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Chicago Shawn Nov 5, 2007 9:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UChicagoDomer (Post 3147725)
Yes, but who cares if any train line doesn't make a full circuit of the loop. People can walk. It is absurd that the loop has 9 stations. It makes the "circuit of the loop" incredibly inefficient. I once traveled from downtown to Belmont, and, because I was near the Quincy station, thought it would be faster to hop on the Brown Line rather than walk over to the State St. subway. Wrong. Why? because the train made 7 stops before exiting downtown and must wait for various other trains as it makes its way around the loop. The CTA should combine lines where possible and eliminate stations. One on each side of the loop is enough. I propose eliminating Adams, Randolph, Lake/State, and Washington (can't eliminate LaSalle b/c of transfer to Metra; can't eliminate Library because it's renovated).

I would disagree. Those stations are packed to the brim durring rush hour and with so many trains sharring the tracks of the Loop elevated, the system backs up and trains queue behind others. With multiple stations the trains can queue at a station platform and just wait an additional 30 seconds with the doors open if need be allowing additional riders to jump on, rather than having trains sitting still between stations, if the number was to be reduced.

ardecila Nov 5, 2007 9:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UChicagoDomer (Post 3147725)
The CTA should combine lines where possible and eliminate stations. One on each side of the loop is enough. I propose eliminating Adams, Randolph, Lake/State, and Washington (can't eliminate LaSalle b/c of transfer to Metra; can't eliminate Library because it's renovated).

I like the idea, but only if it involves no demolition of historic stations. This can be achieved easily by connecting the platforms of stations, and maintaining both sets of entrances.

Combine Clark/Lake and State/Lake, and introduce a real transfer between the Loop and Red Line, using either the Page Brothers Building or the new theWit Hotel. A transfer staircase/elevator through Page Brothers would be interesting.

Combine Randolph and Madison, and do a historic renovation on Madison like the one at Quincy (but without the vintage advertisements).

If any other Loop station is superfluous, it's Quincy. Service to the Financial District is well-served by LaSalle. It's been renovated, though, so I say keep it. Keep Washington, too - a lot of bus lines run on Washington that will be short-changed with a station cut.

Soaring_Higher Nov 5, 2007 10:59 PM

I don't think eliminating stations would be in the best interest of riders. Sure, it sounds good, but I like being able to basically get on any line that is needed within three blocks. It is much easier for the disabled too (not saying every station is 100% accessible though).

Attrill Nov 6, 2007 12:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago Shawn (Post 3147820)
I would disagree. Those stations are packed to the brim durring rush hour

Yep. That is exactly why they can't eliminate any platforms downtown, they're all packed at rush hour, and if you get rid of one station you'll need to increase the platform space at others. They do feel packed too closely together, but almost every inch of platform space is needed at rush hour.

Marcu Nov 6, 2007 2:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 3147829)
If any other Loop station is superfluous, it's Quincy. Service to the Financial District is well-served by LaSalle. It's been renovated, though, so I say keep it. Keep Washington, too - a lot of bus lines run on Washington that will be short-changed with a station cut.

Quincy serves Union Station.

VivaLFuego Nov 6, 2007 3:13 PM

The guiding plan for the past few decades has been a target of two stations per leg of the L, which I think is a good balance of efficiency and accessibility. Combine Randolph and Madison into a Washington station, as long as it has entry/exit stairs at both far ends of each platform (so that it still effectively serves Randolph and Madison as well). The preliminary plans I saw sometime back had it connecting to a station facility in the Garland Building (a la Clark/Lake's connections to 203N and JRT or the Merch Mart), which I find annoying because of severely reduced and tedious access for anyone other than tenants of the building it connects to.

UChicagoDomer Nov 6, 2007 6:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Attrill (Post 3148192)
Yep. That is exactly why they can't eliminate any platforms downtown, they're all packed at rush hour, and if you get rid of one station you'll need to increase the platform space at others. They do feel packed too closely together, but almost every inch of platform space is needed at rush hour.

then increase platform space at a few stations and get rid of the rest. at state/lake, for instance, the old rickety wooden platform is, yes, packed to the brim - and dangerously narrow. It would make more sense to extend the Clark/Lake platform and get rid of state/lake.

re Quincy: does it really serve Union station? isn't the station across the river? the Clinton Blue Line is probably a more direct connection to Union, isn't it? I may be wrong.

re historic stations. this is same rationale that doomed the project in the 70s to place the loop underground. let's face it, these historic stations are old, rickety and quaint at best. they make chicago an absolute laughingstock among northeasterners. and they're incongruous with the rest of the downtown. the state/lake station looks like an elevated bomb shelter next to the chicago theatre and the television studio.

maybe the solution is to improve the signal technology. it's embarrassing to watch trains sitting on the tracks between and at the stations. or maybe get rid of the pink line (which, I suppose, is the plan if the circle line is ever implemented).

