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the urban politician Jan 6, 2010 5:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 4637077)
^ The CTA has already done this.

It was posted a page or two back.

We'll see how far it goes. As long as we have Aldermanic Prerogative, though, that throws a wrench in the situation

^ Well, I can't find where it was posted. Spyguy posted it somewhere about a week or two ago.

The RTA is studying TOD, though. Here's a tidbit:

http://www.rtachicago.com/community-...-projects.html
2010 Program of Projects

The RTA Board approved the following projects on October 15, 2009. The RTA Board will consider approval of funding for these projects at the December 17, 2009 Board of Directors meeting. Projects are anticipated to begin by March 2010. For specific details and updates about each project please visit the
Regional Transportation Asset Management System (RTAMS).

Applicant Project Title and Description

City of Chicago Washington Park 63rd Street Corridor TOD Study - This project will create a transit-oriented development (TOD) plan for the 63rd Street Corridor in Chicago’s Washington Park Neighborhood between St. Lawrence Avenue on the East and Stewart Avenue on the West. Tasks include the creation of land use development concepts, design guidelines, and implementation strategies for TOD along the corridor. Planning for TOD along the corridor can help maximize the existing transit investments within the neighborhood, including CTA bus routes(Route 63, which ranks ninth in overall bus ridership for the CTA) and rail services (63rd Street Red Line Station and the King Drive Green Line Station). The plan will serve as a guide to enhance development, increase transit ridership and expand housing and economic development opportunities in the neighborhood.

Village of Clarendon Hills Train Station Redevelopment Phase I Implementation - This project will create an implementation plan for advancing the redevelopment of Clarendon Hills’ Metra Station area. The Village completed a transit-oriented development study for their Metra Station area in 2006; this project will further refine the recommendations from that study and develop a detailed blueprint for implementation. The study will consist of a detailed implementation plan for the train station and the adjacent properties, focusing on land acquisition and development costs of three specific sites and an analysis of parking and transportation issues around the station.

City of Geneva Geneva Downtown / Station Area Master Plan - This project will create a transit-oriented development plan for an approximate ½ mile radius of the existing Metra station within the City. The plan will focus on the expansion of retail development, increasing housing diversity, mixed-use development, assessing the need for parking expansion, and improving access to and around the station. This project will also aid in determining how to reassign commuter parking areas that will be lost due to a track expansion by Metra. The project will consist of an existing conditions report, market analysis, concept plans, parking and circulation guide, design guidelines and implementation recommendations.

Village of Lombard Village of Lombard Downtown Plan - This project will create a transit-oriented development plan for an approximate ½ mile radius of the existing Metra station within the Village. The plan will focus on improving pedestrian and bicycle safety and access, improving access to transit facilities and expanding residential, commercial and mixed-use development near the station. Study tasks include community outreach, and residential and commercial market analysis, land use and development concepts, an access and circulation plan and implementation strategies. The study will include access considerations associated with the Innovation, Coordination and Enhancement (ICE) funded circulator route.

Village of Skokie Skokie Dempster Station Area Plan - This project will create a transit-oriented development plan for an approximate ½ mile radius of the future relocated and elevated Skokie-Dempster Station on the CTA Yellow Line. The CTA is currently conducting an Alternatives Analysis to extend the Yellow Line from the current terminus at Skokie-Dempster to Old Orchard Road. If the line is extended, the existing Skokie-Dempster Station will be elevated near its current location. The new elevation presents an opportunity to improve circulation around the station where the at-grade tracks and station currently act as a physical barrier limiting development. The goal of the project is to create a circulation plan, a corresponding market study, and land use analysis for the Skokie-Dempster Station area.

Village of South Elgin Village of South Elgin Transit Improvement Plan - This project will create a transit improvement study for the Village of South Elgin. This project will identify transit needs and opportunities within the Village in response to recent population growth and development. The project will identify potential improvements to the existing Pace Route #801 as well as provide recommendations for potential community-based transit service. Tasks include an analysis of current travel patterns, a mobility needs assessment, development of service recommendations and implementation strategies.

emathias Jan 6, 2010 5:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sukwoo (Post 4637070)
Is there really a significant constituency in favor of upzoning around CTA stations? The pessimistic side of me says no.

