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Nowhereman1280 Jan 24, 2008 5:18 AM

A. hopefully they will be this modern, it would be nice to see some pimped out ultra modern transit cars ready for 2016.

B. that layout sucks, I find the best layout is the old school ones with the double folding doors that run on the blue line. Even though those are not handicapped friendly in any way...

Dr. Taco Jan 24, 2008 5:30 AM

^ viva, I like the designs, but I hope most of all that they are quieter in the subway, and less shaky, somehow. And I disagree with you about the longitudal (aisle-facing) seats being less comfortable: I sit in those ones 98% of the time because my frickin knees don't have to touch anything but other people. Also, they're the easiest seats to get some shut eye in (if you lean your head against the clear plastic right next to the door)

Nowhere, those cars with the double doors? I don't know what you're smoking, cuz those cars suck. I try to avoid them at all costs. first of all, i can't fit through the doors comfortably in the first place. second, no aisle facing seats? as i said to viva, I crave aisle facing seats. But yeah, they can dump every single one of those cars in a quarry for all I care (or give them to detroit)

Thundertubs Jan 24, 2008 5:54 AM

As a former New Jerseyite, NYer, and Chicagoan, I have to weigh in for the aisle-facing seating, PATH style. The Chicago cars have cramped aisles for standing commuters (I transfered to the Red Line at Belmont every morning, I know about standing). I also think the Chicago cars are missing a rail along the roof to hang onto (I'm tall). I hated having to lean over and grab the little handle by some sitting person's shoulder.

ardecila Jan 24, 2008 8:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3304099)
Orange gets some pretty crazy loads (approaching what Brown gets, if only for about a 15-30 minute period) in the PM peak leaving Adams/Wabash, but its still on a pretty long headway (~5 minutes). Regardless, getting a bonus 10-15% increase in capacity is a no-brainer on a full system for which capacity expansion (which would otherwise involve some combination of longer trains or more frequent service) would be cost prohibitive.

Can't the headways be increased during the PM peak? I've been on the Orange Line during this period; it's not nearly as bad as Brown or Red IMO.

If it's only a 15 minute period, that means that only 1-3 extra trains are needed to balance out the load. I'm not sure I understand how running your trains 3 more times per day costs more than replacing your trains outright.

VivaLFuego Jan 24, 2008 3:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 3304353)
Can't the headways be increased during the PM peak? I've been on the Orange Line during this period; it's not nearly as bad as Brown or Red IMO.

If it's only a 15 minute period, that means that only 1-3 extra trains are needed to balance out the load. I'm not sure I understand how running your trains 3 more times per day costs more than replacing your trains outright.

This is actually a pretty major side discussion (feel free to PM if you like), but you run up against capacity issues in the Loop, especially now that the Pink line shares the inner loop with Orange. You also, for now, run into peak-vehicle-requirement issues; CTA used to have some spares, but since Pink Line the spare ratio has gone way down (not to mention a decent percentage are out of service at any given time for maintenance for being so old). Conversely, the service reductions on the Brown Line as a result of 3-track at Belmont/Fullerton freed up some rail cars. The peak-vehicle issue also became pronounced with the slow zone epidemic, because the longer a trip takes due to slow zones, the more railcars you need to maintain the same intervals.

Short answer, yeah it would be possible to tweak schedules (including those of Pink and Green) to squeeze a couple extra Orange Line trains, but things are pretty tight as-is.

And of course, I'm not saying all old railcars should be replaced solely because of seating configuration, but rather just that as you order new cars, its prudent to maximize the potential capacity seeing as several lines are already just about at their limit and couldn't handle much more ridership growth.

10023 Jan 24, 2008 4:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OhioGuy (Post 3303841)
Looks like there is a lot less seating in these cars than the current ones. I'm not in favor of anything that reduces seating. I don't want to be stuck standing for the lengthy commute to/from the loop. I want to be able to sit down and read, or sleep, or just relax a bit.

