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ardecila Oct 29, 2009 2:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 4528160)
I honestly think they should put both stops in, with the one at 18th, straddling 18th as far north as possible, and the Cermak with the stop oriented on the south side, stretching toward 23rd. That's 3/8 mile apart, which for what is/will become a high-density area with a number of attractions, that's not overdoing things.

That's not a bad idea. If the TIF boundaries are any indication, then yes, the Cermak stop will have to be on the south side of Cermak. An auxiliary entrance at 23rd would be nice, especially if/when they redevelop Ickes and Motor Row.

Your idea for 18th is problematic, though... there are flyovers for the Orange Line (and occasionally the Red Line) that come in just north of 18th. Doing anything drastic to these flyovers is likely to add tremendous cost to adding a station - the only cost-effective location for a station is between 18th/19th or 15th/16th.

The removal of stations on the Green Line seems to have been a shrewd move by CTA to cut costs without eliminating the possibility of a future return of the service, unlike the total demolition that occurred on the Humboldt Park branch and Paulina connector. The total demolition may have been overkill, but CTA currently has 3 mothballed stations in marginal areas... which seems like a sensible response to a declining ridership and and increasing maintenance cost. I actually think CTA should do this more often... shut down a few stations on the Pink Line and Red Line. It would save a ton of money and speed up travel times.

VivaLFuego Oct 29, 2009 3:01 AM

^ I count 5 mothballed stations - three on Congress (Central, Kostner, California), one on the South L (58th) and one on the Englewood branch (Racine). All 'marginal' areas, of course. Grand/Milwaukee (now Blue) was closed for most of the 1990s. In terms of mothballed structure that was reactivated, there is the South L from Tower 12 (Wabash/Van Buren) to the 17th Junction, which was unused from the opening of the State Street Subway in the 1940s until the opening of the Dan Ryan line in the late 1960s. The North Shore Line used it for some time but I think that ceased sometime in the 1950s (maybe MrD can correct me here). Even when it reopened, there was no Roosevelt station until the present one was built concurrent with the Orange Line in the early 1990s.

Any future station closures would be very difficult not only politically (the Green Line project was incredibly racially charged, start to finish), but potentially expensive, since Federal money would have to be repaid - as in the case of the Pink Line, for example.

The only stations that come to mind that could justifiably be closed "at will" based on ridership and age would be those on the Purple Line and some more on the south branch of the Green Line, but such closures would be political disasters.

More plausible options would be eliminating late night and/or Sunday service at the lowest volume stations. There's no reason for the inner loop platform of Lasalle/Van Buren to be open on Sundays, for example (average Sunday ridership in August: 144).

ardecila Oct 29, 2009 3:33 AM

^^ I forgot about Central and California.

Regardless, the point still stands. The most puzzling to me is Jarvis. It's 2 blocks from Howard. What the hell? Thorndale and Berwyn are also puzzling... they have good ridership, but that's largely because of bus transfers that can be shifted to nearby stations. Neighborhood traffic probably wouldn't be too affected by shifting to a further station.

VivaLFuego Oct 29, 2009 4:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4529590)
^^ I forgot about Central and California.

Regardless, the point still stands. The most puzzling to me is Jarvis. It's 2 blocks from Howard. What the hell? Thorndale and Berwyn are also puzzling... they have good ridership, but that's largely because of bus transfers that can be shifted to nearby stations. Neighborhood traffic probably wouldn't be too affected by shifting to a further station.

The short answer is that all of the above stations serve somewhat different markets, buoyed by a corridor (at least to the east) of incredibly high housing/population density and low auto ownership.

