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Articles filed under Pyke, Marni

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  • Pull over, ‘Speed Racer’: Futuristic models part of Chicago Auto Show Feb 3, 2014 5:35 AM
    Vroom. Vroom. Forget winter. Let's talk horsepower, powertrains, mpg. Let's talk about the Kia GT4 Stinger, the all-new Mustang and Ford's aluminum — yes, aluminum — F-150 truck. The Chicago Auto Show is back in town and you can win free tickets. Ford is using “military-grade” aluminum alloys on the F-150 that knock off 700 pounds, making for a more fuel-efficient truck. But the break from traditional steel is a risky move, industry insiders say.

     
  • What now for Metra police force? Jan 27, 2014 12:53 PM
    So what's next for Metra's police force? With lots of questions swirling, board members say they'll talk publicly about the fate of the beleaguered department, embarrassed by a critical report that spoke of an "antiquated" system.

     
  • Mice under the hood and other winter car issues Jan 20, 2014 8:33 AM
    How do you keep rodents from nesting under your car's hood? Readers offer tips, plus more advice from experts on getting you and your car through the winter in one piece.

     
  • Improve your winter driving IQ Jan 13, 2014 4:48 PM
    Marni's skid into a snowbank and subsequent tire blowout is your gain as experts talk about winter driving - dispensing advice and exposing myths. Plus, readers vent about rail crossings, free Ventra event and Midway traffic.

     
  • Experts predict: BoltBus, transit reform, airlines wars on tap for 2014 Jan 6, 2014 5:30 AM
    What's going to happen in 2014 in transportation land? Transportation writer Marni Pyke tells you, thanks to some prescient experts. Plus, readers opine on Route 53 and it's just a month until the Chicago Auto Show.

     
  • 2013 sees spike in train vs. car, pedestrian collisions Dec 30, 2013 5:19 AM
    Just before Christmas, three separate train vs. pedestrian or car collisions occurred on a single day in the suburbs. And, the data from January 2013 through September shows a surge in crashes compared to the same time in 2012. “People just take trains for granted. It's part of the landscape,” says Union Pacific's Harry Stewart said, adding that nonchalance can be deadly.

     
  • Tollway explains why some ramps are I-Pass only Dec 9, 2013 9:52 AM
    Why are certain tollway ramps I-PASS only? We answer that question and share your provocative comments on the Route 53 extension plan. "By the time anything gets started on Route 53, I'll be in the ground taking a 'dirt-nap,'" one driver says. Readers rule in this week's In Transit column.

     
  • Former Metra chair's bank link led to ethics inquiry Nov 25, 2013 6:41 AM
    So much of the Metra scandal has dwelt on outside political meddling. But when and if two state inspectors general release investigations, conflict of interest questions involving two former agency leaders may surface. Alex Clifford testified publicly that when Metra was considering expanding its pool of banks, ex-Chairman Brad O'Halloran exerted pressure to include Wintrust Corp. on the short list. O'Halloran is a board director at Old Plank Trail Community Bank, a Wintrust bank in Orland Park.

     
  • Holiday travel: How to stay sane in the minivan and more Nov 18, 2013 9:32 AM
    With brothers in California and North Carolina, plus in-laws in Ohio, New York and Colorado, Shelly Vaziri Flais, author of “Raising Twins, From Pregnancy to Preschool.” has seen it all and tells parents petrified of travel with kids to take heart. “This is your life, go live your life — don't be scared,” said Flais, a member of the Elk Grove Village-based American Academy of Pediatrics.

     
  • Is RTA's $1.6 million fight against tax havens a good bet? Nov 11, 2013 5:08 AM
    It seemed a no-brainer back in 2011 when the RTA sued Channahon and Kankakee, claiming the towns were cheating the six-county region out of millions by operating tax havens for corporations and retailers. So far, though, the agency has spent more than $1.6 million fighting the good fight, according to a recent Freedom of Information Act Request, on a case legal experts say is no slam dunk for the agency.

