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

Ch.G, Ch.G Dec 31, 2007 10:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 3252550)
^SUCKS!!!

From a graphic designer's perspective the Frankle-Monigle signs are functionally and aesthetically more advanced... http://chicago-l.org/signage/platfor...x.html#frankle Talk about a tiny step forward CTA.

Really? To this non-graphic designer they look kind of overwrought.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 3252550)
Another thing I also don't understand is why the grid address location continues to be so prominent. Is this really something that alot of people use? I'm not saying that it should be eliminated, but it just seems other information would be more valuable for a transit wayfinding system. Not to be gloomy, but this seems like another lost opportunity and is certainly not world class in appearance.

I use them all the time. It's a simple and precise system that makes navigating the city very easy. I've also found it also serves as a litmus test for mental handicap.

VivaLFuego Dec 31, 2007 5:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by honte (Post 3252565)
Yes, those are much more beautiful and sophisticated. Why not use them?

Money, basically. Systemwide signage replacement would run well into 8 figures. The standard being used is basically an evolution of the older KDR signage standard, so it's a bit more seamless to replace on a piece-by-piece basis: a thick Helvetica, the grid coordinates, the first letter of the station name, etc.

Perhaps a more elegant font choice (a lighter-weight Helvetica, or switching to the Frutiger variant on the prototype signage) would win people's fancy?

aaron38 Jan 2, 2008 7:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 3252550)
Another thing I also don't understand is why the grid address location continues to be so prominent. Is this really something that alot of people use?

Absolutely. As a suburbanite who isn't going to memorize every single street, I'd say 80% of my navigation in Chicago is by grid number. Memorize the half-mile streets and follow the numbers from there.

For example, if you tell me to go to 2700 N Clark, I know without looking at a map that that's just south of Diversey, because Diversey is 2800N. I love the grid numbers on street signs.

Busy Bee Jan 2, 2008 3:58 PM

Alright you guys win!

I guess I'm not a grid guy. I'll survive.

spyguy Jan 2, 2008 5:29 PM

http://www.suntimes.com/news/transpo...010208.article

Transit woes topic of Blago special session
January 2, 2008


Governor Rod Blagojevich called the special session, and he plans a morning news conference in Chicago before heading to the Statehouse. The governor wants legislators to pass a long-term funding plan for mass transit before the January 20 deadline.

aaron38 Jan 2, 2008 6:11 PM

Well it's good news that they're talking, but I won't hold my breath. This government treats the transit funding the way I used to treat my calculus homework. Just about every other chore becomes preferable, and you find yourself cleaning the garage

They'll probably end up remaning a few interstates and then passing 3 months of emergency funding at 11:59pm on Jan 19th.

miketoronto Jan 2, 2008 6:45 PM

What do you guys think of my idea for The "L" Train network. You think this would work and could build the ridership needed to sustain these kinds of service levels?

-------------

THE NEW "L"

-NO MORE WAITING 15-20MIN FOR AN L TRAIN.

SERVICE ON ALL LINES WOULD OPERATE EVERY 7MIN OR BETTER SEVEN DAYS A WEEK. ONLY EXCEPTION TO THIS RULE WILL BE THE GREEN LINE COTTAGE GROVE AND ASHLAND BRANCH ROUTES, WHICH WOULD OPERATE EVERY 15MIN OR BETTER SEVEN DAYS A WEEK, WITH COMBINED GREEN LINE SERVICE OPERATING EVERY 7MIN OR BETTER NORTH OF GARFIELD.

ALL SERVICE TO OPERATE TILL 1:30AM SEVEN DAYS A WEEK ON ALL LINES.

PURPLE LINE
-Service will operate seven days a week to the Loop, operating express Mon-Sat during busy periods.

BLUE LINE
-Cermack Branch trains will no longer operate. Only Pink Line service will operate. The low frequency Blue Line Cermack service operating only during rush hours, is a waste of resources, and trains from this service can be used to provide more frequent service on the entire system.

