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

ardecila Dec 31, 2008 8:22 AM

How, then, has Milwaukee produced a soaring, Houston-style interchange at the Marquette if the northern climate doesn't allow it?

I've always been a fan of the 355/88 interchange. Where else in the US do you have two highways running so close side by side that you can crop a picture properly and make it look like England, with left-hand drive?

I expect the replacement for the 90/290/IL-53 interchange in Schaumburg to be a stack, although it's kind of mired in the Blago scandal right now, along with the 294/57 interchange and the Green Lanes.

Mr Downtown Dec 31, 2008 2:52 PM

As I understand it, the reason WisDOT had to demolish the Marquette interchange and start over was that it was built as a California-style box girder design. Once the top surface deteriorated from salt, there was no way to resurface it.

MayorOfChicago Dec 31, 2008 6:46 PM

So the past three days that I've taken the Brown Line to work after they resumed full service - there have been horrible back-ups from just before Chicago all the way into the loop.

I'd forgotten how much I use to hate those when they ran more trains. Between the past 3 days I've had to sit and wait for between 7 and 15 minutes. Monday was the worst, and our conductor said they'd had out tardy notes if anyone wanted one.

arenn Jan 1, 2009 6:24 PM

Downtown, thanks for the book info.

On the backups on the L, I'm not surprised. Prior to construction there used to be big backups northbound from Willow Curve to Clark Jct. on the Brown every afternoon as well. I wish the CTA would figure out how to build a flyover at Clark Jct. It looks physically feasible to me, albeit probably expensive.

HowardL Jan 1, 2009 7:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MayorOfChicago (Post 4000759)
our conductor said they'd had out tardy notes

Maybe it's just the hangover, but that's really funny to me right now.

arenn Jan 1, 2009 7:30 PM

Here is an interesting one. Apparently under the federal port authority the mayor created to keep the suburban republicans from seizing O'Hare, Gary, Indiana has to vote to allow Chicago to privatize Midway. Looks like a potential cash raising opportunity for them.

http://www.indianaeconomicdigest.net...rticleID=45130
Gary City Council to vote on Midway Airport privatization

(Merrillville) Post-Tribune
By Erik Potter, Post-Tribune staff writer
epotter@post-trib.com

The fate of Chicago's privatization plans for Chicago Midway Airport will rest in the hands of the Gary Common Council on Tuesday.

Gary is being asked to approve an amendment to its 1995 compact with Chicago establishing a coordinated operation of the region's air service.

Under the compact, both cities must give their approval before any major changes can be made to the Chicago or Gary airports.

Privatizing Midway would be an example of one of those major changes.

Chicago Shawn Jan 2, 2009 1:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by simcityaustin (Post 3992773)
I see a fee as potentially harming tourism, business, etc. I don't think the government has endorsed automobiles. Automobiles a re private investment, repairs to the infrastructure they run on is largely paid by taxes earned from gas sales to run the machines. Mass transit is much more subsidized by the government, and will always have to be. It's the nature of the beast.

BTW, I prefer mass transit.

FALSE. Nationwide, all vehicle taxes and tolls account for about 55 percent of all costs associated with road construction and maintenance. The percentage has been falling for years because so much needs to be rebuilt, and the federal highway trust fund, which the gas, tire and oil taxes are pooled into, will be in deficit by 2012. The trust fund, established in the Eisenhower era was only intended to be a temporary source of funds, but a more permanent source has never been established; just small incremental increases in the taxes over time. We can no longer afford to maintain the national highway system that we have, let alone afford upgrades and extensions to it. While the federal and state government often pay for new construction or reconstruction costs, operational maintenance must come from local tax sources, this includes snow removal, street lighting maintenance and electric bills, accident cleanup, pot hole filling and damage compensation and so forth. The state match on federal funds can come from a verity of sources, and is never exclusive to just fuel taxes. In fact, the vastly needed new capitol spending bill will come from a statewide tax increase of some kind, which will effect everyone whether or not they drive themselves. Further, private businesses must shoulder the costs of required providing off-street parking in auto-centric environments.

Sorry, but car ownership is heavily subsidized on many levels. Its really welfare on wheels. Yes, an infrastructure system largely for private vehicles has been a booster for economic activity in the past; but the drivers in such a system need to pay a bigger share, especially as material and labor costs for such a system have grown exponentially in recent years.

Mr Downtown Jan 2, 2009 2:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago Shawn (Post 4002296)
Nationwide, all vehicle taxes and tolls account for about 55 percent of all costs associated with road construction and maintenance.

What is your source for that statistic?

Some accountings, which count things like sales taxes on autos, find that motorists pay more than 100 percent of direct costs attributable to auto use.

