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

10023 Nov 26, 2007 4:51 PM

Looks pretty good. I would run the "Lakefront Line" a block further east south of the river, so that it's accessible from Lakeshore East (station would be under the stairs south of Aqua). I know this would require a new tunnel through Grant Park rather than running along the existing South Shore tracks, but 1) I'm not sure there's extra capacity on those tracks and 2) it can't be that tough to dig a trench through the park, as Columbus should be an easy road to close (given that I don't feel it's existence is necessary, anyway).

I would, however, run this line west along Chicago Avenue to meet up with the existing Blue Line, rather than north along the lake, at least for the first phase. I know that there are parts of Lakeview/Lincoln Park near Lake Shore Drive that are pretty far east of the Red and Brown lines, but these are well-developed neighborhoods and I know a lot of people who take the bus downtown just fine.

Running it west to meet the Blue Line provides the huge benefit of allowing transit between the part of downtown north of the river and the airport without going into the Loop, and allows commuting to this neighborhood without going into the Loop. The whole North Michigan Ave / Streeterville / River North area is really a second downtown in Chicago, much like Midtown in New York, albeit conjoined with the Loop across the river. Having transit lines that go directly into this area from other parts of the city (other than the north lakefront) without a transfer in the Loop could do wonders for the efficiency and convenience of the whole system.

Eventually, this could be extended west along Chicago Avenue, past the Blue Line, and then begin to run under Grand Avenue when it crosses Chicago at about California. End result would be to fill a big gap in transit coverage on the West / Northwest side as the Green Line and Blue Line become further and further apart.

Whatever happened to the Circle Line? That was supposed to connect the Red/Brown lines and the Blue line under North Avenue, right?

spyguy Nov 26, 2007 11:51 PM

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...ck=1&cset=true

For some, I-PASS costs less upfront
Jon Hilkevitch
November 26, 2007


Q: "What, if anything, is the city of Chicago's plan for the Kinzie Street bridge over the Chicago River in the downtown? This eyesore is permanently stuck in the up position and it appears to be of no purpose anymore. Will it stay up forever?"

--------
The answer continues on page 2

Dr. Taco Nov 27, 2007 12:15 AM

^ what a tease. subscribers only :(

honte Nov 27, 2007 12:28 AM

^ It doesn't say too much, actually, except that there are no plans to remove it (obviously, since landmarking is happening), and that it is still under private ownership.

However, quotes like the one above about the "eyesores" are really evidence that the city made a very wise decision to protect some (not enough) of these bridges before the eyesore camp (probably new-condo dwellers?) gets a strong enough voice.

OhioGuy Nov 27, 2007 3:11 AM

WGN's top news story this evening was something about a possible solution to the RTA funding problem that is getting support from some of the state's top politicians, including the governor. I'm not sure exactly where the money is coming from as the WGN report didn't seem particularly clear to me on the first viewing. There was something about taking money from the state's budget that covers things such as welfare & other programs, and redirecting it to the RTA. They interviewed Julie Hamos, D - Evanston, quickly during the news piece and she commented that she felt downstate politicians might not be in support of it as it would mean taking their money that funds these state programs and instead using it for regional purposes up here. I don't think she actually came out in opposition, just that she thought it might have difficulties getting support from downstaters.

Nowhereman1280 Nov 27, 2007 3:14 AM

^^^ I hate downstate, we should totally kick them out of Illinois come next constitutional referendum...

VivaLFuego Nov 27, 2007 3:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by honte (Post 3189364)
^ It doesn't say too much, actually, except that there are no plans to remove it (obviously, since landmarking is happening), and that it is still under private ownership.

However, quotes like the one above about the "eyesores" are really evidence that the city made a very wise decision to protect some (not enough) of these bridges before the eyesore camp (probably new-condo dwellers?) gets a strong enough voice.

