Happy holidays Newcitizens! To keep you from passing out in the eggnog, we bring you OUR annual tradition, the Top 5 of Everything. And we mean everything. Seventy-three lists in all. By the time you finish digesting them, it will be 2012. See you then.
Top 5 Blossoming Chicago Park District Stories
After a mysterious two-year delay, design work finally starts on the Bloomingdale Trail
Chinatown’s serene Ping Tom Park expands north, nearly doubling in size
To fight obesity, field houses get ninety-six vending machines stocked only with healthy snacks
Planning starts for North Grant Park rehab; ideas include a skate park and a climbing wall
A freak summer hailstorm ravages the Garfield Park Conservatory, closing several rooms
Top 5 Not-So-Pedestrian Local Walking Stories
CDOT installs pedestrian safety flags at ten dangerous intersections
The city drafts the Chicago Pedestrian Plan for release in February 2012
After many dismissed tickets, cabbie Mohammed Ahmed runs over a senior, killing her
Thirty-two mannequins installed on Wacker Drive in memory of peds killed by cars last year
Six years after Daley removed the Buckingham Fountain crosswalk, Emanuel reinstalls it
Top 5 Wheelie Exciting Chicago Bicycling Stories
Kinzie protected bike lane (PBL) opens; one hundred miles of PBLs pledged for Rahm’s first term
Lakeside Velo Works wooden velodrome opens on old U.S. Steel site, 8615 South Burley
CDOT announces plans to launch 3,000-vehicle bike sharing system by next summer
New bike lane is striped on Madison Street, breaking the ban on lanes in the central Loop
City’s first on-street bike parking corral debuts at the North/Damen/Milwaukee “crotch”
Top 5 Rapidly Developing Transit Stories
New Green Line stations slated for Morgan, Cermak, plus Clark/Division makeover
Facing budget shortfalls, Metra raises fares and cracks down on freeloading riders
UK native Adham Fisher sets record, riding entire CTA El system in nine hours, thirty-six minutes
Bus rapid-transit corridor along Jeffery Boulevard slated for 2012 construction
One billion dollars earmarked to rehab the Red and Purple Lines, CTA’s busiest route
Top 5 Good, Bad or Interesting Findings by the Pew Research Center in 2011
A few less people are pointing at events like Snowmaggedon and saying, “See?! I told you global warming isn’t real! Stupid Al Gore!”
An overwhelming majority of Americans, blue and red both, saw the debt-ceiling negotiations as “ridiculous.” Which, of course, they were.
Most teens say their peers are “mostly kind” on social networking sites. That means that even if kids are dicks to each other, they at least choose to do it in person.
Only nineteen percent of college presidents think we’ve got the best university system in the world. So basically what they’re saying is the US has become the world’s safety school.
Three out of ten of your friends would rather text you than call you. Eight of ten if you happen to be Gilbert Gottfried.
Top 5 People Who Died in 2011 You’d Forgotten Were Still Living
Dolores Hope, 102, Bob “Texaco” Hope’s wife
Charles Percy, 91, former U.S. Senator from Illinois
G.D. Spradlin, 90, actor, “Godfather Part II” and “Apocalypse Now”
Sherwood Schwartz, 94, creator of “Gilligan’s Island” and “The Brady Bunch”
Betty Ford, 93, founder of a rehab clinic