RED LINE
Eliminate the following stops on the Dan Ryan Branch, due to their close proximity to the Green Line.
-47th
-Garfield
-63rd
Eliminating these stops will allow Dan Ryan Branch riders a faster trip to the Loop, and will eliminate duplication of service with the Green Line.
All feeder buses that service the eliminated Red Line stations, will terminate at the Green Line stations instead.

MOST BUSES WILL NOT TRAVEL TO THE LOOP
-To support increase rapid transit service, many bus routes that operate in close proximity to the L system, or that operate all the way to the Loop, would terminate instead at L train stations.
Buses would provide more of a feeder service to the L trains.

Entire or portions of bus routes that could be cut due to their close proximity to the L trains are as follows.
-21 CERMAK
-7 HARRISON
-3 KING DRIVE
-56 MILWAUKEE
-36 BROADWAY
-8 HALSTEAD
-22 CLARK

NEW L CLUBBER SERVICE ON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHTS
-In addition to the regular Red and Blue line services that operate 24 hours a day,
new late night trains will leave every Friday and Saturday nights from the Loop on all lines at 30min service levels, till 4AM. No inbound service will operate on the special clubber trains. Exception to this will be brown line trains which will make connections in the loop to outbound Orange, Pink, Blue, Red, and Green line trains.

VivaLFuego Jan 2, 2008 8:04 PM

^mike,
Some good ideas, especially for someone who doesn't live here :)

The Cermak Blue Line's days are probably numbered, it was only kept as a political favor anyway. Either it's frequency will be increased or it will be eliminated, but you're right that the current arrangement is pretty odd.

Regarding your elimination/shortening of bus routes, this is a tricky one on a case-by-case basis. At most, some of these could be shortened during off-peak hours only. During rush hour, the Red, Brown, and Blue lines are already so ridiculously packed that the buses are necessary just to have capacity to get everyone downtown (and even several of those routes, particularly the 22 and 56, are already packed to the gills on ~3-minute headways), so eliminating that would be a bad idea. Perhaps there could be some scaling back if the Red line ever gets a 10-car capacity expansion, but otherwise...

In some cases (I'm thinking the 56 and 21 particularly from your list), the parallel routes also serve an important function in providing local service along busy commercial streets where tip lengths are often pretty short, and the rapid transit is used more for longer trips either as a result of station location or wide station spacing. In contrast, the 62 which parallels the Orange Line functions as a feeder/distributor service to the Orange Line, which has widely spaced stations, so even though its parallel its complimentary, not competitive. The 3 is tricky; south of 63rd it is a vital neighborhood route, as it is north of about 35th street. The route is already split into several segments, with certain scheduled trips only running part of the route. I suppose the route could be split altogether, but there are some people who need to make that long trip and its probably more trouble than its worth. The 8, while running parallel to Red/Brown on the northside, provides a valuable connection for Lakeview/Lincoln Park residents to travel directly to the West Loop/UIC area without having to travel into the Loop. I would generally agree with you on the #7, and would toss in the 38 (served by Pink), X20 (served by the green line), 17 (served by pace), 129 (basic route is already served by the 1), 143 (served by 151) as other duplicative routes to eliminate.

re: closing Dan Ryan stations, it's unlikely since Federal money was just used to renovate those stations. Furthermore, the Red line is already FAST: I've timed it at under 25 minutes from 95th street to Jackson, so travel time isn't really an impediment to ridership on the branch (if anything, the route needs high overall accessibility, e.g. park n ride lots and TOD).

The clubber service may not be fully necessary; right now, the Brown Line shuttle (Kimball-Belmont) and Purple (Linden-Howard) operate until about 230am, by all means I'd just make those run 24 hours like they did until the mid-1990s. Otherwise, the other lines that don't run overnight are run by buses on 30-minute or less headways (the #62 for the Orange, 60 for Pink, 20 for Green). And honestly, this is a major cab city (highest medallioned taxis per capita in the US....yes more than NYC), which is the standard form of transport for all but the youngest and brokest college student nightcrawlers. Getting cabs at night is so easy that it's hard for transit to compete, particularly when a group of 2-4 can just pool together and spend barely more than a transit fare.

