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

orulz Dec 16, 2009 1:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BWChicago (Post 4609868)
why is the Clybourn Metra not getting anything? Truly a horrible place to wait for a train for up to an hour in the winter.

Don't know for sure, but if/when the northern segment of the Circle Line is built, I think Clybourn station will be closed and a new transfer station built at North Ave. Maybe they don't want to spend money on a station that is eventually going to be closed anyway.

Nowhereman1280 Dec 16, 2009 4:09 PM

Yeah, well they better rebuild the North Red Line because they now have installed giant I beams underneath the Loyola stop, the Viaduct over Devon/Sheridan, and a few other places along the north branch...

Mr Downtown Dec 16, 2009 7:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BWChicago (Post 4609868)
I've heard some criticism of the state public works money going to reconstruct metra stations when the north side red line is in such bad shape. What's the rationale?

Seriously? How long have you lived in this state?

The rationale is that the North Side Red Line viaducts are in the city. The Metra improvements are in the suburbs.

Chicago3rd Dec 16, 2009 8:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 4606572)
I assume you mean either the Montrose stop (which is a little further than Damen) on the Brown Line (hasn't been a stop at Wilson in decades :-) ) or the Wilson Red Line stop, but that's nearly three times as far from the Ravenswood Metra stop as the Damen Brown Line is.

Yeah...must have been falling alseep that time. Always thought that would be a great place to live....in the triangle sort of speak with Damen, Montrose and Ravenswood all within an easy walk. If it is under 3/4 mile it is a nothing walk for me. Lived closer to Addison on the Redline a while back, but lots of times in the past it was easier to just walk home from Belmont than wait for a northbound line.

Oh my Wilson faux Paux hit me last night on the brownline heading south....I went....oh...someone going to mention this.

Chicago3rd Dec 16, 2009 8:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4610527)
Seriously? How long have you lived in this state?

The rationale is that the North Side Red Line viaducts are in the city. The Metra improvements are in the suburbs.

It is crazy...I mean all the city METRA stops on UP-N should be palaces. We (those who ride METRA) pay more fares per mile in the city and we get very little in return.

Illinois needs to prioritize mass transit as high and within mass transit we need to prioritize monies by ridership or if there were ever any community planning by potential high to moderate density development along a line. We need to stop paying for the squeaky wheel.

This needs to be applied to the Interstate System too. Time to stop paying for downstate roads....let them pay their roads. Hey if it is fair for Chicago....why not turn it back on them?

Marcu Dec 16, 2009 8:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago3rd (Post 4610545)
It is crazy...I mean all the city METRA stops on UP-N should be palaces. We (those who ride METRA) pay more fares per mile in the city and we get very little in return.

Calculating travel strictly on a "price per mile" basis is ludicrous. Also, I don't see how Metra users get very little in return. Quite the opposite. Metra costs a typical city commuter significantly less than the CTA or driving, and most of the stations are quite usable.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago3rd (Post 4610545)
This needs to be applied to the Interstate System too. Time to stop paying for downstate roads....let them pay their roads. Hey if it is fair for Chicago....why not turn it back on them?

These us vs them arguments never go anywhere. They'll just throw out some situation where they pay a few pennies more, distracting us from the real debate. The back and forth only lead to complete gridlock, hatred of government, and the bullshit "I'm not letting anyone get slightly more govt cash than me" mentality that is responsible for many of our problems. NIMBYism at the political level at its finest.

Mr Downtown Dec 16, 2009 8:31 PM

Well, your fare doesn't even pay the operational cost of your ride on UP-N, much less any capital costs.

Sales taxes collected in the city go to CTA. Sales taxes collected in the suburbs go to Metra. So Metra really has no incentive to improve service within the city. If some politician gets them a big grant, they'll grudgingly agree to stop at a new station (such as 35th), but city residents are just not their constituency.

The eternal question for our regional transit service—with a long and battle-scarred history—is whether service should be provided based on existing ridership or based on where the taxes are paid. Suburbanites pay the majority of the RTA taxes, but city dwellers take the majority of the rides.

BWChicago Dec 16, 2009 8:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4610527)
Seriously? How long have you lived in this state?

The rationale is that the North Side Red Line viaducts are in the city. The Metra improvements are in the suburbs.

Well, obviously, but I meant more like the what-politicians-could-say rationale.

VivaLFuego Dec 16, 2009 9:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4610604)
Sales taxes collected in the city go to CTA. Sales taxes collected in the suburbs go to Metra. So Metra really has no incentive to improve service within the city. If some politician gets them a big grant, they'll grudgingly agree to stop at a new station (such as 35th), but city residents are just not their constituency.

