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

whyhuhwhy May 15, 2007 2:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 2835084)
I don't think Marcu was saying to do away with roads, but rather that by having people hop in their cars and drive a few miles to the train, you've already done away with a significant part of the benefits of transit to things like congestion (and its accompanying construction/maintenance costs), air quality, etc.

Probably right, but a feeder system where people drive a couple miles on local arterials to the nearest station must have a negligible air-quality/congestion impact relative to everyone driving all the way downtown.

VivaLFuego May 15, 2007 2:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by whyhuhwhy (Post 2835314)
Probably right, but a feeder system where people drive a couple miles on local arterials to the nearest station must have a negligible air-quality/congestion impact relative to everyone driving all the way downtown.

Not true, many auto pollutants are emitted most when the engine is warming up and cooling down, i.e. any auto trip has a significant baseline level of air pollution. These 'baseline' pollutants are hydrocarbons, primarily released because 1) Catalytic converters aren't functioning until they reach a high temperature (takes a few minutes) and 2) evaporation from the fuel system. This is being released regardless of how short the trip is. Hydrocarbons, of course, are responsible for regional issues like smog.

Of course, if electric cars were used, the air quality issue disappears.

Certainly the congestion impact is reduced by shorter auto trips, but vehicle-miles are still vehicle-miles, requiring road maintenance and fuel consumption. But at least it reduces the requirement for expressways. Just imagine: electric cars, recharged by plentiful and clean nuclear power, shuttling suburbanites to commuter rail for their job downtown...

Marcu May 15, 2007 1:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by whyhuhwhy (Post 2834957)
Not every suburb has a metra parking problem--most in fact don't. And those that do, it's not like they can't replace the surface lots with garages. The park and ride system works great if there are places to park. It's not like the suburbs have the same land crunch the city does and the vast majority only have surface lots.

....which is a heck of a lot better than the same people all trying to squeeze through the Hillside Strangler, don't you think? There is nothing wrong with spending a few minutes on local arterials (which will ALWAYS be there) to get people off the major freeways and onto trains.

Are you saying to do away with ROADS? I think you may have it backwards if I understand you correctly. There will never, ever be a time where the only transportation money the state spends is on mass transit because roads are the only truly multi-modal, multi-usage, and omni-temporal commuting and distribution system we have and the economic health of the region is much more dependent on them for those reasons, besides the fact that a hugely significant portion of the metro's mass transit are via the same arterials (buses)...

I think viva summed up my point really well.

The park 'n ride does work great in some circumstances. But the problems associated with the system are only going to get worse as suburban population growth continues to outpace the number of new stations. The local arteries are usually some of the most clogged up roads out there arleady so a lot of Metra commuters end up spending 30-40 minutes a day just getting to and from a park'n ride lot. So a lot of the benefits of commuter rail, like money saved on gas, are lost.

I'm certainly not saying we should do away with roads. I'm just trying to point out that in many cases laying 40 miles of tracks may be cheaper than laying 30 miles of tracks and 10 miles of roads.

But yeah as far as the parking shortage goes, build a freakin garage. If office parks can do it, a city can to.

whyhuhwhy May 15, 2007 3:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 2835362)
Not true, many auto pollutants are emitted most when the engine is warming up and cooling down, i.e. any auto trip has a significant baseline level of air pollution. These 'baseline' pollutants are hydrocarbons, primarily released because 1) Catalytic converters aren't functioning until they reach a high temperature (takes a few minutes) and 2) evaporation from the fuel system. This is being released regardless of how short the trip is. Hydrocarbons, of course, are responsible for regional issues like smog.

I said relative to driving to downtown, I didn't say that starting your car doesn't pollute.

Quote:

Of course, if electric cars were used, the air quality issue disappears.
Not true considering most of our electricity still comes from fossil fuels.

Quote:

Certainly the congestion impact is reduced by shorter auto trips, but vehicle-miles are still vehicle-miles, requiring road maintenance and fuel consumption.
I agree, but arterial roads are absolutely here to stay so I just don't see a point in discussing their maintenance as if there is some alternative. An efficient, well maintained local arterial system is a GOOD thing. And as you say, vehicle miles are vehicle miles, yes, and there is absolutely no doubt that the metra park-n-ride system reduces them, no?

whyhuhwhy May 15, 2007 3:27 PM

double post

whyhuhwhy May 15, 2007 3:28 PM

crap, triple post

VivaLFuego May 15, 2007 5:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by whyhuhwhy (Post 2836281)
Not true considering most of our electricity still comes from fossil fuels.