UChicagoDomer Jan 2, 2008 8:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by miketoronto (Post 3256028)
What do you guys think of my idea for The "L" Train network. You think this would work and could build the ridership needed to sustain these kinds of service levels?

-------------

THE NEW "L"

...

MOST BUSES WILL NOT TRAVEL TO THE LOOP
-To support increase rapid transit service, many bus routes that operate in close proximity to the L system, or that operate all the way to the Loop, would terminate instead at L train stations.
Buses would provide more of a feeder service to the L trains.

Entire or portions of bus routes that could be cut due to their close proximity to the L trains are as follows.
-21 CERMAK
-7 HARRISON
-3 KING DRIVE
-56 MILWAUKEE
-36 BROADWAY
-8 HALSTEAD
-22 CLARK

NEW L CLUBBER SERVICE ON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHTS
-In addition to the regular Red and Blue line services that operate 24 hours a day,
new late night trains will leave every Friday and Saturday nights from the Loop on all lines at 30min service levels, till 4AM. No inbound service will operate on the special clubber trains. Exception to this will be brown line trains which will make connections in the loop to outbound Orange, Pink, Blue, Red, and Green line trains.


another suggestion: increase the frequency of Metra Electric trains and eliminate the Hyde Park bus routes (Nos. 2, 6, 10, 14, 26, etc.) during non-peak hours.

Abner Jan 2, 2008 9:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3256190)
The Cermak Blue Line's days are probably numbered, it was only kept as a political favor anyway. Either it's frequency will be increased or it will be eliminated, but you're right that the current arrangement is pretty odd.

I would generally agree with you on the #7

The situation right now is kind of frustrating. Of course, ridership is going to be very low on a line that only runs every half-hour during peak hours, and unpredictably at that; I'd love to take the Douglas Blue Line, but I can't count on it showing up when I want it to. It could pretty easily be eliminated if it were possible to transfer to the Forest Park Blue Line where the tracks cross over the expressway, but as it is one has to ride all the way up to Lake, which makes it a little ridiculous to get from Pilsen, Little Village, North Lawndale, or Cicero to UIC, Union Station, or the South Loop. The #7 allows you to do that. The ridership statistics show that it's a pretty heavily used bus on a per-platform hour basis and has grown substantially since the creation of the Pink Line.

In other Pink Line speculations, almost the entire right of way of the demolished portion of the Douglas branch (to Oak Park Ave) is still there and only used for parking. I wonder if there's any chance that in some distant, enlightened future, one with a denser Berwyn, that line could come back.

glowrock Jan 2, 2008 10:42 PM

After my recent Chicago visit (thanks for the late hours mini-tour, VivaLFuego!), I can say that the bus service seems damn good, at least in the inner core/tourist attraction areas. It was an absolute breeze to get around from the Magnificent Mile area down towards places like the Museum of Science and Industry. The el trains were fun (albeit I was only on the blue line to and from O'Hare), but at least for that route, it's painfully slow. I was reading on the train that the tracks are being reconstructed, hopefully making for some faster speeds in many areas, but wow, those sections of 15-20 mph are truly horrible...

One other thing about walking around downtown a lot, I think any NIMBY complaining about LIGHT RAIL noise needs to head down to the Loop area and REALLY hear what transit noise can be like! :) When those trains are going by, it's nearly impossible to even hear yourself think! Haha

Aaron (Glowrock)

ardecila Jan 2, 2008 11:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Abner (Post 3256376)
In other Pink Line speculations, almost the entire right of way of the demolished portion of the Douglas branch (to Oak Park Ave) is still there and only used for parking. I wonder if there's any chance that in some distant, enlightened future, one with a denser Berwyn, that line could come back.

It wasn't demolished. The right-of-way was acquired, but tracks were never actually laid that far. Eventually, the land was just sold off without ever being used.

