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

Chicago2020 Nov 4, 2006 10:01 PM

I wonder if that guy knows how many near collisions there have been at O'Hare recently.

Airport traffic is just going to increase, and the chances of an event like the 2 747's that collided with each other about 30 years ago, will increase. It will just become way to dangerous at O'Hare.

brian_b Nov 4, 2006 10:42 PM

I'm voting for him, and O'Hare expansion is happening no matter who is in the governors office and no matter what they think about it.

Marcu Nov 5, 2006 3:07 AM

He's kidding himself if he thinks Illinois' support for high-speed rail can replace airport expansion. First, the feds and the other states don't support high-speed rail at this point. Second, even a train travelling at an insanely fast 200mph would take 10 hours to get form Chicago to LA. That's just not an option for the average business traveler.

Latoso Nov 5, 2006 10:18 AM

:previous: I agree. But high speed-rail would be a regional solution (ie. Chicago to Minneapolis, Detroit, St. Louis) not a national one.

Chicago Shawn Nov 5, 2006 4:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brian_b
I'm voting for him, and O'Hare expansion is happening no matter who is in the governors office and no matter what they think about it.

Agreed. He really can't stop O'hare at this point, but he can put the breaks on Peotone and other wasteful spending for wider and wider roads out to exurbia. For that reason, I just might vote for him. A actual polititian who understands the true cost of an auto-dependent environment is certinaly a breath of fresh air. It would save our state so much money in the long run, money that can be redirected into social programs and other much needed items.

LA21st Nov 5, 2006 5:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego
I believe both are in the design stage, and are joint City/CTA projects. Randolph/Wabash and Madison/Wabash will be removed and replaced with one station at Washington/Wabash. Not sure about any details of State/Lake, but I hope there is some real integration and a direct connection to the subway station underneath.


Really? I had no idea. Is this a good idea to remove the stations?

the urban politician Nov 5, 2006 7:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LA21st
Really? I had no idea. Is this a good idea to remove the stations?

^ I agree. I love how the Randolph/Wabash station looks coming in from Mich Ave.

VivaLFuego Nov 5, 2006 11:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LA21st
Really? I had no idea. Is this a good idea to remove the stations?

Well operationally, yes, the stations are too close as it is, this will speed up running times and improve speeds moving through the loop.

That said, there are some neat architectural details at both stations that would of course be lost. Also, the the 30% design docs I've seen for Wash/Wabash show the main entrace being from the 2nd floor of the Garland Building (for some reason, CDOT is obsessed with having transit stations hook up directly into buildings, which I think is unwise as its much faster for everyone if they simply dump you right on the street).

left of center Nov 5, 2006 11:49 PM

^ That would be a damn shame, honestly, to lose those 2 stations. I understand that they want to speed up travel times, but seriously, there are a ton of other ways to spend that money that would probably speed up travel time even more. I think the CTA should focus on getting rid of all the damn slow zones, especially those on the north Red Line. Getting rid of Madison and Randolph shouldnt be high priority (and shouldnt be done at all, IMO).

Unofrtunatly, the CTA has done this in the past, with the Washington/Wells stop, and i think the Library stop was also 2 different stops at one point as well. I think we can deal with having 3 stops on one side of the Loop and not have to worry too much about it.

honte Nov 6, 2006 12:43 AM

^ Agreed. This will be a terrible loss. It may improve travel times, but I think it will hurt the system overall as people will see this as a major inconvenience, and may opt for other means of transport. I think the merchants will also be in a major uproar when this becomes better-known.

If they're going to put some new connections into the 2nd floor of buildings, why not reconstruct the Sullivan connection that used to go into the Carson's building? That would be awesome.

LA21st Nov 6, 2006 2:26 AM

Agreed. We should be building/adding more stations, not getting rid of them. We are talking the East Loop, which is becoming a real neighborhood and a tourist hot spot. Why take away any transit at all? Stupid move.

LA21st Nov 6, 2006 2:29 AM

On the other hand, I dont remember seeing this new Washington Street station in our construction spreadsheet. So maybe this thing is 3-4 years away, at least.

I have seen Dearbon/Jack
Lake/Clark
Grand/Chicago
12th Street Metra

No Washington Street yet.

