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

ardecila Apr 19, 2008 3:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jjk1103 (Post 3495279)
...is there a link to the CTA monthly construction update ?

http://www.transitchicago.com/news/m...tionreport.pdf

VivaLFuego Apr 19, 2008 6:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jjk1103 (Post 3495282)
..you keep mentioning "BRT" ...I assume "RT" is rapid transit ...what is the "B" ??? :shrug:

Bus Rapid Transit.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bus_rapid_transit

In Chicago, such an implementation would generally consist of signal priority/pre-emption, more bus-only lanes (at least during rush hour), possibly some pre-paid boarding facilities, less frequent stops (generally every 1/2 mile, in some cases at most every 1/4 mile) possibly some raised island platforms on the wider streets like Western.

harryc Apr 21, 2008 12:03 AM

Grand & State
 
April 15 - one worker told me they were "replacing the station"
http://lh6.ggpht.com/harry.r.carmich...JPG?imgmax=720

Caisson work
http://lh6.ggpht.com/harry.r.carmich...JPG?imgmax=720

http://lh5.ggpht.com/harry.r.carmich...JPG?imgmax=800

http://lh4.ggpht.com/harry.r.carmich...JPG?imgmax=640

Roomy workshop.
http://lh3.ggpht.com/harry.r.carmich...JPG?imgmax=720

embed beam - studs help concrete hold on.
http://lh4.ggpht.com/harry.r.carmich...JPG?imgmax=640

http://lh3.ggpht.com/harry.r.carmich...JPG?imgmax=800

http://lh4.ggpht.com/harry.r.carmich...JPG?imgmax=800

OhioGuy Apr 21, 2008 12:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3495620)
Bus Rapid Transit.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bus_rapid_transit

In Chicago, such an implementation would generally consist of signal priority/pre-emption, more bus-only lanes (at least during rush hour), possibly some pre-paid boarding facilities, less frequent stops (generally every 1/2 mile, in some cases at most every 1/4 mile) possibly some raised island platforms on the wider streets like Western.

I'm still not a fan of BRT unless it's done like they did with LA's "Orange Line" with ticket machines on platforms and wide doors that slide open instead of the one small door entry at the front of a typical bus. When you have a large group of people needing to get on the bus and only one can get on at a time, it really slows things down. I hopped on the Chicago Ave bus to go from Michigan Ave to the brown line stop yesterday afternoon and I swear I could have walked there quicker than the bus got me there. It just took too long to get everyone on the bus at each of the stops along the way. I saw lights go from green to red to green to red to green before everyone was on the bus and it could proceed onward. But maybe I'm just too anti-bus. I can't stand the stops every 2 blocks, the slow boarding, the constant stoping because of traffic lights, the slowness that results from backed up traffic, etc....

Here's a pic that's posted on Wikipedia of LA's Orange line. It has three entries... you can see people getting on the bus at the back. Instead of slowing everyone down by forcing them to pay as they get on the bus in one entry point, this type of system really speeds things up. Plus of course the Orange Line has its own dedicated right-of-way that makes it great.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...cycle_rack.jpg

Busy Bee Apr 21, 2008 3:56 AM

Quote:

Here's a pic that's posted on Wikipedia of LA's Orange line. It has three entries... you can see people getting on the bus at the back. Instead of slowing everyone down by forcing them to pay as they get on the bus in one entry point, this type of system really speeds things up.
That sounds familiar, oh wait that's right, we had that 70 years ago!

http://davesrailpix.com/cta/jpg/cta0212.jpg
davesrailpix.com

http://davesrailpix.com/cta/jpg/cta0364.jpg
davesrailpix.com

VivaLFuego Apr 21, 2008 3:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OhioGuy (Post 3498357)
I'm still not a fan of BRT unless it's done like they did with LA's "Orange Line" with ticket machines on platforms and wide doors that slide open instead of the one small door entry at the front of a typical bus. When you have a large group of people needing to get on the bus and only one can get on at a time, it really slows things down. I hopped on the Chicago Ave bus to go from Michigan Ave to the brown line stop yesterday afternoon and I swear I could have walked there quicker than the bus got me there. It just took too long to get everyone on the bus at each of the stops along the way. I saw lights go from green to red to green to red to green before everyone was on the bus and it could proceed onward. But maybe I'm just too anti-bus. I can't stand the stops every 2 blocks, the slow boarding, the constant stoping because of traffic lights, the slowness that results from backed up traffic, etc....