     
  • Are suburbs getting short end of transit stick? Oct 28, 2013 7:47 AM
    If you pay $4.50 in tax for a sweater at Oakbrook Center, should some of that money go toward a midmorning Metra train on the BNSF? Or should a portion pay for a faster ride on the Blue Line? That's the essence of an age-old suburban-city turf war over transit funding that recently reignited.“Transit needs are significant here,” DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin said Friday at the John Noel Public Transit Conference in Oak Brook. “Tax dollars for transit should directly benefit those who pay them.”

     
  • Venting about Ventra, intersection mayhem and the fighting Illiana Oct 21, 2013 5:29 AM
    You asked about intersections, Ventra and reduced fares. You opined about the Illiana. We've got your answers and a chance for everyone to rant and rave. Readers let it all out in this week's In Transit column.

     
  • Illiana Expressway plan looks like it will pass Oct 14, 2013 11:10 AM
    It's a tangled political web when it comes to forecasting how a powerful committee will vote on including the Illiana Expressway in a list of significant projects eligible for federal funding. But the odds are in the expressway's favor.

     
  • Why you should care about the battle of the Illiana Expressway Oct 8, 2013 6:45 AM
    It's Gov. Pat Quinn against the CMAP wonks in this smackdown over the future of the Illiana Expressway. Some think the proposed highway linking I-55 with I-65 in Indiana is a boondoggle, others say it's a job panacea.

     
  • RTA spending more than $670,000 on spin control Sep 30, 2013 5:11 AM
    Four PR firms are costing the Regional Transportation Authority big bucks. But is writing speeches, making videos, spinning reporters and redoing the RTA Fact Book worth more than $670,000 to riders? Plus — is there an issue if PR firms have connections to the politically powerful Madigans given that a family member is the RTA's No. 2?

     
  • O’Hare’s newest runway will mean big changes Sep 23, 2013 5:44 AM
    Sure, the official name is “runway 10 Center/28 Center,” but perhaps it's best known as the former site of the St. Johannes Cemetery. After years of fighting over the graves there as well as O'Hare expansion, the runway is set for commissioning Oct. 17. Officials say it will increase O’Hare’s capacity to handle flights and reduce delays while improving safety.

     
  • How a Roselle family got a $10,000 bill from tollway Sep 9, 2013 5:35 AM
    Lori Luxenberg Challinor of Roselle and her husband are reeling from an unexpected bill from the tollway for violations of about $10,000 on their Dodge Caravan. Problem is, the couple no longer own the Caravan — they sold it several years ago to an acquaintance who turned around and resold it to some unsavory characters. They, in turn, took the van on the adventure of a lifetime that included running red lights and skipping tolls.

     
  • How insurance option slipped by Metra board Aug 26, 2013 5:21 AM
    Were Metra board members deceived about the potential of letting their insurance company handle corruption allegations and a possible lawsuit by ex-CEO Alex Clifford? Several of them say so. Director Arlene Mulder, former Arlington Heights mayor, said no one laid out the insurance options for directors. “We were given two options — fight Shakman and the deal we ultimately approved. I’m anxious to find out why we didn’t know,” she said.

     
  • Survey shows drivers ignore stopped school buses Aug 19, 2013 9:12 AM
    More than 85,000 drivers blew past stopped school buses in just one day, a national survey shows. With kids headed back to class, don't forget this elementary traffic rule, safety experts say. “I'll hear bus drivers honking and still people will whiz right through all seven buses there,” said Bill Farley, Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 assistant superintendent for business operations.

     
  • Consultant spending worries remaining Metra leaders Aug 12, 2013 5:30 AM
    Damage control over Metra’s latest scandal has cost $18,000 so far, and it’s only a small piece of the consulting pie that’s surpassing $300,000 as the agency deals with fallout from the exit of CEO Alex Clifford and allegations of corruption. And what troubles some remaining members of Metra’s greatly diminished board is they had no idea money was flying out the door.

     
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