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

VivaLFuego May 1, 2008 3:46 AM

^I'd add that the south lakeshore has a relatively high auto mode share for downtown commute trips, almost as high as Lincoln Park (don't have this exact data handy, sorry). It's a good target for trying to actually shift people out of their cars and onto transit, and the 14 already runs at rapid transit frequencies with near rapid transit loads so it's a natural for street improvements. Though I'd still love to hear what 79th Street has to do with downtown congestion, if that is indeed one of the pilot routes....Chicago Avenue and Halsted are at least plausible, particularly for targetting Ukrainian Village and Lincoln Park respectively. I suppose the strongest justification for improvements is that it's about the highest ridership route on the bus system, but then it's a bit odd to tie that to a downtown congestion initiative.

re: why the Carroll Ave. busway isn't part of this, I can't give an exact answer but I believe that's a seperate project with separate funding, and it's a much more substantial project ($153 million wouldn't nearly cover the required infrastructure, like the Clinton underpass, renovated bridge over the river, new handicap accessible stations, etc.)

honte May 1, 2008 4:02 AM

^ Viva, do you think that the Kinzie bridge will be reconfigured somehow so that it is regularly in the down position? As much as I love it up all the time, it seems like an impediment to traffic flow on the Carroll route.

Nowhereman1280 May 1, 2008 4:18 AM

Viva, I think, though it might be tricky to implement, the 66 Chicago Ave. bus is in the most need of a BRT lane. Its god-awful slow and crowded at all times during weekdays and serves as an important link to the Blue Line for the Mag-Mile area.

Abner May 1, 2008 4:55 AM

Hope this won't get lost in the BRT conversation: Viva, you've talked about how the O'Hare branch is being repaired to a 70 mph standard. Do you know whether they will run at that speed (or any speed over 55) with current trains, or will we have to wait for delivery of the new stock? I understand the existing cars can feasibly travel at that speed, but wasn't sure if CTA would allow it given their age and condition.

I would guess 79th is being considered for political reasons, and because being the highest-ridership line gives it a good chance of being successful enough to justify expanding the BRT system. Hope we'll hear something more concrete about the routes they're upgrading soon, and that the timetable for improvements isn't ridiculously drawn out.

the urban politician May 1, 2008 1:30 PM

I'm not 100% clear why routes such as Ashland or Western are being discussed.

If we're going to charge more to drivers parking downtown, then shouldn't we be creating BRT routes that end in the central area?

How does reducing congestion on a north-south running street about a mile from the loop really impact that, unless we're talking about linking people to L lines more quickly in a fashion that had not been as convenient before. Thereby, Chicago gets to create a BRT version of the Circle Line 10 years ahead of time!

If one BRT route is used as I had described above, that makes a lot of sense. But the rest of the routes should somehow end downtown for this project to live up to its purpose (getting more people to use transit on their daily commute to the Loop). What's REALLY needed is a good east-west BRT route that gets people into N. Mich/Streeterville. Carroll Ave and Chicago seem to make the most sense in this regard

the urban politician May 1, 2008 1:37 PM

Not to be overly dramatic, but this is a huge windfall for Chicago. I hope this opportunity isn't blown.

The city can make a lot of good come out of this.

The more I think about it, Chicago Ave all the way to the lakefront is a MUST. I also think Roosevelt Avenue would make a lot of sense. You're connecting the museums & Central Station/Red Line to shopping/Greektown/UIC/Taylor and the Illinois Medical District/residential communities further west. This of course in light of enormous traffic gridlock, thus making a bus-only lane VERY beneficial and attractive to riders

the urban politician May 1, 2008 1:40 PM

I will go on to say that since we're stuck with only 10.1 miles, how long will these routes be? Is each one going to be 2.5 miles long, or do you guys think that some will be much longer than others?

Here's my preliminary wishlist:
1) Chicago Ave
2) Roosevelt Ave
3) Jeffery (my only concern being that this route will be too long & cannabilize the other ones)
4) Ashland/Damen (whichever route ties together the most L & Metra lines)

I say forget 79th street--as Viva mentioned, we need routes that justify increased downtown pricing. Plus, Roosevelt headed west should improve access for minority communities.