Like I said:
- Pre-paid boarding in some locations
- Signal Priority
- Bus-only lanes

Quote:

Here's a pic that's posted on Wikipedia of LA's Orange line. It has three entries... you can see people getting on the bus at the back. Instead of slowing everyone down by forcing them to pay as they get on the bus in one entry point, this type of system really speeds things up. Plus of course the Orange Line has its own dedicated right-of-way that makes it great.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...cycle_rack.jpg
[/qoute]
This is not applicable to the Chicago case, and by and large is a poor example of a BRT implementation. Why? It cost nearly a billion dollars. If one is gonna spend that much money on Right-of-way acquisition and station facilities, one might as well build rail. My general point is that substantial improvements to speed/reliability/etc can be made using Chicago's existing grid bus network with reasonable capital cost.

Abner Apr 21, 2008 2:40 PM

Viva, would you be able to give a more concrete vision of how you think BRT could be implemented on an existing street? Say, Western. Would you remove a lane of traffic in each direction and have BRT lanes in the median? Would the lanes have a curb or other barrier to prevent cars from using them? I would love to see BRT on major arterials but am curious about how you think it could be done safely in the space we have without drivers messing things up by being uncooperative. Obviously removing lanes would make some people go completely ballistic and treat BRT buses with even more disregard than they currently treat regular buses.

VivaLFuego Apr 21, 2008 8:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Abner (Post 3499327)
Would you remove a lane of traffic in each direction and have BRT lanes in the median? Would the lanes have a curb or other barrier to prevent cars from using them?

(1) Generally-speaking, no traffic lanes removed
(1a) Left-turns disallowed except at signalized intersections, employing a similar signalling technology as is used for street-running light rail.
(1b) Boarding islands would usually be on the far-side of the intersection, so as not to conflict with left-turn movements.
(1c) Where necessary, one side of street parking would be removed from the arterial. On the side where parking is removed, the sidewalk could be widened by a few feet to make the pedestrian experience next to high-speed autos less unpleasant. Many of the lost parking spots could be replaced by paving over the parkway for the first ~50 feet or so of side streets and providing diagonal metered parking.

(2) curb/solid barrier not necessary; reboundable lane dividers would suffice to segregate the center bus lanes.
http://www.ingalcivil.com.au/files/product_image/63.jpg
(randomly found via google images).
For something more permanent (and ready to totally ruin the suspension of an a-hole who disobeys), you could place the subtle and attractive little round concrete humps. Houston light rail:
http://images.nycsubway.org/logo/title-houston.jpg

The car-addicted would surely whine about the tragedy of slightly more difficult left turns, but a strong enough mayor could steamroll the transportation improvements through since most of these are ultimately his call; on most transportation issues, deference shown to Alderscum is out of courtesy and politically-suave ego-stroking. On certain streets, the state (IDOT) could potentially raise a stink, but that's why their concerns (generally focused on maximizing vehicle speed and thoroughput) will be accomodated with shared left-turn lanes, advanced signalizing, and no reduction in through traffic lanes.

emathias Apr 21, 2008 9:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3500172)
(1) Generally-speaking, no traffic lanes removed
(1a) Left-turns disallowed except at signalized intersections, employing a similar signalling technology as is used for street-running light rail.
(1b) Boarding islands would usually be on the far-side of the intersection, so as not to conflict with left-turn movements.
(1c) Where necessary, one side of street parking would be removed from the arterial. On the side where parking is removed, the sidewalk could be widened by a few feet to make the pedestrian experience next to high-speed autos less unpleasant. Many of the lost parking spots could be replaced by paving over the parkway for the first ~50 feet or so of side streets and providing diagonal metered parking.

(2) curb/solid barrier not necessary; reboundable lane dividers would suffice to segregate the center bus lanes.