VivaLFuego Nov 6, 2006 3:19 AM

^Wash/Wabash is still in the design phase so its not happening anytime too soon (I'd guess ~5 years out). With any luck perhaps some of the details of the stationhouses at Randolph and Madison can be preserved and transferred over.

La21, with your CDOT hookups maybe you could shed light on why CDOT likes transit stations to empty into buildings rather than to street level?

^Left of center,
Most transit station projects in the central area (renovating the subway and L stops) are planned and paid for by the city, not the CTA, so it doesn't really affect their budget for track maintenance, etc.

LA21st Nov 6, 2006 4:19 AM

I will. I know the CDOT Transit group well, they are on my floor, good group of people.

Keep your eye on the new Grand/State station. From what I hear, this will be a pretty big project. I cant wait until that damn 12th Street metra station is gone. Hideous.

If you guys didnt know, my company is working on a study for the Carroll Right of Way right now for CDOT. We will see how it goes.

left of center Nov 6, 2006 7:58 AM

^ awesome! keep us up to date on anything you hear!

VivaLFuego Nov 6, 2006 3:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LA21st
I will. I know the CDOT Transit group well, they are on my floor, good group of people.

Keep your eye on the new Grand/State station. From what I hear, this will be a pretty big project. I cant wait until that damn 12th Street metra station is gone. Hideous.

If you guys didnt know, my company is working on a study for the Carroll Right of Way right now for CDOT. We will see how it goes.

Cool. I know the Grand/State construction contract is out to bid right now, I'd be curious to see the drawings. It was bid out about a year ago then they went back to the drawing board. My -hope- is that they are designing in some sort of future integration to the eventual Carroll Ave. transitway

jpIllInoIs Nov 6, 2006 5:56 PM

I would like to see a new Central Station built over the IC tracks at Roosevelt Rd. A grand structure with an office tower and street level entrance and public spaces. It would provide a point of entry for the Museum Campus and the South Loop. It would provide a pedestrian connection between the Museums and Michigan Ave and be the first structure to span the RR tracks in that area. I will be taking proposals. :tup:

Steely Dan Nov 6, 2006 6:43 PM

from today's tribune:



RTA to make case for added funding
Transit officials are launching a campaign to show they have a long-term vision that justifies spending billions on projects

Published November 6, 2006

After Tuesday's election, the Regional Transportation Authority will advance its own campaign to secure increased mass-transit funding and a multiyear state capital-improvement program.

Gearing up for the push, the RTA has spent about $1.3 million since February on more than a dozen strategic planning, communications and public relations consulting firms, according to agency records.

The goal is to demonstrate to the public and state officials that the Chicago area's three transit agencies are serious about replacing hackneyed ideas about serving commuters--with a vision for the future that it is worth making billions of dollars in new investments.

"The challenge is enormous to build a political consensus for a tax or fee increase that generates several billion dollars in new revenue in the face of overt hostility from the incumbent governor, the lack of a pro-transit advocacy organization and wide but tepid support for mass transit generally among the electorate," said a "confidential" internal report that was prepared for the RTA's "Moving Beyond Congestion" campaign for increased funding.

Despite worsening traffic congestion in northeastern Illinois, the funding argument has failed in recent years, and the road isn't getting any easier. There is no end in sight to the state's budget crisis. In addition, the upcoming release of financial reviews of the RTA system by state Auditor General William Holland is expected to reveal shortcomings in RTA oversight and in management practices at the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra and Pace.

The RTA must "present the region a choice between an economically disastrous downward spiral of less transit and more job-killing road congestion or a modern, expanded transit network that saves the region billions more than the billions of investment in the improved network," according to the internal RTA report, obtained by the Tribune. It cautioned that "some of this wording could be embarrassing if it leaks out."

The RTA is scheduled to issue a status report Thursday on its strategic plan and solicit public comment. In December, the agency will for the first time identify possible financial scenarios to fund existing transit operations and maintenance, as well as expansion of the system.

"We have a financial problem that is threatening the underpinning of the entire system," said RTA Executive Director Steve Schlickman. "Meanwhile, there is a cry for new transit in the suburbs and the need for transit in new markets where people only drive today."