Okay, I've posted enough. Sorry, guys

Mr Downtown May 1, 2008 2:07 PM

The only "linkage" of speedier bus lines to downtown parking meter fees is that Daley's doing a little fancy dancing, putting the two together so people won't notice that he's privatizing the parking meters. Downtown commuters don't use parking meters.

By the way, Roosevelt Road already has a bus-only lane east of Canal. I don't know that congestion is a problem on that line. But it's less than a half-mile from the Blue Line.

OhioGuy May 1, 2008 2:12 PM

I would LOVE for BRT on Michigan Ave. I HATE taking buses down Sheridan/Stockton/Inner Lake Shore Dr (151) to get to the loop because they go *SOOOOOO* excruciatingly slowly down Michigan Ave. You might as well just get off the damn bus at Oak Street and walk down to the loop. Both the traffic on Michigan Ave and the fact that those buses can sit at each stop for several minutes loading & unloading passengers through the tiny little doors make for a very frustratingly time consuming commute to the loop.

the urban politician May 1, 2008 2:15 PM

I'm confused, as Crains also discusses an increase in parking garage rates. There is too much misinformation out there.

I just think this would be a good opportunity to speed up transit connections to parts of downtown less well served by transit, such as Streeterville. The Loop is already well served by transit that has its own ROW

Quote:

By the way, Roosevelt Road already has a bus-only lane east of Canal. I don't know that congestion is a problem on that line. But it's less than a half-mile from the Blue Line.
^ Is it enforced?

VivaLFuego May 1, 2008 2:19 PM

I think the pilot routes Durbin mentioned are (mostly) a good start. Chicago Avenue is definitely a great candidate.

Halsted has some excellent potential as well, as alot of downtown auto commuters are people going to the West Loop for whom most bus and rail lines aren't convenient, and the 8 in its current state is VERY unreliable (true for commuters from both north and south). Further, a reliable and quick Halsted route also hooks Bridgeport into the rapid transit network, with quick connections to the Orange and Blue Lines.

As already mentioned, 79th doesn't make sense to me in the context of congestion mitigation.

North Michigan (from the river to Oak) is a good candidate for a bus-only lane (eliminate right turns at all but a few streets, viciously target cabbies doing pickups/dropoffs). I would argue that Western or Ashland could actually make great candidates: alot of congestion is caused by people making cross-town trips, which plugs up arterials (Ashland is an absolutely nightmare in rush hour) and the expressways. Diverting some of these to cross-town rapid transit could have a notable impact on congestion.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Abner (Post 3522346)
Hope this won't get lost in the BRT conversation: Viva, you've talked about how the O'Hare branch is being repaired to a 70 mph standard. Do you know whether they will run at that speed (or any speed over 55) with current trains, or will we have to wait for delivery of the new stock? I understand the existing cars can feasibly travel at that speed, but wasn't sure if CTA would allow it given their age and condition.

The 2200s can only safely go about 60 or 65mph. 70mph won't happen until the new railcars are delivered and the 2200s fully retired. I do recall hearing they plan to upgrade to at least 60mph once the track project is done, though.

Abner May 1, 2008 3:03 PM

Thanks for the information, Viva.

Halsted would be a pretty good candidate, but big chunks of it are two-lane without much opportunity to speed up buses through there. I suppose the bus would just have to have local-type service from Cermak to Roosevelt, for example. I guess it depends on which stretches of Halsted would be targeted. Also, there's no Halsted express bus right now, whereas if they were to do Ashland or Western they could just upgrade the existing bus routes.

Wright Concept May 1, 2008 3:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3520723)
For some reason, Hilkevitch is throwing possible streets out there despite him really not having a clue which streets were picked. "Possibly" include Lake Shore, Ogden?

For reference, and since it is now published, I'll point out that Dick Durbin (who clearly was involved in obtaining this federal grant) mentioned that the pilot routes are likely to include Jeffrey, Halsted, Chicago, and 79th. I'd be more inclined to believe him than Hilkevitch's postulations...