Longer answer: Thorndale has hardly any bus transfer traffic, but is supported by a combination of Senn High School to the west and the continuous strip of 4+1s and highrises in the Kenmore-Winthrop-Sheridan corridor, one of the few sizable areas of the city zoned R6. Berwyn and Argyle are interesting - from a crosstown arterial standpoint they both serve Foster, but Foster is residential, and north Uptown/southeast Edgewater retail is instead oriented linearly along Broadway. Berwyn is a bus transfer location, but for good reason - there is actual street space for the #92 and #146 buses to stage and layover, which there isn't at Argyle. Berwyn is also targeted as a potential future "TOD" site, redeveloping the large Dominick's with parking lot adjacent to the station (no, there are no definite plans or even a general program describing density and use mix that I know of, but it's a general concept that has been thrown around with general support by stakeholders).

Jarvis, as with the others, gets presentable ridership, as you noted (all the more impressive since, like Wellington, it is only 2 blocks from a major transfer hub). The difference again is that Jarvis serves a different market than Howard: Jarvis is almost 100% walkup traffic, and convenient to the dense 6-flats and midrises to the east along Sheridan (since the Red Line is veering westward here, the Howard terminal is actually pretty far west from the lake). In contrast, the huge multimodal mixed-use facility at Howard is less attractive to walkup traffic but serves as a bus and rail transfer point.

Even with some of the marginal stations there would be a heavy political lift to close them: Foster/Noyes and Francisco/Rockwell would seem like pairs wherein one station would suffice, but in all cases a station closure would mean the decimation of the cute little business districts surrounding the station. Even Jarvis has a little retail district around it.

ardecila Oct 29, 2009 4:57 AM

The point would be moot if the North Main Line had express service outside of rush hour, but it doesn't. If I had my druthers, I would extend the Yellow Line downtown as an express service off-peak to utilize the additional track capacity. It would make Skokie service far more appealing by eliminating the Howard transfer, and make rail to downtown a faster and more convenient option for the entire North Side outside of peak periods.

Has CTA ever offered an express service comparable to New York's along the North Main Line?

Marcu Oct 29, 2009 3:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4529722)
The point would be moot if the North Main Line had express service outside of rush hour, but it doesn't. If I had my druthers, I would extend the Yellow Line downtown as an express service off-peak to utilize the additional track capacity. It would make Skokie service far more appealing by eliminating the Howard transfer, and make rail to downtown a faster and more convenient option for the entire North Side outside of peak periods.

Has CTA ever offered an express service comparable to New York's along the North Main Line?

The Red Line used to operate on an A/B model. I threw the idea of returning to the model out there a few months back on this board, but it didn't seem to be received well. All things considered, it probably wouldn't shave much time off the north side commute, even if it would reduce some of the redunant stations (eg Granville/Thorndale, Lawrence/Wilson). But as you suggested, some express service is needed from Rogers Park/Edgewater/Uptown to the Loop. It's really unacceptable to have a 5-10 mile commute take 40-60 minutes, as it does now. Especially considering Metra can make the same trip (from Ravenswood and Rogers Park) in less than 20 minutes for less money in part because it doesn't have to stop every 2 minutes.

Perhaps the Purple Line can run express from the morning rush to about 10pm with added stops at around Loyola and Lawrence.

Marcu Oct 29, 2009 3:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4529590)
^^ I forgot about Central and California.

Regardless, the point still stands. The most puzzling to me is Jarvis. It's 2 blocks from Howard. What the hell? Thorndale and Berwyn are also puzzling... they have good ridership, but that's largely because of bus transfers that can be shifted to nearby stations. Neighborhood traffic probably wouldn't be too affected by shifting to a further station.

All of these stops have sufficient residential density to support their existence. The bigger issue is the lack of express service, where some of te trains would skip these stops.

tptraub Oct 29, 2009 6:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 4527671)
I think there are a couple of reasons for that.

First, prior to this latest boom, it really didn't have the cohesion to have a good pedestrian environment. It was sorta dense, but broken up by surface lots willy-nilly.

Second, perhaps the biggest problem was that at an unusually high percentage of things that are there are INSIDE buildings, instead of being directly connected to the street. The Treasure Island is accessed from within the building that hosts it. Lucky Strike - inside. AMC - inside. Most of the River East arts center can only be accessed from inside that building. The closer you get to Michigan, the less true this is, but too much of the other big buildings only have access to their retail after you enter the main building - that's simply not good planning.