The seating configuration on most CTA trains doesn't make sense. Forward facing seats are fine for commuter rail, but they take up too much space for a subway system. You can get a lot more people on a train with this configuration.

Hopefully those seats aren't fabric, either. Fabric is a bad idea on public transportation - I don't care how stain resistant or odor resistant it is, it's gross.

The CTA should emulate the trains that the MTA runs on the 4/5/6 line, and it looks like that's what they're doing.

The 6:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...way_in_NYC.jpg

ardecila Jan 24, 2008 10:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 10023 (Post 3304738)
Hopefully those seats aren't fabric, either. Fabric is a bad idea on public transportation - I don't care how stain resistant or odor resistant it is, it's gross.

I believe the fabric the CTA has chosen is a woven form of polypropylene, similar to the material that seatbelts are made out of, but with a less-slippery texture. Under Armour is made out of a special type of polypropylene as well, and just try to stain that stuff.

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3304618)
And of course, I'm not saying all old railcars should be replaced solely because of seating configuration, but rather just that as you order new cars, its prudent to maximize the potential capacity seeing as several lines are already just about at their limit and couldn't handle much more ridership growth.

Well, I'm all for replacing the entire fleet - the AC propulsion system makes it worthwhile, even if they have to do it gradually. But I'm not sure if implementing longitudinal seating system-wide is the right choice when newly-built cars (3200/ with transverse seating have no problems accommodating demand on many lines.

It's all academic anyway. CTA has no intentions to shuffle their fleet more than they need to, which is why the 3200s with transverse seating will stay in service on the Brown, Yellow, and Orange Lines while the new 5000s will go to the Blue Line (great) and the Pink Line (wtf?), and then later to the Green and Purple Lines.

VivaLFuego Jan 24, 2008 10:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 3305549)

It's all academic anyway. CTA has no intentions to shuffle their fleet more than they need to, which is why the 3200s with transverse seating will stay in service on the Brown, Yellow, and Orange Lines while the new 5000s will go to the Blue Line (great) and the Pink Line (wtf?), and then later to the Green and Purple Lines.

Just like to point out that anything you might have heard before the new CTA Front Office took over, regarding fleet assignments, long term plans, just about anything really, is subject to change pretty drastically.

ardecila Jan 24, 2008 11:27 PM

^ I'm going by the press release that appeared a few days ago on CTA's website, which says that the Blue/Pink/Green/Purple will have cars replaced first.

VivaLFuego Jan 25, 2008 12:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 3305752)
^ I'm going by the press release that appeared a few days ago on CTA's website, which says that the Blue/Pink/Green/Purple will have cars replaced first.

I think that just meant that the 2200 and 2400 series, which currently serve on the above lines, are being replaced. Doesn't necesarrily mean there won't be substantial fleet moves.

10023 Jan 25, 2008 12:52 AM

I doubt the new cars will be sent to the most logical lines for them.

Why? Because the most logical lines are the most heavily used ones, and the most heavily used ones are on the North Side, and the North Side is the most affluent part of the city. Can't look like they're only giving the shiny new trains to the affluent people, can they?

DHamp Jan 25, 2008 12:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 10023 (Post 3305924)
I doubt the new cars will be sent to the most logical lines for them.

Why? Because the most logical lines are the most heavily used ones, and the most heavily used ones are on the North Side, and the North Side is the most affluent part of the city. Can't look like they're only giving the shiny new trains to the affluent people, can they?

Well, the red line is heavily used and runs on both the north and south sides. If they use these new cars for the Red in addition to either the purple or brown, they should be safe from that appearance.

VivaLFuego Jan 25, 2008 1:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 10023 (Post 3305924)
I doubt the new cars will be sent to the most logical lines for them.

Why? Because the most logical lines are the most heavily used ones, and the most heavily used ones are on the North Side, and the North Side is the most affluent part of the city. Can't look like they're only giving the shiny new trains to the affluent people, can they?

