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

Nowhereman1280 Sep 2, 2008 7:57 PM

I still think the North Side really needs another N-S line between the Blue and REd that can intereact with the Brown in some way. They should also extend the Brown to meet up with the Blue Line creating the necessary E-W corridor...

i_am_hydrogen Sep 2, 2008 8:36 PM

CTA slow zones cut in half from last year, officials say of rail upgrades

By Jon Hilkevitch
1:18 PM CDT, September 2, 2008

Slow zones now account for only 10 percent of track on CTA rail lines, transit officials said Tuesday.

The improvement, credited to aggressive repairs, reduces slow-zone track from a high of 22 percent last October, CTA President Ron Huberman said. The update was provided as a new round of track work is set to begin Wednesday on the Loop elevated structure.

The replacement of railroad ties installing a new signal system will cause inconveniences for riders through much of the fall.

But the goal is to have all the work done before Thanksgiving, resulting in faster and more reliable service around the Loop, Huberman said.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,1191471.story

jpIllInoIs Sep 4, 2008 12:35 PM

South Shore To Stop At 18th Street
 
http://www.nictd.com/info/featured.htm#Bears

To better accommodate passengers attending Chicago Bears REGULAR SEASON home games, NICTD plans to stop select South Shore trains at 18th St. Station. In addition to our regular service to Roosevelt Rd.; the following trains will serve 18th St. Station for Sunday games:

^ I hope the rickety stairs hold up for one more season!:whip:

jpIllInoIs Sep 4, 2008 12:41 PM

Midwest High Speed Rail OPEN HOUSE tonite
 
RSVP for Open House
Please join us to celebrate the opening of our new office.

When: Thursday, September 4, 2008 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Where: 4765 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL

RSVP by completing the form below the picture.

LINK:
http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o...p.jsp?key=3595

nomarandlee Sep 5, 2008 1:17 AM

:previous: Anyone go ?

the urban politician Sep 6, 2008 3:19 AM

Transit nearby pays at the pump
High gas prices boost transit-oriented housing developments
By John Handley | Special to the Chicago Tribune
September 5, 2008

Manhattan still is waiting for housing near mass transit.

That's Manhattan, Ill., not Manhattan, N.Y.

The far southwest suburb, 40 miles from Chicago at the end of Metra's Southwest Line, is hoping for a transit-friendly project. "We've designated land near the station for high-density condos, " said Mayor Bill Borgo.

But, in much of the Chicago area, transit-oriented developments already are steaming forward as one solution to surging gas prices.

One office worker is happy his car is collecting dust in his Des Plaines garage. Lauren Centioli takes the Metra Northwest Line to his accounting job at Boeing's downtown Chicago headquarters.

"When I was looking for a condo, it had to be on a train line," said Centioli, who bought at Waterford Condominiums, a mid-rise development at 799 Graceland Ave. in Des Plaines, a year ago.

"At that time, my No. 1 priority was convenience. Now, with higher gas prices, the financial impact of where I live would count for 50 percent of my decision," he said.

Because of his location near the train, he estimates he drives only about 1,000 miles a year.

America's love affair with the car may be slowing down as sticker shock at the gas pumps is forcing many to reconsider the cost of driving to work.

Housing built close to transit—known as transit-oriented development—is nothing new, but $4-a-gallon gas has jump-started renewed interest in these fuel-saving projects.

"People are finding TOD [transit-oriented developments] more attractive now. It's been only in the last several months that higher gas prices have started to cause behavioral changes," said Mandy Burrell Booth, spokesperson for the Metropolitan Planning Council.

"I got rid of my car last year," said Booth, who lives in Chicago.

"TOD is the new buzz word. Every housing unit near an "L" stop or train station is now more desirable. The gas crunch is causing more people to think about locating near transit," said real estate analyst Steve Hovany, president of Strategy Planning Associates in Schaumburg.

He said the new condos being built near train stations in suburban downtowns—like Des Plaines, Arlington Heights, Palatine and elsewhere—are attracting both empty-nesters and young people who are concerned with the rising price of car ownership.

In 2004, the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission stated in a report: "TOD creates mixed-use, high-density communities that encourage people to live near transit and decrease their dependence on driving."

Finally, TOD's time may have come.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for TOD. It's an opportunity for people to re-evaluate where they live," said Robert Dunphy, senior resident fellow for transportation and infrastructure at the Urban Land Institute in Washington, D.C.

Several northwest suburbs have been cheerleaders for TOD for years.