Third, the blocks in Streeterville are, plain and simple, way, way too long. The City should have split them all in half - some in thirds - when they were vacant. Now that it's too late to do that for most of the longest blocks, Streeterville will really have a long hill to climb.

Fourth - it's still not done. there's still a ton of surface lots. yeah, so does River North, but the percentage of new construction to vintage buildings in River North is still lower than it is in Streeterville.

Fifth, and this is partially the fault of the undone and the lack of split blocks, but there just aren't any special places in Streeterville. There are a few places where some could be crafted, but they're, so far, being wasted.

Finally, accessibility. In theory, Streeterville is accessible, but from personal experience of living in River North now (and Lakeview and Irving Park and the Gold Coast previously) and working inthe Loop and visiting Streeterville fairly often River North has the Brown Line, the Red Line, the 22/Clark bus, the Grand bus, the 66/Chicago bus, and east accessibility to the Lake portion of the Loop elevated. Streeterville has the tail end of the 66/Chicago bus and the Grand bus, and not a bad walk form the Michigan Ave buses, but just try getting from the Central Loop or West Loop to Streeterville - it is just a plain PITA to do - walking is honestly the easiest way, and that takes 25 minutes. If the 1970s West Loop/Monroe/Columbus/Fairbanks subway had been built, it would be Streeterville that was better than River North.

The CTA 157 bus would also be a good choice for you. When north bound it goes east on Washington St and then left on Michigan Ave. It turns east at Ohio and then north at Fairbanks. It ends its run at Chestnut and Lake Shore Drive. I use it frequently to get to the train stations.

VivaLFuego Oct 29, 2009 6:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4529722)
Has CTA ever offered an express service comparable to New York's along the North Main Line?

Sort of. As Marcu says, until fairly recently (mid-1990s) the A/B skip stop system was used as a method of reducing running times and improving thoroughput on the line. The line of course was built by the Northwestern Elevated, which indeed operated something resembling the New York style service. South of Wilson, the outer tracks were for local service, serving since-demolished or rebuilt local stations (Addison was a side-platform station until the 1990s, requiring Howard B trains to switch tracks to serve the station). Inner tracks were express service with wider spaced stops (Wilson->Sheridan->Belmont->Fullerton->Halsted->Sedgwick). North of Wilson, the inner tracks were local, serving Edgewater and Rogers Park and then running "express" south of Wilson on the inner tracks. North of Wilson the outer tracks were for North Shore interurban express service - hence why there are no dual-island stations north of Wilson since the North Shore's commuter and intercity market wasn't for intracity trips.

Again to Marcu's point, there has been a general desire for at least a decade or two, though I don't believe it is actually codified in any official plans, to move the North Main towards the 4-track local/express paradigm. If/when Wilson is ever finally rebuilt, as it was supposed to be circa the early 1990s before the money was pulled to put towards the Green Line rehab, the ideal is for a dual-island station to serve 4 tracks.

For reference, the current rush hour travel times on the Red Line from Howard to Lake is 37 minutes. From Bryn Mawr to Lake, 27, and from Belmont, 14 (implying Howard -> Belmont at 23 minutes. For comparison, the Purple Line runs Howard to Belmont in 13 minutes, suggesting each intermediate stop costs a little under a minute.

emathias Oct 29, 2009 7:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tptraub (Post 4530488)
The CTA 157 bus would also be a good choice for you. When north bound it goes east on Washington St and then left on Michigan Ave. It turns east at Ohio and then north at Fairbanks. It ends its run at Chestnut and Lake Shore Drive. I use it frequently to get to the train stations.

Well, offhours I walk or use the 66 because I live in River North, but I work in the West Loop and at rush hour getting to streeterville takes 2-3 times as long as it does off-peak. I've tried the 157 several times at rush hour and every time it's been so slow i just got off and walked. It was marginally faster than I was on foot, but not by much.