Isn't Illinois all nuclear with the exception of the Fisk and Crawford stations in Chicago?

Chicago3rd May 15, 2007 7:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 2836516)
Isn't Illinois all nuclear with the exception of the Fisk and Crawford stations in Chicago?


http://illinois.sierraclub.org/conse.../exisiting.htm
http://wilbsnodgrassiii.smugmug.com/...52995450-L.jpg

Taft May 15, 2007 8:30 PM

We do still have a lot of coal power plants in Illinois. However, it is worth pointing out that of the 31 states with nuclear power generation capabilities, Illinois ranks first in output with about half of our power coming from coal and the other half from nuclear.

Read all about it:

http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/nuclear.../statesil.html

Taft

VivaLFuego May 15, 2007 9:03 PM

Thanks...I suppose Taft's nugget had stuck out to give me that misconception. Guess we have a long way to go, but the enviros will fight against any expansion of nuclear power.

Chicago3rd May 15, 2007 9:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 2837063)
Thanks...I suppose Taft's nugget had stuck out to give me that misconception. Guess we have a long way to go, but the enviros will fight against any expansion of nuclear power.

Yeah...I was thinking the same thing when I bought my lawn mower this year...like..if I get gas it pollutes the air...if I get electric...it pollutes air or makes radioctive material.

brian_b May 15, 2007 11:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago3rd (Post 2837133)
Yeah...I was thinking the same thing when I bought my lawn mower this year...like..if I get gas it pollutes the air...if I get electric...it pollutes air or makes radioctive material.


FYI - coal power plants pollute the air and make radioactive material. The difference between coal and nuclear is that a coal power plant spews the radioactive material straight into the atmosphere.

On the bright side, Chicago gets more than 90% of its electricity from nuclear, so go ahead and get that electric lawnmower.

ardecila May 16, 2007 12:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brian_b (Post 2837487)
FYI - coal power plants pollute the air and make radioactive material. The difference between coal and nuclear is that a coal power plant spews the radioactive material straight into the atmosphere.

On the bright side, Chicago gets more than 90% of its electricity from nuclear, so go ahead and get that electric lawnmower.

Not necessarily. The newest coal scrubbers are 95% efficient (according to Wikipedia) but expensive.

Neuman May 16, 2007 11:49 PM

New Train service in Illinois proposed
 
State eyes train route to Rockford

By Jon Hilkevitch
Tribune transportation reporter
Published May 16, 2007, 3:16 PM CDT
The state today selected a rail corridor owned by the Canadian National Railway as the best and fastest route to restore passenger service between Chicago, Rockford and Dubuque, Iowa.

The 182-mile route, which would include a stop in Galena, is the most direct of four options studied by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

It also would be the least expensive to upgrade for passenger service, $32 million, and it offers the highest ridership potential, according to a feasibility analysis conducted by Amtrak and IDOT.

Amtrak or Metra would operate the service. A separate study is underway to possibly extend Metra service to Rockford from Elgin on the Metra Milwaukee District West Line.

Federal and state funding still must be secured to pay for capital improvements needed to begin daily service to Rockford and through northwest Illinois to Dubuque.

Local communities would also be tapped to help pay for construction of new stations, and an agreement would need to be reached with the Canadian National, which owns the tracks.

The annual operating cost to the state is estimated at up to $5 million, based on one round-trip operating daily. Estimated annual ridership is 77,500.

IDOT officials said public meetings held in recent months yielded strong support for restoring Chicago-to-Rockford service, which was eliminated more than 25 years ago. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo (R-Ill.) are pushing the plan in Washington.

Officials said it would take two or three years to make the track improvements necessary for travel times of about two hours between Chicago and Rockford, and about five hours between Chicago and Dubuque. Officials said those travel times would be competitive with automobile driving, helping to reduce traffic congestion on the Northwest Tollway (Interstate Highway 90).

Separately, Amtrak and IDOT are studying possible service from Chicago to the Quad Cities, including Rock Island and Moline, and to Peoria. Both areas lost passenger rail service in 1978 when the Rock Island Railroad discontinued operations.

jhilkevitch@tribune.com


5 hours to Dubuque from Chicago??? Me thinks not! If it takes longer than three you must be driving in a blizzard along Highway 20. No way a train ride should take longer than 3 1/2 tops for that distance....