`Not worth doing wrong'

About 300 organizations, from municipalities to civic and business groups, have signed on as partners in the Moving Beyond Congestion campaign. But they've made it clear that support for increased funding is contingent on the introduction of a strategy, unprecedented in this region, to provide faster transit travel times, shorter waiting times, more hours of operation, and to add service to areas that are not served currently or are underserved.

"Simply put, this is not worth doing wrong," said MarySue Barrett, president of the Metropolitan Planning Council, which advocates planning and development policies for northeastern Illinois. The council is a partner in the RTA campaign.

It's premature to talk about new transportation funding, Barrett said, until questions about growth in the region, land use and other issues that affect the delivery of transit services are addressed comprehensively.

"We can't accept the same old weak regional decision-making and lack of coordination," Barrett said. "I am encouraged by the new leadership at the RTA. But with 20 or so major transit expansion projects proposed, we must make tough decisions and zero down to a top priority list about where we are going to invest."

There will be winners, and losers.

The process requires evaluating proposed projects in a new way, experts said. The transit agencies as well as the communities seeking construction of costly new infrastructure must demonstrate a willingness to change.

It doesn't mean persuading people to never drive their cars again. But it does call for developing strong transit-oriented corridors in communities that provide housing for higher-density populations and shopping amenities in close proximity for the way people want to live today.

"It's unfortunate that the most valuable land for development around railroad stations in the suburbs is used for vast parking lots instead of a pleasant place to walk, dine or shop," said Rick Harnish, executive director of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association, which is also a partner in the RTA campaign. "We need to find ways to get people to their train stations without a car. And commuter rail, instead of only taking people from suburban parking lots to the downtown, should evolve to become more like a transit service," Harnish said.

Instead of rushing forward with huge rail projects like the CTA's Circle Line or Metra's STAR Line, the agencies should begin with less-expensive bus services, the experts said.

"It gives communities economic incentives to build wisely along the transit corridors. Then when it's time to operate the new rail service, you already have the ridership," Barrett said.

The area in the northwest suburbs surrounding the east-west portion of the proposed STAR Line, which would operate along the median of the Northwest Tollway (Interstate Highway 90), currently is not pedestrian-friendly.

However, residential and commercial development that is accessible to walkers already exists near some Metra stations, from as far south as the Electric Line to as far north as the Union Pacific North Line to Kenosha. Such scenarios, if only there were more train service all day long, represent an opportunity for commuters to change their lifestyles.

The transit debate, meanwhile, has broader implications. The outcome will probably determine whether new funding is generated for highways and how free-flowing or congested Chicago-area roads will be for people who continue to drive. Also, it will dictate how quickly Illinois moves ahead with modernizing freight rail infrastructure here in the nation's Midwest transportation hub.

"Many of the highway interests view us as spearheading efforts for a new funding initiative next year," said Schlickman, of the RTA. "In the past it has been the other way around."

Illinois FIRST match

Illinois FIRST, the statewide capital improvement program supported by tax increases and bonding, expired almost three years ago. Time is running out as the state has failed to identify the required local match for about $1.2 billion a year in federal funds for highway construction through 2009 and a total of $2.5 billion for rail and mass transit.

RTA Chairman Jim Reilly said a tax increase of some kind will be necessary. The RTA system is short about $600 million a year just to maintain the existing infrastructure. CTA, Metra and Pace are also relying on an approximately $200 million state bailout in 2007 to support daily transit operations.

"There is a sense of urgency," said one adviser to Reilly. "It would be a real scandal if we left federal money on the table."

VivaLFuego Nov 6, 2006 10:09 PM

$20 billion....wahoo ,they can pave over the whole state!

It is nice to see some progress, though. Other cities fund transit through business taxes and property taxes, i.e. taxing interests who clearly benefit from transit service. Our 1% county sales tax is just a bizzare way to fund transit. Here's hoping for some progress, and hoping that $20 billion actually went towards more than just 12 lane expressways.

VivaLFuego Nov 6, 2006 10:30 PM

$20 billion....wahoo ,they can pave over the whole state!

It is nice to see some progress, though. Other cities fund transit through business taxes and property taxes, i.e. taxing interests who clearly benefit from transit service. Our 1% county sales tax is just a bizzare way to fund transit. Here's hoping for some progress, and hoping that $20 billion actually went towards more than just 12 lane expressways.


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