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

emathias Oct 16, 2009 2:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by a chicago bearcat (Post 4507697)
did you put do in stars because they won't have longitudinal seating, because from my understanding they had axed the nyc like seating do to rider complaints on the MAX trains they tested on the brown line.

I thought the rider complaints mainly revolved around there being less seating overall.

If they were going to cut aisle-facing seating, it seems they would have cut it on the latest hybrid buses, too, which have mostly aisle-facing seating.

Mr Downtown Oct 16, 2009 6:20 PM

The low-floor buses have limitations about where transverse seating can be installed that the railcars do not.

Also, I have my doubts that numbered cars would have been delivered to the property with anything other than the front ends they expect to actually use for the full order. What's the source for the speculation that a redesigned front end will be on the other cars?

emathias Oct 16, 2009 9:50 PM

In the category of "pie-in-the-sky" ...

Has anyone ever proposed moving the Red Line west to share the ROW with the SouthWest Service, especially north of 40th when the Green Line jags east? It seems like it would put it within walking distance of a lot more ridership. It doesn't seem like it would be especially hard to do it - jog it west over the I-55 ramps and then jog it back east at 51st where the tracks are only a block away.

It would slightly lengthen south side commutes, although you could also just add express service for the far south side using the existing Dan Ryan tracks for non-stop service from 55th to Chinatown (granted, that would only skip two stops. Long-term, if you added service along the SouthWest Service tracks and built the Clinton Street subway, you could run State Street trains to Bridgeport, and Clinton Street trains through Dan Ryan express (or vice versa).

It could be a plus for Bridgeport, although even though Bridgeport is less insular than they used to be, they may still have resistence to the idea because of the "bad element" argument.

nomarandlee Oct 16, 2009 10:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 4508004)
They really should do the decking regardless of whether there's a transitway. It could function as a nice plaza in the summer and would certainly make access to the station easier on weekends when sometimes the Mart locks up their Wells doors forcing people to walk a block to the middle and a block back just to get into the station.

Indeed, they have the potential to be some very nice pedestrian spaces.

Via Chicago Oct 17, 2009 2:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 4506356)
I believe that the freight tunnels are quite deep - I think they're deeper than the subway although I can't cite any source for that right now.

Not to mention that they're not exactly safe places, not having been designed with any modern safety measures.

True, but it does still feel like a waste to just fill them up with concrete. Would it be totally unfeasible someday to refurbish/expand the tunnels and make them usable as a subway?

Busy Bee Oct 17, 2009 4:04 AM

^The scale is all wrong for a train sized subway. Though I don't understand why they cant be used to route HVAC lines, COMM lines, Fiber Optics, etc...

Attrill Oct 17, 2009 4:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 4509162)
^The scale is all wrong for a train sized subway. Though I don't understand why they cant be used to route HVAC lines, COMM lines, Fiber Optics, etc...

They are being used throughout the Loop to do just that. The problem is that the tunnels that run under the expressway pose a real threat to the integrity of the roadway and the ones running under the river pose a threat to the whole system. Some of them need to be filled in to keep the entire system safe or to protect structures above them (i.e. 1992).

Busy Bee Oct 17, 2009 1:23 PM

Well thats understandable I suppose.

bnk Oct 17, 2009 10:11 PM

Metra is doing a second study to extend commuter rail all the way to La Salle County.



http://mywebtimes.com/archives/ottaw...php?id=389799#

Chugging Along: Commuter rail still a possibility
10/16/2009,

Dan Churney

TOPIC:The possibility of a high-speed commuter rail line connecting several towns in La Salle County has been on the table for several years. However, a second study of the proposal is soon to begin.



WHAT HAPPENED?

More than six years ago, the Illinois Valley Commuter Rail Steering Committee proposed a commuter rail service, linking the Metra station in Joliet with La Salle-Peru, with stops at cities along the way, including Seneca, Marseilles, Ottawa and Utica. From Joliet, connections with Chicago can be made; from La Salle-Peru, the line would branch off into lines to the Quad Cities and Quincy. The committee, which is still in place, was made up of officials from communities along the proposed route. An initial study done in 2003 found the idea viable on its face. Ottawa officials have been in the lead for the project.

Three, three-car trains would travel in the morning and evening peak periods, between 90 and 110 mph on the 60-mile long Joliet-La Salle leg. The service would make use of existing tracks, but there would need to be some track and bridge upgrades, as well as construction of sidings. The likely spot for a station in Ottawa would be the former Rock Island depot in the 100 block of East Marquette Street, which CSX Transportation uses for storage. In Marseilles, the old Rock Island depot could be used; in Seneca, Utica and La Salle-Peru, new stations would be built.

WHY DOES IT MATTER?