Just means they won't go to the Brown Line, but either Red or Blue are pretty diverse, ethnically and income-wise. Of course, Brown is very diverse (Albany Park? Old Town?) but CTA already got enough grief on rebuilding the stations, even after doing the Cermak and Lake/South Main first.

ardecila Jan 25, 2008 3:25 AM

Every single mile of trackage south of Roosevelt has been either built or rehabbed in the last 30 years. The Dan Ryan branch, the Douglas Park branch, the South Side Main Line (ie Green Line) have been rehabbed, and the Orange Line was built with a higher standard of concrete construction that won't need reconstruction for years.

The west side has seen the Lake Street branch rehabbed.

The most desperate needs for track repairs ARE on the North Side, despite what people on the South and West Sides think. The North Side Main Line (Red/Purple) is literally crumbling, and the Logan Square and O'Hare segments of the Blue Line desperately need repair. The signalling systems on the North Side need updating to handle the huge amounts of traffic.

The only line NOT on the North Side that HASN'T been rehabbed is the Forest Park branch, which despite its lack of rehab still has no slow zones other than about 3 blocks' worth going into Forest Park station.

VivaLFuego Jan 25, 2008 4:22 AM

^You're making the mistake of arguing rationally in an argument that will governed by politics and ergo, emotion. Rationally, based on need (and weighting each paying customer the same, or worse, weighting them by the average fare they're paying) would have had all the North Side lines in pristine shape years ago (with 10-car Red Line capacity and a Clark Junction flyover) and the Green Line probably would have been mothballed.

10023 Jan 25, 2008 4:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3306377)
^You're making the mistake of arguing rationally in an argument that will governed by politics and ergo, emotion. Rationally, based on need (and weighting each paying customer the same, or worse, weighting them by the average fare they're paying) would have had all the North Side lines in pristine shape years ago (with 10-car Red Line capacity and a Clark Junction flyover) and the Green Line probably would have been mothballed.

Bingo.

alex1 Jan 25, 2008 6:48 AM

anyone else catch how fast the green line has grown in recent years? it's over 41k rides per weekday now.

ardecila Jan 25, 2008 7:06 AM

Hmmm.. even irrationality has its limits. When EVERY SINGLE South Side line has been rehabbed, what more can they ask for? The Red/Orange Line extensions are in planning phase.

alex, I attribute the Green Line's growth to the Red Line reconstruction work that finished up relatively recently, pulling Red Line riders over to Green, and an increased development level in downtown Oak Park. If CTA really wants to live dangerously, a station or two in the West Loop and a station or two in the South Loop between Roosevelt and 35th would really tap into a whole wealth of new development and new ridership potential.

One more question... Does a Green/Orange station between Congress and Roosevelt make sense, at Balbo or 8th? The pattern established on the Loop for supporting dense development is a station roughly every three blocks.

alex1 Jan 25, 2008 2:45 PM

let's look at the numbers for the green. You're right, much of the new growth is occurring towards Oak Park (Lake) but most of the growth on that line is happening from Conservatory (+11%) in. Ashland is up 37%, clinton up 24%. Those 3 stations accounted for about 317,000 added rides in 2007 (the rest of the green line combined added about 176k rides a day).

this has been for the past 4 years the fastest growing rail line in the system. A few stations on the south side (between Roosevelt and IIT) should also be heavily considered (in addition to the ones in the west side you talked about).

anyhow, it's gone from pathetic ridership numbers (in the 20k range 7 years ago) to something that's a bit more respectable.

weekday averages for October, percentages YTD.
2004: 32,414
2005: 35,884 (lake +9%, south elevated +10%, 63rd +5%, ashland +3%)
2006: 37,415 (lake +11%, south elevated +15%, 63rd +11%, ashland +7%)
2007: 41,316 (lake +8%, s. el. +3%, 63rd -5%, ashland -1%)

up 27.4% since 2004.