Taft Nov 6, 2007 7:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UChicagoDomer (Post 3149492)
re historic stations. this is same rationale that doomed the project in the 70s to place the loop underground. let's face it, these historic stations are old, rickety and quaint at best. they make chicago an absolute laughingstock among northeasterners. and they're incongruous with the rest of the downtown. the state/lake station looks like an elevated bomb shelter next to the chicago theatre and the television studio.

While I completely agree with you, I think we are in the minority. For some reason, people like the el rumbling over head. I've heard it compared to San Fran's cable cars.

Taft

DHamp Nov 6, 2007 8:03 PM

The Franklin subway plan needs to be revived, completing the underground loop. However, I don't think that even then, we should immediately get rid of the elevated loop. Having both loops can make downtown access via CTA very efficient.

MayorOfChicago Nov 6, 2007 8:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Taft (Post 3149625)
While I completely agree with you, I think we are in the minority. For some reason, people like the el rumbling over head. I've heard it compared to San Fran's cable cars.

Taft

I am ALL for keeping the loop elevated, but yes, many of the stations are HORRIBLE.

State/Lake, and all 3 of them along Wabash. I mean one of them has the siding all covered in torn gross green sheet metal. It just looks so 3rd world, very embarassing. They could at a BARE MINIMUM replace that, or better yet just rip it down.

Busy Bee Nov 6, 2007 9:01 PM

What should have historically happened would be downtown el stations that are fully integrated with the buildings along side of them, essentially part of one or more buildings that completely spans the street with monumental architecture, integrated internal entrance/exits and glass train sheds. That would have been something worthy of this city. The current rundown station hodgepodge with filthy crappy materials covered in about 200 layers of paint is an absolute embarrassment. I just returned from Paris and trust me, they got us beat. Of course they fund transit.

I'm surprised Burnham never dictated more guidelines concerning the "L" structure and station design.

k1052 Nov 6, 2007 9:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DHamp (Post 3149713)
The Franklin subway plan needs to be revived, completing the underground loop. However, I don't think that even then, we should immediately get rid of the elevated loop. Having both loops can make downtown access via CTA very efficient.

Given the CTA's recent experience at Block 37 I don't think you'll see the pushing for further subway expansion in the loop. Decommissioning the elevated track would also remove a secondary route for the Red Line when the subway is under construction or has an incident.

The money would be better spent on track upkeep and switch upgrades in other parts of the system to keep problems from rippling into the loop in the first place.

DHamp Nov 6, 2007 10:16 PM

^^ I said they should not decommission the elevated tracks, even if and when they complete the subway loop. Having two loops would be beneficial, in my view.

And what do you mean by "Given the CTA's recent experience at Block 37" etc?

ardecila Nov 6, 2007 11:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UChicagoDomer (Post 3149492)
re historic stations. this is same rationale that doomed the project in the 70s to place the loop underground. let's face it, these historic stations are old, rickety and quaint at best. they make chicago an absolute laughingstock among northeasterners. and they're incongruous with the rest of the downtown. the state/lake station looks like an elevated bomb shelter next to the chicago theatre and the television studio.

As far as I'm concerned, I'm glad that plan died (although the Central Area Circulator should have been built). I honestly don't give a shit what people from other cities think about our mass transit system. NYC, Boston, and Philly are hardly models when it comes to getting rid of decrepit stations. The Loop works, I see no need to bury it. It's not for tourists, it's for us, and apart from the god-AWFUL funding problems we have, it's not a half-bad system.

By the same token, many of the downtown Loop stations have been horribly mutilated. When I said I didn't want demolition, I was referring to the fact that I wanted CTA to preserve both sets of mezzanines and all 8 staircases at the Randolph/Madison/Wabash station, and restore the Madison/Wabash building like they did for Quincy. AFAIK, Madison/Wabash is simultaneously the only Loop station worth preserving and the only one facing demolition. I'd even accept a facadectomy, if it's done properly.

ardecila Nov 7, 2007 12:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k1052 (Post 3149879)
Given the CTA's recent experience at Block 37 I don't think you'll see the pushing for further subway expansion in the loop. Decommissioning the elevated track would also remove a secondary route for the Red Line when the subway is under construction or has an incident.