"The biggest spur to high-density housing in downtown suburbs has been TIF (tax increment financing) districts established by such communities as Des Plaines, Arlington Heights and Palatine," said Ray Franczak, president of R. Franczak & Associates.

Franczak said the purpose of TIF districts is to revitalize aging downtowns. His firm built the Waterford Condominiums where Centioli lives. The three-building complex on the site of the former Des Plaines library offers units ranging from 1,405 to 1,731 square feet and base-priced from $295,900 to $359,900.

(Click link above to read the rest of the article)

Chicagoguy Sep 6, 2008 8:43 PM

So when might the Washington/State Redline Stop reopen? Sometime next year? Also are there any renders of what the "super station" is suppose to look like?

schwerve Sep 7, 2008 6:25 PM

its the little things that make me hopeful about the cta.

Harrison Red Line Polk Street Entrance Renovations Begin

Quote:

Construction has begun to renovate an additional Harrison Red Line entrance, a stairwell located at the southwest corner of Polk and State Streets. The Polk Street stairwell was closed in June of 1968.

The entrance is being renovated to increase convenience for CTA customers in this South Loop neighborhood that has seen residential and business growth in the time since the exit closed.

“We constantly seek opportunities to improve the quality and convenience of service we provide to customers,” said CTA President Ron Huberman. “With Columbia College nearby, the development of local businesses and residences in the area all point to the potential for increased ridership at the Harrison Red Line station. The additional entrance and exit make traveling the CTA easier and more accessible in this community.”

The entrance is scheduled to open by the end of the year, featuring improved customer amenities such as a street-entry kiosk, brighter lighting, a new staircase and new signage.

Funding for the renovations is provided through federal capital funds.
Location Circa 2002 Via Chicago "L"
http://www.chicago-l.org/stations/im...son.polk03.jpg

Chicagoguy Sep 7, 2008 6:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by schwerve (Post 3784136)
its the little things that make me hopeful about the cta.

Harrison Red Line Polk Street Entrance Renovations Begin



Location Circa 2002 Via Chicago "L"
http://www.chicago-l.org/stations/im...son.polk03.jpg

Just curious but are they going to be renovating the entire station or just the new entrance? That station has really needed a big renovation especially with all of the growth and future growth to that area. I mean with Astoria Tower going up now, and be surrounded by like 3 surface lots in the immediate vacinity, its only a matter of time before they get developed so this is well needed. I hope they restore and renovate the entire station.

VivaLFuego Sep 7, 2008 6:49 PM

^ Just the entrance. This whole thing is curious, because CDOT usually takes responsibility for all subway station construction work including the mezzanines, stairwells, and platforms (CTA maintains the track, power, and signal infrastructure), but the Polk Entrance work is apparently being spearheaded and paid for by CTA. There's a political story somewhere that we aren't hearing.

schwerve Sep 7, 2008 6:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3784177)
^ Just the entrance. This whole thing is curious, because CDOT usually takes responsibility for all subway station construction work including the mezzanines, stairwells, and platforms (CTA maintains the track, power, and signal infrastructure), but the Polk Entrance work is apparently being spearheaded and paid for by CTA. There's a political story somewhere that we aren't hearing.

I found that curious as well, could that be left over federal funds from another CTA project?

Chicagoguy Sep 7, 2008 7:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by schwerve (Post 3784193)
I found that curious as well, could that be left over federal funds from another CTA project?

I think that is pretty ridiculous that they arent going to do the entire thing. That is one station that really needs some major TLC. It smells, its dirty, and it just looks like a very scary and uninviting place to be especially at night.

the urban politician Sep 8, 2008 3:35 PM

Good one, Blago! :tup:

http://images.google.com/url?q=http:...k2inxpcOPeuRCQ

CTA to cut jobs, overtime, maintenance
80 administrative positions will go in bid to save $40 million

By Jon Hilkevitch | Transportation reporter
10:19 AM CDT, September 8, 2008
The CTA will eliminate 80 administrative jobs this year and make other cuts to save about $40 million, agency officials said Monday.

Riders will be spared service cuts or fare increases for now, but those options remain on the table for next year, officials said.

CTA Chairman Carole Brown said the agency is "preparing people for what will be a very difficult 2009 budget season."

The job cuts include eight senior managers in areas like the technology, purchasing and law departments and are expected to save $4.9 million for the budget for 2008.

Other belt-tightening measures include deferring spending in all non-critical areas, reducing employee overtime and cutting bus maintenance costs.

The CTA also will hire private companies to collect garbage at its facilities.

The budget crisis has been caused in part by soaring fuel and energy costs, which will be $37.3 million higher than last year.