I usually just use the figures compiled in Table HF-10 of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics' Highway Statistics 2004. This is a summary of highway receipts and disbursements--for all highways and local streets--which balanced out at $143,807 million each in 2003. It's true that $35,967 million of the receipts shown are from non-user general revenues, but motorists in turn sent at least $79,860 million of user fees the other direction, to non-highway and mass transit uses.

The big gap is the cost of ordinary local streets, which were once paid for entirely by non-motorists. Because freeways, and arterial streets that have been widened and improved for auto use, carry so much traffic, I think it's fair to say that those roads are entirely paid for (plus some) by the fuel taxes they generate.

arenn Jan 2, 2009 2:12 PM

Local streets are primarily about access anyway, not cars. They can't be eliminated in any likely scenario - unless you want to abandon things like, let's see, fire and ambulance services.

ChicagoChicago Jan 2, 2009 3:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MayorOfChicago (Post 4000759)
So the past three days that I've taken the Brown Line to work after they resumed full service - there have been horrible back-ups from just before Chicago all the way into the loop.

I'd forgotten how much I use to hate those when they ran more trains. Between the past 3 days I've had to sit and wait for between 7 and 15 minutes. Monday was the worst, and our conductor said they'd had out tardy notes if anyone wanted one.

This is a real problem. I’ve noticed it from Sedgwick to the Loop. Timing my ride this morning from Fullerton to Clark/Lake was 26 minutes on the Purple Line, a full 6 minutes slower than my typical ride during 3 three track operation from Belmont to Washington/Wells.

I presume part of it is that they are running more trains, which I don’t see the need for. Another issue has got to be the switching Lake and Wells. The CTA ought to be giving first priority to Loop-bound Brown/Purple line trains over Green/Pink line trains.

VivaLFuego Jan 2, 2009 4:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4002374)
The big gap is the cost of ordinary local streets, which were once paid for entirely by non-motorists. Because freeways, and arterial streets that have been widened and improved for auto use, carry so much traffic, I think it's fair to say that those roads are entirely paid for (plus some) by the fuel taxes they generate.

From the capital cost standpoint, as you say, the big question mark is how one accounts for local streets, which are often funded out of non-user sources. But indeed, the capital costs of interstates and major arterials are paid for by users via gas tax.

All of this ignores the "operations" cost, though: the different funding sources supporting police, fire, emergency medical, snow removal, etc. In many places, the police basically only exist to enforce traffic regulations, and the fire dept only exists to mop up traffic accidents, etc. When such services are paid by non-users, what percentage of the cost should be allocated as a "subsidy" to drivers vs. what percentage is appropriately allocated to all residents as an essential public service?

It further ignores the external costs and cross-subsidization (e.g. non-drivers don't pay lower health insurance or life insurance premiums than drivers do), but such calculations get very messy with the results typically foreordained by the input assumptions.

ChicagoChicago Jan 2, 2009 4:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rilestone75 (Post 3997922)
First of all if you have read any of my previous posts, you'll realize that I don't drive and that I do in fact take the train almost every day. Second, you might think my points are weak, that is fine, but they are just illistrations of what some people consider unacceptable issues. Again, my point is that before the gov. starts penalizing drivers, they need to have a world class public transit system. Chicago does not.

Of course they are unacceptable issues. But unless you want to start introducing hygiene laws, smelly people are going to coexist. The reality is that sanitary conditions are a luxury, not a right. You pay more for a chartered flight than you do on a commercial airline. You pay more for a night at the Ritz than you do for a night at the Holiday Inn. There are things we have to tolerate in this world simply because not tolerating them is elitism.

And I'm not sure what you do consider a world class system, but I've frequented New York's Subway and London's Tube, and both manage to have the same problems, with London's being slightly cleaner.

Taft Jan 2, 2009 4:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4002374)
The big gap is the cost of ordinary local streets, which were once paid for entirely by non-motorists. Because freeways, and arterial streets that have been widened and improved for auto use, carry so much traffic, I think it's fair to say that those roads are entirely paid for (plus some) by the fuel taxes they generate.

That seems non-obvious to me. You are basically saying that:

gas taxes collected > highway spending + local road spending + gas tax diversion to other uses

Granted, local spending facilitates car use which allows for collection of gas taxes. However it is stretch, IMO, to say that it is therefore cost effective on a macro scale, especially if you don't know the cost of local road spending. One thing I think is likely true is this:

local road spending > gas tax diversion to other uses

In fact, I think this is probably true as well:

gas taxes collected > highway spending + local road spending

However, without a clear picture of spending at the local level, it is hard to draw big conclusions. You yourself admitted that most local roads are paid for mostly by non gas revenue, further clouding the picture. In all, Chicago Shawn's conclusions seem closer to the truth to me, but I'll reserve judgment until I see local road spending figures.