At what point do at-grade lightrail solutions come into consideration compared to BRT solutions? There is some overlap, but as you get more advanced and more efficent with BRT, doesn't the price differential approach equality at some point? Either one are usually less than half that of grade-seperated rail solutions even at their finest implementation.

ardecila Apr 21, 2008 9:38 PM

BRT is a bit more flexible than light-rail, which is the chief advantage of the technology. For example, a bus could use a BRT lane on King Drive to go quickly though the mid-South Side and reach Hyde Park/Kenwood, where it could leave the BRT lane and do a circulation.

Rail does not provide this flexibility, because every route change requires more rail to be laid.

Nowhereman1280 Apr 21, 2008 9:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3500172)

For something more permanent (and ready to totally ruin the suspension of an a-hole who disobeys), you could place the subtle and attractive little round concrete humps. Houston light rail:
http://images.nycsubway.org/logo/title-houston.jpg

Not in cold climates you can't. The reason they don't put those bumps on the road in the north is because you can't use snowplows if you have bumps. The bumps would all be scraped off after the first snow and you'd have to replace all the plow blades.

VivaLFuego Apr 22, 2008 3:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 3500347)
BRT is a bit more flexible than light-rail, which is the chief advantage of the technology. For example, a bus could use a BRT lane on King Drive to go quickly though the mid-South Side and reach Hyde Park/Kenwood, where it could leave the BRT lane and do a circulation.

Rail does not provide this flexibility, because every route change requires more rail to be laid.

Right. It also doesn't involve much ROW or other real estate acquisition like rail would, and has much lower infrastructure costs (power distribution).

^Nowhereman,
Good point on the bumps. I reckon if temporary lane dividers aren't enough, at that point it would probably just be a continuous concrete curb.

Nowhereman1280 Apr 22, 2008 4:22 AM

^^^ Or just giving the popo license to kill on anyone who drives in the bus lanes...

emathias Apr 22, 2008 7:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 3500347)
BRT is a bit more flexible than light-rail, which is the chief advantage of the technology. For example, a bus could use a BRT lane on King Drive to go quickly though the mid-South Side and reach Hyde Park/Kenwood, where it could leave the BRT lane and do a circulation.

Rail does not provide this flexibility, because every route change requires more rail to be laid.

This avoids my question.

Rail has a higher capacity than bus. Yes, bus can enter circulation, but don't more people convert from car to rail than car to bus?

Highly efficient design of primary routes can't be significantly different for bus vs. rail. Lightrail, especially trams, don't require much foundation, so adding the rails isn't a huge additional investment compared to only streetscaping to allow pre-boarding payment and other high-effiency solutions to make BRT better than normal buses.

So, again, where is the break-point between BRT and surface rail systems?

harryc Apr 22, 2008 11:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 3501339)
^^^ Or just giving the popo license to kill on anyone who drives in the bus lanes...

Big Brother & $$ --- in London their are traffic cameras monitoring the bus lanes. 2 different cabbies assured us that if you enter that lane you WILL have a ticket in your mailbox by evening, and it would double in 24hrs. The bus lanes had only buses in them.

VivaLFuego Apr 22, 2008 5:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 3501569)
So, again, where is the break-point between BRT and surface rail systems?

It is a very important question for any transit investment, but I think it's really location-specific; there's no universal answer. LA provides a decent example of a BRT implementation that might as well have spent a little bit more for LRT.

Another major cost factor to remember for LRT, in addition to power infrastructure and road foundations, is the vehicle requirement. Not only are LRT vehicles more than BRT buses, but they also require substantial real estate acquisition for a yard/maintenance facility.

I'm generally not a fan of LRT except in those few situations where both the capacity requirements and ROW constraints necessitate it. The capacity is only slightly higher than BRT (no reason you can't run a BRT line on, say, a 60-90 second headway), much less than heavy rail, with costs that are generally closer to heavy rail.

Mr Downtown Apr 22, 2008 6:04 PM

To add on to Viva's comments, LRT guideways have become unbelievably expensive. Though you might theoretically think the foundation requirements little different from BRT, any city that has built LRT has spent many millions on utility relocation and foundation work. Then there's the actual trackwork, overhead, and substations.