VivaLFuego May 17, 2007 1:50 AM

^ Yeah, 5 hours to Dubuque seems a bit on the long side, and 2 hours to Rockford isn't bad for leisure commuting, but its not stellar if Rockford really wants to be part of the Chicago metro area (such as with the airport). I'm also not sure what Rockford or Dubuque's local bus transit service is like, since integration between that and Amtrak will be key for ridership growth (hence success in places like Champaign, Springfield, and St. Louis, which all have good integration between intercity and local transit service).

A disadvantage of using the MD-W is that its only 2 tracks; I know that the UP-NW is 3 tracks, which would have been advantageous for running high-speed express service and shortening the travel time. But clearly they think there's more ridership potential using the MD-W route, and I'll trust that assessment; it's just too bad the project wouldn't also include upgrades to allow it to operate at 95mph instead of 79mph (at 95 you can still have grade crossings, but would probably also trim that travel time down considerably (~20 minutes from Rockford)

The more interesting nugget that I wasn't aware of is that IDOT is studying the corridor through Peoria and/or Quad Cities, another stretch with good ridership potential that currently has no service. Despite Rockford technically being bigger, Peoria always struck me as Illinois' '2nd city' (albeit a little one, but still); it actually feels like a city with a skyline, a somewhat active downtown, nice riverfront, great setting in the hills, etc. Sort of a mini-Cincinnati minus most of the great 19ths century architecture.

nomarandlee May 17, 2007 5:42 AM

Daley stumps in Springfield
 
Since most of the article doesn't have to do with mass transit I will just take out the snippets.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...l=chi-news-hed

Daley stumps in Springfield
Mayor makes pitch to boost funding for schools, mass transit


The lighthearted banter in Jones' Capitol office belied the seriousness of the mayor's pitch to pump up funding for city schools and mass transit as part of a Chicago agenda that included reinstating a 7 percent cap on property tax assessments and his long-stated quest to pass tougher gun-control laws......

In a meeting with Chicago-area lawmakers, Daley asked them to help with transportation, promote school construction and embrace longer school days as well as school accountability, according to lawmakers in the meeting.

Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) said the mayor urged lawmakers to close corporate tax loopholes and "consider other revenue options."











http://www.suntimes.com/news/politic...aley17.article

Daley suggests state tax hike, city casino
SPRINGFIELD SPLIT | 'Everything should be on the table'

May 17, 2007
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter fspielman@suntimes.com

Mayor Daley urged Gov. Blagojevich and feuding Democratic legislative leaders Wednesday to check their egos at the door and unite on an education and transit funding compromise that includes a state income tax increase and, possibly, a land-based, government-owned Chicago casino.Without it, Daley said, CTA riders face higher fares and service cuts. The Chicago Public Schools will be forced to raise property taxes, make classroom cuts and confront a "crisis in September."

The mayor never mentioned a teachers strike, but the implication was clear.

"If you don't get the revenue for education, you're going to be back in the same situation: 'Dire Need.' 'Crisis in September.' I can read the headlines. You're going to have layoffs. You're going to have cutbacks," Daley said before traveling to Springfield for a round of one-on-one lobbying.

'Increase the income tax'

Pressed on whether he favors a hike in the state income tax, the mayor said, "This is the first time ever in the history of Illinois that the business community has ever come together and said, 'We'd like to increase the income tax.' So listen to their voice. They want a better education system."
Daley said "everything should be on the table," including his on-again-off-again quest for a Chicago casino. But there's a caveat: It should be government-owned.

"I really believe -- and I've said this repeatedly -- that the taxpayers of Illinois should get the benefit of all the casinos. They do that in Canada very, very successful. ... A bid goes out for the management, maybe 10 or 15 percent. Then, 85 percent of the profits go back into government," Daley said.


"Maybe you can dedicate [new gambling revenues] to the growth factor of education, capital improvements, things like that you could do. Whatever you want."

Last week, Daley urged Blagojevich to give up his controversial gross receipts tax and drop his threat to veto the most viable alternative: an increase in the state's income or sales tax.

Since then, House Speaker Michael J. Madigan sent the governor a message loud and clear -- by engineering a 107-0 vote against the governor's tax plan. Still, Blagojevich is digging in his heels.

mikeelm May 17, 2007 9:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Neuman (Post 2839803)
State eyes train route to Rockford

By Jon Hilkevitch
Tribune transportation reporter
Published May 16, 2007, 3:16 PM CDT
The state today selected a rail corridor owned by the Canadian National Railway as the best and fastest route to restore passenger service between Chicago, Rockford and Dubuque, Iowa.