My point isn't that you can't get there via transit, just that the methods aren't particularly efficient - particularly at rush hours.

emathias Oct 29, 2009 7:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4530489)
...discussion of express on north mail...

Now that Kimball trains can be 8-car trains and carry extra capacity that the Purple Line used to provide south of Belmont, if there was express service on the North Main, how practical would it be to merge it into the center tracks at Belmont to avoid Diversey and Wellington keeping the spirit of express service?

Haworthia Oct 29, 2009 9:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 4530712)
Well, offhours I walk or use the 66 because I live in River North, but I work in the West Loop and at rush hour getting to streeterville takes 2-3 times as long as it does off-peak. I've tried the 157 several times at rush hour and every time it's been so slow i just got off and walked. It was marginally faster than I was on foot, but not by much.

My point isn't that you can't get there via transit, just that the methods aren't particularly efficient - particularly at rush hours.

Agreed. Connectivity between the West Loop and Streeterville is not as good as it should be. I've mentioned this a few times, and I always get jumped on for saying it.

Yes there is the 157 and 124, but they are not good enough. Not by far.

Let me elaborate. I frequently come into Ogilvie station on Friday evenings. I then head to Chicago and Fairbanks to meet my wife. The train I take gets in around 6:50 PM. The last 157 bus stops near Ogilvie around that time. It's a race to try catching it. When I do catch it, it's not a particularly swift trip.

Now the 124 toward Navy Pier keeps running for a while after that. I've taken that, but I've waited as much as 20 minutes for it. Add in the time of the bus trip and the walk from from Illinois to Chicago and trips from the West Loop to that part of the Streeterville can often take longer than 45 minutes. I've had it take an hour.

I've also walked to the Green Line, transferred to the Red Line at State and Lake and then walked from Chicago Ave and State St. That requires waiting on two trains. With everything lining up perfectly, I've made that trip in 20 minutes, but that was getting very lucky.

After 7pm, walking is competitive with transit (40 minutes to walk it).

In contrast, a Taxi ride takes about 8-10 minutes if the driver takes Lower Wacker.

Seeing as the West Loop is a major transit hub and the Streeterville area is a major employment and entertainment area, it a sham that there isn't a quicker way to get between the two.

One last piece of griping. I work in the Batavia area. Point to point, it is a 2.5 hour trip from walking out of the office to standing on the corner of Chicago and Fairbanks. That is a major deterrent for most people meaning the city if losing out on suburbanite dollars in that area.

</rant>

ardecila Oct 29, 2009 9:56 PM

The first phase of the Circle Line seems to just be an extension of Purple Line service, shifting the Purple Line into the State Street Subway, up the 14th Street incline, to Ashland and then up to the West Side.

I'm assuming Purple Line service would then become something of a full-time express train, and yes, it would have to switch to the inner tracks before Belmont.

Mr Downtown Oct 30, 2009 4:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Haworthia (Post 4530870)
Now the 124 toward Navy Pier keeps running for a while after that. I've taken that, but I've waited as much as 20 minutes for it.

The 124 runs every 15 minutes or better until 10 pm. That's more frequent service than some CTA rail lines have at that time of the evening. I'm curious what level of service you think should be provided for such a relatively low-ridership corridor.

But if Bustracker or looking down the street told me that no 124 was particularly imminent, I'd simply jump on any bus headed east on Washington and transfer at State to the first 145/146/147/151 that came along.

emathias Oct 30, 2009 6:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4531645)
The 124 runs every 15 minutes or better until 10 pm. That's more frequent service than some CTA rail lines have at that time of the evening. I'm curious what level of service you think should be provided for such a relatively low-ridership corridor. ...

