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-   -   CHICAGO: Transit Developments (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=101657)

VivaLFuego Apr 12, 2008 1:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rail Claimore (Post 3479186)
The question is one of balance. Widening to 4 lanes each way through Oak Park would reduce a good bit of the congestion associated with merging, meaning reduced emissions from vehicles for residents in the area. I don't see much induced demand in the equation considering it already goes through and connects areas that have long been developed.

It's a good point, and ultimately would be deferred to CMAP (ne CATS) and the consultants who study the corridor. There may not be induced trip demand, but a potential 'concern' would be induced auto demand (e.g. shift away from transit) resulting from the reduced travel time of auto improving it's competitiveness with transit. i.e. it might induce a mode shift away from transit, and end up with the same socially-acceptable level of congestion, just with fewer transit riders. There would probably be all sorts of effects going, leading to some very interesting cost-benefit questions, e.g. quantifying the value of travel time, accessibility, air quality, etc., that will ultimately to our horror be completely meaningless in the context of it being a completely political decision anyway :)

Quote:

The part through Oak Park could also be capped pretty easily given the embankments. I suspect we'll see that thrown in to sweeten the deal for Oak Park and to silence the nimbys, meaning this is going to be an incredibly costly project.
I wouldn't mind this entire corridor being our region's next mega-project, getting underway as the O'hare Expansion is wrapping up, but I do wish the Central Area would get some attention in re: the Circle Interchange bottleneck and improving access to/from the commuter rail stations. That whole vital issue hasn't seemed to be on anyone's radar lately, perhaps because it's such an enormous and terrifying gorilla (like the Howard/North Main/Red Line viaducts and stations) that people just like to pretend the need doesn't exist.

schwerve Apr 12, 2008 1:37 AM

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=28967

Quote:

New CTA signs to monitor train arrivals

CTA President Ron Huberman says more than 1,300 extra-large digital screens are going up in rail stations and at subway entrances to give riders real-time information about how many minutes away the next train is.
...
Huberman says the first screens should be up in about four months.

Abner Apr 12, 2008 4:17 AM

Viva, thanks for that assessment.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rail Claimore (Post 3478981)
That being said, if a blue line extension could be made a part of the deal (which I'm all for), both sides might get what they want, and everyone but Oak Park NIMBYs and BANANAs would be happy.

How does opposing interstate widening through a very densely developed section of one's town qualify one as a BANANA? The letters and editorials I've read in the Oak Park newspaper mostly oppose Ike widening because it will likely result in lots of demolition of good housing stock and because in the long run it will just induce demand until the expressway reaches its old level of congestion, except 33% wider. (I don't buy that this won't induce demand just because this section runs through already developed areas--for one, because people are mobile.)

On a related note, I would argue that Oak Park is not even remotely as NIMBY-controlled as most other suburbs (or even many Chicago neighborhoods). The local paper--which owns Chicago Journal, among others--is remarkably pro-development, and I think most people there would be happy to see more development if it reduces the fiscal burden residents have been facing the last few years.

ardecila Apr 12, 2008 5:16 AM

Regarding all the hand-wringing about ROW widths and takings - I still don't understand why nobody is considering a re-use of the CA&E right of way through Maywood, Bellwood, and Hillside for the Blue Line extension.

Following the I-88/Eisenhower corridor is not necessary between Forest Park and Oakbrook, since there aren't any office parks there. Basically, build the Blue Line westward along the CA&E until the Tri-State, where it turns south and runs down to I-88. That leaves plenty of room for highway widening without takings.

Between Harlem and Des Plaines might be a challenge, though.

nomarandlee Apr 12, 2008 6:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3473922)
Seeing as Amtrak already uses these tracks and operates on them at 90mph, I don't imagine this being a particularly expensive project...mostly station facilities, signalling, probably some sidings/special trackwork to help reduce freight conflicts, and some additional railcars. But in terms of ROW acquisition etc, this is almost a slam dunk, and as you allude to it would have to be one of the top riders-per-mile and rides-per-dollar commuter rail projects in the entire country.

That would add frequancy (and congestion) to the rest of the MD-NL going south starting in Lake Forest right? You think there would be any complications either logistically or politically (NIMBY's waiting at rail road gates) with adding more Metra trains along the current line?

I like the idea of the extension as it would also mean increased frequancy I think for the southern portion of the MD-NL. I just fear that I think most of the Lake country towns still have some room for subdivisions that they will push to build as opposed to making TOD's out of new stops. It would be nice if the RTA had the power and clout to require TOD"s for new service.

Nowhereman1280 Apr 12, 2008 8:12 PM

I think they should tear out 2 lanes on all the freeways to build a complete El system around the area, its faster than rush hour traffic now anyhow...

Quote:

Originally Posted by schwerve (Post 3479407)

Good news! I've been looking forward to seeing these kind of basic, noticeable improvements on the El for a long time!

jamesinclair Apr 13, 2008 1:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by schwerve (Post 3479407)

Thank God that one city in the US is doing this.

In Boston, the head said the technology was available, and could be displayed on the screens already in stations, but that the riders didnt need the information.

WTF

Mr Downtown Apr 13, 2008 3:42 AM

Here's how it looks.

CTA Bus Tracker State/Roosevelt 62 NB

VivaLFuego Apr 13, 2008 4:03 AM

^ The BusTracker map is quite groovy.

There are still apparently some kinks to work out. I had occasion to use bus tracker on Western Ave... the software tracked the bus perfectly in terms of predicting arrival time, but when it showed up, it was a different bus number and was a route X49 rather than a 49 as displayed on my phone.