Officials involved with the project have said the rail line likely would bring jobs to La Salle County, as well as encourage and facilitate travel between the county and the Chicago area. It also would allow travelers to bypass traffic congestion and at the same time reduce traffic congestion, which in turn would reduce harmful engine emissions. Also, travel by rail is largely impervious to bad weather.

The Joliet to La Salle line is one strand of a spider web of commuter lines proposed for the Midwest, which would put 25 million residents of the region within a three-hour train trip of Chicago. Last week, Gov. Pat Quinn said he considers high-speed rail service to be the most important transportation project since construction of the interstate road system in the 1950s and 1960s. The only high-speed rail in place in the United States links Washington, D.C. with New York and parts of New England.

WHAT'S NEXT?

Another study.

Ottawa City Planner Tami Huftel said the next, more detailed study is to begin shortly and last about one year. This study, paid for with $400,000 in federal tax money, will determine if there would be enough passengers along the proposed route. The study also will look at other modes of transportation available, such as bus service. The first study, completed in 2003, directed the next study to look more thoroughly at "red flags" uncovered in the first study, such as scheduling conflicts between the commuter trains and railroads using the same lines, principally CSX Transportation.

Further studies would follow, pending government money to pay for them. Key is obtaining support of local representatives in Washington, D.C., who in turn would work to earmark money for such studies. Huftel said U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson, D-Crete, and U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., have been contacted for help in this regard.

If everything proceeds according to plan, the rail service would not operate for at least 10 years, Huftel pointed out.

IF YOU CARE:

Visit the Chicago-based Midwest High Speed Rail Association's Web site, www.midwesthsr.org.

the urban politician Oct 17, 2009 10:40 PM

^ Pie in the sky planning, which is fine.

But I'd rather see the Clinton subway get built.

Get dense Chicago neighborhoods better rail access to high-flying west loop jobs, I say..

bnk Oct 17, 2009 10:50 PM

http://www.nwherald.com/articles/200...sqw/index.xml#

Metra calls for increase in fares

By DAVID FITZGERALD - dfitzgerald@nwherald.com

CHICAGO – Come February, occasional Metra riders might be dipping their hands a little deeper into their change jars under a fare increase proposed Friday.

One-way rides would go up about 6 percent under the plan, increasing the ticket price by anywhere from 10 cents to 45 cents depending on the length of the trip. The price of a weekend pass also would rise, from $5 to $7.

The fare hikes, however, will not have an impact on the prices for 10-ride tickets and monthly passes.

“Most riders use our monthly and 10-ride passes,” spokesman Michael Gillis said. “So we don’t think it will impact our riders.”

Gillis said the fare changes were made to address budget shortfalls while encouraging people to start using the passes, which offer a discount over the one-way fares. Last month, Metra unveiled a $3.9 million Web site that allows riders to buy 10-ride and monthly passes online using a credit or debit card.

The fare increases are part of the agency’s $613 million operating budget released Friday. The budget does not include any service reductions but does include leaving about 150 positions unfilled, freezing management salaries, and increasing the health insurance premiums for nonunion employees.

“Any fare adjustment is difficult, particularly in today’s economy, but we believe we are taking a responsible, targeted approach that is sensitive to the needs of our passengers,” Metra Chairman Carole R. Doris said in a news release.

The Metra proposal also would raise from $2 to $5 the penalty for tickets bought on board trains for when passengers board at stations where tickets can be bought at a booth before boarding.

...

The fare increases must be approved by the Regional Transit Authority before they can take effect.

ardecila Oct 17, 2009 11:58 PM

^ Eh, I'm cool with the LaSalle County line. It's a good medium-distance service. With only 3 trains a day, I doubt it will do much to encourage sprawl - and it goes far, far beyond the perimeter of Chicago sprawl anyway. Any growth it DOES encourage would be the renovation and revitalization of those historic towns, which have great old Victorian neighborhoods and sizable but blighted downtowns. European and Asian countries have had medium-distance trains for years, and the Illinois Valley towns were developed around just such a limited train service back when the Rock Island offered it.

The improvements would be made in conjunction with the improvements for Amtrak service (different pool of money than CTA or Metra improvements), so there's not much extra construction cost for transit funding sources to bear beside the 3 new and 2 renovated stations - offhand, probably about $100 million.

Hopefully, this would be branded as something different than standard Rock Island service; then the trains could run express between Joliet and LaSalle Street, either on Rock Island or SouthWest Service tracks.

jpIllInoIs Oct 18, 2009 5:19 AM

^Any Illinois Valley train proposal needs to connect Peoria and Chicago.

a chicago bearcat Oct 18, 2009 7:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 4508700)
In the category of "pie-in-the-sky" ...

Has anyone ever proposed moving the Red Line west to share the ROW with the SouthWest Service, especially north of 40th when the Green Line jags east? It seems like it would put it within walking distance of a lot more ridership. It doesn't seem like it would be especially hard to do it - jog it west over the I-55 ramps and then jog it back east at 51st where the tracks are only a block away.

