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VivaLFuego Jan 14, 2009 9:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 4024867)
Essentially, wasn't the whole reason for the parking meter deal to create a "stick" for a future "carrot" (that carrot being the BRT system)? So now there's just a stick..

Different initiatives - the BRT project was tied to downtown off-street parking fee increases, while the meter lease was an asset privatization deal.

emathias Jan 14, 2009 9:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 4024867)
I'm still shocked that the local press is essentially giving Daley a free pass on blowing $153 million. I mean, where the hell is the Tribune and Crains on this one?

Essentially, wasn't the whole reason for the parking meter deal to create a "stick" for a future "carrot" (that carrot being the BRT system)? So now there's just a stick..

I kind of wonder if it's too late to reverse the lease of the city's parking meters.

I think they're waiting to see if the Feds reconsider after the inauguration before they declare the money actually lost.

I personally think it was dumb to be willing to accept BRT money by agreeing to raise the cost of driving to downtown. I think limiting parking spaces and enforcing bus lanes in and too downtown is about the limit of what government should do to limit driving downtown. Like it or not, congestion and traffic are legitimately symbols of success if an area has a built-out infrastructure. If you have a two-road town and those roads are congested, you build more roads. But in a place like downtown Chicago or London or Manhattan, where all the logically necessary roads are in place congestion is just the price of success. In order to do more than that, you have to have so much inertia and so much resistance to companies relocating that charging fees will just be absorbed. Apparently - for now - London has that. Manhattan might be able to sustain that for a while, too. But I don't think Chicago has that - it's too spread out and while there is some premium on locating in the Loop it's not high enough to justify active discouragements from doing so. Keep the drivers coming AND find a way to bring in even more people. Easiest way to do that is increase densities near existing "L" and Metra stations. Second easiest way is to keep building out - with both offices and residences - the Central Area. Final way you do that is by improving the grade-separated transit options in the Central Area and adjacent-to-central-area neighborhoods so that the whole central area is tied together. Residential is cratered right now, which makes it the perfect time to work on the TOD zoning since there won't be any immediate impact to scare NIMBYs.

Attrill Jan 14, 2009 9:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4025068)
Different initiatives - the BRT project was tied to downtown off-street parking fee increases, while the meter lease was an asset privatization deal.


The Federal Requirements made it impossible for NYC to get the money and now it looks like it made it impossible for Chicago too. I don't really see this as a big loss at this point tho'. We went for the money when it was hard to get any funding for transit, now we're expecting massive federal spending on infrastructure - we should just let this go and look at bigger plans.

ChicagoChicago Jan 14, 2009 9:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 4024867)
I'm still shocked that the local press is essentially giving Daley a free pass on blowing $153 million. I mean, where the hell is the Tribune and Crains on this one?

Essentially, wasn't the whole reason for the parking meter deal to create a "stick" for a future "carrot" (that carrot being the BRT system)? So now there's just a stick..

I kind of wonder if it's too late to reverse the lease of the city's parking meters.

When has the press EVER taken Daley to task for his screw-ups? There's a reason he continues to get re-elected without formidable challenge.

I've never seen anybody raise taxes the way he has and offer nothing for it, and still get re-elected without incident.

the urban politician Jan 15, 2009 4:16 AM

Eh?
 
CTA chief: Bus rapid transit 'not dead'
Recommend (1) Comments
January 14, 2009
BY MARY WISNIEWSKITransportation Reporter

CTA President Ron Huberman said the agency’s plans for bus rapid transit is “not dead” despite the recent loss of $153 million in federal funding.

Huberman said the CTA is continuing to lobby the U.S. Department of Transportation to get the funding, which was lost after the federal government refused to grant the city a 13-day extension to approve “congestion reduction” fees for downtown parking and deliveries.

Huberman said staff planning continues for bus rapid transit, which would give buses their own designated lanes during rush hour on certain streets, though the agency is not spending money on engineering.

“There’s a truly unique opportunity here in Chicago to get this done,” said Huberman. He could not provide a time table as to when the new administration may reconsider the grant.

Mayor Daley last week said he had tried to salvage the federal funding for Chicago but “inflexible” federal bureaucrats would not allow it.

Busy Bee Jan 15, 2009 5:01 AM

So a Metra train derailed?

emathias Jan 15, 2009 5:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChicagoChicago (Post 4025121)
When has the press EVER taken Daley to task for his screw-ups? There's a reason he continues to get re-elected without formidable challenge.

