Chicago region’s future while addressing the problems of the past.  Right now, as you are reading this, Cook County Commissioners are struggling mightily with a proposal for a one percent sales tax increase that would primarily fund pensions, but it would also open the door for other... Read the rest of this entry »