Gimme weather-resistant shelter
Whet Moser at Chicagoland brings some good news on a cold day, with a NY Times story on Stove Top's plans to add heaters to some Chicago bus shelters. (My initial skim of the article thought they were converting them to quasi-Smell-O-Vision and wafting the smell of Stove Top stuffing around waiting commuters. I shed a tear when I realized I was wrong.) Riding the bus is usually one of the worst parts of my day, and while I don't have shelters at my stops (throw your hands up, fellow riders of the Belmont 77!), anything that soothes the commute gets a gold star in my book.
But you know what would be even better? Bus shelters that actually...shelter you.
Ever since JCDecaux debuted its shelters, I've been astonished at how ill-suited they are to Chicago weather; the top and bottom of the structures have large open spaces. If rain always fell straight down, and we didn't have wind, this wouldn't be a problem. (If that was the case, I bet medicine would always taste like candy.) I welcome the urban planner who can explain this design to me, but for the most part it seems only to make it easier to run the ads that accompany them.
Like Whet, I don't mind advertiser-subsidized, quality of life improvements (for all I care you can call it the Ex-Lax Brown Line if it means it'll run on time) but rampant consumerism makes life difficult enough without it contributing to the Metropolis-like drudgery of the CTA.