Jon Hilkevitch is the transportation reporter and Getting Around columnist for the Chicago Tribune. In 2001, a team of Tribune reporters co- ...

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Jon Hilkevitch

Jon Hilkevitch

Getting Around

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Smoother O'Hare landings face technical headwind

Smoother O'Hare landings face technical headwind

October 20, 2014

Landings on the most heavily used arrival runway at O'Hare International Airport will soon be safer and more accurate while also saving fuel and perhaps reducing jet noise over Chicago neighborhoods.

  • O'Hare takes step to host huge Airbus A380

    October 13, 2014

    The new runway that opened a year ago at O'Hare International Airport is both long and wide enough to handle the world's largest passenger airplane. But the behemoth Airbus A380 jetliner is not yet flying to Chicago, in part because there isn't a gate that can accommodate it.

  • Revamp of Loop traffic, bus-only route and bike lanes moving forward

    September 29, 2014

    The Emanuel administration will announce Monday that it is seeking bids to construct three long-planned transit projects aimed at providing faster and more reliable service for hundreds of thousands of daily commuters and city visitors who ride CTA buses and Loop elevated trains in the increasingly gridlocked central business district.

  • Bike-sharing in Paris is expensive tour de France

    September 21, 2014

    PARIS From the top deck of the Eiffel Tower to the subway tunnels, everywhere a tourist goes in Paris there are warnings to beware of pickpockets.

  • Many drivers ignoring crosswalk law: study

    September 7, 2014

    Most drivers tracked in a new Chicago-area survey failed to comply with a state law requiring them to stop for pedestrians, a finding that the research's backers attribute to inadequate police enforcement and education on traffic-safety laws.

  • Author tells story of Chicago's transportation past

    September 1, 2014

    When it comes to transportation, the Chicago region has a bad case of terminal neglect.

  • Chicago Riverwalk extension no cakewalk

    August 25, 2014

    Building land on water isn't an everyday job, and the $100 million project to extend the Chicago Riverwalk requires more than getting toes wet.

  • Argonne helping quieter jet engines take off

    August 17, 2014

    Downstream from the noisiest places in Chicago — the runways at O'Hare International Airport and the surrounding sky — scientists at a government laboratory are quietly working to understand at the most detailed level why jet engines are so loud and what might be done to reduce the annoying sound.

  • Private jet for $536? It's a SuiteDeal

    August 11, 2014

    Southwest Airlines began revolutionizing the jet-setting world of air travel roughly four decades ago with its no-frills service and helped reshape the U.S. airline industry into the mass transit system of the sky — complete with overcrowding, delays and other hassles long familiar to train and bus commuters.

  • 'Transit deserts' don't serve workers, study says

    August 3, 2014

    About 1 out of every 10 people in Cook County, roughly 438,500 residents, live in "transit deserts'' that are cut off from fast, frequent train and bus service, according to a new analysis that for the first time identifies dozens of Chicago-area mass transit dead zones and maps them in relation to major job clusters.

  • Park's hilly grooves bounce jet noise skyward

    July 28, 2014

    Noise-deflecting hills have been built near Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport to ease jet noise in surrounding areas. Could a plan work around O'Hare Airport?

  • As a rule, priority seating means something on CTA trips

    July 21, 2014

    Readers sometimes ask how I get around, and some people even suggest they already know the answer based on perceived tea leaves in my writing.

  • Getting Around: CDOT upgrades to straighten out kinks in bike route

    July 14, 2014

    Dear Getting Around: You've got mail.

  • Lake Shore Drive seeking road to the future

    July 6, 2014

    North Lake Shore Drive is a mess for many of the quarter-million drivers, bus passengers, pedestrians and bicyclists who use it each day, according to new research from city and state transportation officials who are planning an overhaul of the aging boulevard.

  • Getting Around: Old shingles get new life on O'Hare runway

    June 30, 2014

    While a runway at O'Hare International Airport that opened last year is sometimes called the "cemetery airstrip'' because part of it sits on a former graveyard, the next runway set to debut in late 2015 could earn the nickname "Shingles,'' and not because Chicago officials are hoping the number of flights will go through the roof.

  • Free transit rides come with a price as numbers soar

    June 22, 2014

    First it was Rod Blagojevich who sent free rides soaring on the Chicago area's transit system, and now the lingering effects of the Great Recession are keeping the numbers high, experts say.

  • 1 weekend down, 1 to go on Kennedy

    June 16, 2014

    It took a community to raze a bridge over the Kennedy Expressway this past weekend without the sky falling.

  • Getting Around: Chicago gets closer to mayor's bike lane goal

    June 9, 2014

    Chicago is hustling to reach the finish line next spring on Mayor Rahm Emanuel's promise to complete 100 miles of bicycle lanes that are shielded from traffic, and city officials hope the public doesn't judge the project strictly by the number of bike riders seen — very few in some locations — using the lanes.

  • More security required for CTA park-and-ride lots

    June 2, 2014

    The Chicago Transit Authority will require more frequent security patrols at its parking facilities in a move to help commuters feel safer, as well as demand quicker turnarounds to fix burned-out lighting and make upgrades, under a contract that is open for re-bidding, transit officials say.

  • Distracted driving still a problem, safety council chief says

    May 26, 2014

    Happy holiday. It's really great to still have you around, because you are not (so far, at least) among the almost 400 people in the U.S. who the National Safety Council predicts will be killed in traffic accidents during the Memorial Day weekend.

  • South Lake Shore Drive extension opens Oct. 27

    October 14, 2013

    The South Lake Shore Drive extension, Chicago's newest roadway, is less than two weeks away from opening along a part of the city that for more than 100 years most people have seen only from a distance.

  • Getting Around: Storms sock on-time numbers at O'Hare

    July 15, 2013

    This year's weather has been among the worst in a decade for air travel in the United States, aviation authorities say, with the most volatile period possibly still ahead as the summer thunderstorm season is underway.

  • Railroad police on high alert as Sept. 11 anniversary approaches

    September 5, 2011

    Railroad police are on high alert for suicide bombers at Union Station in Chicago as the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks approaches this week, authorities said.

  • O'Hare runway construction: Flying into a danger zone

    March 28, 2011

    The almost-completed first phase of O'Hare International Airport's expansion had close calls that could have resulted in fatal airplane crashes, according to a Tribune investigation of incidents filed with the Federal Aviation Administration.