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

ardecila Oct 25, 2009 1:10 AM

The current Art Moderne design at North/Clybourn is far superior to the PoMo tile shit they installed at Lake, Chicago, and Roosevelt. Grand is now getting the same "makeover". :yuck: I guess "sterilize" is the wrong word, considering Art Moderne is pretty sparse to begin with. A better word would be "clutter", I guess?

Fortunately, I have faith in Bohlin Cywinski Jackson not to screw up the station too much - they do minimalism well.

ChicagoChicago Oct 25, 2009 1:28 PM

:previous:

I think everybody knew what you meant. I was just being a jackass! :cheers:

Personally, I think what they've done at Lake and Chicago and now Grand on the Red line is criminal, particularly the platform wall tiling and general color scheme. I'm sure the CTA paid $30+ sq/ft for it too.

denizen467 Oct 25, 2009 7:55 PM

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-b...rticleId=32548

High-speed rail's price tag doubles
By: Paul Merrion October 26, 2009

Illinois has nearly doubled the amount of funding it's seeking from Washington, D.C., to create a high-speed rail line that would cut the five-and-a-half-hour trip between Chicago and St. Louis to just under four hours.

In August, the state's preliminary estimates pegged the Chicago-St. Louis route improvements at about $2.4 billion. But the state's latest estimate stands at $4.5 billion, according to a proposal submitted to the feds this month.

Illinois first hopes to spend $1.2 billion on long-planned improvements on the existing Chicago-St. Louis Amtrak route, which will reduce the travel time by 80 minutes. The additional $3.2 billion the state now seeks is for a parallel second track along most of the route that would allow more freight and passenger trains to run at the same time. The double-tracking, however, will cut only another 20 minutes off the trip.

...

(A two-hour trip time to St Louis) would cost $12 billion to $13 billion, he estimates, in line with a detailed, 256-page proposal for a complete Midwest high-speed rail system centered on Chicago that French National Railways, known by its French acronym, SNCF, filed recently with the Federal Railroad Administration.

At a cost of $68.5 billion, SNCF says it would first build a Milwaukee-Chicago-Detroit route, connecting through O'Hare International Airport, followed by Chicago-St. Louis and other Midwest routes in the long-range future. Profits generated by the first route would pay for almost half the cost of building out the system, SNCF contends.

"We see the Midwest as an important and sustainable corridor for true high-speed rail," says Lindsay Simmons, an attorney for SNCF in Washington, D.C.

...

...

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

This is the first time I've seen any concrete, specific (including a price estimate) Chicago area HSR proposal by a real, experienced developer.

Edit: I see the SNCF proposal came up a month ago in a Midwest rail thread, probably when the news came out. Not sure if it was covered here though.

Chicago Shawn Oct 26, 2009 1:49 AM

^OH MY GOD! This is great news. This means the ball can start rolling on a public-private partnership possibility. I rode on SNCF trains one month ago and was salivating on the speed and smoothness of the ride. This is the first step towards getting REAL high speed rail in the Midwest, because lets be honest with ourselves, its not going to happen with the limited amount money the federal government is making available and spreading across the nation into multiple projects.

ardecila Oct 26, 2009 3:31 AM

The SNCF proposal came as a result of a Bush administration push to seek public-private partnerships for HSR. Obama/LaHood's approach has been an entirely public sector one.

denizen - the SNCF proposal was discussed heavily in the "Midwest Regional Rail Initiative" thread. The HSR system goes beyond Chicagoland and serves lots of other big Midwestern cities, so I thought it deserved a new thread separate from this one.

Not mentioned is that the cost of SNCF's initial Milwaukee-Chicago-Ft Wayne-Toledo-Detroit phase is $68 billion. The (relatively low) $11 bn figure for Chicago-St. Louis doesn't include any Chicago-area improvements, just the rural and downstate portions, the Chicago portions having been covered in the first phase. Finding the Federal and state share of $68 billion (~40 billion, give or take) will be extremely difficult, the deficits being what they are at all levels of government. For comparison: the last Federal 5-year transportation bill allowed for about $120 billion of spending.

Rail advocates shouldn't really complain about how highways get all the money when the alternative that they advocate is so incredibly costly. (Not that I don't support 220mph service, I just don't think it's politically possible to find such money)

emathias Oct 26, 2009 12:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4523687)
...
Rail advocates shouldn't really complain about how highways get all the money when the alternative that they advocate is so incredibly costly. (Not that I don't support 220mph service, I just don't think it's politically possible to find such money)

The Federal portion of the interstate system funding cost $114 billion (adjusted for inflation, $425 billion in 2006 dollars) over 35 years. So averaged $14 billion/year in 2006 dollars for 35 years. That seems like it would come pretty darn close to building a kick-ass high-speed rail system.

