Tag Archives: Holiday

EPISODE 23 – Thanksgiving/Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Sisters and travel experts Colleen Kelly and Catie Keogh talk you through all the things you need for smooth thanksgiving holiday travel. Also in today’s show the Trip Sisters talk about their favorite places to get away during the holidays.

Weather, roadwork add up to good forecast for holiday commuters

(CHICAGO) The forecast for holiday travelers is encouraging, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

All signs point to acceptable road conditions for Chicagoans who plan to travel over the Thanksgiving weekend, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Though some roadblocks are inevitable — work on the Jane Byrne Interchange will continue, for example — other lane closures “will be lifted wherever possible,” said Gianna Urgo, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Transportation.

For instance, Illinois Tollway officials announced last week that more lanes were being opened on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway as work wraps up on the $2.5 billion project to rebuild and widen that highway.

Additionally, the National Weather Service forecast for the rest of the week has just a little rain in it, and Thanksgiving itself is expected to be partly sunny. High temperatures will be in the 40s through Sunday.

Still, Priscilla Tobias, director of IDOT’s office of program development, is urging commuters to remain cautious.

“The holiday season is the busiest travel season,” Tobias said, “you’re also at a higher risk for being in a crash.”

There have been 974 traffic fatalities in Illinois this year through November 20, up roughly 10 percent from 2015’s 868. IDOT surveys also show that seat belt use by Illinois drivers in 2016 has decreased slightly, from 95.2 percent last year to 93 percent this year. That has Tobias worried.

“The major contributing factor in vehicular fatalities is lack of seatbelt usage,” Tobias said. “We have people getting ejected [from their cars] in crashes that could have been preventable.”

The Chicago Police Department announced they would have hundreds of extra officers on patrol, and would seatbelt and DUI checkpoints in place through Sunday. That day-and-night effort is an attempt to prevent Illinois’ traffic fatality numbers from reaching their highest in seven years.

State Police Capt. David Byrd says the increased enforcement will not slow down travelers who are obeying the law.

“We’ll have mobile patrols, some traffic stops,” Byrd said. “It shouldn’t slow anybody down too much.”

— Chicago Sun-Times

O’Hare airport workers to announce strike date Monday

(CHICAGO) Thanksgiving holiday air travelers will soon learn when hundreds of workers plan to strike this week at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

Service Employees International Union Local 1 officials say they will announce the date of their strike during a Monday news conference. About 500 workers committed to a strike after a vote last week. The workers are trying to organize with the union’s help. They work mainly for private contractors at the airport and include baggage handlers, cabin cleaners, janitors, and wheelchair attendants.

The workers are seeking union rights and a $15 per hour wage.

It wasn’t immediately clear how such a strike would affect operations at O’Hare, which is one of the nation’s busiest airports. The Chicago Department of Aviation has said it doesn’t anticipate any disruption in service.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

500K guests break record for Lincoln Park Zoo light show


(Chicago)  Lincoln Park Zoo hosted more than half a million guests during the 2014-15 season of ZooLights, a new record for the North Side attraction.

The zoo counted 502,000 guests during the 20th anniversary season of the holiday event that features more than 2 million lights, according to a statement from the zoo.

“It’s been incredible watching ZooLights transform from a holiday light spectacular into a multi-generational tradition,” Dana Jussaume, zoo director of sales and events, said in the statement.

“The opportunity to share Lincoln Park Zoo with this many people is the best gift we could have asked for this year,” she added.

If you missed ZooLights but still want to check out the zoo this winter, ice skating remains open on weekends through March 1.

© Copyright 2015 Sun-Times Media, LLC