the urban politician Jan 25, 2008 3:02 PM

^ I started a thread about 2 years ago predicting that the Green Line will undergo the fastest growth in ridership in the future. I stand by that assertion. I'm not too sure about the west side, but with all of the development planned or u/c in Bronzeville, as well as with a pro-development city council and Alderman, not to mention that the south side branch of the green line has frequent stops, I'm not at all surprised by the growth we're seeing.

the urban politician Jan 25, 2008 3:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 3306708)
If CTA really wants to live dangerously, a station or two in the West Loop and a station or two in the South Loop between Roosevelt and 35th would really tap into a whole wealth of new development and new ridership potential.

^ Definitely agree with you here. If anything, I would argue that the Green Line should actually have 2 stops between 12th and 35th (instead of one). One at around 20th, and a second stop at around 28th. More transit stops will certainly promote development in the near south side, where people will be attracted to the prospects of a quick train ride into the loop.

VivaLFuego Jan 25, 2008 3:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alex1 (Post 3306677)
anyone else catch how fast the green line has grown in recent years? it's over 41k rides per weekday now.

That's just station entrances, there are about 70,000 green line boardings per day (including boardings in the loop). The Lake branch is heavily dominant (accounting for about 2/3), and heavily skewed towards the end of the line (mainly between Harlem/Lake and Central). The bulk of recent growth has been at the Ashland and Clinton stops*. The skew of the ridership to the end of the line, particularly circa the early 90s when the decision was being made, suggested at the time the line should be closed because running essentially an express train over an L superstructure is quite inefficient and the demand could have been met by adding a Central station on the UP-W line. There really was just no trip density between the Loop and about Cicero. Luckily, this is now, gradually, changing. The city will be building a station at Morgan as a CMAQ project, the design is currently underway and I think they hope to award a construction contract within the next 12-18 months. A study several years ago also recommended infill stations at either Damen or Western, and one at Cermak. I'd be shocked if the Cermak station didn't get accelerated if the Olympic bid materializes.

*EDIT: I see you already added some stats to this effect

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardec
One more question... Does a Green/Orange station between Congress and Roosevelt make sense, at Balbo or 8th? The pattern established on the Loop for supporting dense development is a station roughly every three blocks.

The more likely scenario I think is that when Harrison is finally rebuilt, they re-open the Polk Street entrance at the south end.

UChicagoDomer Jan 25, 2008 4:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3307099)
The skew of the ridership to the end of the line, particularly circa the early 90s when the decision was being made, suggested at the time the line should be closed because running essentially an express train over an L superstructure is quite inefficient and the demand could have been met by adding a Central station on the UP-W line. There really was just no trip density between the Loop and about Cicero. Luckily, this is now, gradually, changing.


the growth of green line ridership on the west side shows how shortsighted the decision by church leaders in Woodlawn was to tear down the green line tracks over 63rd st. to build shoddy aluminum-sided townhomes on a boulevard more appropriate for retail. the tracks running over Lake St. obviously haven't halted development on the westside. there is no reason to believe they would have done so in Woodlawn, either. Furthermore, crime in Woodlawn doesn't seem to have abated at all after the El teardown.

Via Chicago Jan 25, 2008 6:17 PM

I didnt see this scheme posted:

http://chicagoist.com/attachments/Ma..._1_24.cta2.jpg

Also, for those asking for no-fabric, I actually believe their main purpose is as an anti-graffiti measure.

jjk1103 Jan 26, 2008 12:42 AM

.......having been away from the Brown Line rehab for a while, I was glad to see that they're rebuilding the stations (and the supporting steel under them)........but is there any plan to rebuild the steel in between the stations ? ...I mean it's 100 y.o. steel.........how long can it hold up?