The "constituency" for it is everyone who wants the CTA to be able to pay a higher percentage of operations from farebox revenue so, yes, I think that with the proper selling strategy there is a very large constituency in favor of it.

the urban politician Jan 6, 2010 5:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sukwoo (Post 4637070)
Is there really a significant constituency in favor of upzoning around CTA stations? The pessimistic side of me says no.

^ The key here is to ignore the ignorant constituency and ram TOD down their throats. Any opportunity we can get to bypass the democratic process should be pursued

sukwoo Jan 6, 2010 6:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 4637160)
^ The key here is to ignore the ignorant constituency and ram TOD down their throats. Any opportunity we can get to bypass the democratic process should be pursued

Perhaps we can get someone to pipe in subliminal messages in favor of TOD into Mayor Daley's office or better yet, his bedroom. If the mayor isn't in favor of it, it'll never happen. I can't imagine a significant number of Aldermen spearheading this.

Here in Oak Park, its nearly impossible to increase density even around the CTA-Metra Harlem Ave station, the most logical place for TOD.

Marcu Jan 6, 2010 6:27 PM

^ If it can't be done in an area of relatively educated, well-off residents like Oak Park, it probably can't be done anywhere. Sadly, the current municipal budget crunch has occured around the same time as the real estate collapse. Otherwise, municipalities would have no choice but to approve projects just for revenue's sake and rezone parts of town to promote more efficient land use.

sukwoo Jan 6, 2010 6:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcu (Post 4637204)
^ If it can't be done in an area of relatively educated, well-off residents like Oak Park, it probably can't be done anywhere. Sadly, the current municipal budget crunch has occured around the same time as the real estate collapse. Otherwise, municipalities would have no choice but to approve projects just for revenue's sake and rezone parts of town to promote more efficient land use.

In Oak Park, I think its somewhat of a generational divide. Many old timers still think of OP as a low-density village, rather than a dense, vibrant inner suburb. All the younger folks (<40 years old) that I talk to are more TOD oriented.

the urban politician Jan 6, 2010 6:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sukwoo (Post 4637176)
Perhaps we can get someone to pipe in subliminal messages in favor of TOD into Mayor Daley's office or better yet, his bedroom. If the mayor isn't in favor of it, it'll never happen. I can't imagine a significant number of Aldermen spearheading this.

Here in Oak Park, its nearly impossible to increase density even around the CTA-Metra Harlem Ave station, the most logical place for TOD.

^ Bypassing the Aldermanic system could very well be the most important breakthrough in a half century towards finally improving land use in Chicago.

I would love to see something passed from the State level, but alas few higher ups have much passion for this issue.

Haworthia Jan 6, 2010 7:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sukwoo (Post 4637216)
In Oak Park, I think its somewhat of a generational divide. Many old timers still think of OP as a low-density village, rather than a dense, vibrant inner suburb. All the younger folks (<40 years old) that I talk to are more TOD oriented.

I recall seeing some opposition to the development on Ontario and Harlem on Forest Avenue. A bunch of houses on Forest Ave. had "No Tower" signs in their windows. For those whom are not familiar with Oak Park, Forest Avenue contains a large concentration of Frank Lloyd Wright houses.

Seeing those signs and hearing the objections to the potential Lake and Forest development, I think part of the opposition stems from a desire to protect the historic character of the village. I think Oak Park's history is a bit of a curse in this regards. Aside from the public library, Oak Park hasn't had anything of architectural merit built in decades. I think this also hampers TOD developments.

Traditional NIMBY complaints are probably also in effect.

As for a silver lining, at least there is a strong preservationist spirit in the village.

emathias Jan 6, 2010 7:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 4637160)
^ The key here is to ignore the ignorant constituency and ram TOD down their throats. Any opportunity we can get to bypass the democratic process should be pursued

I don't know whether you support TOD or not, but if you do I really wish you wouldn't say things like that because it just provides red meat to NIMBY opposition. A pro-TOD argument is a pro-democracy argument regardless of how poorly it's been made recently. To win the argument in the long run, pro-TOD people need to be steadfast in their argument that TOD IS what the people want, even if voters often seem ambivalent about it because of conflicting issues.

