It’s the end of the line for Transit Diaries
You know what they say: All good things must come to an end. And Transit Diaries has reached its final stop. This will be my last column as your transportation reporter and the end of this weekly series for RedEye.
I feel very grateful to have had the opportunity to be the voice of the (oftentimes disgruntled) Chicago commuter. And I can honestly say that it’s been quite the journey, personally and professionally.
If you’re sad, don’t be. It’s been incredibly fulfilling to be your source of laughter and guidance on all things Chicago transit, and my only hope is that you’ve learned something of value about the transportation you take daily. Moving forward, I’m entrusting you to call out the backpack-wearing, man-spreading, escalator-blocking ass-hats we encounter.
Here’s just a sampling of advice I’ve given over the course of this column.
Escalators Stand on the right, walk on the left. WHY is that so hard to execute?
Elevators If you’re the only one in the elevator, hold the door. If there are a few of you, use your discretion. And if it’s full, just let the doors close and sympathetically shrug “Sorry” to the person who missed it.
Airport/airplane DO NOT BRING SMELLY-ASS FOOD on an airplane. Enjoy your tuna or curry or sauerkraut elsewhere—preferably far away from the confines of an aircraft. Staring hopefully at the opening of the luggage carousel while blocking everyone’s view will not make your bag come any faster.
Divvy/bikes Don’t ride on the sidewalks. What, you can’t seem to pedal and maneuver your enormous Divvy bike with ease on a busy, crowded Chicago sidewalk? I wonder why.
In an emergency ... The two most important things to remember to do: Stay calm and immediately dial 911.
Driving/parking Does it really take that much effort to pull your vehicle up to the start of the parking zone? When you leave more than a few feet of space between the nose of your car and the sign, you create a domino effect for everyone parking behind you. If those few extra feet were subtracted, I’m guessing two or three more cars could fit. Because math.
Walking Jaywalkers are the type to take the path less traveled, errr, make their own path by refusing to use crosswalks or follow traffic signals. If you feel confident hopping through traffic like a frog across a lily pond, by all means, don’t.
CTA TAKE OFF YOUR BACKPACK. PUT IT AT/ON/NEAR YOUR FEET. Literally ANYWHERE would be better than leaving it on your back, except maybe leaving it on the seat next to you. If a person who is elderly or has a disability gets on your bus or train car and you’re sitting down, do the courteous thing and offer up your seat. We, too, may one day need that seat.
Here’s an idea: Rather than create a wall of human flesh around the conveyor belt, why not take a few steps back (or five) so we can all see the beat-up luggage comin’ around?
Thank you all for taking this crazy ride with me. Bon voyage!