The budget crisis was exacerbated by Gov. Rod Blagojevich's decision to provide free rides for senior citizens and low-income disabled passengers. That will cost the agency at least $30 million this year.

The governor also vetoed more than $16 million in reduced-fare subsidies this year for the CTA in the state budget.


In addition, the City Council legislated free rides to disabled military veterans and active service men and women in uniform.

The projected budget deficit for 2009 is $66 million, agency officials said.

nomarandlee Sep 8, 2008 7:25 PM

:previous: They should redefine the criteria for senior citizens and only include those senior citizens who have had their drivers license's pulled from them or volunteer to give them up. If a senior citizen can afford a car and chooses to be depend on it then they can afford to contribute to the CTA.

bnk Sep 11, 2008 6:09 PM

http://www.economist.com/world/unite...ry_id=12208702

Nimbyism

Train wreck in suburbia


Sep 11th 2008 | CHICAGO
From The Economist print edition


China quietly builds, America noisily deliberates: why Barrington is not Beijing

CHINA, as anyone with a television now knows, builds big. This can have a huge human cost. For the Olympics, neighbourhoods were razed and families displaced. America, by contrast, scarcely builds at all, investing 2.4% of GDP in infrastructure compared with 9% in China. And on the rare occasions when projects are suggested, they are often met with noisy outrage.

Take the suburbs of Chicago. Barrington, Illinois is not Beijing. Last year Canadian National Railway (CN) announced that it would buy a suburban railway, an effort to divert freight traffic from Chicago. But in trying to avoid the Charybdis of the city, CN met the Scylla of suburbia. The Surface Transportation Board (STB), which must approve the deal, has never seen such outcry. On August 27th hundreds protested in Barrington. On September 9th the fight moved to Washington for a congressional hearing. A new bill would make it harder for the STB to approve a merger that does any local damage. Some call it nimbyism; others, democracy.

America has long struggled to balance local objections with broader goals. In the middle of the 20th century Robert Moses, New York’s master-builder, ruthlessly uprooted thousands. The fight in Chicago’s suburbs is an example of the other extreme. Many suburban residents fear that CN will change their quality of life. Karen Darch, Barrington’s village president, argues that road traffic will increase and that ambulances and fire-engines could be forced to wait while long trains pass.

Supporters argue that the merger has broader benefits. Although some 30 communities would see more freight traffic, twice as many, including crowded parts of Chicago, would see less. Freight investment is also sorely needed, explains Joseph DiJohn of the University of Illinois at Chicago. The city remains America’s hub for moving goods, but congestion threatens further growth. A train can take more than 24 hours to pick its way through Chicago. This is likely to get worse. Demand for freight rail in the region is expected almost to double within 20 years.

Efforts to solve this problem have moved slowly. CREATE, a public-private partnership, has a plan to spend $1.5 billion on local rail projects. So far the group has raised less than $300m of that. Acquiring the railway, explains Karen Phillips, a vice-president at CN, is a private-sector remedy that would allow the company’s trains to move through the region more quickly and begin to ease congestion.

The STB is likely to issue its verdict by early next year. In its long review, the board considers everything from whether the deal threatens railway competition to whether it might increase noise or harm the eastern prairie fringed orchid (unlikely). But five Illinois representatives have joined others in Congress to argue that the STB is not doing enough to consider the impact on local communities. Their bill, the subject of the hearing on September 9th, would change this. It is not without opponents. Joe Schwieterman, a professor at DePaul University, testified that the bill would have its own unintended consequences, favouring local interests over regional ones and possibly discouraging private investment.

If the board approves the deal, who will pay for mitigating its effects? The federal government usually foots most of the bill; unfortunately, it has little cash. Ms Darch and others want CN to cover more of the cost. So expect further protests.

In Chicago itself, a bigger test looms. If the city wins its bid to host the Olympics in 2016, it will have to balance its plans with the legitimate concerns of residents on the South Side, who have already seen lots of redevelopment. The quest for the common good is imperfect, but at least it is noisy.

Nowhereman1280 Sep 11, 2008 7:56 PM

All bitchy NIMBYS need to be ruthlessly squashed for the greater good! When you buy land, you only have a right to your land, not the land near you as well!

VivaLFuego Sep 11, 2008 8:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 3793677)
When you buy land, you only have a right to your land, not the land near you as well!

Philosophically I tend to agree, but decades of case law surrounding property rights and land use in this country suggest otherwise.

Attrill Sep 11, 2008 9:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3793708)
Philosophically I tend to agree, but decades of case law surrounding property rights and land use in this country suggest otherwise.