Ch.G, Ch.G Jan 7, 2010 12:30 PM

I'm not sure which is the most appropriate thread for this news-- or even if it has already been posted-- but this was posted in the Wall Street Journal today:

Quote:

The Middle Seat / Scott McCartney / Jan 7, 2010

---

One major change for air travelers in 2009 was the opening of a new runway at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, a major connecting point. Problems at O'Hare can slow aircraft from all corners of the world.

In 2009, O'Hare showed a dramatic turnaround. In 2008 only 67.1% of arrivals at O'Hare landed on time, according to FlightStats. Last year, 78.6% of O'Hare flights arrived on time, better than Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta and Pittsburgh.

In addition to the new runway, O'Hare's operational performance benefitted from having fewer flights scheduled at the airport; the operational turnaround at United, which is O'Hare's largest tenant; and improvements at American. At hub airports, the operation of the airport and the biggest airlines often go hand-in-hand—the new runway helped United considerably.

...
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...GHTTopCarousel

Chicago3rd Jan 7, 2010 1:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 4635170)
Metra/RTA get sued

Riders to sue over minority transit 'disparities'


While I really dislike these kinds of suits in general, I'm torn about this one because I don't think the disparity is racially motivated but I do think Metra gets a disproportionate amount of funding. But I also think the last thing we need right now is another city/suburbs battle.

This is exactly what we need. Factually there is a fiscal in-balance as noted by the law suit. Glad someone has hopefully found a way for the state and RTA to address the funding bullshit. I know that as a Metra rider I hate getting looked down upon by the METRA because I catch the train at Ravenswood.....because again factually I am subsidizing those who live outside Chicago city limits by paying more fare per mile than them.

And we all know that suburbs were created mostly out of white flight...so there is still institutional racism built into their very existence that needs to be addressed...and this funding issue is one of them.

Remember...in our crazy justice system that Al Capone had to be taken down with tax evasion because we couldn't get him for all the illegal things he did as a mob leader.

Mr Downtown Jan 7, 2010 4:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago3rd (Post 4638767)
I hate getting looked down upon by the METRA because I catch the train at Ravenswood.....because again factually I am subsidizing those who live outside Chicago city limits by paying more fare per mile than them.

Oh, please. Your sales taxes don't support Metra; only sales taxes collected in the suburbs do. The only thing you're paying for your ride is a "fare" that covers less than half of the above-the-rail operating expenses. Your empty seat has to be hauled all the way from Kenosha even if you don't sit in it until Ravenswood.

emathias Jan 7, 2010 5:20 PM

PDF description of North/South Wacker Drive rebuilding project to start April, 2010.

ChicagoChicago Jan 7, 2010 8:32 PM

^^^
Holy smokes. Say goodbye to Wacker Drive for a few years...

lawfin Jan 7, 2010 8:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 4637011)
I don't have a problem with the Feds paying for it. We pay taxes, things need to be replaced sometimes, and that includes even well-maintained viaducts.

That said, here are my hopes for the vision study:
  • CTA gets serious about motivating the City to zone for TOD developments near their stations. Motivated by, but not limited to stations in the Vision Study area. This, more than any other single item, will boost CTA ridership over the long term. Stations that get improved express service (see next item) should get zoning around them close to downtown levels of density with low (in my dreams, even no) levels of required parking.
  • Purple Line turns into a full-time express line every 10 minutes and, coupled with the Locally Preferred Alternative of the Circle Line, gets routed on the current Red Line tracks at Belmont and into the State Street subway, adding stops at Loyola and Wilson, maybe at Sheridan (if coupled with strong TOD zoning encouragement), but skipping Wellington and Diversey.
  • Yellow Line takes over rush hour express service running on current Purple Line route into the Loop on the Brown Line tracks.
  • Extension (or at least design) of rebuilt stations to support 10-car trains (tracks at Howard, Belmont and Fullerton were all already built to support easy extension to 10-car platforms in the future, and most, if not all, of the subway stations can support 10-car trains), coupled with extension to 10-car platforms of all stations, including the Dan Ryan ones, timed with the extension of the Dan Ryan line to 130th.
  • Improved viaduct design that results in higher clearances under the tracks. Could be used in the future for double-decker buses, which are shown to improve ridership in other cities, and take up less space in traffic. How much better would Michigan Ave rush hours be with no articulated buses taking up so much extra length?