Yes. In-city Metra service is basically a grudging sign of good will by Metra, since Metra receives $0 of sales tax revenue collected within the city limits. Thus, the long history of people complaining that Metra treats the Electric District like the stepchild out of some sort of racial animus rather than simply as a function of where Metra's subsidy is coming from.

Quote:

The eternal question for our regional transit service—with a long and battle-scarred history—is whether service should be provided based on existing ridership or based on where the taxes are paid. Suburbanites pay the majority of the RTA taxes, but city dwellers take the majority of the rides.
Related to above. CTA points out that it provides 80% of regional transit trips but gets around 55% of regional transit funding, but in response the CTA service area pays even less than 55% of regional sales tax revenue. The extent to which the Cook suburbs pay an inordinately high amount of taxes to the CTA is also why the CTA operates grossly unprofitable service on the fringes of the system. Yes CTA could cut those underutilized money pit services, but if that caused Suburban Cook to strongly question it's substantial contribution in CTA subsidies, would the savings be worth it?

ardecila Dec 16, 2009 10:14 PM

What would you do to solve this problem, then? Ideal-world type stuff....

ardecila Dec 16, 2009 10:33 PM

New Wacker Drive Interchange
 
This looks awesome! Finally, that park space will become usable, instead of the isolated, hobo-infested island of greenspace it is today. :tup:

http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/3020/interchange.jpg

Mr Downtown Dec 17, 2009 5:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4610810)
What would you do to solve this problem, then? Ideal-world type stuff....

If you made me philosopher-king . . . well, it would be a kind of nerdy solution:

First, I'd integrate CTA, Pace, and Metra completely into a single regional agency, with completely integrated fares. The current suburban railroad operations would instead become a regional rail backbone that served longer trips across the whole metro area, all day long.

Second, I'd set up some boundaries based not on Chicago city limits but on the line drawn in the 1947 Metropolitan Transportation Act. (All such boundaries obviously end up being artificial, but I can't figure out how to do the next step as a sliding scale.) So there would be an "urban" district that consists of Cook County minus the seven townships that are west of the Cook-DuPage boundary. There would be a "suburban" district that consists of the rest of the six-and-a-half metro counties.

Third, I'd raise the statewide gas tax by the equivalent of 10 cents. I'd actually base it on mileage driven rather than gallons, and index it to inflation, but for simplicity let's say 10 cents/gallon. In the urban district, 8 cents go to transit and 2 to highways. In the suburban district, half and half. Downstate, 8 to highways and 2 to transit.

Fourth, I'd increase the state income tax a full one percent, with about 1/4 of one percent thought of as the transportation setaside. All of it raised within the urban district would go entirely to the transit agency; half the money raised within the suburban district would. I'd eliminate all property or sales taxes dedicated to transit.

Fifth, I'd set some guidelines for spending that would determine the allocation of roughly 75% of my new regional transit agency's budget. Half would be based on population density, a quarter on passenger-miles, and a quarter on boardings. The idea is to have some sort of formula like the compromise eventually reached for the original Interstate system that looks at both population and mileage needed to complete the network across sparsely populated states. And you also want to give the agency some flexibility (with the remaining 25%) to spend money where it's needed for the good of the network.

I think we all know what needs to be done in this state; we just lack the courage to do it in the era of 30-second attack ads and in a region where the central city is essentially irrelevant to more than half the residents.

denizen467 Dec 17, 2009 5:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4610847)
This looks awesome! Finally, that park space will become usable, instead of the isolated, hobo-infested island of greenspace it is today. :tup:

http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/3020/interchange.jpg

I don't see a heck of a lot of change ... just a bit more green and more ways for the "hoboes" to get to the island of green space.

If 235 VanBuren or other adjacent buildings emptied onto the green space, or there were benches or dog runs, that would help, but as it is, who is going to be hanging out there? Another tower or two in the area will help I guess. Anyway definitely will look better driving by.

Still looking forward to a Wacker/Harrison re-do and extension of Wacker...

ardecila Dec 17, 2009 6:22 AM

The ramps being depressed/decked is the expensive, big-ticket investment here. It's not a compelling public space because it's defined so poorly, what with it being surrounded by mostly parking lots and vacant lots. Hopefully the next boom will cause these to be developed. Once that happens, and there are more pedestrians around, then adding paths, water features, or sculpture to these areas is a simple and inexpensive matter - perfect for TIF spending. The redo of the interchange is quite a costly matter, which is why the city is getting state capital funds and (I think) some stimulus dollars for it.

ardecila Dec 17, 2009 6:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4611417)
First, I'd integrate CTA, Pace, and Metra completely into a single regional agency, with completely integrated fares. The current suburban railroad operations would instead become a regional rail backbone that served longer trips across the whole metro area, all day long.