When they're in a decaying state, I don't think it's unreasonable for many people to consider them eyesores....it takes a certain type to envision the structure as it once was, or to fully grasp or appreciate its significance. Not an argument for removal, but more an argument for eventual rehabilitation. Perhaps it's nit-picking, but I think it's worth pointing out, as the argument of preserving these as beautiful structures (be it an old bridge, St. Stephen's Church in Hyde Park, etc.) won't gain much traction outside of a very narrow architecture/preservation-minded sector. A rusted/rotting/crumbling historic structure is quite likely an eyesore, but that doesn't mean that at minimum there aren't many or all elements worth preserving or saving (see: Ogden viaduct. What ever happened to those relief sculptures, speaking of cool old bridges?)

denizen467 Nov 27, 2007 4:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spyguy (Post 3189297)
Q: "What, if anything, is the city of Chicago's plan for the Kinzie Street bridge over the Chicago River in the downtown? This eyesore is permanently stuck in the up position and it appears to be of no purpose anymore. Will it stay up forever?"

Q: Why the hell do people, scarily including Hilkevitch, keep calling this the Kinzie Street Bridge? I have fond memories of driving across the Kinzie Street Bridge - many of them from last week, like when I was driving behind the Merchandise Mart headed towards Halsted.

Kinzie Street has a fine bridge and it's not stuck in the up position, thank you very much. At a minimum they need to call it the Carroll Street Bridge or something.

Mr Downtown Nov 27, 2007 4:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3189752)
Ogden viaduct. What ever happened to those relief sculptures

CDOT has them in storage. One was on display in the State Street bridgehouse when that was a bridge museum/art gallery in the late 90s.

Marcu Nov 27, 2007 6:53 AM

CTA solution on track?
Madigan accepts Blagojevich, GOP funding plan

House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and Rep. Julie Hamos (D-Evanston) backed off their longstanding push to increase sales taxes in Cook and the collar counties by a quarter percent to fund mass-transit.

Saying it is not his “preferred solution,” Madigan indicated he would support a plan by Gov. Blagojevich and House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) to redirect $385 million in state sales taxes on fuel to the Regional Transportation Authority.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/6...112607.article

ardecila Nov 27, 2007 7:43 AM

Haha - there are two discussions on the C&NW Kinzie Street Bridge right now. The one in the Transit thread focuses on the preservation merits of the bridge, and the discussion in the General Developments thread focuses on the transit usage of the bridge. I guess they should be flip-flopped?

headcase Nov 27, 2007 1:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3189752)
(see: Ogden viaduct. What ever happened to those relief sculptures, speaking of cool old bridges?)

Check this out. Timing is everything I just read that page this morning.

SSDD

VivaLFuego Nov 27, 2007 2:56 PM

^ Wow, obscure. I'll have to get over to St. Iggy to have a look. I figured they were sitting somewhere collecting dust and forgotten.

UChicagoDomer Nov 28, 2007 12:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 3188687)
I was working with this idea over the weekend, and I'm posting it in response to a comment in the Boom Rundown thread.



I've thought about it too.

The Lakefront Line - built in several phases. Part I involves the dedication of two tracks along the Metra Electric line to regular CTA trains, and the construction of stations every 1/2 mile. Part II is a tunnel bored from South Water Street Station beneath Stetson and under the river, north up Columbus/Fairbanks/DeWitt, west on Delaware, and then up Rush Street and Division to meet and join the Red Line tracks at an expanded Clark/Division Station. Part III goes north from Clark/Division along LaSalle, Clark, and Broadway to meet the Red Line tracks at Wilson. (This third part is sort of a wish-list item, but Part II is serious)

http://img519.imageshack.us/img519/5...ontlinelb3.jpg

This lakefront line is redundant. You COULD reach Hyde Park from the North Side with the Metra Electric with one transfer at Washington/Lake (through the Pedway) IF we had a Universal Fare Card AND the Metra ran the Electric trains during non-peak hours as often as they run them during peak hours. I don't see the point in creating another duplicative train route along the Electric tracks coupled with an expensive subway project under the river just to provide service between the North side and Hyde Park. And in any case, the UFC + increased Metra service is lot more likely than a huge new capital project that hasn't even been approved for alternative analysis by the Feds. The tragedy of the city's train system is that a lot of the components are already in place. it just needs a bit of tweaking in certain areas to make it viable for and accessible to multiple areas (e.g. making the Metra Electric, and other Metra lines more than just peak-hour commuter lines).

emathias Nov 28, 2007 2:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 3158674)
I'm gonna ask a somewhat obvious question (or maybe not).