Actually there are centuries of case law around this. A lot Thomas Jefferson's early work as a lawyer concerned exactly this sort of thing and he researched British law on the issue going back to the time of the Magna Carta. He even had personal experience with it when someone upstream from him diverted a creek he relied on for crops and livestock, effectively lowering the value of his property.

In this case I side with CN, but they need to look at some of the legitimate concerns about rail crossings and noise abatement and make a good faith effort to mitigate the impact on the surrounding communities (I believe they have done this). There always needs to be a balance between letting NIMBYs squash all projects and letting large corporations and government do whatever they please.

emathias Sep 11, 2008 11:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 (Post 3768857)
Actually that is extremely easy. Walk one block east from Clinton and Adams, hop on the 151 and ride to Chicago and Michigan the walk one more block east and you are there... I take the train from Union all the time to go back to Milwaukee and I lived at Pearson and State all last year, the 151 is really a breeze on that route except during rush hour when using all busses (and most trains) in downtown sucks...
...

Rush hour's pretty dang important and for this definition consists of about 4 hours of the day, which is about 25% of the entire day. The subway I most support would run from the West Loop (where exactly I'm open to suggestion) to Streeterville. If it could continue to about Clark/Fullerton to pull in the Chicago History Museum, the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Nature Museum, that'd be great, but it's less important than the route between the West Loop Metra stations and the East Loop and Streeterville. It would tie together all of Chicago's biggest office districts and help out with residential growth in Streeterville.

Quote:

For example, the Northside would gain a lot more benefit from an El that ran roughly along Ashland. Have it start and Howard with the Redline, but go along the existing Metra ROW. Then it would meet up with the Brown line where the Brownline goes N-S allowing for E-W transfers, then continue along the Metra south until it hits the river/Kennedy where it would go along ashland south to the pinkline and then maybe extend it to end at the Orange line or something. Then place Superstations at the intersections between it and other lines like at Ashland and Lake. It would actually be useful to people who don't have express buses or the Red Line right at their door and would service the already dense Ashland/Clark Corridor in RP and Andersonville as well as encouraging density and growth between it and the Red line... And, gasp, you could actually go somewhere in the more western neighborhoods of Chicago without wasting time going all the way downtown and then back out again...
Circle Line + better use of and tie-ins with for Metra (is it the UP-N that runs along the Brown Line and kisses teh Purple in Evanston?) would accomplish a big chunk of what you propose there. Depending on the alignment, it could even create an impetus to develop the Bloomingdale path into passenger rail. I also agree a brown-blue connector would be a good thing, if difficult to implement. It might work best as a companion to express tracks between downtown and O'Hare.

All of this, though, is still highly dependent on a rational zoning ordinance when it comes to transit. Density near transit shouldn't just be "possible" it should be required. Right now, it's sometimes barely even possible.

On the South Side you could get E-W alignments at 41st-ish using existing ROW, again with the idea of better utilization of Metra being a relatively cheap and easier way to accomplish some of these things.

Also, no one seriously would propose putting a rail line literally next to (or, even worse, under) Lake Shore Drive, but both Clark and Broadway, while having a few gentle turns, are mostly straight. Diagonal, but straight.. Milwaukee breaks the grid, but it's got a subway under it.

orulz Sep 12, 2008 3:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Attrill (Post 3793939)
In this case I side with CN, but they need to look at some of the legitimate concerns about rail crossings and noise abatement and make a good faith effort to mitigate the impact on the surrounding communities (I believe they have done this). There always needs to be a balance between letting NIMBYs squash all projects and letting large corporations and government do whatever they please.

I personally don't agree that CN should be allowed to put whatever traffic they want on this line without improving it to decrease the impacts on vehicular and commuter rail traffic.

Historically, Chicago required all railroads in the city to elevate their tracks above city streets. Why can't Metra, the state, and the suburbs force something like this to CN? Separate the EJ&E on an embankment through areas that meet a certain density requirement (people per square mile, grade crossings per track mile, etc). I would think that the potential impacts to Metra alone would be enough to warrant action like this. If CN says they can't afford it, that's BS; they have more money now than they've had in decades.

A 1 mile long embankment through Barrington would probably cost on the order of, say, $10 million if through freight traffic doesn't have to be maintained during construction. The only other places that would probably meet this requirement for density and where grade separations don't already exist, are a few other historic downtowns, like Lake Zurich, West Chicago, Chicago Heights, and a few streets in Joliet. So with five, 1-mile long embankments at $10 million each, most legitimate neighborhood concerns will be assuaged.


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