Halsted and Chicago make definite sense since they are dense routes that serve many rail stops along the way. From personal experience with the #66, I remember having to get from John Hancock to Pearl at Orleans/Chicago and thought maybe I'll hop on the bus, when I saw all the crowded conditions on that route, I'd figured, I'd do better walking, sure enough I almost beat the bus.

Jeffrey, I'm thinking because of all the 60' Express buses running like elephant trains during the rush hour periods.

Personally I'm surprised bus-only lane segments weren't proposed down North Michigan Avenue due to all of the express buses clogged together there. Maybe that's in a later phase.

Quote:

Those seem like a decent route sampling, though I have alot of trouble seeing the connection between 79th street and downtown congestion. The others are more plausible and appropriate.
If I remember it's because the 79 bus runs on 2 minute headways and a dedicated lane and larger buses for that corridor would be a good stopgap to better serve patrons and better use their bus resources that would be used to expand or extend other routes.

VivaLFuego May 1, 2008 4:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wright Concept (Post 3523029)
If I remember it's because the 79 bus runs on 2 minute headways and a dedicated lane and larger buses for that corridor would be a good stopgap to better serve patrons and better use their bus resources that would be used to expand or extend other routes.

That's a great point. If you could evenly space larger high-capacity buses with more efficient boarding/alighting, you could reduce the huge vehicle requirement of the route and use those buses saved for extra capacity headed downtown.

emathias May 1, 2008 4:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chitowngza (Post 3521058)
How nice of you to bring up a 2-year old debate, without taking the time to understand my perspective, while taking the argument out of context to fit you, and not taking into account the changes in the system subsequently. I understand you're new to the forum, but no need to demonstrate that so apparently.

Aren't you a pain.

a) I'm not new to the forum - but thanks for demonstrating that if you're not even going to do basic research before you talk, you'll keep making dumb, false assertions.

b) I'm not sure how (probably user error, but still unsure exactly how), but I'd ended up on an old page thinking it was the last page, and responded accordingly. My mistake.

c) I'm not sure there's any possible context to make your original statement make sense. Unless it was the context of "lets each make a silly comparison that has no basis in reason"

Anyway, since this has nothing to do with present topics, I'm not going to discuss it further.

LaSalle.St.Station May 2, 2008 6:05 AM

The fed bus tranist iniative blows, why, cause..... most cars that reside within 14 miles already take transit..... the issue is cars from outer cook and the collar counties.... where do they drop off ? hopefully out in will , dupage and McCook, but no facilites exist for rapid transport from the outer areas....... another reason why NW cook will depart and leave .

Nowhereman1280 May 2, 2008 6:18 AM

^^^ That's not even close to true, if you look at the statistics, under half of the people who live on north LSD, yes LSD, take transit to work. Even more people who live in the western neighborhoods (my aunt is one of them) drive to work.

LaSalle.St.Station May 2, 2008 6:20 AM

Does the bus transit way run by everyone, so as those who decline get higher parking rates...probably not... thats why Nw subs are leaviing .....

emathias May 2, 2008 7:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LaSalle.St.Station (Post 3525092)
Does the bus transit way run by everyone, so as those who decline get higher parking rates...probably not... thats why Nw subs are leaviing .....

Please re-read what you wrote and edit it. I'm pretty forgiving of poor spelling and typos, etc, but your sentence seems to be making a point other than NW suburbs trying to leave, but it's not fully understandable in its present form.

Marcu May 2, 2008 5:12 PM

^ I'll fill in for LaSalle. I Think what he is saying is most people within 14 miles of the loop already take transit whenever possible. The real cause of congestion downtown is people commuting from places like the NW suburbs or Will Co. that will not be able to benefit from the program in any way and will continue to drive. So the end result for at least the near term will be people that already take transit will have more options and people that drive will have to continue driving except will now have less lanes to do it in actually resulting in more congestion. I think LaSalle proposes creating some sort facilities farther out (skokie el?) where people can park and ride or otherwise switch to the BRT if driving in from farther out than 14 miles although I'm pretty sure Metra already serves this function.

Personally, I think dedicated bus lanes are a brilliant idea. They serve the same function as trains but for pennies on the dollar. As I said before, the key will be proper implementation.


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