Still, progress...

pottebaum Apr 13, 2008 4:07 AM

Can it be accessed from non-smart phones?

honte Apr 13, 2008 4:24 AM

Bus Tracker is the bomb. That single feature might quadruple my use of the bus... I am perpetually arriving at the stop when the bus is pulling off, leaving me with a possible 30 minute wait. Good move!

ardecila Apr 13, 2008 4:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pottebaum (Post 3481384)
Can it be accessed from non-smart phones?

There are degrees of "smart". My Razr could access it, but I would have to pay my provider for internet access (which I don't do). However, the Nokia I had before probably could not access it.

emathias Apr 13, 2008 6:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 3480638)
I think they should tear out 2 lanes on all the freeways to build a complete El system around the area, its faster than rush hour traffic now anyhow...

Why would you tear out traffic lanes? What possible correlation would that have with a complete "L" system anyway?

I'm all for expanding the "L" system in a way that actually promotes a car-free lifestyle, instead of doing what planners seem enamored of now, which is expanding the "L" as a commuter system.

If the city were serious about having an international-level rail transit system, it would do six things:

1) Map out what they want the system to look like at full build-out.
2) Preserve all the necessary right-of-ways.
3) Rezone areas near existing and future rail lines to support the density necessary to support the full-built-out.
4) Prioritize the build-out by need/usage (in small chunks, if necessary)
5) Apply for/find the money.
6) Build it as they get the money.

They should NOT be changing it every 10 years. They can't plan everything, but the fact that they couldn't get the Clinton-Monroe-Streeterville subways done in the 1970s doesn't mean it should have dropped off the plan. If they had an overarching plan, they could just build what they can get the money for at a given time. In generous times, they get the money for expensive lines, in stingy times they build the cheaper lines.

They really have to identify what a full build-out will look like, though, because otherwise they'll constantly waste time and money doing alternatives studies and they won't reserve appropriate right-of-ways.

If they reserve the right-of-ways and zone to support transit, as they get money to build, they can create a great system that people use because it's convenient. Yeah, the financials for Paris or Madrid are different, but they have build-out plans that they can work toward. We don't - we let politics change ours every 10 years, which is absurd.

Perhaps for the centennial of the Plan of Chicago, the region can get serious about these things and create a plan for full build-out, including supportive zoning and ROW preservation, and then start working toward that instead of this hodge-podge of unrelated, only semi-urban projects that get approved not because they actually make sense, but because their total cost is cheaper. How could anyone actually say that extending the Yellow Line to Old Orchard is more important that a rail (or even BRT) link between the West Loop and Streeterville? More people would use the WL-Streeterville link in one rush hour than would use the Yellow Line extension in a week, but for some f-ed up reason the Yellow Line is being studied and the WL-Streetville solutions are barely talked about.

What a damn waste of time and money.

VivaLFuego Apr 13, 2008 7:09 AM

^ You're making the mistake of viewing the problem as a Transportation/Land Use Planning problem, and prescribing a Transportation/Lane Use solution.

It's all political.

Each disjoint planning board?
Appointed by different politicians from different levels of different governments.

Zoning decisions?
Decentralized to tyrannical Alderscum.

Funding?
Federal, State, Local....each with their own interests and guidelines.

Etc.

We need a flatter organizational structure, integrated transportation/land use planning, and elimination of our Aldermanic system... the latter with extreme prejudice and untamed retribution.

Abner Apr 13, 2008 6:27 PM

Viva, unfortunately Chicago seems like the last place in America that would institute any kind of smart government reform. (Okay, maybe Louisiana.) Portland we are not.

Quote:

Originally Posted by honte (Post 3481416)
Bus Tracker is the bomb. That single feature might quadruple my use of the bus... I am perpetually arriving at the stop when the bus is pulling off, leaving me with a possible 30 minute wait. Good move!

Yeah this thing is amazing. It might actually induce me to get a new cell phone and contract so I can take advantage of it.

ardecila Apr 13, 2008 7:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Abner (Post 3482311)
Okay, maybe Louisiana.

The same state that is so backwards that they elected an Indian-American governor? (sure, he's a neocon, but at least he's not white)

Rail Claimore Apr 13, 2008 7:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 3482370)
The same state that is so backwards that they elected an Indian-American governor? (sure, he's a neocon, but at least he's not white)

His foreign policy and views on social issues aside, he's probably the best thing to hit Louisiana in a LONG time.

Abner Apr 13, 2008 8:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 3482370)
The same state that is so backwards that they elected an Indian-American governor? (sure, he's a neocon, but at least he's not white)

I wasn't accusing Louisiana of being backward, I was just noting that it is one of relatively few places in this country that might have more intragovernmental strife and corruption than Chicago, which suffers at the ward, city, county, and state levels. I don't want to drag this off the topic of transportation; mainly I was agreeing with VivaLFuego's point that the kind of long-range planning emathias outlined is not possible given our political system. I would also note that some other American cities are in a similar (but I would argue less severe) predicament.

Marcu Apr 14, 2008 4:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 3482370)
The same state that is so backwards that they elected an Indian-American governor? (sure, he's a neocon, but at least he's not white)

How does having a non-white governor make a political system not backwards. In fact, how is that relevant to anything? Frankly, the statement is kind of offensive.

Oh yeah and virtually every governmental body around here has people that are "not white" and believe me it's plenty backwards.

Taft Apr 14, 2008 4:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcu (Post 3483213)
How does having a non-white governor make a political system not backwards. In fact, how is that relevant to anything? Frankly, the statement is kind of offensive.

Oh yeah and virtually every governmental body around here has people that are "not white" and believe me it's plenty backwards.

He was being sarcastic, basically trying to say that the state isn't backwards.

Everybody take a deep breath and try not to get so offended, as it seems like no-one here meant any offense...

Taft


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