The 182-mile route, which would include a stop in Galena, is the most direct of four options studied by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

It also would be the least expensive to upgrade for passenger service, $32 million, and it offers the highest ridership potential, according to a feasibility analysis conducted by Amtrak and IDOT.

Amtrak or Metra would operate the service. A separate study is underway to possibly extend Metra service to Rockford from Elgin on the Metra Milwaukee District West Line.

Federal and state funding still must be secured to pay for capital improvements needed to begin daily service to Rockford and through northwest Illinois to Dubuque.

Local communities would also be tapped to help pay for construction of new stations, and an agreement would need to be reached with the Canadian National, which owns the tracks.

The annual operating cost to the state is estimated at up to $5 million, based on one round-trip operating daily. Estimated annual ridership is 77,500.

IDOT officials said public meetings held in recent months yielded strong support for restoring Chicago-to-Rockford service, which was eliminated more than 25 years ago. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo (R-Ill.) are pushing the plan in Washington.

Officials said it would take two or three years to make the track improvements necessary for travel times of about two hours between Chicago and Rockford, and about five hours between Chicago and Dubuque. Officials said those travel times would be competitive with automobile driving, helping to reduce traffic congestion on the Northwest Tollway (Interstate Highway 90).

Separately, Amtrak and IDOT are studying possible service from Chicago to the Quad Cities, including Rock Island and Moline, and to Peoria. Both areas lost passenger rail service in 1978 when the Rock Island Railroad discontinued operations.

jhilkevitch@tribune.com


5 hours to Dubuque from Chicago??? Me thinks not! If it takes longer than three you must be driving in a blizzard along Highway 20. No way a train ride should take longer than 3 1/2 tops for that distance....

Think they need to worry about transit funding and not bother with anymore extentions.

Why bother with Rockford anyway? It's not part of the Chicago area.

ardecila May 17, 2007 9:26 PM

Short-distance services like this can actually turn a profit. Obviously, demand has been predicted or Illinois would not want to build this.

Also, money for new construction often is largely funded on the federal level. Money for operation of Chicago's transit comes solely from a Chicago-area sales tax and the state.

VivaLFuego May 17, 2007 11:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 2841618)
Short-distance services like this can actually turn a profit. Obviously, demand has been predicted or Illinois would not want to build this.

Also, money for new construction often is largely funded on the federal level. Money for operation of Chicago's transit comes solely from a Chicago-area sales tax and the state.

Yeah, there's always money for "downstate" pork-barrel projects like this ("downstate" being anywhere in any given state not in the main city), but never money for vital city infrastructure projects.

Also witness in Illinois, the Prairie Parkway. WTF?

the urban politician May 18, 2007 3:03 AM

Blago, Blago, oh how you SUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!
 
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=25036
May 17, 2007
By Brandon Glenn
CTA chief: Fares up, service down if no bailout


(Crain’s) — Chicago Transit Authority President Ron Huberman for the first time publicly pledged to raise fares and cut service if Springfield legislators don’t provide a funding bailout to the struggling agency.

“The reality of the situation” dictates that the CTA will have no choice but to raise fares and cut service without a $110-million infusion of operating capital from the General Assembly, Mr. Huberman said at the CTA board meeting Thursday.

He said it was too early to provide further details.

Previously, Mr. Huberman and other transit officials had repeated the mantra that “all options are on the table” if legislators didn’t provide money by July 1.

On Thursday, Mr. Huberman took his first step toward describing which of those options he’ll choose. Other possibilities, in addition to higher fares and service cuts, include layoffs and diverting capital funds to cover operating costs. Last week, the CTA announced it was cutting 49 administrative positions, only 18 of which were occupied.

For months a host of local groups and officials including Mayor Richard M. Daley have been lobbying Springfield for more transit dollars, but have little to show for their efforts, mainly because other issues including education, health care and taxes have been higher priorities for Gov. Rod Blagojevich and the General Assembly.

Still, Mr. Huberman and CTA Chairman Carole Brown insist they’re optimistic that relief is on the way for their cash-strapped agency.

In other developments, the CTA announced that it has added seven additional Brown Line trains during rush hours — three in the morning and four in the evening. In early April, the CTA cut back service on the Brown, Purple and Red lines to accommodate construction for the $530-million Brown Line expansion project, scheduled to be completed at the end of 2009.


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