Mr Downtown Oct 26, 2009 1:06 PM

^Except that the highway money all came from highway user fees. That made it politically possible, especially in an era when only half the voters were motorists. HSR ticket prices are unlikely to even pay for operating expenses.

nomarandlee Oct 26, 2009 1:37 PM

Quote:

http://www.suntimes.com/news/transpo...ride26.article

Legislature seeks CTA solutions

Plan would transfer $360 million from capital funding to operations

October 26, 2009

The chairman of the state Senate Transportation Committee has met with representatives from both parties to discuss a solution to the CTA funding crisis that would convert $360 million in capital funding into operations funding over two years.

State Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) said using capital money to fix the CTA's budget may not be the "public policy of choice," but "extraordinary times call for extraordinary solutions." He acknowledged that the proposal, which would provide $180 million each year for 2010 and 2011, faces an "uphill climb" in the Legislature..............
..

ardecila Oct 26, 2009 9:31 PM

Fuck no! Mr. Sandoval, sit down. CTA needs to eliminate senior free rides and play hardball with its unions, not steal operating funds from taxpayers' money (OUR money) that is SUPPOSED to start fixing up the system from its decrepit state.

sammyg Oct 26, 2009 9:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 4523083)
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-b...rticleId=32548
The additional $3.2 billion the state now seeks is for a parallel second track along most of the route that would allow more freight and passenger trains to run at the same time. The double-tracking, however, will cut only another 20 minutes off the trip.

That's a false comparison - the second track wouldn't increase optimum travel time, it would reduce delays and increase the capacity of the line, allowing for more trains, not faster ones.

k1052 Oct 26, 2009 11:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 4525112)
Fuck no! Mr. Sandoval, sit down. CTA needs to eliminate senior free rides and play hardball with its unions, not steal operating funds from taxpayers' money (OUR money) that is SUPPOSED to start fixing up the system from its decrepit state.

Pretty much. CTA should cut service and lay off union employees until they say "uncle".

Further deferring capital projects just makes them more expensive and provides more opportunity for service disruptions.

brint Oct 26, 2009 11:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 4524139)
^Except that the highway money all came from highway user fees. That made it politically possible, especially in an era when only half the voters were motorists.

Well, it certainly appeared that way on the books, and at the time. But looking back, we certainly have a better perspective of the unintended consequences. And we're all paying for it.

VivaLFuego Oct 26, 2009 11:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brint (Post 4525422)
Well, it certainly appeared that way on the books, and at the time. But looking back, we certainly have a better perspective of the unintended consequences. And we're all paying for it.

Well, the interstate highway system itself catalyzed local investment in roadways and highways as a complimentary distribution system to/from the interstates - which didn't always involve the 'users fees' of a gasoline tax, aside of course from some of the more nebulous road user costs like the cost of police/emergency services (in some suburbs they only exist to deal with traffic), health insurance risk borne across society rather than by the user, and so on. But MrD is right that, at least until very recently, the federal portion of the Interstate system was funded by gasoline taxes.

In theory, one might argue that CBD-to-CBD high-speed intercity rail service would catalyze local investments in transit, which again would be from a mix of sources, just like local roads. In the short run, this seems an unlikely scenario to occur given that economic activity is barely constrained by a lack of intercity connectivity (people always seem to forget this about infrastructure - it only leads to useful economic growth if it is unlocking a bottleneck, otherwise at best it just shifts existing economic activity around a bit geographically). However, intercity rail and in turn, intracity transit, would certainly have a viable future if government policy immediately became focused on minimal expansion of the existing road network, meaning that inevitable future travel growth could involve more trips on rail.

At the moment, pouring money into intercity rail to compete with Southwest Airlines and Greyhound is a zero-sum game - someone will lose, and it's a tough sell politically for many reasons to have the loser be a major taxpayer and employer. Over the long run, nothing is zero-sum, and rail would be less a competition to the existing network but rather a supplement. Hence why I personally think throwing billions at HSR construction at this point is a total waste of resources when our local infrastructure is crumbling and unreliable. That would be an investment bearing economic fruit, to make existing systems more reliable and more efficient. CREATE is a perfect example - the national economy will get more bang for the buck out of $2 bn spent on CREATE than on $2 bn spent on any proposed HSR corridor.

Rather, HSR money now should be enough to engage in nationwide comprehensive planning, land acquisition/ROW preservation, and so forth, with segments being built piecemeal over the course of decades according to where travel demand growth occurs and available funding. Sorta like how the interstates were built ...