What experience would that be? Dealing with Mills and Freed? I guarantee you, the minor setbacks and arguments in the Block 37 project are nothing close to what CTA would deal with for a full-fledged new subway line downtown. The Block 37 project was a godsend for the CTA, in that the biggest part of the project is Freed's part - therefore, Freed gets ALL the complaints from neighbors. Since there's no feasible plan yet for the Airport Express line, the CTA can take as much time as is necessary to work around Freed's construction schedule.

I recommend taking a look at the new City on the Move book - it really shows just how torn up State Street was for subway construction.

honte Nov 7, 2007 4:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 3150246)
As far as I'm concerned, I'm glad that plan died (although the Central Area Circulator should have been built). I honestly don't give a shit what people from other cities think about our mass transit system. NYC, Boston, and Philly are hardly models when it comes to getting rid of decrepit stations. The Loop works, I see no need to bury it. It's not for tourists, it's for us, and apart from the god-AWFUL funding problems we have, it's not a half-bad system.

By the same token, many of the downtown Loop stations have been horribly mutilated. When I said I didn't want demolition, I was referring to the fact that I wanted CTA to preserve both sets of mezzanines and all 8 staircases at the Randolph/Madison/Wabash station, and restore the Madison/Wabash building like they did for Quincy. AFAIK, Madison/Wabash is simultaneously the only Loop station worth preserving and the only one facing demolition. I'd even accept a facadectomy, if it's done properly.

I agree 100%!

the urban politician Nov 7, 2007 2:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UChicagoDomer (Post 3149492)
re historic stations. this is same rationale that doomed the project in the 70s to place the loop underground. let's face it, these historic stations are old, rickety and quaint at best. they make chicago an absolute laughingstock among northeasterners. and they're incongruous with the rest of the downtown. the state/lake station looks like an elevated bomb shelter next to the chicago theatre and the television studio.

^ I actually think that the "rickety old" loop stations in Chicago's downtown elevated are a great asset to the city. The loop overhead reminds you that you're in a city served by trains. And as Ardecila said, it's a system that works, so what's the problem?

I live out east, and I don't see anybody here laughing about Chicago's system ;) . Without being offensive, I would hardly see Boston's or Philly's system as some model of greatness either

k1052 Nov 7, 2007 3:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 3150269)
What experience would that be? Dealing with Mills and Freed? I guarantee you, the minor setbacks and arguments in the Block 37 project are nothing close to what CTA would deal with for a full-fledged new subway line downtown. The Block 37 project was a godsend for the CTA, in that the biggest part of the project is Freed's part - therefore, Freed gets ALL the complaints from neighbors. Since there's no feasible plan yet for the Airport Express line, the CTA can take as much time as is necessary to work around Freed's construction schedule.

I recommend taking a look at the new City on the Move book - it really shows just how torn up State Street was for subway construction.

They ran into a lot more utility lines than even they expected slowing the process substantially and the lag between budgeting and actual construction has hit them in the pocketbook (just like the Brown Line project).

The CTA has no real interest in doing anymore subway work in the loop after this since they then have the only thing they really wanted (Red-Blue connection). They have other things on the mind like the Circle Line, extending the Red Line to 130th St or thereabouts, addressing the (literally) crumbling Howard branch, and others.

The Airport Express plan will probably sit on the shelf for a long while (if not forever) given the capital expenditure that would be required to implement it effectively. That money would be better spent by the RTA in providing improved METRA service to ORD or making sure the CTA gets the Blue Line into the best possible shape.

MayorOfChicago Nov 7, 2007 4:47 PM

So can't they repair any of the stations in the loop?

From what I see, these are fine by my standards:

Washington/Wells
Quincy
Library
Clark/Lake

These need some work:

Lasalle - isn't too bad, just needs some minor cleaning up.

Wabash/Randolph
Wabash/Madison
Wabash/Adams

These are just horrid. You can't see off the sides of the platforms because they've put up random sheet metal, plastics that's all etched up. Paint peeling, the structures look horrible when walking down the cross streets. I don't understand WHY they haven't at least done a cosmetic fixing up of these stations. Blast the paint off and re-paint. Repair the flooring, clean up all the crap they use for "walls" in the center of the stations. I honestly feel like I'm standing in some random shed when I use these.

State/Lake looks better from the street, but could use some cleaning up and repainting, etc. The station is SO thin though, sometimes I feel like I'm going to fall over the edge during rush hour since it seems you only have 4 feet of room, if that.

Mr Downtown Nov 7, 2007 7:11 PM

There's no glory--or federal capital funding--in repairing an existing station, only in building a monumental new one.


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