Taft

Mr Downtown Jan 2, 2009 8:00 PM

Actually, table HF-10 does try to include all the operational costs of road facilities, including policing, snow clearance, etc.

The reason this isn't an easy-to-research question is because of all the different transfers among different levels of government, and because user fees at some levels go into the general revenue pot while expenditures might come out of a general revenue pot at a different level.

spyguy Jan 2, 2009 8:43 PM

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=32451

Signals indicate funding on track for plan to unsnarl rail traffic
By: Paul Merrion Jan. 02, 2009


A long-delayed plan to reduce freight rail bottlenecks, one of the Chicago region’s highest transportation priorities, could get significant funding from the incoming Obama administration’s federal stimulus package, according to a top local transportation official.

Industry observers were optimistic after meeting recently with President-elect Barack Obama’s transportation transition team to discuss the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency project — known as Create — a $1.5-billion project that would eliminate about 25 rail-highway crossings and six rail-to-rail crossings by building under- and overpasses.

Taft Jan 2, 2009 9:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4003470)
Actually, table HF-10 does try to include all the operational costs of road facilities, including policing, snow clearance, etc.

The reason this isn't an easy-to-research question is because of all the different transfers among different levels of government, and because user fees at some levels go into the general revenue pot while expenditures might come out of a general revenue pot at a different level.


You are right that they attempt to estimate local spending in that table. However, it does seem like you are misreading the table for the totals you gave above.

From my reading, I see (in millions):

Code:

Total funds available: $143,807

Incoming
Gas tax and tolls: $79,860 (56% of total)
Other taxes: $35,967 (25% of total)
Other income: $27980 (19% of total)

Distribution
Funds available for distribution: $104,104 (72% of total)
Funds used on highways: $79,860 (55% of total)
Funds used for non-highway purposes: $24,245 (17% of total)

So while 35 billion in non-gas and toll revenue is collected, only 24 billion is spent on non-highway spending. Also interesting to note is that about 14 billion of that 24 billion in non-highway spending goes to the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund and the Federal General Fund and to collection fees. Only about 10 billion (about 10%) of that money goes to mass transit.

Another interesting bit: while 35 billion is collected from non-gas and toll revenue (I am assuming that is local and state funding), only 20 billion is spent on funding local roads.

To me, it is less than clear cut that spending of gas tax and toll revenues is even close to balanced. The preponderance of the money goes to funding of highways and other road usage. Further, a significant chunk of non-usage local taxes pay for highway and other road usages.

Taft

steel Jan 3, 2009 2:33 AM

An RFP is out for design of the Bloomingdale Trail. This will be like Chicago's version of the High Line in NYC

honte Jan 3, 2009 5:52 AM

^ Can you please link to that?

ardecila Jan 3, 2009 7:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spyguy (Post 4003546)
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=32451

Signals indicate funding on track for plan to unsnarl rail traffic
By: Paul Merrion Jan. 02, 2009


A long-delayed plan to reduce freight rail bottlenecks, one of the Chicago region’s highest transportation priorities, could get significant funding from the incoming Obama administration’s federal stimulus package, according to a top local transportation official.

Industry observers were optimistic after meeting recently with President-elect Barack Obama’s transportation transition team to discuss the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency project — known as Create — a $1.5-billion project that would eliminate about 25 rail-highway crossings and six rail-to-rail crossings by building under- and overpasses.

It's about time. Of course, Obama wants to avoid any sort of preferential treatment so as to avoid the "earmarks" word, so this will have to be balanced with other spending throughout the country. If we get the lion's share, though.... :D

the urban politician Jan 3, 2009 9:43 PM

Why can't Daley have this kind of vision and ambition when it comes to transit? (see bold):

Quote:

Originally Posted by NYguy (Post 3932744)
http://www.observer.com/2008/real-es...ting-cavernous

West Side Extension of No. 7 Line Getting Cavernous

http://www.observer.com/files/imagec...s/image016.jpg

by Eliot Brown
November 24, 2008

Construction, it seems, is indeed under way for the extension of the No. 7 line, the cornerstone of the Bloomberg administration’s planned development of the far West Side.

The MTA’s capital construction page shows an update for November with pictures from below, where the agency is hollowing out the cavern for the station and making way for the eventual launch of a tunnel-boring machine, which will slowly dig its way along the 1.5-mile route.

The project, budgeted at $2.1 billion, would extend the line from Times Square to the base of the Javits Center on 34th Street, adjacent to the West Side rail yards. The Bloomberg administration has been the driving force behind the extension, which it says will help spawn tens of millions of square feet of West Side development.

The cash-strapped MTA had no desire to pay for the project, so the city is footing the entire bill, up to the $2.1 billion.
Should costs exceed the budget (which many onlookers assume they will, given rising costs everywhere), the city and the MTA have yet to negotiate an agreement on who would cover them.



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