</ot rant off>

BVictor1 Oct 27, 2009 4:49 PM

Brown Bag Luncheon
Thursday, November 5th at 12.15pm
Chicago Cultural Center
Millennium Room



High-Speed Rail in Chicago
Connecting Downtown Chicago to the Midwest

For years transportation experts have been talking about the advantages of making Chicago a hub for a Midwest high-speed rail network. However, with Federal and State funding in billions now set aside for this purpose, the reality of high-speed rail has never been closer. Please join Kevin Brubaker of the Environmental Law and Policy Center as he talks about what projects might happen first (and when!), how fast the trains will go, the costs of such a network and the benefits to downtown Chicago.

VivaLFuego Oct 27, 2009 9:19 PM

Old article, but worth posting I think.
http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/1...101909.article
Quote:

Originally Posted by Suntimes
The CTA has sent out just under 2,000 notices to bus drivers and other unionized employees that their jobs will be eliminated in the next two months.
...
“They want to mimic what City Hall did with the unions — the furlough days, the unpaid vacations and holidays, things of that nature,” said Darrel Jefferson, president of the bus driver and mechanic’s union, which is expected to bear the brunt of the layoffs. “We’re not open to that.”

From the same date also, CTA President Rodriguez's remarks to the CTA board:
http://www.transitchicago.com/assets...tober_2009.pdf

A tidbit that you might find interesting regarding the service impact:
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rodriguez
The CTA currently develops schedules based on carrying 60 passengers per bus in peak periods and
40 passengers per bus at other times. The new standard will be scheduled based on 60 passengers
per bus at all times. The impact will be more noticeable in off-peak hours than at peak periods.
What this means for customers is that they may have a longer wait and that they will be less likely to
get a seat. Both buses and trains will be at capacity at all hours. Our Bus Tracker system will be an
even more valuable tool to help riders avoid long waits so we definitely recommend that riders try it if
they haven’t already.


Haworthia Oct 27, 2009 9:55 PM

^^^ I'm surprised nobody posted that. The CTA seems serious about layoffs and I'm glad. I'm generally pro-union, but I think they really need to pass on raises this year. This is such a unique set of circumstances. Inflation is particularly low at the moment too, meaning this shouldn't be that painful.

Even if the union does deal, I doubt we'll avoid dumping more capital funds into operating funds. The best scenario is minimizing the amount of capital funds that get lost.

But here's a question, are most of the capital funds spent in house or is much of that work contracted out? Either way, I think the way to sell not piddling away that capital money is jobs. If capital funds go toward operating expenses, that's construction jobs that we are losing. I don't know if that's true, but I think it's a good sell.

ardecila Oct 27, 2009 11:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 4520608)
In the TIF budgets that the Chicago Reader released this week as part of the latest in its articles on TIF districts, there are some interesting transit-related tidbits:

The Calumet/Cermak TIF is proposed to make two transfers totalling $38 million to the Michigan/Cermak TIF, which in turn is proposed to commit $35 million in 2010 for a "New Green Line Station". This could only plausibly refer to a stop at Cermak.

Additionally, the Near South TIF is proposed to commit $30 million for a "CTA Green Line Station @ 18th" in 2011.

Of course, this is just money proposed in budgets, not any sort of actual construction commitment yet. I haven't heard anything on any progress towards awarding any design/engineering contracts for stations or anything of that sort, but it certainly does suggest City Hall is serious about one or even possibly two Green Line infill stations in the South Loop.

I just got around to reading those today... there's also quite a bit of money slated for the Wacker reconstruction, the Wells-Wentworth connector, the Damen/Fullerton/Elston project, and something called the "North Branch Truckway".

Zerton Oct 28, 2009 4:46 AM

I'd say 16th-18th street is where a new green line stop needs to be over cermak.

llamaorama Oct 28, 2009 5:46 AM

I think there is a problem with comparing rail to the interstates. With highways, you can start with a few bypasses around towns, and even if the route is mostly still 2 lanes there is an immediate improvement if drivers can now go non-stop. But for true HSR you have at least one minimum operating segment 100% done. Trains using combination of new and existing tracks isn't going to be high speed, unlike cars that go the same 55-70 speeds whether on the interstate or backroads.

emathias Oct 28, 2009 2:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zerton (Post 4527839)
I'd say 16th-18th street is where a new green line stop needs to be over cermak.

I honestly think they should put both stops in, with the one at 18th, straddling 18th as far north as possible, and the Cermak with the stop oriented on the south side, stretching toward 23rd. That's 3/8 mile apart, which for what is/will become a high-density area with a number of attractions, that's not overdoing things.


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