I think it's low ridership only because the level of service sucks. Suburbanites drive to Streeterville because of the poor service. I don't own a car and I'm a huge transit advocate, but I really cannot for the life of me fathom how anyone can defend the current transit situation between two of the busiest rail stations outside of New York and one of the largest shopping and entertainment districts on the continent. Seriously - talk about missed opportunity! Maybe it shouldn't be the CTA driving it, if they're mainly about responding to demand instead of creating what could (and should) be a preferred method of interfacing with the city, but if it wasn't for the interest rate calamity in the late 70s/early 80s, we would already have a subway between the West Loop and Streeterville. It was a good idea then, and it's still a good idea today, we as a City just seem to have lost our "can do" spirit and desire to build what should be instead of just what is the path of least resistance.

Case in point: the Kingbury Park section of River North, coupled with the Montgomery Wards buildings along up to the area around North/Clyborn has more density, people, and even entertainment than the Pearl District in Portland, Oregon does, but where Portland invested in modern streetcars, Chicago's logically-connected areas of similar demographics and potential doesn't even have a bus linking the parts together and to the Loop - what a waste! What piss-poor planning! And then to see it disputed that it's difficult, especially for non-residents, to use public transit from the West Loop to Streeterville reveals a vast disconnect between what Chicago could actually accomplish and what people think is appropriate. Chicago has better transit than many of the chicken-littles cry about, but it also has enormous missed opportunities, and the West Loop/Michigan Ave/Streeterville connection is perhaps the biggest one.

cbotnyse Oct 30, 2009 12:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Haworthia (Post 4530870)
Seeing as the West Loop is a major transit hub and the Streeterville area is a major employment and entertainment area, it a sham that there isn't a quicker way to get between the two.

dont forget about the water taxis. Wendella runs one from Michigan and Wacker to Union Station, for 2 bucks. They are also working on a river east stop. Granted, it only runs about 9 months of the year, but its a great option.

the urban politician Oct 30, 2009 2:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 4531799)
I think it's low ridership only because the level of service sucks. Suburbanites drive to Streeterville because of the poor service. I don't own a car and I'm a huge transit advocate, but I really cannot for the life of me fathom how anyone can defend the current transit situation between two of the busiest rail stations outside of New York and one of the largest shopping and entertainment districts on the continent. Seriously - talk about missed opportunity! Maybe it shouldn't be the CTA driving it, if they're mainly about responding to demand instead of creating what could (and should) be a preferred method of interfacing with the city, but if it wasn't for the interest rate calamity in the late 70s/early 80s, we would already have a subway between the West Loop and Streeterville. It was a good idea then, and it's still a good idea today, we as a City just seem to have lost our "can do" spirit and desire to build what should be instead of just what is the path of least resistance.

Case in point: the Kingbury Park section of River North, coupled with the Montgomery Wards buildings along up to the area around North/Clyborn has more density, people, and even entertainment than the Pearl District in Portland, Oregon does, but where Portland invested in modern streetcars, Chicago's logically-connected areas of similar demographics and potential doesn't even have a bus linking the parts together and to the Loop - what a waste! What piss-poor planning! And then to see it disputed that it's difficult, especially for non-residents, to use public transit from the West Loop to Streeterville reveals a vast disconnect between what Chicago could actually accomplish and what people think is appropriate. Chicago has better transit than many of the chicken-littles cry about, but it also has enormous missed opportunities, and the West Loop/Michigan Ave/Streeterville connection is perhaps the biggest one.

:iagree: :iagree: :iagree:

The lack of a connect between Chicago's busy commuter rail stations and its busiest, most economically productive shopping and entertainment district in the interior of the continent just stupefies me. The argument that there's no "demand" is just outright ridiculous. How anybody can defend such a standpoint just baffles me. If there's no demand for such a transit route then there shouldn't be demand for transit anywhere. LA, Portland, Washington DC, Charlotte, etc etc just shouldn't bother building new transit lines.

What lacks is a will to build it. Daley spent 4 years focusing on the Olympics and got the city nothing. If only this guy would reorient his energy.