I've never seen anybody raise taxes the way he has and offer nothing for it, and still get re-elected without incident.

What general taxes has he raised? The most egregious tax increases of the past few years have been from other agencies, not the city.

Haworthia Jan 15, 2009 2:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 4026108)
So a Metra train derailed?

It was an Amtrak train that derailed:
Amtrak derailment at Union Station severely delays 3 Metra lines
The derailment Wednesday afternoon of two cars of an Amtrak train while departing the south side of Union Station severely delayed three Metra train lines during the afternoon rush and could have a major impact on Thursday morning's rail service, officials said.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,6518214.story

ChicagoChicago Jan 15, 2009 5:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 4026186)
What general taxes has he raised? The most egregious tax increases of the past few years have been from other agencies, not the city.

He’s raised property taxes, and the end all be all of all real estate taxes, the “transfer tax” associated with real estate sales, which are now paid by both buyers and sellers. He’s given his blessed approval of the county’s increase to the sales tax, and the city eventually added to it.

Steely Dan Jan 15, 2009 5:38 PM

^ this is not the general "let's bitch about how high taxes are" thread. if your comment does not in some way directly relate to a transit issue in chicagoland, then it doesn't belong in this thread.

and no, general bitching about mayor daley because you don't like his policies is not a directly related transit issue in chicagoland. please keep your commentary specific and on-topic

Ch.G, Ch.G Jan 15, 2009 5:50 PM

I'm surprised nobody has posted this yet:

http://www.transitchicago.com/news/d...ArticleId=2274

Quote:

CTA Announces Increased Ridership in 2008

1/14/2009

CTA Has Now Achieved Ridership Increases in 10 of the Past 11 Years

The CTA today announced that 2008 combined bus and rail ridership increased by 26.8 million rides, a gain of 5.4 percent over 2007 ridership, for a total of 526.4 million rides. It is the highest ridership level since 1992 and the highest single year ridership gain in 34 years.

“The slow zone elimination effort, progress of the Brown Line capacity expansion project and adjustments to provide more efficient service have improved our customers’ day-to-day experience on CTA and are directly related to the growth in ridership despite the struggling economy,” said CTA President Ron Huberman. “New buses, and cleaner vehicles and facilities are helping attract new customers and influencing existing customers to ride more.”

“The healthy growth of ridership in 2008 reflects the fact that our commitment to improving transit is being recognized by our customers despite some of the inconveniences that go with making those improvements,” said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. “In the long run we are improving our system for our customers and providing service while that work is underway.”

Ridership increased 4.5 percent on weekdays in 2008, averaging 1.68 million daily boardings. Ridership also increased by 7.3 percent on weekends and holidays, showing that many customers are not only riding CTA for their daily commutes but also for their travel needs outside of traditional working hours.

Bus ridership recorded the largest surge with a total of 328.2 million rides provided for the year, an increase of 18.9 million rides, or 6.1 percent higher compared to 2007. CTA made great strides in improving bus reliability over the past 12 months. Ridership increased more than 12 percent on bus routes where reliability improvements were made. In addition, riders along the north lakefront corridor heavily contributed to the growth in bus ridership as many switched to nearby bus service as an option to avoid the congestion caused by three-track train operation at the Belmont and Fullerton stations.

As a convenient option for riders impacted by three-track operation, the #147 Outer Drive Express saw a 15 percent increase in ridership. With the resumption of four-track service in December at Belmont and Fullerton, CTA expects that some bus riders may migrate back to the rail system this year.

Rail ridership increased by 4.1 percent compared to 2007, recording a total of 198.2 million rides provided for the year, an increase of 7.9 million rides over the previous year. Rail ridership in 2008 was at its highest point since 1968.

Ridership increased on all eight rail lines in 2008. Contributing to the increased rail ridership for the Blue Line’s Dearborn subway and O’Hare branch was the completion of the slow zone elimination work which allowed trains to return to normal speeds. Slow zone elimination work was also performed on the North branch of the Red Line and on the Brown Line providing customers with faster travel. In addition, renovation work was completed on six Brown Line stations and CTA introduced eight-car train service during morning and evening rush periods which helped to boost ridership numbers.