It would slightly lengthen south side commutes, although you could also just add express service for the far south side using the existing Dan Ryan tracks for non-stop service from 55th to Chinatown (granted, that would only skip two stops. Long-term, if you added service along the SouthWest Service tracks and built the Clinton Street subway, you could run State Street trains to Bridgeport, and Clinton Street trains through Dan Ryan express (or vice versa).

It could be a plus for Bridgeport, although even though Bridgeport is less insular than they used to be, they may still have resistence to the idea because of the "bad element" argument.

I've never heard that proposed, but it is intriguing. There are a lot of possibilities with that. You could continue along that alignment to the Rock Island stops in Beverly Morgan Park to provide better service. I would have to have some sort of transfer stops with the red if it were to run such a distance parallel to the red line tracks, which would be difficult given the rail yards that already dice up that section of the city. The problem would most likely be building such a long unused subway south of congress to 55.

I've been slowly compiling a pie in the sky 2050+ CTA map, and hadn't even thought of that as an option.

orulz Oct 18, 2009 7:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4507716)
I found some neat graphics of a Carroll Transitway station buried in 300 N. LaSalle's PD application.

This is pretty neat. Anyone have a similar copy of the PD application for Trump? Supposedly they designed that to accommodate the transitway and/or a station as well.

I guess by "curbed busway" they mean a guided busway. If not, then this will be painfully slow, like the tunnel segment of Boston's silver line. Also, I wonder how those grade crossings will work for buses. Does such a system exist anywhere?

In any case, nice find.

ardecila Oct 18, 2009 10:55 PM

The grade crossings would probably have gates like any other grade crossing, although they would have to have a different design to suit their underground location (15+ feet of gate sticking up in the air isn't practical...) If not gates, then at least flashing lights.

Mr Downtown Oct 19, 2009 1:51 AM

With a stop every 1000 feet, I don't think buses moving at 25 mph will seem painfully slow. And unlike a rail line, the "grade crossing protection" for such a low-speed busway can be this thing called a traffic signal.

emathias Oct 19, 2009 3:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4511540)
With a stop every 1000 feet, I don't think buses moving at 25 mph will seem painfully slow. And unlike a rail line, the "grade crossing protection" for such a low-speed busway can be this thing called a traffic signal.

Even lightrail doesn't require gate crossings. And even if they wanted to put gates, anyone who'se used parking garages downtown has seen the crossing barriers that fold when they're in upright positions. That's the least of the issues.

Once construction has ceased along Carol, which should be sometime next year, do you think the City will get it into a working state for buses, at least as a test? As an interim test, they could even just use the regular Kinzie bridge and then join Carol under the Mart instead of reviving the rail bridge. Once the buildings being constructed are done, there will really be no good reason not to immediately proceed with constructing the transitway. The basics shouldn't cost much money to run buses there and build a few platforms. If it became popular (which I think it would) they could spend the extra money on timings and fare control and restoring the unused Kinzie Rail Bridge. And, maybe someday, they could install rails and run modern trams all the way to Navy Pier.

Pie-in-the-sky ideas would be to re-open the Lasalle Street tunnel and utilize that with some routes to the central Loop and/or the Lasalle Street Station north of the transitway.

But seriously, by next summer they city should really push to start some express service to Navy Pier from the West Loop commuter stations using Carol Street

ardecila Oct 19, 2009 3:57 AM

Due to the confined nature of the underground spaces along Carroll Avenue, I don't think you could get away without some sort of gate or signal at the grade crossings. There's gonna be a forest of columns and dumpsters and such, so visibility will be low. A traffic signal with priority technology would work. Really, though, gates would be nicer just to reinforce the notion that the busway is not a regular roadway, and that its vehicles get priority at all times.

VivaLFuego Oct 19, 2009 4:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 4511715)
But seriously, by next summer they city should really push to start some express service to Navy Pier from the West Loop commuter stations using Carol Street

Given the city's $500 million operating deficit, I wouldn't mind if the city holds off on putting money into these improvements for a few years or until it comes via earmark (any formula-based capital improvement funds are probably best spent on other transit and road needs anyhow).

Besides, in the meantime, the 120 and 121 operate via Lower Wacker and connect Navy Pier and the Metra stations via a 15-18 minute trip.... more like 10-12 minutes to Michigan/Hubbard where much of the employment-related traffic is concentrated anyhow. No doubt the Carroll route offers certain benefits (serving north of the river, of course) but, a low-budget Carroll option would also would have to contend with very busy grade crossings at Canal and Clinton.

A decent signal priority and bus-only-lane system to bypass the few bottlenecks would place the 120/121 at pretty comparable travel times, so the Carroll proposal can only be justified if part of a much broader strategic vision of some sort.


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