VivaLFuego Oct 30, 2009 3:13 PM

note: reposted from Boom Rundown thread.

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 4531799)
I think it's low ridership only because the level of service sucks. Suburbanites drive to Streeterville because of the poor service. I don't own a car and I'm a huge transit advocate, but I really cannot for the life of me fathom how anyone can defend the current transit situation between two of the busiest rail stations outside of New York and one of the largest shopping and entertainment districts on the continent. Seriously - talk about missed opportunity! Maybe it shouldn't be the CTA driving it, if they're mainly about responding to demand instead of creating what could (and should) be a preferred method of interfacing with the city

CTA would love to increase services levels at any time and place where the demand elasticity to service levels warrants it. That said, I think there could be some benefits and reoriented service from a comprehensive study of the 'corridor' like CTA did on the north and south lakefronts some years ago to reroute, restructure, reallocate the various tiered express routes in an optimal fashion. The infrastructure for quick and frequent service basically exists (Lower Wacker, and one could justify a modest investment in some pavement stripings and signal priority to boot), but the demand for transit travel between those areas is what it is and could probably only be boosted in aggregate by very modest amounts, all the moreso if NMH keeps building 1,000-space parking garages in Streeterville to hold the price of parking down.

Or, as you suggest, this is something the city could serve via the Free Trolley system for the sole purpose of marketing/brand image to tourists rather than on a cost-effectiveness basis.

Quote:

the Kingbury Park section of River North, coupled with the Montgomery Wards buildings along up to the area around North/Clyborn has more density, people, and even entertainment than the Pearl District in Portland, Oregon does, but where Portland invested in modern streetcars, Chicago's logically-connected areas of similar demographics and potential doesn't even have a bus linking the parts together and to the Loop - what a waste! What piss-poor planning!
Poor North-South through- travel through the entire corridor between Halsted on the west and the Brown Line on the east has been noted by local transportation and transit planners for some time. The #37 and now the through-routed #11 were one effort, and routing the (now-defunct) #38 as a Canal/Clinton circulator in the West Loop were some efforts at serving the corridor, but nothing attracted ridership.

Other ideas have been floated (e.g. extending the #44 northward along Canal and then again to Kingsbury/Larrabee to North/Clybourn) but I assume most such service expansions have been on hold for several years now for obvious reasons. The old Clybourn bus (#41) basically served this corridor, but was on the chopping block in the 1990s due to extremely low productivity. http://chicago-l.org/maps/route/maps/1991map.jpg

emathias Oct 30, 2009 3:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4532071)
CTA would love to increase services levels at any time and place where the demand elasticity to service levels warrants it. That said, I think there could be some benefits and reoriented service from a comprehensive study of the 'corridor' like CTA did on the north and south lakefronts some years ago to reroute, restructure, reallocate the various tiered express routes in an optimal fashion.

I think my complaint isn't really with the CTA - for the most part, I think the CTA serves its mission reasonably well. Even the CTA recognizes there's room for improvement, but I don't want anyone to think I'm on the side of the CTA-haters out there.

My complaint is probably best directed at the seemingly hands-off approach to transit facilitation the City has taken. It's the CTA's role to provide service where demand exists now, but since the city controls permits and zoning and planned development creations, the City should have a subsidy budget to fund prospective corridors that it is focusing on. I think this happens occasionally, but it seems to be the exception, not the rule. The lack of that sort of involvment is probably why the West Loop/River West/Kingsbury Park/North&Clybourn districts aren't tied together better.

The City knew about all the development going on there, but it didn't provide seed funds for transit to tie those areas together, so they's developed hodge-podge, and very auto-oriented, because non-car people aren't going to live in areas that don't already have transit, and car people can't very well switch to using transit that doesn't even exist. Again, that's the City's fault, not the CTAs. Better integration in planning and seeding transit in transit-friendly area isn't rocket science, but it does take leadership from the top. Daley's done a lot of good for the city, but I think he's not really an urbanist at heart and may have maxed out his potential. It wouldn't be a bad thing to elect a real urbanist, if one can be found, next round.