Good ideas.....especially the TOD zoning and the adaptation of purple and yellow line assets...sounds good

Chicago3rd Jan 7, 2010 9:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4638938)
Oh, please. Your sales taxes don't support Metra; only sales taxes collected in the suburbs do. The only thing you're paying for your ride is a "fare" that covers less than half of the above-the-rail operating expenses. Your empty seat has to be hauled all the way from Kenosha even if you don't sit in it until Ravenswood.

Fares darling fares. Do the research...a great article came out last year explaining this concept in deepth in the tribune and should be easy for most on here to comprehend.

P.S. Have to stand a lot on the Metra. You just don't ride it do you?

emathias Jan 7, 2010 10:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sukwoo (Post 4637070)
Is there really a significant constituency in favor of upzoning around CTA stations? The pessimistic side of me says no.

I wanted to follow up on this again with another point: Despite what we'd like to believe, most people in Chicago don't live near CTA transit stations, but they all pay taxes the subsidize CTA operations. Since they don't live near "L" stations, they don't care about the zoning near "L" stations any more than they care about the zoning across the street from the Willis Tower - which is to say, they pretty much don't care at all.

If you started a campaign that explained to people in a clear way that they're paying for the CTA, but that the CTA would need less funding if more people lived, worked and shopped near the "L," then the 80% of Chicagoans who don't live within 1/4 mile of an "L" station, coupled with the significant portion (even if it were a minority) of those who DO live near an "L" station who support density, would mean an electorate that overwhelmingly supported city-wide, alderman-resistant TOD zoning near CTA stations.

Start with that, and if (when) it works, move on to Metra stations and some formula for places served for frequent, high-capacity bus service.

The ONLY caveat I can think of is putting in wording that required NEW stations to get rezoned with the same criteria. That might be less popular, but I don't think it would create enough of a stumbling block to stop overall support - after all, very few places are even remotely under consideration for a "L" station in the near future, and with only a couple exceptions places that are, are probably more receptive than average to some upzoning anyway.

Busy Bee Jan 7, 2010 11:30 PM

^ I agree. I think its mostly an issue of education. Not to be an ass, but it amazes me that half of people even know how to put one foot in front of the other.

mwadswor Jan 8, 2010 12:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 4639530)
The ONLY caveat I can think of is putting in wording that required NEW stations to get rezoned with the same criteria. That might be less popular, but I don't think it would create enough of a stumbling block to stop overall support - after all, very few places are even remotely under consideration for a "L" station in the near future, and with only a couple exceptions places that are, are probably more receptive than average to some upzoning anyway.

Agreed on all points except this last one. Better to force the issue on a case by case basis than to say you absolutely cannot have an L station without increasing density. What happens when a neighborhood says "fine, we won't take the L station at all then."? I'm not sure if there're any L stations on the drawing board (a transfer station perhaps) that are really critical to the system outside of the surrounding neighborhood, but I could see how it would be a possible issue. Sure, density is better, no argument there, but sometimes the overall system has to take priority over the density in one neighborhood. Force the density issue after the station is built if that ever were to come up, don't make it a prerequisite for even being considered for an L station.

left of center Jan 8, 2010 1:36 AM

pros:
-enlarging the park at the 290/Wacker interchange, IE putting most of the ramps underground
-straightening of the lanes of lower wacker, which currently jog abruptly to the left or to the right with little warning
-the creation of a merging lane for the on ramp onto 290 from wacker (as opposed to the current yield sign)

cons:
-removing two of the ramps between upper and lower wacker. while i understand the reasoning for this (straightening of the lanes on lower wacker) i think it takes away from the connectivity of lower wacker and the surface. also, those ramps are cool as hell, they should keep 'em ;)
-removal of the Franklin St off ramp and on ramp to 290
-TWO years? thats a very long time, traffic is going to be horrible.


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