I know your affinity for the Burnham plan's regional rail tunnels, giving Chicago a Philly-style rail network.

But is there any precedent for such a massive consolidated transit agency providing all manner of services across such a vast territory? Every major city of comparable size to Chicago has some sort of separation between urban and suburban transit agencies. The closest comparison I can draw is Metro in Houston, but even they only serve the 3.5 million people of Harris County, not the ~9.5 million of the Chicago MSA. It is my understanding that, despite all the infighting, the RTA was an unusually close agreement between city and suburban agencies. Although, to be honest, Metra and Pace are relatively new organizations, with none of the historic baggage that CTA has carried. This gives them a modern and progressive structure, with of course a much lower connection to Chicago-style politics than Daley's CTA.

Quote:

Fourth, I'd increase the state income tax a full one percent, with about 1/4 of one percent thought of as the transportation setaside. All of it raised within the urban district would go entirely to the transit agency; half the money raised within the suburban district would. I'd eliminate all property or sales taxes dedicated to transit....

we just lack the courage to do it in the era of 30-second attack ads and in a region where the central city is essentially irrelevant to more than half the residents.
I think any big-time politician sold on the idea of an income tax raise and an elimination of the other taxes would be skillful enough to convey to voters how his plan would simplify and REDUCE taxes. Especially sales taxes, which are a sore point among Cook County voters right now, for obvious reasons.

Mr Downtown Dec 17, 2009 2:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4611475)
I know your affinity for the Burnham plan's regional rail tunnels

Through-Routing for Chicago's Steam Railroads is the Hooker/City Club plan, not the Burnham-Bennett/Commercial Club plan.

Quote:

But is there any precedent for such a massive consolidated transit agency providing all manner of services across such a vast territory? Every major city of comparable size to Chicago has some sort of separation between urban and suburban transit agencies.
It's funny how cities around the world go through cycles, of amalgamating their agencies and then breaking them back into pieces. The most impressive integration I ever saw was Melbourne's Met, in the late 90s. But then the Victoria government was seized by free-market Thatcherites and they broke it into pieces that private companies could run. Didn't work out very well; one of the big concessionaires just walked away after a few months. I'm not actually sure which European cities have fully integrated regional operators at the moment. Berlin's BVG is pretty regional, as is Paris's RATP.

ChicagoChicago Dec 17, 2009 6:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4611469)
The ramps being depressed/decked is the expensive, big-ticket investment here. It's not a compelling public space because it's defined so poorly, what with it being surrounded by mostly parking lots and vacant lots. Hopefully the next boom will cause these to be developed. Once that happens, and there are more pedestrians around, then adding paths, water features, or sculpture to these areas is a simple and inexpensive matter - perfect for TIF spending. The redo of the interchange is quite a costly matter, which is why the city is getting state capital funds and (I think) some stimulus dollars for it.

There is a LOT of work going on here. The entrance to Congress westbound from Franklin looks like it's disappearing, and the entire entrance to Wacker and Franklin is being redone and depressed.

sentinel Dec 17, 2009 7:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4610847)
This looks awesome! Finally, that park space will become usable, instead of the isolated, hobo-infested island of greenspace it is today. :tup:

http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/3020/interchange.jpg

interesting - just by looking at the diagram it seems like a lot of work - you never appreciate how complex this interchange is until you see it like this. Thanks ardecila.

the urban politician Dec 17, 2009 7:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4610847)
This looks awesome! Finally, that park space will become usable, instead of the isolated, hobo-infested island of greenspace it is today. :tup:

http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/3020/interchange.jpg

^ Having been a pedestrian to this area in the past, I can definitely see how submerging these ramps will be an aesthetic improvement to the area.

Will it be a great boost to the pedestrian experience? I doubt it, but from the standpoint of putting automobile infrastructure and accompanied belching fumes where it belongs, this looks like a great and much-needed investment for this part of town.

orulz Dec 17, 2009 7:31 PM

Is the connection from Congress to Franklin really so important that it must be retained? I agree that if it must be retained then a grade separation is preferable, but it looks awfully expensive for something so redundant (there's already a grade separated connection to Wacker and a left turn to Wells.) I notice they've completely done away with the connection from Franklin TO Wacker.


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