Abner Jan 26, 2008 2:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UChicagoDomer (Post 3307236)
the growth of green line ridership on the west side shows how shortsighted the decision by church leaders in Woodlawn was to tear down the green line tracks over 63rd st. to build shoddy aluminum-sided townhomes on a boulevard more appropriate for retail. the tracks running over Lake St. obviously haven't halted development on the westside. there is no reason to believe they would have done so in Woodlawn, either. Furthermore, crime in Woodlawn doesn't seem to have abated at all after the El teardown.

63rd was once an extremely busy retail area and nobody seemed to much mind the el tracks. The idea that they could have somehow salvaged 63rd by eliminating the tracks, which were basically irrelevant to the neighborhood's problems, seems misguided. Who knows, maybe if the tracks still extended farther east, they could someday be used by people going to U of C buildings south of the midway. It seems to me that a big problem with the two branches of the Green Line is that, since the line doesn't run that frequently to begin with (understandably), people who need to use one branch or the other have to wait so long there's almost no sense in riding at all.

honte Jan 26, 2008 4:51 PM

My friend last night was recounting how he has accidentally sat in urine three times and blood once, all in the last year. This is because the fabric obscures the liquid and makes it hard to realize the seat is wet until seated.

I personally would far prefer a little graffiti over this scenario.

the urban politician Jan 26, 2008 4:59 PM

^ I agree that fabric on seats is a horrible idea. I also don't like a pattern that gives individual seats some sort of identity. The seating should be more bench-like, where people take up whatever space they need and aren't actually occupying an individual 'seat' in the car.

Nowhereman1280 Jan 26, 2008 5:53 PM

^ I agree, me and two (lady) friends could easily share one of those double seats if it weren't for that awkward lump/separator in the middle that would be ridding up my ass...

aaron38 Jan 26, 2008 6:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 3307037)
^ Definitely agree with you here. If anything, I would argue that the Green Line should actually have 2 stops between 12th and 35th (instead of one). One at around 20th, and a second stop at around 28th. More transit stops will certainly promote development in the near south side, where people will be attracted to the prospects of a quick train ride into the loop.

20th is a bit too close to the existing Red Line Cermak station. I'd like to see it closer to 16th, halfway between Roosevelt and Cermak.

alex1 Jan 26, 2008 11:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 3309555)
^ I agree that fabric on seats is a horrible idea. I also don't like a pattern that gives individual seats some sort of identity. The seating should be more bench-like, where people take up whatever space they need and aren't actually occupying an individual 'seat' in the car.

agreed about the fabric.

Was on the subway yesterday (nYc) and so much prefer the bench seating, with no fabric.

Abner Jan 27, 2008 1:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aaron38 (Post 3309726)
20th is a bit too close to the existing Red Line Cermak station. I'd like to see it closer to 16th, halfway between Roosevelt and Cermak.

I thought the planning for the Circle Line included some vision of an Orange/Green/Circle transfer station at 18th. The track geometry there looks challenging though.

ardecila Jan 27, 2008 7:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Abner (Post 3310411)
I thought the planning for the Circle Line included some vision of an Orange/Green/Circle transfer station at 18th. The track geometry there looks challenging though.

Can't be as challenging as this:

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/212/4...8252e27486.jpg

jjk1103 Jan 28, 2008 3:12 AM

.......does anyone have an update on the superstation ? ......are they still digging ?

ginsan2 Jan 28, 2008 4:10 AM

Good god, is there no way to streamline that thing? It's a metal monster. How do the people living near it feel?

ArteVandelay Jan 28, 2008 4:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jjk1103 (Post 3312342)
.......does anyone have an update on the superstation ? ......are they still digging ?

Still digging. As of right now they will not complete the entire station however, instead leaving it at some sort of intermediate stage. There is still a number of months of construction work left as it is - rumblings are the CTA may reverse yet again and actually complete the job. Who knows.

I wouldn't be too shocked to see some sort of public-private partnership to fund and build the Ohare expressline develope in the near future either.