That's a nice idea, but unfortunately, there's a crossing at every street, which would mean lots of grade crossings for CTA to deal with, and lots of potential pedestrian fatalities. I doubt a rapid transit line with so many crossings would meet Federal standards nowadays, so the extension might have to be elevated, raising the cost significantly.

VivaLFuego Jan 2, 2008 11:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 3256520)
It wasn't demolished. The right-of-way was acquired, but tracks were never actually laid that far. Eventually, the land was just sold off without ever being used.

That's a nice idea, but unfortunately, there's a crossing at every street, which would mean lots of grade crossings for CTA to deal with, and lots of potential pedestrian fatalities. I doubt a rapid transit line with so many crossings would meet Federal standards nowadays, so the extension might have to be elevated, raising the cost significantly.


No, it did run to Oak Park Ave until, I believe 1947.

An extension to Harlem and Riverside Park Mall would connect an area with very solid trip density to rapid transit, but at this stage it's really not cost-effective considering it would probably have to be done in a trench to pass the Environmental Impact Study (noise and visual pollution).

Mr Downtown Jan 2, 2008 11:37 PM

Douglas line was cut back in 1952, because Berwyn would not allow any of the grade crossings to be closed.

spyguy Jan 3, 2008 5:17 PM

http://www.economist.com/world/na/di...ry_id=10431680

Chicago's public transport
Off track
Jan 3rd 2008


THE city's average commute is not quite America's longest (that honour goes to New York), but in one respect Chicago is unrivalled: the bitterness and passion of the argument surrounding its public-transport system.

Abner Jan 3, 2008 6:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3256550)
No, it did run to Oak Park Ave until, I believe 1947.

An extension to Harlem and Riverside Park Mall would connect an area with very solid trip density to rapid transit, but at this stage it's really not cost-effective considering it would probably have to be done in a trench to pass the Environmental Impact Study (noise and visual pollution).

Right, it went to Oak Park Ave and additional land was bought to extend it to Harlem, which never happened. West of Oak Park Ave you can still see where the right of way obviously was, but it's been turned into parks and some facilities. I wouldn't expect anybody to seriously consider restoring the former service now, considering it would have to be either elevated or sunken, but one nice thing about the corridor is that it would require virtually no demolition. And I've never exactly had a difficult time parking around Cermak. I just think it's interesting to see where the path of former transit lines is still very obvious, unlike, say, the section of the Paulina connector north of Lake, which has been largely filled in.

Jaroslaw Jan 4, 2008 9:57 AM

<< I just saw that Economist article as well... a pretty significant black eye for Chicago and its international reputation there.

Ch.G, Ch.G Jan 4, 2008 10:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jaroslaw (Post 3259461)
<< I just saw that Economist article as well... a pretty significant black eye for Chicago and its international reputation there.

I don't know about that. The tenor of that article is par for the course for the Economist. They're always either negative or ambivalent; very cautiously optimistic is the happiest they ever get. Not that the problem isn't real. But:

"If the Illinois state legislature does not act by January 20th, more than half of bus routes in the city will be eliminated, some 2,400 transport workers will be sacked and fares will be raised. Suburban rail and bus lines face cuts as well. Commuters will be forced to drive on already crowded roads or walk to a distant bus or train—this in the depths of winter, with pavements icy and kerbs surrounded by lakes of frigid slush."

...really?

VivaLFuego Jan 4, 2008 3:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ch.G, Ch.G (Post 3259472)

...really?

uhhhhhh........yeah. Though the suburban rail cuts likely wouldn't occur until 2009, they would just start with a fare increase. City and suburban bus will be decimated, though.

Marcu Jan 4, 2008 7:31 PM

^ It's an article written by someone with no knowledge of how politics in this state work. There will never be any service cuts. Eventually, we'll have some mediocre solution including a hike in property taxes, more gaming, higher fares, and a Lisa Madigan gubernatorial run where she beats a republican from the western suburbs because "she's less like bush". We are just getting primed for the inevitable.


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