Besides being astronomically more to build, LRT costs more to operate, even on a place-mile or passenger-mile basis. The vehicles are hugely expensive and require more specialized maintenance. Maintenance of way costs fall on the transit agency rather than another unit of government.

When discussing LA, we should distinguish among the three types of BRT they operate. The 30-year-old El Monte line is a traditional busway, in which ordinary buses circulate for distribution at either end, but have a dedicated freeway lane for the line-haul part of the trip. The Orange Line is a pseudo light-rail line run with special buses on an old railroad ROW, but due to dangerous angled grade crossings the end-to-end speed is poor. Finally, the situation most applicable to Chicago is the network of RapidBus lines along Wilshire, Ventura, and East 6th. With limited stops and signal preemption, those achieve excellent schedule speeds and have been very successful. If I remember correctly, critics noted that RapidBus from Warner Center to Universal City would actually have had faster schedule speed than the Orange Line has.

VivaLFuego Apr 22, 2008 6:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 3502423)
When discussing LA, we should distinguish among the three types of BRT they operate. The 30-year-old El Monte line is a traditional busway, in which ordinary buses circulate for distribution at either end, but have a dedicated freeway lane for the line-haul part of the trip. The Orange Line is a pseudo light-rail line run with special buses on an old railroad ROW, but due to dangerous angled grade crossings the end-to-end speed is poor. Finally, the situation most applicable to Chicago is the network of RapidBus lines along Wilshire, Ventura, and East 6th. With limited stops and signal preemption, those achieve excellent schedule speeds and have been very successful. If I remember correctly, critics noted that RapidBus from Warner Center to Universal City would actually have had faster schedule speed than the Orange Line has.

Good point. When I used LA as a bad example, I was referring to the Orange Line. The "MetroRapid" grid network is actually almost exactly what I'm saying Chicago should implement in lieu of more heavy rail (with the latter only built if there are accompanying land use changes).

emathias Apr 22, 2008 10:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 3502423)
To add on to Viva's comments, LRT guideways have become unbelievably expensive. Though you might theoretically think the foundation requirements little different from BRT, any city that has built LRT has spent many millions on utility relocation and foundation work. Then there's the actual trackwork, overhead, and substations. ...

I think maybe I mean streetcars or trams, like the Portland Streetcars (http://www.portlandstreetcar.org/ ), more than I mean the kind of "lightrail" that, for example, Portland's MAX (http://trimet.org/max/index.htm ) is or that runs along the river in New Jersey, which really have more in common with something like Chicago's "L" than they do with streetcar trolleys.

Portland's streetcars are light enough that they don't usually require utility relocation according to their website - the track/bed is only 12 inches deep. Their original 2001 system cost a bit over $12 million/mile including including the purchase of the streetcars themselves and construction of island stations. Since then extensions to the system have cost everywhere from about $15 million /mile including additional cars, to $38 million/mile for a big expansion (doubling, basically), but that includes part of the route going over a large bridge. Each of the Czech cars they use can hold 140 passengers combined seated, standing, they're also narrow, which is good for tight streets.

The costs were low enough that the original build-out was funded by the city itself, with less than 10% of the source funds coming from the Federal government. With prices like that, I would think that the City of Chicago could find a way to put run a trolley from Humbolt Park along Division to the Gold Coast, and maybe one along Chicago Ave, too.

Mr Downtown Apr 23, 2008 1:18 AM

But how would a streetcar get around stalled traffic on Division? There's a reason streetcars in mixed street running survived nowhere except Toronto in North America. The experience is miserable for the streetcar riders creeping across town and for the drivers who get madder and madder because they can't get around the streetcar.

As for the Portland Streetcar, bear in mind that for a tenth of the capital cost, Portland could have bought a fleet of twice as many distinctive new buses and painted a big green stripe on the street so the line would have the same "visibility." And the operating costs for the buses would have been about half, meaning they could run twice as frequently. Let's hope the Portlanders waiting in the rain for the streetcar to arrive realize how lucky they will be to be eventually get to ride in a streetcar instead of a bus.


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