VivaLFuego Jan 28, 2008 8:41 PM

There's a contract out for bid for track renewal for the North Main and Ravenswood branches. Not sure what the estimated cost is and how much of it is being paid for with bonds secured by future capital money (i.e. just spending future money, with interest), but Huberman sure doesn't mess around with slow zones.

Regardless, I think its worth substantial expense to make sure the Brown Line is slow-zone free and operating at peak efficiency for the grand ribbon-cutting ~18 months from now, it would be rather embarassing to have sparkling new stations but crawling trains and plumetting ridership.

ardecila Jan 28, 2008 11:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3313810)
There's a contract out for bid for track renewal for the North Main and Ravenswood branches. Not sure what the estimated cost is and how much of it is being paid for with bonds secured by future capital money (i.e. just spending future money, with interest), but Huberman sure doesn't mess around with slow zones.

Regardless, I think its worth substantial expense to make sure the Brown Line is slow-zone free and operating at peak efficiency for the grand ribbon-cutting ~18 months from now, it would be rather embarassing to have sparkling new stations but crawling trains and plummeting ridership.

Sounds good. The funny thing is, the biggest slow zone is between Clark Junction and Paulina, with a 15 mph restriction.

Last time I rode the Brown Line, that was the FASTEST part of the trip; we flew through Southport at around 45 mph or so. I was really surprised; maybe the motorman was trying to make up time for waiting 5 minutes at Clark Junction?

ardecila Jan 28, 2008 11:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ginsan2 (Post 3312457)
Good god, is there no way to streamline that thing? It's a metal monster. How do the people living near it feel?

It's Queens Plaza... there may be a way to streamline it, but it works just fine as-is. The whole area (Long Island City) is not too attractive, and there aren't a ton of people living there compared to other areas of Queens.

MayorOfChicago Jan 29, 2008 12:55 AM

That's impressive about the ridership increases on the Green Line. I was actually standing at Clark/Lake today waiting for the Brown Lines and a Green Line pulled up first. It was compeltely jam packed full of people, some couldn't even get on. I sat and thought to myself "....the Green Line!? I never see this thing full".

OhioGuy Jan 29, 2008 4:10 AM

I must say the southbound Red line has become reasonably pleasant with the elimination of the slow zones. I made it from Addison to Monroe (in the loop) in just 18 minutes this evening. The northbound trip later took a little longer, but still not horrifically bad like it was not too long ago.

-OhioGuy (who happened to get "stuck" on a car heading northbound that someone had decided to take a shit in and it smelled horrible!!!)

i_am_hydrogen Jan 29, 2008 7:11 PM

Don't you just love brand-new cars?

That "ahhhhh"-inspiring aroma.

The shiny, unscathed exterior.

Springy seats and butter-soft leather, if you're a luxury lover.

The same excitement applies to new cars for the CTA.

It's easy to get fired up about upgrades to the new 5000-series of rail cars, set to arrive in prototype format as early as next year. Adding to the excitement, the CTA board approved some upgrades last week, tacking $27 million onto the existing $577 million contract with manufacturer Bombardier, the Tribune reported. Ten prototypes are due in 2009, and following some testing and assessment, the remainder of the 406-car order is scheduled to arrive in 2010.

http://redeye.chicagotribune.com/new...6035328.column

k1052 Jan 29, 2008 9:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OhioGuy (Post 3314990)
I must say the southbound Red line has become reasonably pleasant with the elimination of the slow zones. I made it from Addison to Monroe (in the loop) in just 18 minutes this evening. The northbound trip later took a little longer, but still not horrifically bad like it was not too long ago.

-OhioGuy (who happened to get "stuck" on a car heading northbound that someone had decided to take a shit in and it smelled horrible!!!)

It was less than 15 minutes from Belmont to Lake this morning for me. The Red line even leapfrogged past Purple and Brown line trains on the way to Fullerton (used to happen the other way around).