Do y'all think that transit improvements should serve existing development, or dictate new development in low-density areas?


Compare, say, the Carroll Transitway with the Circle Line.

No offense, but the Circle Line is a poor example. It will serve both some existing fairly high-density areas (Wicker Park, Ukranian Villiage, Pilsen) as well as some areas that are increasing fairly rapidly in density (the area around the United Center, the Medical Campus), and make it more possible to help spread the density around. Additionally, the areas served by the Circle Line are going to become more dense over the next 20 years even if we don't build the Circle Line. Rather than myopically only building in the (now even more expensive to build in) dense areas, building in areas that have the inertia to become dense is important. 40 years ago, it was proposed to build a subway from the West Loop to Streeterville and also branching south to McCormick Place through what is now the Central Station area. At the time, most of those places had moderate and/or decreasing density, but planners saw that those areas would become very dense in the future. Unfortunately, they chickened out. Well, what happened in the last 40 years? Where is our biggest need for a rail line?

You already mentioned it - from the West Loop to Streeterville/Gold Coast, followed closely by a line from Streeterville/Gold Coast to the McCormick Place area. Given the density already in those areas and scheduled to continue, not building the original Central Area Distributor subway (under Monroe from the West Loop to Grant Park and then north around the Watertower and South to McCormick) was <I>stupid</I> and short-sighted. Not building it now is because it would cost 5 times as much, but not building the Circle Line would be equally stupid. Chicago needs both.

The better example is the stupid billion-dollar Star Line.

The biggest problem with Chicago transit today, though, is the refusal of the city to force high-density development within 3/8 of a mile of all existing "L" stops. If they did that, not only would it help all areas economically with "L" lines, but it would dramatically increase "L" ridership.

VivaLFuego Nov 28, 2007 3:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 3192732)

The biggest problem with Chicago transit today, though, is the refusal of the city to force high-density development within 3/8 of a mile of all existing "L" stops. If they did that, not only would it help all areas economically with "L" lines, but it would dramatically increase "L" ridership.

a-to-the-men.

In fact, without encouraging specifically more employment density along the Circle Line route, it would never reach a critical mass of ridership to justify the investment (I'm thinking, particularly in the far West Loop/Ashland area, get some actual mid-rise and high-rise office towers there).

The "saving time on cross-town trips" was always a spotty argument, seeing as the Circle Line is only a couple stops out from the downtown transfer points and the extra transfer negates any in-vehicle time savings.

As it is, the only employment district for which the Circle Line would improve access is the Medical District, which already has a presentable transit mode share (i.e. the Circle Line wouldn't generate that many new transit trips on account of the IMD, rather just siphoning them from other existing services). And for trips to the Loop, well, we've already got our radial system for that.

The Mid-City line is the time-saver. The Circle Line is a genesis for expanding the downtown core. Unless the city is on board with the latter, it's DOA.

OhioGuy Nov 28, 2007 9:55 PM

I just checked out the new Montrose & Sedgwick stations today and I must say they're quite nice. I particularly like the Sedgwick station since they incorporated the old brick stationhouse into the new design. It's my understanding they're also doing this at the Damen stop which I think is great (and maybe one additional stop as well?). I do have one little nitpick for both stops though. At Montrose I don't like that the canopy is way at the other end of the platform from where people will be entering. If it's raining, riders will have to walk all the way down the platform to reach the canopy for cover. And at Sedgwick, the heating area isn't positioned all that well. The heat coils up above are too far forward from the little enclosure that's been created. If you want to feel the heat, you have to step forward away from the enclosure which defeats the purpose because you get hit by gusty winds. And if you step back into the enclosure to avoid the winds, you're too far back to feel any warmth from the heat coils. Two nitpicks... but otherwise I must say I like the new stations. :)

j korzeniowski Nov 29, 2007 2:42 AM

transit plan failed.

fuck this state.

OhioGuy Nov 29, 2007 3:03 AM

:maddown:

Haworthia Nov 29, 2007 3:21 AM

:yuck:

Wow, this blows. I thought it would actually pass this time.


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