Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Saturday, March 2

Gapers Block

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Andrew Huff / October 5, 2010 9:43 AM

Suggested by Charlie; if you have an idea for Fuel, send it to

Rick / October 5, 2010 9:49 AM

I would like to see this thing they radicalized in the futuristic worlds of the 50's and 60's called "desegregation." They have it at the Epcot Center and it looks AWESOME!

Mike D / October 5, 2010 9:50 AM

Underground lanes on all mile streets for congestion relief. A new el line would sure be nice... whatever happened to the circle line?!

Samantha / October 5, 2010 10:02 AM

Bike lanes moved to the right side of cars -let's start there.

Jennifer / October 5, 2010 10:03 AM

This might be a little too radical, but buses that don't stop every single block thereby taking 40 minutes to go two miles would be pretty high on my list.

lori / October 5, 2010 10:13 AM

ok, this is just pie in the sky dreaming, but how about city wide blue cart recycling?

kate / October 5, 2010 11:24 AM

A crosstown train.

chris / October 5, 2010 11:27 AM

i just visited the high line in nyc, and was floored. i would LOVE to see some progress on the bloomingdale trail.

Cheryl / October 5, 2010 11:43 AM

On-time, clean, safe, friendly teleportation.

Charlie D. / October 5, 2010 11:47 AM

Okay so I have two pretty radical ideas that most people just laugh about...

1) Having lived in Rogers Park for over two decades, every 5 years or so certain people start screaming that Lake Shore Drive is going to be extended up the lakefront, obliterating the view and killing street-end beaches. While I think it rather unlikely to ever happen, I have a proposal. From Hollywood north, build a tunnel similar to the "Chunnel" between GB and France all the way to Highland Park.

2) Remove all personal auto traffic on Clark St. from Howard on the north to Division on the south. Bikes, skaters and pedestrians would rule this stretch, but would share the road with taxis and electric buses. We could then extend the sidewalks by at least five feet on either side, allowing for all sorts of things including cafe seating, planters, food carts etc.

Regarding High Speed Rail, I am all for it and have been for a long time but do we really need to get from O'Hare to downtown in 7 minutes? 20 minutes should do fine so lets press on with the trains that connect St Louis to Springfield to Chicago.

lindsay / October 5, 2010 11:47 AM

I'd like to see Urban Lab's Eco-Boulevards implemented.

It's a completely realistic, feasible project that would have MAJOR benefits to the city and the ecosystem of the Great Lakes region.

BTW, I find the comments above pretty funny if you can remove yourself from actually living here and dealing with daily frustrations. Message to Daley seems to be "Let's catch up to the 21st century before we try to do something crazy." Desegregate (=improve CPS), bus rapid transit, innovative bike lanes, recycling.

Andrew Huff / October 5, 2010 1:12 PM

Just came up here in the office: Stroller valet service in Roscoe Village, Lincoln Square, Andersonville, Lincoln Park along Halsted...

Mucky Fingers / October 5, 2010 2:55 PM

Create a new CTA rail line that runs north-south alongside/underneath Harlem Ave.

AndyM / October 5, 2010 3:08 PM

High speed rail is far less important to me than having a CTA system that works. Let's get the circle line built or at least start talking about it again.

I have no interest in seeing lake Shore Drive extended but I would like to see Chicago extend the lakefront bike path both north (through Rogers Park) and south, as was proposed by Friends of the Park last year.

R / October 5, 2010 3:42 PM

Make the Bloomingdale Trail a reality.

Megan H / October 5, 2010 6:08 PM

There are so many good ones people have already mentioned... the Circle Line, extending the lakefront bike path on both ends, and making the bike lane situation a little more friendly. Also, more indoor bike parking in the loop!

Matt / October 6, 2010 9:46 AM

For an easy upgrade, I'd love to see separate bicycle stoplights on heavy-cycling routes or at least on streets that have dedicated bike lanes. I've seen these in Portland and Amsterdam. They let cyclists through the intersection before the light turns green for motorists speeding them through the intersection a few seconds early so motorists can make turns more easily. I feel like most cyclists that run red lights do it in this manner anyways, so it would be a much safer, legal solution to that and could smooth out car traffic a bit as well.

Shylo / October 6, 2010 1:00 PM

The city needs to re-do the sewer system and work regionally to design more forward-thinking rainwater management. It's tough to bike when your neighborhood is flooded or smells like old poop.

Dennis Fritz / October 6, 2010 1:21 PM

1) I'd like to see the Red Line extended southwards to at least the actual Chicago city limit of 138th Street, rather than have it stop short at 95th as it currently does. Northbound riders can take the el clear through Evanston and into Wilmette; southbound riders ought to be able to do the same.

2) I'd like to see zoning laws used in creative ways to enhance long-term neighborhood planning. Areas could be zoned for diversity (not too many of any one kind of business), for scale (no projects out of scale with the surrounding neighborhood) and to create space for locally owned businesses (at least X percentage of businesses in a given area would have to be locally, independently owned).

3) I'd like to see a moratorium on new dog parks. You heard me right. I have nothing against your dog(s), but please stop telling me we human beings should give up more park space to accomodate your animal(s). As it stands now, you can already bring your dog to a restaurant (yuck!), while I can get fined for lighting up a cigarette in a tavern. Enough, already! Dog owners often talk as though their presence "enhances" neighborhoods, like dog-owners represent some better class of people than non-dog owners. That's rubbish.

Greg Salustro / October 7, 2010 3:42 PM

1) Reverse flow ofChicago River. It made sense to divert all Chicago drainage to Mississippi River in 1887, but it doesn't make sense any more;
2) Move bus stops from before to after all intersections. Right Turn Power!

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