Busy Bee Jan 30, 2008 12:45 AM

^Hey! I had to "go"! OK?!?!!!!

emathias Feb 1, 2008 10:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aaron38 (Post 3309726)
20th is a bit too close to the existing Red Line Cermak station. I'd like to see it closer to 16th, halfway between Roosevelt and Cermak.

Considering the sheer volume of construction in the Near South Side or whatever the area between Roosevelt and Cermak is called (I'm hesitant to call it all the South Loop), within the next 10 years there should be sufficient volume to justify stops at 16th (for the new residents), Cermak (for McCormick Place and environs), AND maybe 29th (although I'm not convinced that's really such a great place for a stop).

I also think that the Circle Line should have considered a vastly different route from the Pink Line, and turned east along the railroad tracks along 16th street, which would have provided new service to East Pilsen and the Near South Side and all that new construction along Halsted by UIC. Then it could turn north either where the Red Line goes under ground, or onto the Green/Orange tracks at 16th Street and enter the Red Line using the original portal immediately south of Roosevelt. This would provide all sorts of new service and be more useful to more Chicagoans than running over the Orange Line tracks from Ashland. If they still wanted to connect the Pink Line and Orange Line, they could create a shuttle connection, which if timed right could be every bit as fast and efficient.

Eventually, it could go east to the Metra Electric tracks, north through Grant Park and under a subway to Streeterville, west at Chestnut, north along Clark to North Avenue and a subway to Wicker Park as currently planned. THAT should be the long-term goal anyway, in my opinion.

aaron38 Feb 2, 2008 8:34 PM

Yeah I know new freeways are evil, but I had to drive down to Champaign this week and took the new stretch of I-355, and it was super sweet.
So great to be able to get to I-57 without taking the tri-state.

j korzeniowski Feb 3, 2008 4:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aaron38 (Post 3326873)
Yeah I know new freeways are evil, but I had to drive down to Champaign this week and took the new stretch of I-355, and it was super sweet.
So great to be able to get to I-57 without taking the tri-state.

guh ...

no way of taking amtrak??

you're right freeways, and freeway expansions are ridiculous, but as you live in palatine, i am not surprised at your thinking of the new (and pointless) i-355 stretch as "sweet."

i guess this region and country still has a ways to go.

VivaLFuego Feb 3, 2008 8:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aaron38 (Post 3326873)
Yeah I know new freeways are evil, but I had to drive down to Champaign this week and took the new stretch of I-355, and it was super sweet.
So great to be able to get to I-57 without taking the tri-state.

Did really save that much time? Looking at a map it appears it might have saved about 4-5 miles...

Rail Claimore Feb 3, 2008 8:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3327996)
Did really save that much time? Looking at a map it appears it might have saved about 4-5 miles...

Personal experience talking here: it saves about 25 minutes on a trip from Orland Park to Schaumburg, two suburbs I'm at practically every weekend. The new extension benefits the SW suburbs the most, obviously. LaGrange Rd and Harlem Ave between 55 and 80 are the only two major N-S thoroughfares between 355 and 57.

I will say though, that the $2 cash toll ($1 I-pass) at Spring Creek is ridiculous, but that's what to expect with a fresh new tollway.

aaron38 Feb 3, 2008 3:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by j korzeniowski (Post 3327786)
guh ...
no way of taking amtrak??
you're right freeways, and freeway expansions are ridiculous, but as you live in palatine, i am not surprised at your thinking of the new (and pointless) i-355 stretch as "sweet."
i guess this region and country still has a ways to go.

As always, the devil is in the details. I-355 is sweet, by saving 25 minutes typically over driving the Tri-State.
And I've spent an hour sitting in bumper to bumper traffic on the tri-state alone making the drive to Champaign. The tri-state doesn't need more traffic.

As for Amtrak, I love the train, but it comes down to cost. I had 2 passengers plus cargo, and in that case it's cheaper to drive than buy 3 roundtrip tickets.
But I have to go down there again in 2 weeks, and since I'll be going alone, I plan to take Amtrak, since one round trip ticket is cheaper than driving.


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