2008/12/16

Best ride on the Dan Ryan Red Line ever

I avoid the Dan Ryan Red Line and the Blue Line past Belmont (O'Hare branch) and Clinton (Forest Park branch) like the plague. Building the El in the median of the highway was the worst idea ever. It's bad enough that you have to wait for the train surrounded on all sides by highway traffic, and then have to ride the thing deprived of urban scenery. What's even worse is that the whole experience assaults you like a tire iron to the face with the horrible realization that car culture is ineradicable. (And if you have some sort of perverse affection for such an alienating experience, consider that this kind of public transit makes transit-oriented development almost impossible.)

But today was different. I took the Red Line from Garfield to Chinatown during rush hour, after the snowstorm had started. So waiting on the platform was not dominated by cars zooming past, but by a peaceful scene of falling snow and cars crawling along. The train ride was dominated by a satisfying schadenfreude, as the El roared past traffic that had been brought to a standstill by the snow. In Chinatown, I heard on the radio that the commute from the Loop to O'Hare was taking three hours. A perfect public transit experience.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

that is the main reason i take the train and bus to work in the burbs. the satisfaction of watching cars stuck in traffic every morning and night. feels great!

however, in the blizzard, as i discovered, i've got the worst deal waiting for a bus in the middle of nowhere. the satisfaction comes in when i can walk the 5 miles to the train station as fast or faster than the cars can get there.