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4532071)
Or, as you suggest, this is something the city could serve via the Free Trolley system for the sole purpose of marketing/brand image to tourists rather than on a cost-effectiveness basis.

I actually don't like the free trolley system because a) those trolley's are horrible, and unsafe and inefficient, and b) it sends the completely wrong message to ... well, everyone. It says, "public transit is an amusing blast from the past," instead of "public transit is an integral part of well-planned urban life."

And given that a very high percentage of "tourists" in Chicago are really more like suburbanites, I don't think we need to (or should) coddle them too much. Certainly make the experience easy to understand and participate in, but we don't need to make it free, and we don't need to use mockeries of historic vehicles to do it, either.



Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4532071)
Poor North-South through- travel through the entire corridor between Halsted on the west and the Brown Line on the east has been noted by local transportation and transit planners for some time. The #37 and now the through-routed #11 were one effort, and routing the (now-defunct) #38 as a Canal/Clinton circulator in the West Loop were some efforts at serving the corridor, but nothing attracted ridership.

To be successful, I think it needs to be a multi-year, sustained effort and it absolutely must be combined with enhanced off-hours metra service. I recognize that it IS a bit of a chicken-and-egg thing, because if you only boost Metra service, but then it takes 30 minutes or a $8 cab ride to travel the last mile, that's not going to attract service, and if you only quietly boost bus service as a trial, you won't have the potential extra riders from commuter rail, that isn't likely to last either. That's not the CTA's fault, because they can't control development or Metra schedules, but the City could do more to seed transit use as development happens.

Ultimately, the ship may have sailed from this latest boom, the car-only people may have already dominated the opportunity areas, but I do really believe that the transit seed funding and improved coordination of planning will be necessary if Chicago wants to keep improving the urban experience it can offer.

tptraub Oct 30, 2009 4:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Haworthia (Post 4530870)
Agreed. Connectivity between the West Loop and Streeterville is not as good as it should be. I've mentioned this a few times, and I always get jumped on for saying it.

Yes there is the 157 and 124, but they are not good enough. Not by far.

Let me elaborate. I frequently come into Ogilvie station on Friday evenings. I then head to Chicago and Fairbanks to meet my wife. The train I take gets in around 6:50 PM. The last 157 bus stops near Ogilvie around that time. It's a race to try catching it. When I do catch it, it's not a particularly swift trip.

Now the 124 toward Navy Pier keeps running for a while after that. I've taken that, but I've waited as much as 20 minutes for it. Add in the time of the bus trip and the walk from from Illinois to Chicago and trips from the West Loop to that part of the Streeterville can often take longer than 45 minutes. I've had it take an hour.

I've also walked to the Green Line, transferred to the Red Line at State and Lake and then walked from Chicago Ave and State St. That requires waiting on two trains. With everything lining up perfectly, I've made that trip in 20 minutes, but that was getting very lucky.

After 7pm, walking is competitive with transit (40 minutes to walk it).

In contrast, a Taxi ride takes about 8-10 minutes if the driver takes Lower Wacker.

Seeing as the West Loop is a major transit hub and the Streeterville area is a major employment and entertainment area, it a sham that there isn't a quicker way to get between the two.

One last piece of griping. I work in the Batavia area. Point to point, it is a 2.5 hour trip from walking out of the office to standing on the corner of Chicago and Fairbanks. That is a major deterrent for most people meaning the city if losing out on suburbanite dollars in that area.

</rant>

The 125 bus is another route I take from the train stations to north Streeterville. The last bus leaves Union Station around 7:00 pm and after a few turns it goes down Ohio Street to Michigan and turns north. At Chicago it turns east and then north at Mies van der Rohe. If you get off at MvdR, you will be only a short walk to Chicago and Fairbanks. The bus terminates at the Hancock building.


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