The only significant drop in rail ridership was at those stations closest to O’Hare, largely due to the decline in air travel throughout the year. Ridership was slightly down at Midway station however Midway serves as a major connection to bus service. The Yellow Line reported a 21 percent increase in ridership as a direct result of the addition of weekend service. Pink Line ridership also continued to grow, increasing by 12 percent over 2007. The Pink Line has almost doubled its ridership in a four year period.
I wonder what numbers were like for November and December when oil prices tanked? They would be the best indicator of what we can expect going into '09, I think.

ChicagoChicago Jan 15, 2009 7:49 PM

So anyway...

The SB Brown and Purple lines are still backing up during the morning rush hour. A guy in my building got off at Merchandise Mart and I got off at Clark/Lake on the Purple line. We both walked to our building at Lake & LaSalle (200 N LaSalle). He had time to get coffee and held the elevator for me. What a time saver the Purple line reroute has been…

ardecila Jan 16, 2009 12:00 AM

That's not a Brown Line problem per se, I don't think - it's more of a Loop problem. The CTA has an ongoing project to replace the signaling system with something modern and computerized; this should wrap up sometime in 2010, according to the CTA website.

The current signaling system on the Loop was installed in the 1970s, a period of declining ridership.

VivaLFuego Jan 16, 2009 12:26 AM

^ They often back up at the peak of the peak south of Clark Junction all the way to the loop, as well, particularly in the outbound direction. The combined headway is now very short, and it's very difficult if not impossible to evenly space the trains on their way out of the loop now that the two lines are coming through Tower 18 from different directions with 3 other lines also vying for space through the junction. I don't know any details about the loop signal project; I imagine it will help somewhat, but the only way to really ensure smooth operations all around would entail reducing the number of trains going through the junction, particularly those making the slow 10-15mph turning movements (straight movements can be taken at 35 mph). This could be achieved either by simply reducing the number of trains on all loop lines to the minimum possible to meet demand, or by creating some new through-route lines e.g. connecting Midway-Kimball, which would probably introduce a whole other set of problems.

ChicagoChicago Jan 16, 2009 1:43 AM

It really wasn't a problem until the Purple line started running on the inner track in the loop, which happened on Dec 28th. At that point, CTA did two things that I think caused the problem. They started running brown line and purple line trains more frequently, and rerouted the purple line trains. Obviously, it's going to take a train longer to hang a left at tower 18 than it would to go straight. That's half the problem. The other half though, is the frequency of trains. The trains seem less full in the mornings too.

ardecila Jan 16, 2009 6:50 AM

As long as we're discussing potential re-alignments, what if the Green Line used the Douglas Line instead of the Lake Street Line? The Brown Line would then use both sides of the Loop, crossing itself at Lake/Wells and continuing on to Oak Park. Orange and Purple would continue to make the full circuit of the Loop.

jpIllInoIs Jan 16, 2009 3:15 PM

^Ardecila, That would make more sense if the Brown/Pink lines merged. Both use the elevated tracks around the Loop.

ChicagoChicago Jan 16, 2009 5:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4029431)
As long as we're discussing potential re-alignments, what if the Green Line used the Douglas Line instead of the Lake Street Line? The Brown Line would then use both sides of the Loop, crossing itself at Lake/Wells and continuing on to Oak Park. Orange and Purple would continue to make the full circuit of the Loop.

I think the main problem with that is the lack of ridership on the pink line compared to the brown line. It would likely substantially over-capacitize the current pink line.

schwerve Jan 16, 2009 5:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChicagoChicago (Post 4030007)
I think the main problem with that is the lack of ridership on the pink line compared to the brown line. It would likely substantially over-capacitize the current pink line.

I've always thought the best option would be to through route both the pink and orange lines to the brown so alternate trains on the ravenswood branch would go to either midway or douglass. the brown (kimball-douglas) would still make the full revolution around the loop but wouldn't have to make a turn at the clark junction and the orange (kimball-midway) would run the south and west branches (opposite the green; again running straight through the junction). that would certainly help congestion in the loop and add connectivity to the system.

ardecila Jan 17, 2009 1:23 AM

^^ That actually makes sense. Instead of alternate trains, though, it should be only every third train that uses the Douglas Branch. Pink Line has about 30,000 riders per day, Orange has 60,000, and Brown has 90,000.

The downside is that
a) your Kimball-Midway route wouldn't serve the whole Loop,
b) it's confusing, and
c) that would be an absolute terror to render on a map.


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